Snowy days in January are perfect for planning for the next farm season! The Athens Community Farm organizers met recently to take look back on our first season and organize new projects for 2022. Check out the list below for what you can expect from the farm this year. Have some ideas of your own or want to help out? Work days will start up again in early Spring, but don’t hesitate to comment here or email athenscommunityfarm[at]gmail.com anytime with your input!
Before we get started…. some exciting news!
The farm received two grants from the Athens Community Foundation for 2022! We received $6,000 to aid in the continuation of our Community Shares program, delivering CSA shares from local farms to our food pantries, senior housing and free meal programs. The farm also received $2,628 to help expand our physical location, adding more beds and fencing that will allow us to grow additional variety and quantity of veggies for the you-pick garden. Thank you to the Foundation and everyone that helped with our grant applications.
What to expect on – and off – the farm this year:
Thanks to everyone that shared feedback on the 2021 season! More detail on the status of individual projects can be found here.
- More growing space – We’re expanding the farm this season with more raised beds, allowing for additional veggie varieties, succession planting of everyone’s fave items (lettuce!) and seasonal rotation of crops. Also look out for improvements to the wash and pack area and new storage and waste options.
- Full season crop plans – There is time this year to really plan what vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers should be growing for the full season.
- New education materials/signage – You’ll find maps of what is growing where, tips on how and when to harvest, resources for identifying and reporting pest, diseases or general observations about the plants
- Easier volunteering – Whether you want to join the organizing team, help build beds one workday or water every week, you’ll know what is needed and how to sign up to help.
- Regular field walks – Join organizers as they take regular walks to check on the veggies and stay connected to the farm. This will be a great time to share ideas or ask questions about what is growing.
- Gatherings – Have a skill or performance you want to share with the community? The farm could be the spot to gather and learn together.
- Regular community distribution – Expect a continuation of our Community Shares program, Saturday community table, and weekly harvest for Rivertown Senior Housing.
- A little more structure around our… structure – It turns out it’s easier to receive donations or do any kind of business if you have some sort of legal status. This season we’ll be investigating what makes the most sense for the farm as an inclusive, nimble, community-driven project.
I’m excited to have more community gatherings this year and to have more neighbors discover the farm. – Mary
I look forward to expanding our ability to provide food to the community by building more garden beds and safe outdoor spaces.
I can’t wait to grow more varieties of the veggies we all love and maybe even some new ones that we don’t…yet!
There’s so much to do to this season! Stay tuned for opportunities to volunteer throughout the year and reach out any time you have something to share.