Wednesday, April 19, 2017

We've Changed the Date!



THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED DUE TO THE WEATHER FORECAST. THE NEW DATE IS MAY 4TH!

REGISTER HERE!

RURAL RESOURCES'


ANNUAL MEETING & DINNER ON THE FARM


We hope you received your invitation to Rural Resources' Annual Meeting and Dinner to be held at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 4th at the Rural Resources Farm.  We really hope you are planning on attending and touring the new Farm & Food Learning Center that is under construction.  If you are, it would help us immensely to know you are coming!  

The dinner will feature locally raised ingredients and the cost is $8 adults/$4 children.

We are also continuing to raise funds for the Farm & Food Learning Center.  If you would like to make a donation of any amount, we welcome all donations at the dinner or click here to donate online.




Everyone is invited to come to visit the farm and see our progress,” said Rural Resources Executive Director Sally Causey. “We are excited to show you our sustainably built, energy efficient Learning Center.”
Tennessee Arts Commission funds will provide music by Knoxville jazz duo Jack Furnari and Mike Benjamin. The event will include a hamburger dinner featuring local beef, salad from the farm and homemade ice cream.The cost for the dinner is $8 per person and $4 for children under the age of 10.
  
The Farm & Food Learning Center will provide space for programs, community workshops, offices and a commercial kitchen. The Rural Resources staff has been working out of a small trailer, without indoor plumbing, since a fire destroyed the building in 2009. Youth programs have been held in out buildings and a Pavilion donated by the Rotary Club. Thanks to funding from the USDA, the Appalachian Regional Commission, East Tennessee Foundation and many other generous local donors, progress on the learning center is continuing.

The teens in our Farm & Food Teen Training program will be able to prepare and preserve the food they grow on-site and be able to build sustainable farm- and food-related businesses,” said Causey. “Farm Day Campers won’t have to use the outhouse anymore and students coming for field trips will have expanded offerings. There is no doubt that this facility will be a game-changer for hands-on learning opportunities for years to come.”
Rural Resources is nonprofit working to connect farms, food and families through community education, youth programs and sustainable agriculture.
Holly Creek Farm is located at 2870 Holly Creek Rd, Greeneville. For more information call Rural Resources at 423-636-8171 or visit our website atruralresources.net.
 
Make a donation toward completing the Farm & Food Learning Center here!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Growing Dreams!



Our Farm and Food Teen Training Program Coordinator Debbie Strickland published a blog on the Grow Appalachia website about the program and one of this year's new participants. Check it out here at this link.

In the Farm and Food Teen Training Program, Food-insecure teens raise produce and livestock, train with local chefs, learn business and leadership skills, and start a food related business. They then have an option for an internship.

The Program follows a 4-year rotation. In year one, teens learn all about growing food, from planting and harvesting to composting and livestock management, and much more! Year two get the teens into the kitchen to learn kitchen safety, cooking and catering. The third and fourth years focus on business planning and organization, implementation of a farm- or food-related enterprise, creating a resume and public speaking. After completing four years of training, teens move on to an internship with a local farmer or chef.

For more information about the program, call Debbie Strickland at Debbie@ruralresources.net or call the office at 423-636-8171.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Local, Naturally-raised, Pastured Pork for Sale!


The Rural Resources Farm and Food Teen Training (FFTT) program has naturally-raised, pastured pork for sale! This is a great opportunity to not only get healthy, local food but to also support the teen program.

The teens bred and cared for the pigs as part of their livestock rotation in the FFTT program. All the proceeds from the pork they sell will go back into the program.

Don't miss out! Order soon!

The FFTT program teaches the teens about livestock, business practices Teens use the knowledge and skills gained in the first two years of the program to earn money for the program during years three and four.

Over a two year period, they explore the basics of business planning and organization. Teens team up to create a business plan for their own farm or food-related enterprise! In the process, they create resumes and develop critical job skills such as teamwork, public speaking, creating business plans, marketing principles and more.

For more information about the program contact Debbie Strickland at Debbie@ruralresources.net or call the office at 423-636-8171.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Come On Out for the Annual Meeting, Cookout and Tour of the New Building!


The public is invited to attend Rural Resources Annual Meeting and Dinner on April 20th at 6:00 p.m. at Holly Creek Farm. Guests will be able to tour the new Farm & Food Learning Center, currently under construction, and see the progress on the Farm and Food Teen Training program’s spring garden.


“Everyone is invited to come to visit the farm and see our progress,” said Rural Resources Executive Director Sally Causey. “We will have a sustainably built, energy efficient Learning Center.”

The event will include a hamburger dinner featuring local beef, salad from the farm and homemade ice cream. The cost for the dinner is $8 per person and $4 for children under the age of 10.

The Farm & Food Learning Center will provide space for programs, community workshops, offices and a commercial kitchen. The Rural Resources staff has been working out of a small trailer, without indoor plumbing, since a fire destroyed the building in 2009. Youth programs have been held in out buildings and a Pavilion donated by the Rotary Club. Thanks to funding from the USDA, the Appalachian Regional Commission and many other generous donors, progress on the learning center is continuing.


“The teens in our Farm & Food Teen Training program will be able to prepare and preserve the food they grow on-site and be able to build sustainable farm- and food-related businesses,” said Causey. “Farm Day Campers won’t have to use the outhouse anymore and students coming for field trips will have expanded offerings. There is no doubt that this facility will be a game-changer for hands-on learning opportunities for years to come.”
Holly Creek Farm is located at 2870 Holly Creek Rd, Greeneville. For more information call Rural Resources at 423-636-8171 or visit our website at ruralresources.net.

Rural Resources is nonprofit working to connect farms, food and families through community education, youth programs and sustainable agriculture.



Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Profitable Ground ... what does it look like?

Eddie Yokley To Host Foraging Workshop



The Four Seasons Grazing Club will meet for a Grazing for Profit Pasture Walk titled “Profitable Ground … what does it look like?” at Eddie Yokley’s farm on April 13 from 5:30-8:00 p.m. The farm is located at 1046 Old Kentucky Rd., South, Greeneville, TN. The event is free and a free hamburger dinner will follow the pasture walk.

Yokely is using an innovative rotational grazing and forage management method. Practices include rolling out hay in the fall, using a sacrifice field for winter grazing and moving to grass in February or March, using temporary fencing, and grazing areas on the margins of streams or rivers on dry winter days.

Mike McElroy of the Greene County Soil Conservation District said the method is nontraditional but effective.

“It boils down to grazing management and the landowner being in control,” McElroy said. “A lot of the complaints that we get during winter time are, ‘There's nothing but mud around the hay rings,’ or ‘I lost a calf because of the mud.’  To get away from that, you've got to change your management. You've got to do something different to get around it.”

The pasture walk will include seeing a stream crossing with a water access point, freeze proof waterers, additional quick connects, even manure distribution in the sacrifice field and learning about how farms can qualify for cost sharing opportunities.

One of the keys to successfully implementing this method is unrolling hay on the ground when the weather is dry.

“You put out what they can eat in three to four hours, the next day you unroll the hay again,” said McElroy. “But you pick those days and you do it on dry days. If it's nasty, wet, cold, rainy, snowy, and all that, walk out there and open up the gate handle and turn them into a pasture field that has been sitting there and growing all winter long. We call that stockpiled forages.”

McElroy said the event will bring together people to find new solutions to old problems.



“We'll get ideas from Eddie on things that he's tried that did not work, and things that he tried that did work,” McElroy said. He adds, “In the winter of 2015, Eddie fed 148 rolls of hay. In the winter of 2016, he fed 26. Same number of animals, same number of acres of land, everything was the same except for how it was managed.”

McElroy says proper forage management also improves soil health, reduces water run-off, eliminates the need to spray costly herbicides or bush hog, and increases the amount of protein available to livestock from what are commonly considered weeds.
  
One thing I’ve told Eddie and everybody else, these land owners are going to have to decide,” McElroy said. “Do you want a pasture field or do you want a golf course?”

To register for this free event, go to ruralresources.net and click on the Four Seasons Grazing Club under the Programs tab, or call Rural Resources at 423-636-8171 or the Greene County Soil Conservation District at 423-638-4771 extension 3.


The Four Seasons Grazing Club is an educational and networking organization dedicated to encouraging better forage production through grazing management. This Grazing for Profit Pasture Walk is sponsored by Rural Resources, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Tennessee Department of Agriculture.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

We Need You!



Rural Resources relies on volunteers to help us do what we do. At times we have lots of volunteers in our data base that we can call on when we need a couple of extra hands. At other times, the pool dwindles down a bit. People’s schedules change. They move. They develop new interests. We understand that and we appreciate the time and energy they have given us. But that means that we need to recruit new volunteers at times to fill their places. It’s that time again!

We need volunteers of all kinds and all abilities. Do you like to work in the garden? Are you experienced with livestock? Are you good with computer hardware or installing and troubleshooting software? Fixing fences? Can you stuff envelopes? Is art or cooking your thing? Would you like to beautify our farm or teach our youth? We always need someone to help our farm manager keep all the maintenance and repairs up to date. If you would like to be a part of our mission, we have a place for you!

We welcome groups, individuals, families, Tennessee Promise Students and those wanting to serve community service hours by helping out a worthy cause.

Volunteer Morgan Jones will graduate
from Tusculum College in May with a
  criminal justice degree and a minor in
 chemistry. 
In May, Morgan Jones, a volunteer who has been helping me with communications, will be graduating from Tusculum College. With a criminal justice degree and a minor in chemistry under her belt, she will then move on to graduate school for a master’s degree in forensic science. We are very proud of Morgan, who is a Bonner Leader Student and a member of the Criminal Justice Association. We will miss her!

With Morgan moving on to new adventures with chemistry and cadavers, I’m looking for people who might be interested in helping out with our communications. That could be anything from preparing mailouts or helping with photography and graphic design to writing blogs or doing data entry.

If you are interested in volunteering in any capacity, please contact Sharon, our volunteer coordinator, at Sharon@ruralresources.net. If you specifically want to help out with communications, please contact me at lorelei@ruralresources.net. You can also reach both of us at 423-636-8171.


Friday, February 17, 2017

Looking Back at Growing the Future



I found this short film by Anthony Frazier about the Farm and Food Teen Training program here at Rural Resources. Growing the Future was made in 2014, and features our own Miss Debbie with some of our teens. Enjoy!