PINEY WOODS, MS – The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), in partnership with the Alliance of Sustainable Farms, hosted a field day workshop at The Piney Woods School demonstration farm on December 15. Nearly 40 farmers were in attendance, and spent the day learning about small farm equipment, cover crops, hoop house production, and farm to school programs.
NCAT demonstration farm manager Sam Humphrey taught attendees to operate the farm’s BCS tractor, and to prepare soil using several different tools. He discussed crop planning, nutrient management, pest management, micro-irrigation systems, and the tools that are key to this kind of production.
Other event presenters included Sara Hazelnis, Piney Woods School Food Service Director, Katrina McLin, Agriculture Instructor, and Kristin Lynch, FoodCorps member. Walter Jackson of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) presented on the importance of cover crops and the benefits they provide to farmers.
The purpose of the demonstration farm is to give hands-on training to Piney Woods School students, as well as farmers and producers in the region about ecologically sound and profitable production practices, marketing, business planning, and more. The farm is part of NCAT’s multifaceted food justice project, which works to improve access to healthy, culturally appropriate food for historically disadvantaged communities throughout Mississippi.
About The Piney Woods School Founded in 1909, the mission of The Piney Woods School is to is to provide excellence in education within a Christian community through creation of an exceptional academic model which supports the tenet that all students can learn, develop a strong work ethic, and lead extraordinary lives through academic achievement and responsible citizenship, but might not have the opportunity to do so for financial or other reasons. Encompassing 2,000 acres, the campus includes a 500-acre instructional farm, five lakes, managed timberland, and Mississippi’s only rock garden amphitheatre. Our reputation for academic excellence attracts students from all over the world. Here, the past provides a foundation for the future.