Nicole Coston, Bearwallow Valley Farms

Wholesale and Process Improvement Plan
Grant Award: $8,000

After four years of production, Nicole has identified needs for new multi-use equipment that will improve efficiency and production, as well as harvest and post-harvest handling processes.

Nicole’s project has provided exponential improvement in efficiency, allowing her to expand her growing area from ¼ acre to 4 acres. She purchased a 6-row seeder with a 3-point hitch that can be attached to her tractor. The planter has saved on seed costs and labor, and has produced a more consistent plant distribution. She purchased a bed lifter, which also has a 3-point hitch. The bed lifter has reduced the harvest time for root vegetables from weeks to ½ day.

She will also built a semi-mobile wash and pack station. The equipment will decrease product handling and improve food safety and quality. Nicole estimates that Bearwallow Valley Farms will see as much as 40% reduction in labor by 2024.

 

Henderson County

Contact the Local Extension Agent