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Organic Farming With A Disability. Andy and Hilda Byrd Whippoorwill Hollow Organic Farm. Overview. Whippoorwill Hollow Organic Farm. Overview of our farm. AgrAbility in GA. Our involvement with the AgrAbility in GA Program. Organic Farming.

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organic farming with a disability
Organic Farming With A Disability

Andy and Hilda Byrd

Whippoorwill Hollow Organic Farm

overview
Overview
  • Whippoorwill Hollow Organic Farm

Overview of our farm

  • AgrAbility in GA

Our involvement with the AgrAbility in GA Program

  • Organic Farming

What is organic farming, advantages for someone with a

disability, how to start an organic farm

www.farmagain.com

who we are
Who we are
  • Andy Byrd
  • Co-Owner of Whippoorwill Hollow Organic Farm
  • Grew up in family’s grocery business – Byrd’s Grocery
  • Have always been interested in farming
  • Hilda Byrd
  • Co-Owner of Whippoorwill Hollow Organic Farm
  • Youngest of 9 who grew up in a farming family. What we did not grow, we bought at Byrd’s Grocery.
  • Peer Support Coordinator for AgrAbility in Georgia

www.farmagain.com

whippoorwill hollow organic farm
Whippoorwill Hollow Organic Farm

We bought the farm in November of 1997 in Walnut Grove, GA. It was overgrown and upon clearing it, we found crops that the previous owner had planted in the 80’s.

We started with a pick your own blueberry operation in 1999.

In 2002 we certified 10 acres and started an organic fruit/vegetable production.

Started a community supported agriculture 2006.

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around the farm
Around the farm

As the farm started developing, I decided to layout the vegetable area in 4x4 beds with a 2 foot walkway in between the rows.

In order for me to roll between the rows to observe the crops, I made a 3 foot walkway between every third row.

The soil in the walkways in put onto the rows forming the raised bed.

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animals
Animals

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greenhouse
Greenhouse

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agritourism
Agritourism

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local farmer s markets
Local Farmer’s Markets

Decatur Farmers’ Market

Wednesday 4-7pm

Morningside Farmers’

Market

Saturday 8-11:30 am

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restaurants
Restaurants

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special events
Special Events

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overview1
Overview
  • AgrAbility in GA

Our involvement with the AgrAbility in GA Program

www.farmagain.com

organic farm in ga
Organic Farm in GA
  • Technical Assistance

Small Organic Farm Looking to Grow

Assistance to help others visualize expansion ideas for the farm

Develop a realistic business plan to achieve growth expansion

Ability to do chores independently on the farm (including administrative work)

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organic farm in ga1
Organic Farm in GA
  • Technical Assistance

Assistance to help others visualize expansion ideas for the farm

AgrAbility in GA Staff assists with initial sketches

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organic farm in ga2
Organic Farm in GA
  • Technical Assistance

Assistance to help others visualize expansion ideas for the farm

Student selects farm as senior project. Creates master design for the farm

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organic farm in ga3
Organic Farm in GA
  • Technical Assistance

Develop a feasible business plan to achieve future growth expansion

Begins process of putting ideas into a business plan. Starts determining cost of future plans and prioritizes projects.

Works with AgrAbility Staff and UGA’s Small Business Development Center.

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organic farm in ga4
Organic Farm in GA
  • Technical Assistance

Ability to do chores independently on the farm

Receives training from Tech-Able (non-profit agency specializing in assistive technology in Conyers, GA) on using Dragon Dictate.

Enables Andy to answer e-mails for farm website and do some bookkeeping.

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organic farm in ga5
Organic Farm in GA
  • Technical Assistance

Ability to do chores independently on the farm

Students at UGA and Community members volunteer to build and decorate raised flower beds. Beds are placed at a height for the Andy’s wheelchair.

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organic farm in ga6
Organic Farm in GA
  • Technical Assistance

Ability to do chores independently on the farm

AgrAbility in GA staff are in process of developing automated garden tools to be used for pruning.

Coit Custer from Maryland AgrAbility comes to GA to assist us. He brings equipment for Andy to test drive.

Begins process with Vocational Rehabilitation. Currently working with VR on driver rehabilitation.

AgrAbility in GA staff use a combination of small scale garden tools with a StrongArm used for fishing to enable Andy to do tasks in raised garden beds.

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overview2
Overview
  • Organic Farming

What is organic farming, advantages for someone with a

disability, how to start an organic farm

www.farmagain.com

what is organic farming
What is organic farming?

Organic farming is growing fruits, vegetables, and other crops without relying on synthetic pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, or fertilizers.

Organic animal products and free range animals are produced and raised free of hormones and antibiotics on organic land in a humane way.

This does not mean that you do not feed your soil and that you cannot control weeds or pests.

There are many natural ways to maintain your farm.

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why eat and grow organic
Why Eat and Grow Organic?

Environmental Factors

Health reasons

Tastes are optimized

Enjoyable, fulfilling lifestyle

Providing a source of food that makes people healthier

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advantages for someone with a disability
Advantages For Someone With a Disability

Organic Production is growing 25% every year.

Equipment is not as large or expensive

Diversified Marketing (i.e. on the farm, local farmer’s markets, local restaurants, agri-tourism, internet, state, national, global) *to market as organic, certification is necessary

Niche Markets (flowers, lettuces, heirloom vegetables, etc.)

Value to product ratio is higher

Smaller acreage is good for accessibility and management

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how to start organic farming
How to start organic farming

Find A Mentor Find someone who already has an organic farm. Try to volunteer at a farm or job shadow an organic farmer for a period of time.

Join Organic Organizations

There are state and national organic organizations that have a lot of information. Most have an annual conference.

Do your research

Use the web, talk to others, libraries, etc. to research organics

Work with a University, Extension and/or the Small Business Development Center to develop a business plan.

Check feasibility of business idea and projected growth

Start Small

Start with something you know and love … grow from there.

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how to start organic farming1
How to start organic farming

Land: The land for organic farming has to have no synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers applied to it for 3 years. You will need to determine the soil types on your farm by having a soil sample taken. This will establish which amendments the soil will need. Develop a crop rotation and cover crop plan.

Crops:

Decide what crops you will grow and in what area of your farm.

Decide what you market will be. Certified organic seeds and plants are required.

Animals:

Research breeds that are good grazers (heritage breeds)

Set up grazing areas for rotation.

Select forages

Research humane processing facilities available

Equipment: Assess the type of farming equipment you will need for your operation.

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resources
Resources

Certifying Agencies (check your area) www.ams.usda.gov/nop/CertifyingAgents/Accredited.html

ORMI (Organic Materials Review Institute) Address: PO Box 1158 Eugene, OR 97440-3758 Phone: 541-343-7600 Email: infor@omri.org website: www.omri.org

Informative websites and magazines:

Georgia Organics- www.georgiaorganics.org

Acres USA- www.acresusa.com

Growing for Market- www.growingformarket.com

Mother Earth News- www.motherearthnews.com

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resources1
Resources

Seeds:

Seeds of Change Address: P.O. Box 15700 Santa Fe, NM 87506-5700 Phone: 1-888-762-7333 website: www.seedsofchange.com

Peaceful Valley Address: P.O. Box 2209 Grass Valley, CA 95945 Phone: 530-272-4769 website: www.groworganic.com

Johnny’s Selected Seeds Address: 955 Benton Avenue Winslow, ME 04901 Phone: 207-861-3900 website: www.johnnyseeds.com

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contact information
Contact Information

Whippoorwill Hollow Organic Farm

3905 Highway 138

Covington, GA 30014

www.whippoorwillhollowfarm.com

whippoorwillholf@bellsouth.net

678.625.3272

AgrAbility in GA- 1.877.524.6264

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conclusion
Conclusion

The challenges of Farming with a Disability can be overcome by team work, determination, special adaptations, and the desire to succeed!

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