Summer is gone, fall is now upon us, and it’s been busy at the Feed Fannin Farm and in our partner garden. Produce donations to the Fannin County Family Connection Food Pantry through Sept. 30 from all sources (both grown and purchased) totaled just over 12,000 lbs. Our Farm-to-Pantry supplemental produce purchases
will continue for the remainder of 2021.
Our garden partner, Faith Presbyterian Church, moved to its new location just off Highway 515 in Mineral Bluff in 2020, and this year, the church’s new vegetable garden contributed more than 1,400 lbs. of corn, cucumbers and sweet potatoes to our donation to the food pantry. Feed Fannin supports the church’s efforts by providing an annual garden grant to them of $500 for the purchase of soil and equipment. Late this summer, two students from West Virginia who were visiting relatives in Blue Ridge volunteered to take two days from their vacation to assist Feed Fannin in cutting corn stalks and the removal of tomato cages. Their help was much appreciated. Then, on Sept. 24, under beautiful blue skies, 18 local Future Farmers of America (FFA) students helped us finish harvesting a large crop of sweet potatoes and clean up the discarded vines. What a blessing to have the willing assistance and strong, young bodies of these students to help with these garden tasks! Kathy Corey and Kathy Beck recently worked around the farmhouse, deck and carport, cutting back overgrown invasive shrubbery. They also trimmed overgrown vines from the arbor.
Thanks to Steve Corey, who has been mowing and filling in for Ham Kimzey in his absence, in addition to his usual mowing and string trimming. Also thanks to Kathy Corey for her extra help mowing and to Curt Hinnant for string trimming in the garden and around the fence line as well as helping move all the corn stalks out of the garden.
The fence post near the barn finally rotted and fell. But thanks to the skills of volunteer, BZ Cashman, we now have a sturdy new post and a gate that was on hand and installed to fit the spot perfectly. There is no way to adequately express gratitude for the help of loyal volunteers who show up to help at the garden and around the farm.
Thanks to the generosity of the Fannin County Board of Education, Feed Fannin is allowed the use of a beautiful piece of property for our farm and garden. There is also a pole barn on the adjoining property and behind the AG Facility that FFA students sometimes use. Recently, FFA received a grant to build a new high-tunnel hoop house that is now located behind the pole barn. Bush hog work is planned in November on the area behind the pole barn, our farmhouse and our garden. Feed Fannin will also schedule volunteer work days this fall or winter to trim around the farm’s raised beds, the street and the farmhouse.