Farmer of the Month – August 2014: Melon Head Farm

Melon HeadMelon Head Farm is a family-run 14-acre farm that includes a 2-acre organic fruit and vegetable production in the bottomlands of Beaver Dam Creek in Clakesville.  Melon Head Farmers, Joni and Harold Kennedy, strive to grow healthy fruits, vegetables, flowers, herbs, and hay in a sustainable environment.  They are kicking off the new school year with a celebration tasting of heirloom watermelons at Wilbanks Middle School.

“We are excited to be growing watermelons for the Farm To School program this year” says Joni. “Feeding the local community organically year round is our goal and being able to introduce kids to new fruits and vegetables they may not otherwise be exposed to is one of the joys of farming. The Farm to School program has the potential to form healthy habits that the students will carry with them into adulthood.  As a mother and a former teacher, providing students with organic, local food makes me proud to be a farmer.” 

Melon Head farmers know that the high nutrient value of their melons will meet the USDA requirements for school lunches as well as prove to be very kid friendly foods. “Heirloom watermelons may be new to the students, but they will enjoy their different colors and the taste. The heirloom melons they will be getting are varieties they will never see at a local grocery store.  It’s great to show them the wide variety of food that are possible when you buy local, like small green cantaloupe and orange or purple tomatoes” explains Joni.

  “We love farming and every day there is something different to be done. We grow such a wide variety of produce there’s always something new ripening as something else goes out of season” explains Harold. “We try to get an early start before it heats up, pick whatever is in season, clean and put it in the cooler.”  Joni describes how there is a surprising amount of paperwork and record keeping that goes along with farming and the importance of maintaining it daily. “I do the book keeping inside during the hottest part of the day.  When it cools off in the evening I deal with replanting, fertilizing and pest control”.

You can purchase produce year round from Melon Head Farm by shopping online at the Northeast Georgia Locally Grown www.northeastgeorgia.locallygrown.net, or visit them at the Clarkesville Farmer’s Market.  For more information about the farm go to: www.melonheadfarm.com.   For information about Farm to School in Habersham County, visit https://northeastgafarm2school.wordpress.com

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