Last night we had a public meeting with our Rural Resource Office. I had learnt of this organization last year through the Greeneville Farmers Market. I wish I had known about this group of great people 5 years ago when we first moved onto our property.
I had to miss the first half of the meeting because I had to go for a job interview. So, Nathan represented us for that part. I came in at the tail end of the meeting, and am sorry I had to miss it. Seems like there was some good communication and ideas flying around.
The second part of the meeting also went very well, and we were able to learn of some new resources and we walked away with a better understanding of what we need to do to make this place more self -sustainable.
There are some steps we are going to have to take to get our little farm ready to participate in some programs that will not only help us become more sustainable, but will also help the community. We will be working closely with the Rural Resources over the next couple of months in preparation for these changes.
We plan on becoming GAP Certified. GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) is Congress’s new Food Safety Modernization Act, which specifies the FDA must deveolp a food safety program for fruit and vegetable production and handling.
So, why are we going to this extreme?
1. We feel it is important for our customers to know, without a doubt, that we take care to product our vegetables with the full understanding of health concerns.
2. This will be needed in the future to expand our operation.
3. To continue to help the Rural Resources There are exemptions that will be made, but we feel it is important to put all buyers minds at ease.
Other meeting notes:
1. A number of us have decided to meet on a more regular schedule, maybe every other week.
2. Sharing the production needs to help Rural Resources meet their growing needs with the food baskets and the mobile market.
3. Advisory Board of local farmers to help Rural Resources understand our needs.
OH,, and the job? I did get it, it’s a seasonal position, that will work perfect. Day shift 6-3 at John Deere! This position will run through May, which is about the time our garden will be coming in, and I’ll have to devote my time there.