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August 2019 Newsletter

Hello! 

It's hard to believe that we're already at the end of August and nearly three months into our first growing season. This inaugural newsletter is long overdue, so we have a lot to share from the past few months! Our goal is to make this a monthly newsletter to share all that we can about the ministry of Little Portion Farm. We hope that you feel a part of our journey to care for the earth and the poor as we share our progress with you, as well as observations and reflections from our work. We greatly appreciate your support and interest in this ministry!

In gratitude,

Matt Jones
Farm & Outreach Coordinator

P.S.: Please feel free to share this with others who might appreciate it! If you were forwarded this email, please subscribe to receive future emails. 

What's Growing

While those following along on our Facebook or Instagram pages may have seen some updates already, we wanted to give a quick overview of what is happening on the farm this year. The majority of the three acres of Little Portion Farm has been planted with a cover crop - this is a mixture of plants including clovers, hairy vetch, oats, rye, daikon radish, mustard, and others that are intended to improve soil health. Since the land we are on was previously farmed using conventional methods (monoculture of corn or soybeans; heavy tillage; use of pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides; heavy fertilizer use; genetically modified seed, etc.) much of the soil needs time to recover. 
May 2019
July 2019
So while the amount of land we are actively cultivating is relatively small this year, there is still a great deal happening! In June, a group of visiting student friars helped plant and bless the first plants on the farm: sweet potatoes and several varieties of tomatoes. With the help of many more volunteers, we continued our summer planting with winter squash, cucumbers, bell peppers, corn, beans, and basil.
First planting, June 10th
First harvest, August 9th
This month, we did a planting of veggies for fall harvesting, including broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, collard greens, carrots, turnips, beets, and radishes. Hopefully these plants will gives us a good harvest as the weather starts to cool!

Farm Facts

Recently we found a fascinating example of what ecological farming can promote. The green caterpillar pictured above is a tobacco hornworm, which can be a serious pest for our tomato plants, yet this one has been attacked by a parasitoid wasp. The white ovals on the hornworm are cocoons, from which adult braconid wasps will emerge in a few days. We intentionally plant flowering plants, such as buckwheat, that attract beneficial insects like these wasps, in order to keep pests in check without using pesticides. As we continue to expand, we will plant larger sections of flowering plants to provide more habitat for pollinators and beneficial insects. 

Wine at the Shrine Festival

We are excited to share that this fall we will be hosting a festival in support of Little Portion Farm. This family-friendly festival will be held on the beautiful grounds of the Shrine of St. Anthony and feature live music, local beer and wine, kids activities, food trucks, local crafts, tours of the farm, and much more! 

All proceeds support the joint mission of Little Portion Farm and the Franciscan Center of Baltimore, to care for the land and provide fresh organic produce to those in need. 

All ages are welcome! 

Sunday, October 13
1:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Shrine of St. Anthony
 

 
Get tickets

We were on TV!

In case you missed it or are not local, we were recently featured in a segment on CBS Baltimore. Reporter Denise Koch came out to interview us and also visited the Franciscan Center of Baltimore to see the destination of our produce. Take a look here

Thank you!

Blessing of the first fruits from the farm, August 9th
We want to take a moment to express our deep gratitude for all of our supporters. To all of those who have donated, volunteered, or simply prayed from afar: thank you! We would not be where we are today without your help.

As we continue our work, we ask for your continued support and prayers. If you are able to make a small contribution to help us buy the seed, plants, and tools we need for next year, please visit our donation page. If you are interested in joining our hard-working volunteers on the farm, please fill out our interest form. Thank you!

Food for Thought

Pictured: A cucumber tendrill, taken at Little Portion Farm
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Copyright © 2019 Little Portion Farm, All rights reserved.

Little Portion Farm is a ministry of the Franciscan Friars Conventual, Our Lady of the Angels Province.

Visit us at:
12280 Folly Quarter Road, Ellicott City, MD 21042

Contact us at: 
(443) - 585 - 8005 or info@littleportionfarm.org

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