Small Farm Unit
CEFS’ Small Farm Unit (SFU) brings together the resources of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, North Carolina State University, the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services and other community partners to deliver research and demonstration of sustainable production and marketing practices to diverse audiences.
The CEFS SFU works in partnership with a network of farmers, researchers, educators, students and other community members to develop and support a healthy, viable, community-based food system in Wayne County and beyond.
Small Farm Unit Structure
The Small Farm Unit covers approximately 30 acres with a wide range of soil types, equipment, buildings and educational focal points. The function of the unit is to model a systems-based approach within a whole farm context. Embedded within the farm design are ongoing research projects in systems rotation and other production topics relevant to small farm stakeholders.
In a typical season, the Small Farm Unit produces up to 100 varieties of twenty different kinds of small fruits and vegetables. Farm produce is donated to local community organizations, food kitchens, and shelters. Farm transplants are grown in a greenhouse with solar-assisted heating, cutting propane use by two-thirds. The unit composts organic waste, which is incorporated into the farm’s fertility management strategy.
The Small Farm Unit also includes a 15-acre certified organic area and a model GAP (Good Agricultural Practices)-certified postharvest handling area.
The Small Farm Unit is home to various short- and long-term research projects including enterprise budget studies (field projects studying the economics of production), greenhouse and high tunnel monitoring (testing various season extension techniques), organic transplant production, organic systems work (utilizing various cover crops as part of whole season rotation), and entomology projects (studying agricultural pests’ life cycles).
Educational and Community Impacts
Each year, hundreds of people visit the Small Farm Unit to learn about sustainable food production. Farmers, extension agents, community members, and home growers learn about new production practices through tours, demonstrations, and workshops on topics including cover crops and rotations, beekeeping, blueberry production, farm equipment selection and use, greenhouse management, alternative enterprises, and more. Since 2006, CEFS’ educational workshops have attracted more than 7,500 attendees to the SFU and other community locations.
The SFU provides “hands-on” learning opportunities for volunteers from Wayne County and surrounding areas, including co-op students from Wayne Community College’s Business and Sustainable Agriculture programs and the University of Mount Olive. The SFU also serves undergraduate and graduate students from NC State and N.C. A&T, and provides a living classroom for CEFS’ Farm Apprenticeship and Internship programs.
- AgriShop Business Planning (2021) (English and Español)Juhi Dattani2021-03-16T14:07:43-04:00
- Keeping Your Farm Profitable and Safe in COVID (2021)Juhi Dattani2021-02-24T10:35:24-05:00
- Open Forum: Strategies to Help Ag Producers Plan During the COVID-19 Crisis (2021)Janie Hynson2021-01-29T17:01:25-05:00
- Tools for Creating Meaningful Financial Analysis for Diversified Operations (2020)Marcello Cappellazzi2020-11-12T15:19:19-05:00
- An Introduction to Farm Financial Analysis – Pt.2 (2020) (English and Spanish)Marcello Cappellazzi2021-02-18T13:06:43-05:00
- An Introduction to Farm Financial Analysis (2020) (English and Spanish)Marcello Cappellazzi2021-02-18T13:07:17-05:00
- Growing Specialty Vegetables for Ethnic Markets in North Carolina (2020)Janie Hynson2021-01-29T16:59:40-05:00
- Budgeting Specialty Crops: the Case of Organic Mixed Vegetables (2020)Marcello Cappellazzi2020-05-28T10:28:50-04:00
- Multifunctional Agriculture and its Relationship to Improving Farm Profitability (2020)Marcello Cappellazzi2020-05-28T10:25:18-04:00
- Creating Tools and Strategies to Build Entrepreneurial Communities (2020)Marcello Cappellazzi2020-05-28T10:21:02-04:00
- Creating a Successful and Effective Mentor-Protege Relationship Based on Empirical Studies (2020)Marcello Cappellazzi2020-05-28T10:21:58-04:00
- Weaving the Tapestry of Innovative Dreams to Solve Food Insecurity and Re-Energize Rural Communities (2020)Marcello Cappellazzi2020-05-28T10:08:03-04:00
- Applying Entrepreneurship to Support Farm Viability (2020)Marcello Cappellazzi2020-05-28T10:03:05-04:00
- Can Entrepreneurship and Innovation Solve Food Insecurity (2020)Marcello Cappellazzi2020-05-28T09:59:19-04:00
- Understanding Food Justice and Agricultural Policies (2020)Marcello Cappellazzi2020-05-28T09:51:53-04:00
- Examples of Entrepreneurial Strategies for Small Farms (2020)Marcello Cappellazzi2020-05-28T09:40:50-04:00
- Exploring Historical Patterns of Regional Prices of Food (2020)Marcello Cappellazzi2020-05-27T18:17:11-04:00
- Hands-On Blueberry Pruning Workshop at the Small Farm Unit (2018)CEFS2018-10-11T16:40:46-04:00
- Grow Biointensive Farming and Gardening: A Sustainable Agricultural System (2008)Shane McCoy2016-11-26T09:34:19-05:00
- Grafting for Disease Resistance in Heirloom Tomatoes (2015)Shane McCoy2016-11-26T09:34:20-05:00
- Integrated GI Parasite Management Program for Sheep and Goats (2012)Shane McCoy2016-11-26T09:34:20-05:00