Market Ready

Travis Adkins here at Red Bird Mission, we had service week here on campus for some of our students at Red Bird Christian School on April 19th and 20th. We had a lot of fun planting strawberry plants in one of our raised beds. We also planted some tomato and pepper seeds in our green house.

Service Week April 19th – 20th

Service Week April 19th – 20th

Service Week April 19th – 20th

Service Week April 19th – 20th

Service Week April 19th – 20th

We had our 2nd Grow Appalachia training “Garden Planting” on April 19th which was a huge success. We distributed strawberry and onion plants, Mountain Pride fertilizer and we handed out peck baskets for all of our Grow Appalachia members. (Plants and organic fertilizer was paid for through a food security grant.)

“Garden Planting” training April 19th

“Garden Planting” training April 19th

“Garden Planting” training April 19th

“Garden Planting” training April 19th

 

 

 

 

 

 

We took a tour of our kitchen here at Red Bird Christian School so they could show us the basic cleaning and preparation of using a big kitchen like our new commercial kitchen. They showed us things that we need to watch for like having our trash can and dirty rags container labeled correctly and make sure that it is visible for everyone to see what goes where.

We had a Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) training that we did on April 27th for our farmers that sale at the farmers market so they can accept the SFMNP checks that we distribute out to some of our seniors. The Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) awards grants to States, U.S. Territories, and federally recognized Indian tribal governments to provide low-income seniors with coupons that can be exchanged for eligible foods (fruits, vegetables, honey, and fresh-cut herbs) at farmers’ markets, roadside stands, and community-supported agriculture programs. The SFMNP is administered by State agencies such as your State Department of Agriculture or Agency on Aging.

We have been building on a cold storage room (paid for through a GBGM Food Security Grant) for our farmers to use and it is coming together very well. Our Red Bird Work Camp have been working hard on getting it done before our first Farmers Market which is June 2nd. Thanks to work camp for making it possible for us to have this available by the dead line so our farmers will have something to store their crops they don’t sale at the market so they can have them the next weekend at the farmers market. Fresh fruits and vegetables start to deteriorate as soon as they are harvested because they are cut off from their source of water and nutrition. They lose weight, texture, flavor, nutritive value, and appeal. Cooling significantly slows down the rate of deterioration, thereby increasing the storage life of the produce. The cooler the temperature, the slower the deterioration and the longer the storage life. Much commercial produce is stored at temperatures just above that which will cause freeze damage to the product so that it can have the maximum possible shelf life (multiple weeks or even months) and be transported very long distances.

The Mennonite Central Committee SWAP (Sharing With Appalachia People) donated corn and miscellaneous seed.

We also had a meeting with some of the other coordinated sites that are building commercial kitchens on April 30th. We really enjoyed everyone coming out to see our kitchen “Red Bird Valley Kitchen” and catching up on everything we’ve done so far this year with the other coordinated sites, Candace Mullins and David Cook.

 

About the Author:

My name is Travis Adkins. I am 23 years old. I was born in Harlan, KY to Donna and Lonnie Adkins. I come from a big family of 8 brothers and sisters. To me family is everything. In 2000 we moved from Harlan to Leslie County Where I attended Beech Fork Elementary and then later I attended Red Bird Christian School. Growing up in the Appalachian Mountains I learned a lot. One thing in particular was working in the garden with my dad, Lonnie, before he passed away in March of 2010. We would till up a gardening area so we could plant potatoes, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, cabbage, etc. Dad taught me a lot about all of that and how to be a good worker. He always said no matter what you do, do it to the best of your ability. My mom and dad was always encouraging us, along with raising us in church and setting a good foundation. In 2015 I gave my heart to the Lord and I try my best to do what he would have me to do to help people or try to lead someone to Christ. Not long after I gave my heart to the Lord, I met the love of my life, Kendra. I am now married and currently anticipating the arrival of our son, David Bentlee, in September of this year. Anyone that knows me, knows I'm all about the good Lord, my family and a hard worker. I thank God for all he has given me and I am excited to see what plans he has in store for me and my family in the future.

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