In 2012, FGF began work with two other organizations dedicated to furthering Sustainable Farm Practices. We established relationships with Purdue’s Horticulture and Specialty Crop program, as well as the USDA. Ecohio Farm reinforced its work with the Cincinnati Zoo as well as the USDA in Ohio.
We are conducting collaborative on farm research with two Purdue programs, their new Organic Soils program as well as their established Weed Management Department. Both studies benefit our farm greatly, with the added benefit of contributing to the growing body of knowledge surrounding Sustainable Farm Production for all growers reached by the university. I anticipate great advantage to working with the best minds in agricultural production on our farms.
The USDA funded a wetland restoration project on FGF that has decade long implications for us. We will design a restoration plan within our budget, making professional grade drawings in house by Jim, and then carry out the plan in the early spring of 2013. I expect to make the drawing available to GB for use in their winter marketing and education efforts. The USDA also funded cover crop planting seed costs for us. This has allowed us to jump ahead and begin an excellent cover crop rotation that was designed with help from Purdue. It has also allowed us to grow a cash crop in the form of money NOT spent on the growing and harvesting of our own cover crop seeds.
These collaborations are time well spent when we consider our farms now operate with large restored wetlands in their shadow, which I believe will ultimately translate as a great reason for consumers to seek out both our farm products as well as GB. This establishes us as bio-LOGICAL farms that are working towards a more wildlife friendly future for our nation’s farmscapes… and to provide a really, really, cool platform for education.