Category Archives: History

Elsie Quarterman WPLN audio

Nina Cardona of WPLN Nashville Public Radio talked about pioneering ecologist Dr. Elsie Quarterman; here’s the audio:

Emily Siner // Nashville Public Radio // WPLN 90.3 FM // Enterprise Reporter

And here’s WPLN’s text version of the same story.

The radio story draws on the video by MTSU Center for Cedar Glade Studies of the April 2008 dedication to Dr. Elsie Quarterman of the annual wildflower festival at Cedars of Lebanon State Park east of Nashville, Tennessee.

A memorial service will be held 10AM this Saturday 21 June 2014 at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 3900 West End Avenue, Nashville, Tennessee, with a reception at the church following the service. See the Elsie blog page for many more stories and pictures of Aunt Elsie.


Dedication of Cedar Glades Wildflower Festival to Dr. Quarterman

Here is video of the 11 April 2008 dedication of the Elsie Quarterman Cedar Glade Wildflower Festival at Cedars of Lebanon State Park, posted on YouTube 29 January 2009 by the MTSU Center for Cedar Glade Studies.


Using Solar –John S. Quarterman

From solar electric fences to selling solar power for profit, John S. Quarterman will talk about solar opportunities for farmers and some legal hurdles, at South Georgia Growing Local 2014:

Why solar power is the fastest growing industry in the world and how to apply it to agriculture. Financing is the main obstacle. Some ways to get financing, and at least one law that could be changed to help with that.

His conference bio: Continue reading

From Fabulous Natural Fibers to Flamboyant Fabric: the craft and art of hand spinning and weaving –Amy Brown

Amy Brown will talk about making fibers into fabric at South Georgia Growing Local 2014:

This lecture/ workshop will explore making yarn, thread, and cloth. Preparing the natural fiber, the hand spinning process, and  weaving will be demonstrated. There will be a  hands-on introduction to many different natural fibers  and a discussion of their individual characteristics which may be used to enhance a final cloth. A few spindles and wool will be available if you would like to try out what you have learned .  Inexpensive spinning and weaving tools that are easy to make will be discussed so you can get spinning and weaving right away.  Though the emphasis in this hour and a half is on spinning for weaving, discussion will also include spinning for knitting, crocheting, lacemaking, embroidery, and sewing. Come and join us and learn to turn your cotton fields, pet hair, sheep wool, and other fabulous fibers into unique cloth that your friends will admire. 

Her speaker bio: Continue reading

Junk food is engineered to be addictive

This is why there is an epidemic of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease in the U.S.: food deliberately engineered to make people eat until they get fat. Georgia is not quite one of the fattest states, but Lowndes County is one of the fattest counties. There is something we can do, even while Big Food continues to act like Big Tobacco.

Michael Moss wrote for NYTimes 20 February 2013, The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food,

On the evening of April 8, 1999, a long line of Town Cars and taxis pulled up to the Minneapolis headquarters of Pillsbury and discharged 11 men who controlled America’s largest food companies. Nestlé was in attendance, as were Kraft and Nabisco, General Mills and Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola and Mars. Rivals any other day, the C.E.O.’s and company presidents had come together for a rare, private meeting. On the agenda was one item: the emerging obesity epidemic and how to deal with it. While the atmosphere was cordial, the men assembled were hardly friends. Their stature was defined by their skill in fighting one another for what they called “stomach share” — the amount of digestive space that any one company’s brand can grab from the competition.

James Behnke, a 55-year-old executive at Pillsbury, greeted the men as they arrived. He was anxious but also hopeful about the plan that he and a few other food-company executives had devised to engage the C.E.O.’s on America’s growing weight problem. “We were very concerned, and rightfully so, that obesity was becoming a major issue,” Behnke recalled. “People were starting to talk about sugar taxes, and there was a lot of pressure on food companies.” Getting the company chiefs in the same room to Continue reading

Janisse Ray wins Sustainable Literature Award

The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food, won the prize for Agriculture in the Sustainable Literature Awards, according to the Santa Monica Mirror, 11 September 2013.

From the book:

“If you haven’t heard what’s happening with seeds, let me tell you. They’re disappearing, about like every damn thing else. . . . But I’m not going to talk about anything that’s going to make us feel hopeless, or despairing, because there’s no despair in a seed.”

Other awards for The Seed Underground:

Gold Award of Achievement for Best Book Writing from the Garden Writers Association
Nautilus Book Awards Gold Winner: Green Living
Booklist’s Top Ten Crafts and Gardening Books of 2012
American Society of Journalists and Authors Arlene Eisenberg Award for Writing that Makes a Difference
American Horticultural Society Book Award
Silver Award of Achievement from the Garden Writers Association

From the publisher: Continue reading

Jane Smith Kuntz Jan. 30, 1926 – Sept. 15, 2013

Buffalo News, 15 September 2013, Jane S. Kuntz, retired teacher, active in community,

Jan. 30, 1926 — Sept. 15, 2013

Jane S. Kuntz, of Lancaster, a retired teacher, died Sunday in GreenField Manor, Lancaster, after a lenthy illness. She was 87.

Continue reading

99% of U.S. PCBs produced by Monsanto, and MON knew they were toxic

Monsanto knew PCBs were toxic as it manufactured almost all of them, much like Roundup now. Monsanto drenched the town of Anniston, Alabama in PCBs and never told them. Guess where that pipeline through Georgia from Alabama to Florida starts? That’s right: Anniston, Alabama.

According to CDC Toxicological Profile for Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs), November 2000, “Approximately 99% of the PCBs used by U.S. industry were produced by the Monsanto Chemical Company in Sauget, Illinois, until production was stopped in August 1977.”

By Michael Grunwald in Washington Post Tuesday, January 1, 2002; Page A01, Monsanto Hid Decades Of Pollution: PCBs Drenched Ala. Town, But No One Was Ever Told ( original URL no longer works), Continue reading

Gypsy the circus elephant, Lowndes County, GA 1902

My father told me about the circus elephant that escaped in Valdosta and ran as far north as Cat Creek, a few miles from where we live, going on 111 years ago. My great-aunt Evalyn told us more; she was 17 when it happened and about 97 when she told us where she was then living in Texas. It seems she got it mostly right, although it’s not clear exactly what the right story is.

Lowndes County Historical Society and Museum, undated, Gypsy the Elephant,

The story of Gypsy the elephant is one of Valdosta’s most bizarre and notable stories. In 1902 Gypsy, a large Asian elephant who belonged to the Harris-Nickle-Plate circus, killed her trainer, broke free, and went on a rampage in Valdosta before eventually being brought down north of town by the chief or police. At the time, the incident was so peculiar that people in surrounding towns accused the citizens of Valdosta of fabricating the entire story for publicity.

Our old family neighbor Albert Pendleton (from when we all lived on Varnedoe Street in Valdosta; way before my time), added: Continue reading