“From the Earth” is a community-based educational project that will provide a hands-on learning space and resources dedicated to increasing the number of local food producers within a rural community. This project will involve the expansion of current community gardens into a new learning space that demonstrates vegetable production techniques, soil conservation practices, honeybee hives, and a pollinator habitat that create a holistic approach to food production. The objectives of this project are to increase community outreach and education regarding food production, and increase the number of sustainably active farmers in the community. The Stockbridge-Munsee Community (SMC) has conducted several community surveys and planning meetings regarding the development of a sustainable food production project that will restore the community members ability to produce their own food.
“From the Earth” will be open to all interested community members with a primary focus of new farmers and food producers within the SMC and surrounding area. Anticipated outcomes of this project are beneficial to SMC farmers by providing a learning space that offers techniques that can be adapted by the farmers for any size of food production system. “From the Earth” will create a long-term support system with resources available for the community.
This project will be done in a series of phases over a three-year period, with a main focus of education throughout the growing season. This will be done through hands-on field days, a video teaching blog (vlog), and fact sheets. The Project Coordinator will also develop an end of year report, documenting time and money spent in each of the project areas. The SMC Food Sovereignty Committee will be the sounding board for this project and will assist the Project Coordinator with the management of this project.
Project objectives from proposal:
1. Participants will gain knowledge and skills of vegetable production techniques and soil conservation practices.
2. Participants will gain resources and information on keeping honeybee hives and developing pollinator habitats.
1. Farmers will implement sustainable horticulture skills, such as: cover cropping and composting on their farms.
2. Farmers will use new vegetable production techniques, such as: raised rows, raised beds, row crops with living mulches and plastic mulches.
3. Farmers will participate in pollinator habitat development and staging of honeybee hive.
4. lncrease the number of SMC farmers producing fresh vegetables.