Growing Farmers: Bradley Knotts
Let us introduce: Bradley Knotts, a senior at Berkeley Springs High School, FFA member, employee of Glascock's Produce, and beginning farmer. Knotts became interested in growing a product for the schools after AmeriCorps member, Amie Middlekauff, visited a FFA meeting. After meeting with Middlekauff, he decided to grow lunch box peppers. These peppers are ready for harvest during the school year, and are a very nutritious red/orange vegetable (one of the National School Lunch Program's food categories). Morgan County Schools expressed interest in lunch box peppers because they are relatively seedless and easy for cooks to prepare for school lunches and garden bars.
Knotts receive educational assistance through MCAFF's New and Developing Farmer Program by participating in meetings and being granted a scholarship to the 2014 WV Small Farms Conference. Mark Glascock was Knotts' mentor. Glascock provided Knotts with support and expertise throughout the growing season.
Knotts understands quantity is a major obstacle when selling to the schools. He aggregates peppers from his farm and one other to better meet the demand of the school. Knotts still has peppers available if any other schools are interested.
Growing Farmers will be a recurring theme on Field Notes; it will feature stories about young farmers in WV who are choosing agriculture and selling their bounty to schools.