In eighth-acre plots spread throughout Prairie Pines farm, eight families showcased their dreams Saturday.
One eighth is full of tomatoes and peppers, another full of Mexican produce, and in Nicole Saville’s parcel, endangered medicinal herbs. Together, the eight represent possibilities of the future and were the focal point of Saturday’s fourth annual Community Crops Farm Walk, a part of the Dig Deeper Farm Tour throughout Lincoln.
The tours began Saturday at noon all across Lincoln and surrounding areas. Open Harvest, a Lincoln co-op grocery, led tours at 10 farms from noon to 4 p.m., offering an up-close look at how produce is farmed and harvested in this area, something executive director of Community Crops Ingrid Kirst believes is important.
“It’s really good to know where your food comes from, at least for me it is,” Kirst said. “And today is a great opportunity for the public to come out, try some produce, see how it’s handled, and showcase and promote local farmers.”
The second half of the tour began at 4 p.m. at Prairie Pines farm at 112th and Adams streets, where Kirst and Community Crops set up a large white tent between the eighth-acre farm plots and gave dozens of visitors a taste of what beginning a farm is like.
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Community Crops uses Prairie Pines as a sort of beginne'rs guide to farming. Lincoln residents aspiring to be farmers can take a class and enter into a three year program that gives them an eighth of an acre of land, where they can try out the profession before delving into it on a larger scale.
“It’s great for them to test the waters this way rather than buy a piece of land and then they find out this isn’t what they want to do at all,” Kirst said.
Nicole Saville and her husband are in their first year of the program, growing medicinal herbs such as skullcap, which is used as a mild stress reliever.
“Having this out here, it’s kind of like having a second job,” Saville said, who works at Open Harvest during the day and checks on her herbs almost every night.
She and her husband are growing 24 herbs, which she then sells to manufacturers. Next summer, she’s hoping they’ll get upgraded to half an acre.
“This whole event, these farmers being out here and the public together,” said Amy Tabor, the outreach coordinator for Open Harvest, “is just a great opportunity to just see how things are done."
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