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CREEKSIDE FARM EDUCATION CENTER  339 Avery Creek Rd., Arden, NC. 28704  (828)

© 2018 by Creekside Farm Education Center

EDUCATION

Why Education is so Important

The average age of an American farmer is now 59 years old.  Just 5.7% of our farmers are under the age of 35.

 

Over a recent 20 year period, the United States lost farm land to development that equaled the size of New York state or most of Iowa.  

We're losing not only the knowledge, but the capacity (the farm land) to grow our own food locally.  The Creekside Farm Education Center is dedicated to promoting the Eat Your View movement as a means to improve public understanding about the importance of keeping the local food production knowledge and capacity alive in all communities across the US, and around the world.  

Why should we take back control?

Global, multi-national food corporations have created an unhealthy food web that is leading us to skyrocketing levels of obesity, diabetes and heart disease (mostly due to processed foods) and an unsustainable health care crisis.  We combat that problem with education and access to fresh, healthy whole foods.

BUILDING RESILIENCE

We need to bring farming and food production closer to where it is consumed, and we do that by supporting small farmers and growers through education, at the local farmers market, and through CSA programs.

Creekside Farm is dedicated to the "Eat Your View" campaign and movement because increasing public awareness about the importance of local food production is the key element to local food sustainability.  Local farmers can grow it, but it's up to the community to buy it.

Ask your local restaurants and grocery stores to support local  farmers and food production.

Upcoming Educational Events at Creekside Farm Education Center in cooperation with Organic Growers School

February 16, 2019 - Homestead Dreams - one day workshop

One-Day Workshop on Land-Based Living
Homestead Dreams is an entry-level workshop designed to help you incorporate small-scale sustainability and self-sufficiency into your life. Whether you own or rent a home, or live in a rural or urban setting, you can move towards self-reliance now.

Workshop Details: $65 per person, 10:00–5:00 pm.
Creekside Farms Education Center 339 Avery Creek Road Arden, NC 28704
Bring your lunch for a group gathering and conversation

March 8, 2019 - Full day workshop as part of the Organic Growers School Spring Conference

Year Round Growing on Farm & Garden with Pam Dawling & Ira Wallace

Join experienced vegetable, herb, and seed growers Pam Dawling & Ira Wallace for a step-by-step approach to growing year-round. Learn the tools to manage space effectively, grow the quantities of crops when you want them, and efficiently meet your growing goals. 

Where: Creekside Farms Education Center, 339 Avery Creek Road, Arden, NC 28704

When: Friday, March 8, 2019, 9:30 to 4:30

Cost: $55 with Saturday and/or Sunday spring conference registration, $70 without

October 12, 2019 - Homestead Dreams -  one day workshop

One-Day Workshop on Land-Based Living
Homestead Dreams is an entry-level workshop designed to help you incorporate small-scale sustainability and self-sufficiency into your life. Whether you own or rent a home, or live in a rural or urban setting, you can move towards self-reliance now.

Workshop Details: $65 per person, 10:00–5:00 pm.
Creekside Farms Education Center 339 Avery Creek Road Arden, NC 28704
Bring your lunch for a group gathering and conversation

 

 

 

 

CSA Event Calendar for Summer 2019

Events open to Creekside Farm CSA members only 

 

12 Month, Farmer-Led Training Program.  Farm Beginnings

Many skills are required to start and expand a successful farm business: passion, clear goals, production experience, financial and marketing know-how, and more. Farm Beginnings® will help you build these skills through one year of farmer-led training, mentoring, and networking. The program includes farmer-led classroom sessions, on-farm tours, and an extensive farmer network to help you clarify your goals and strengths, establish a strong enterprise plan, and start building your profitable and sustainable operation.

New Farmer Incubator Program at Creekside Farm

Creekside Farm Education Center will begin a new Farmer Incubator Program in Spring of 2019.  We'll be offering new, aspiring farmers easy and inexpensive access to farm land, water, equipment (tractor and tiller), greenhouses and mentoring to help the next generation of farmers get a start in the business.  Interested growers will submit a detailed business plan to include target customers and the specific product plan for production to: creeksidefarmwc@gmail.com

Educating our young people about healthy food and where it comes from is important, and every kid should visit a farm at least once as part of a school farm tour.  Here, kid's from Under One Sky Village Foundation, an organization that provides programs, support and services to youth in foster care, learn about the farm and farming occupation as part of a career track workshop.  They learned about healthy food and how it's grown, and what it takes to be a farmer. 

Why education is so important... Key Issues

Emily from ASAP gives a talk at the Creekside Farm Education Center

Farm manager Melissa gives a cooking class in the commercial kitchen

  • The average age of a U.S. farmer is 59, and half of our farms will turn over ownership in the next 10-12 years.  Without young farmers learning the trade, much of that land will be developed for purposes other than farming, like housing developments or retail strip malls.

  • Just 5.7% of farmers are under the age of 35.  The significant barriers to entry include rising costs of land, equipment, infrastructure and lack of knowledge or training.

  • We need to build community food safety, security, sovereignty and resilience in our own local communities by supporting local farms and famers at the farmers market or through CSA programs, and by encouraging your local grocer and restaurants to support local food production.

  • The farm is a learning experience, and builds connections to nature and the earth, and Eat Your View is about keeping the knowledge of the farming tradition alive for the future.

  • Protecting the pastoral beauty of an area is important to our psychological health.  Just submerging yourself in nature for 30 minutes has been proven to reduce stress levels and blood pressure while it improves feelings of psychological well-being.

  • Protecting our local food supply in a changing climate is important to our future food security.

  • Food resiliency is about preparing for potential threats to our oil supply, power grid and food distribution system.  Russian hackers are attempting to hack our power grid, which the NSA and CIA consider serious threats.  A solar flare or CME can do significant damage to our electrical grid that could take months, or even years, to fully repair.  Multiple hurricanes and larger storms are regular events now that can take out oil refineries (and have) on the coast and in the Gulf of Mexico that can (and did) disrupt food transportation across a broad region of the country.

Say Goodbye to Iowa:  The loss of Farmland in America

 

For years, many people have watched as farms in their communities have turned into new housing developments and strip malls. Most people have seen farmland vanish before their eyes as a new development sprouted up, but there’s not been a lot of hard facts about the demise of the family farm; mostly just a lot of anecdotal evidence. 

    But now, with the release of a recent study called "Farms Under Threat: The State of America's Farmland," we have some proof and hard evidence about the disappearance of America's farmland. This study by American Farmland Trust (AFT) gives us some pretty clear evidence about the loss of farmland over the past 20 years.  In the most comprehensive study ever undertaken about America's loss of agricultural lands, using current technologies like high res satellite imaging, the researchers show that nearly twice the area of farmland was lost over two decades than was previously thought or known. The study shows that between 1992 and 2012, the United States lost nearly 31 million acres of land to development. That's 175 acres an hour, or 3 acres every single minute.  

    That 31 million acres is equivalent to losing most of Iowa or all of New York state to development in a 20-year period. And importantly, 11 million of those acres were among the best farmland in the nation; land that is classified as the most productive, most versatile and most resilient land, like the rich farmland in the Midwest. That equates to losing half of Indiana.

The study also showed that development disproportionately occurred on agricultural lands, with 62 percent of all development occurring on farmland (versus wooded or unfarmed open space). It also showed that expanding urban areas with higher density housing accounted for 59 percent of the farmland loss. Low-density residential development, or the building of houses on one to 20-acre parcels, accounted for the other 41 percent of the farmland loss.[i]

[i] American Farmland Trust, June 2018 Report

The Rising Health Care Crisis

 

Health care costs are skyrocketing in an unsustainable manner.  Our health care system treats symptoms, not the root causes or the real problem, which is obesity in America. The rapid rise in diabetes and heart disease is leading to shorter lifespans for a lot of people.  We need to eat healthier diets. The CDC reports that 70% of American adults are overweight with increased risks of diabetes and heart disease.  Recent studies show that 20% of our kids are now obese (that’s one out of five adolescents) and 40% are overweight.  This is the first time in history when we can predict that a younger generation will have a shorter life span than their parents.  The costs associated with our current health care system are skyrocketing and is not sustainable.  Our health care crisis is directly related to processed foods and an unhealthy diet.  And the problems are unfairly concentrated in poor and low-income households where inexpensive processed and fast food has become a mainstay of the diet.  We improve health through education and access to healthy food.

Farm worker Nicholas after a hard days work.

We Believe...

  • We believe that it's also important to protect our seed supply and the plant gene pool with heirloom seeds.  With the consolidation of seed companies into just a few large corporations, and just a few varieties of seeds now available to growers, we've lost varieties of plants that may have genetic traits that may be very useful in the future, like pathogen or heat resistance.  The same loss of genetic diversity has happened with chickens and other livestock.

  • Building community around food, gathering together to celebrate food, is important to our health and happiness

  • Knowing your farmer and where your food comes from is important to many people.

  • Letting a cow be a cow, grazing in open pasture, is fair and just treatment of animals (CAFO's are not).

  • Monocropping is not sustainable and depends on massive amounts of fossil fuels and chemicals

  • Providing accessible land for young farmers is critical to the future of farming and our food supply

  • Managing the land sustainably thru organic methods that replenish the soil is critical to environmental health

  • Encouraging young farmers to pursue agriculture is key to future farming capacity

  • Providing land, equipment, tools and mentorship to young, new farmers wanting to learn the trade builds infrastructure

  • Grow local is changing restaurant menus across the US, and there are 9000 farmers markets now across the US.

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