Category Archives: Agriculture

Okra Paradise Farms is disappointed in farmer Bill Gates 2021-06-08

Okra Paradise Farms doesn’t always get into national news, but when we do it’s about Bill Gates.

April Glaser, NBC News, 8 June 2021, updated 9 June 2021, McDonald’s french fries, carrots, onions: all of the foods that come from Bill Gates farmland: Gates does not appear to count his farming investments as the nation’s largest farmland owner as part of his broader strategy to save the climate.

The story goes into some detail about how a few big corporate farmland owners crowd out small farmers. She didn’t go for my comparison to Wal-Mart, and I suppose my comparison to the Highland Clearances was a bit too obscure, but she got the point and backed it up with documentation.

Then there’s this part:

“Shell of a shell of a shell”

Public records suggest Cascade Investments has bought its farmland through a web of at least 22 limited liability shell companies across the country. These shell companies have made it difficult to find out where and how much farmland the Gateses own even for local farmers, like John S. Quarterman, a farmer and landowner who grows okra, corn, squash and other vegetables in Lowndes County on the southern edge of Georgia.

[John Quarterman on his farm in Lowndes County, Ga. Matt Odom / for NBC News]
John Quarterman on his farm in Lowndes County, Ga. Matt Odom / for NBC News

That’s where the Gateses began buying land in 2013 through two limited liability corporations registered to an address in Kirkland by Derek Yurosek, then head of agriculture operations for Cascade.

When Quarterman first heard about Gates’ firm buying land in the area, he began digging through local property records, linking addresses and business records from registered owners to Kirkland-based companies, until he was able to piece together that the companies buying multiple tracts of land in the Suwannee River Basin were all a “shell of a shell of a shell company investing for Bill Gates.” NBC News’ independently confirmed that there were, in fact, shell companies tracing back to Gates’ firm that purchased 6,021 acres across four counties in Georgia.

That includes Continue reading

Swamp burn 2020-03-01

When you live in a fire forest, you must burn every few years. We caught up on about 23 acres of burning of piney woods, seepage slope, and swamp. All this was inside concentric rings of firebreaks, with no danger of it escaping off our property.

Don’t worry, for the wildlife there are plenty of brambles and woods and swamp unburned this year. More next year. And quail, gopher tortoises, and other wildlife don’t like the woods too thick anyway.

[Gretchen spreading fire with a rake]
Gretchen spreading fire with a rake

For why we burn, see Continue reading

Okra, cucumber, yellow squash, and more at Barnes Drugs in Valdosta today

Farmacy is today. 1:30-3:30 at Barnes Drugs. Corner of Savannah and Patterson in Valdosta. I will have okra and grits and lots of other delicious stuff. So will Thelma. Don’t miss out.

Okra Paradise Farms price list

Okra Paradise Farms
Price List — June 21, 2017 Continue reading

67th Ham and Eggs show, Lowndes County only one left in U.S. 2017-02-14

The last of a century-old tradition: local ham and eggs, right here in Lowndes County.

When: 10 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017
1 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017

Where: Lowndes County Extension Office
2102 E. Hill Ave., Valdosta, GA


Photo: Michael Rivera, Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons share, remix, attribution, share alike.

Daniel DeMersseman, VDT, 2017-02-10, Ham and Egg Show tradition returns,

Lowndes County’s annual Ham and Egg Show returns for its 67th year Feb. 14, 15.

The show once spread across every county in Georgia, said Velma Miles, chairman of the Lowndes Improvement Association. “We’re the only one left.”

Miles said the Continue reading

Bees and Wildlife Gardens –Student Track @ SOGALO17 2017-01-21

The students like the bees.

Bees

South Georgia Growing Local is inside a new venue with cooking facilities!

When: 9AM-4:30 PM, Saturday, January 21st 2017 today, right now!

Where: Continue reading

Backyard Hens –Claudia Dunkley @ SOGALO17 2017-01-21

A popular class, Backyard Hens, and Claudia Dunkley of UGA is the expert all around.

Backyard Hens Audience

South Georgia Growing Local is inside a new venue with cooking facilities!

When: 9AM-4:30 PM, Saturday, January 21st 2017 today, right now!

Where: Continue reading

Today! A good day for growing things and learning about them inside @ SOGALO17 2017-01-21

Come on down this morning to PineVale Elementary and learn about growing things in our south Georgia subtropical climate! It’s rainy this morning and afternoon, and breezy all day; a great day for growing, and South Georgia Growing Local will be inside a new venue with cooking facilities!

5:54 AM EST 21 Jan 2017 When: 9AM-4:30 PM, Saturday, January 21st 2017

Where: Pinevale Elementary School, 930 Lake Park Road, Valdosta GA.

Facebook: event and Community

Web: page with schedule.

If you’re still not convinced, watch Gretchen explain it on the radio with Continue reading

Growing Backyard Chickens –Claudia Dunkley @ SOGALO17 2017-01-21

Dr. Claudia Dunkley, Extension Poultry Scientist, will speak about Growing Backyard Chickens at South Georgia Growing Local 2017, January 21, 2017 in Valdosta, Georgia:

Basic information for beginning a backyard flock including: breeds, housing, nutrition, egg production and biosecurity.

Her conference bio: Continue reading

Tomorrow! and inside out of the rain @ SOGALO17 2017-01-21

It may rain Saturday (tomorrow!), but South Georgia Growing Local will be inside at a new venue with cooking facilities! Watch Gretchen explain it on the radio with Chris Beckham and Scott James.

When: 9AM-4:30 PM, Saturday, January 21st 2017

Where: Pinevale Elementary School, 930 Lake Park Road, Valdosta GA.

Facebook: event and Community

Web: page with schedule.

-jsq