Poppy’s Pumpkin Patch- Agri-Tourism/Education Upgrade
We purchased and installed a corn furnace in our café building along with a complete update – insulation in walls and ceiling, more seating and tables, additional café equipment and display cases. These improvements have given us the seating capacity for 100 people. This is great for large school groups and workshops. Our new pipeline was installed in June of 2007 and provides access to water for our deer and buffalo. We worked with the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) through the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service to help with guidance and funding. Currently we are working on our educational brochures and our marketing plan for 2008. Most of our shrubs are ordered from the Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District (NRD) Conservation Tree Program and we look forward to planting these and incorporating them into our educational program. We will move in several large evergreen trees in early spring.
The comments on our café improvements have been so favorable from customers and especially from teachers, many of whose classes bring their lunch and now have a warm place to eat. This facility is handicapped accessible and is convenient for students and nursing home groups. The café also provides better facilities for our craft vendors and sales were up.
We have learned to have a good plan and patience to complete it. When the paper work seems overwhelming at times, we have a great resource in Al Mittan from PrairieLand RC&D in Madison, NE. He has been very helpful in making connections with the appropriate agencies, so that combined efforts have proved very worthwhile.
WORK PLAN for 2008
In 2008 we will finish our landscaping, print the educational booklets, and upgrade our outreach programs.
On February 27, 2008 I will attend the 2nd annual MarketPlace Conference in Columbus NE. The Conference is put on by the Center for Rural Affairs. I will present an agritourism workshop. I will have brochures for the conference and will have them as part of our school tours this spring and in the fall. PrairieLand RC&D continues to support us in their monthly newsletters.