Tag Archives: farmers market

Location, Location, Location –Christine Hagen from the Hagen Homestead

Christine Hagen will speak about her family’s CSA at South Georgia Growing Local 2014:

We started out going to a weekly organic farmer’s market over in Thomasville but transitioned to a CSA after 2 years. We will explain why and show you how our gardens have taken shape over these past few years. We are still a small operation after 4 years choosing to grow our business slowly. However, we have learned a great deal during these growing years. Plus we have gleaned much from other folks which we will be implementing over the next few years. We are grooming the farm as a business venture for our son, who does most of the labor.

Hagen Homestead’s website. Christine Hagen’s conference bio: Continue reading

Ready for Valdosta Farm Days

Brown Dog prepares corn while Yellow Dog says it’s time for Valdosta Farm Days!

Brown Dog with corn and Yellow Dog

You can find Gretchen with rosemary and grits and corn meal from Okra Paradise Farms at the historic Lowndes County Courthouse today from 9 AM to 1PM.

Gretchen with rosemary for Valdosta Farm Days and Yellow Dog Downtown Valdosta Farm Days

Not quite ready today, but next time: potatoes.

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A day at the market: Valdosta Farm Days 7 July 2012

Terry Davis picking corn:

Terry Davis picking corn

Terry Davis picking corn
Pictures by John S. Quarterman for Okra Paradise Farms, Lowndes County, Georgia, 7 July 2012.

Okra, potato, pepper, plus cornbread muffins and collard seeds:

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Lowndes County farms small and increasing

In Lowndes County, Georgia, the number of farms increased by 2 and the size of farms decreased, according to the USDA 2007 Census of Agriculture.

Farms in Lowndes county are mostly small, averaging 145 acres, with the largest category being 10-50 acres.

Of course, that’s slightly misleading since so many small farms are rented by a few larger operators, some based in other counties. Still, small farms are the easiest to wean off the pesticide teat. Given that the average age of principal farm operator in Lowndes County is 57.9, something is likely to change soon as many of those operators retire.

We already know that local farming is linking up with local markets through Hahira’s summer farmers market, which has been going on for years, increased farmers markets, and through the new Downtown Valdosta Farm Days. That looks like a good direction.


Even winter farmers markets

We already know that the long trend in growth in farmers markets continued this year as more farmers markets opened, including even winter farmers markets, such as Indy Farmers Market in Indianapolis:

And it’s not just about food, it’s about the local food chain and economy, and “in that food chain you find relationships.”

Henderson said she wasn’t looking to start a business when she started Indy Winter Farmers’ Market. Her efforts, she joked, were more about making Indianapolis into a place she wanted to live.

But on that first day at 25th and Central, with people lined up outside the door, she realized her goals were similar to those of many others in the community. Her market and others like it, she explained, are about more than food.

“It’s not just about the market,” she said. “We should be proud to be Indiana, the Heartland, a farm state.”


Farmers markets: twice as many as ten years ago

According to USDA’s Farmers Market Growth: 1994-2010, there are more than twice as many farmers markets in the U.S. as ten years ago, and the growth rate is 6% a year.


Farmers markets are an integral part of the urban/farm linkage and have continued to rise in popularity, mostly due to the growing consumer interest in obtaining fresh products directly from the farm. Farmers markets allow consumers to have access to locally grown, farm fresh produce, enables farmers the opportunity to develop a personal relationship with their customers, and cultivate consumer loyalty with the farmers who grows the produce. Direct marketing of farm products through farmers markets continues to be an important sales outlet for agricultural producers nationwide. As of mid-2010, there were 6,132 farmers markets operating throughout the U.S. This is a 16 percent increase from 2009.
USDA is updating their directory now.


Local and organic food in Lowndes County

You find local and organic food without pesticides in Lowndes County.

Some of the researchers who established that prenatal pesticide exposure reduces IQ in children also remarked:

They also said that consumers should thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables; go beyond a quick rinse and use a soft brush, if practical. Consumers could also consider buying organic produce when possible as a way to reduce pesticide exposure from food, they said.

“I’m concerned about people not eating right based on the results of this study,” said Eskenazi. “Most people already are not getting enough fruits and vegetables in their diet, which is linked to serious health problems in the United States. People, especially those who are pregnant, need to eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.”

Fortunately, you can buy local and organic food around here, at Fiveash Grocery in Hahira and at Whisk in Valdosta.

Hahira has a summer Farmer’s Market every Saturday in June and July. Valdosta’s new Farm Days start May 7th. There’s even an online farmer’s market. Ask the farmers what pesticides they use.

You can even buy organic at Publix. So there is local and organic food in Lowndes County and area.


Food Conversations Quantified

Bill McKibben on Why Future Prosperity Depends on More Socializing — Access to cheap energy made us rich, wrecked our climate and left us lonely, and what to do about it:
Often a farmers’ market is the catalyst — not just because people find that they like local produce, but because they actually meet each other again. This is not sentiment talking; this is data. A team of sociologists recently followed shoppers around supermarkets and then farmers’ markets. You know the drill at the Stop’n‘Shop: you come in the automatic door, fall into a light fluorescent trance, visit the stations of the cross around the perimeter of the store, exit after a discussion of credit or debit, paper or plastic. But that’s not what happens at farmers’ markets. On average, the sociologists found, people were having ten times as many conversations per visit. They were starting to rebuild the withered network that we call a community. So it shouldn’t surprise us that farmers’ markets are the fastest-growing part of our food economy; they are simply the way that humans have always shopped, acquiring gossip and good cheer along with calories.
Local food isn’t just about food: it’s also about conversations and community.

So if you want to act the way you feel, one way to start is to change your obesity network by going to the farmer’s market. It’s good for the local economy and environment, too.

Act the way I want to feel

Gretchen Rubin recommends “Act the way I want to feel:”
…often we feel because of the way we act. So by acting the way we wish we felt, we can change our emotions – a strategy that is uncannily effective.

Second, the world’s reaction to us is quite influenced by the way we act toward the world. For example, in situation evocation, we spark a response from people that reinforces a tendency we already have — for example, if I act irritable all the time, the people around me are going to treat me with less patience and helpfulness, which will, in turn, stoke my irritability. If I can manage to joke around, I’ll evoke a situation in which the people around me were more likely to joke around, too.

This is also the light side of the obesity network. If we are influenced by our friends to become obese or not, we also influence our friends.
Which leads, as always, to the same conclusion: that even though it’s tempting sometimes to think that I’d be much happier if other people would behave differently toward me, the only person whose behavior I can change is myself. If I want people to be friendlier to me, I must be friendlier. If I want my husband to be tender and romantic, I must be tender and romantic. If I want our household atmosphere to be light-hearted, I must be light-hearted.
And if we want our spouses, friends, neighbors, community to be health weight, we can help them become so by doing it ourselves first. And invite our friends to exercise, to pass up the donut for an orange, to go outside instead of watch TV.

Beyond the immediate personal effects, try to persuade the local supermarket to stock High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)-free cereals or grass-fed beef or local fresh vegetables. And if they won’t, start a farmer’s market or a CSA or a you-pick-em. If enough of us do it, eventually we get successes like Gatorade, Hunt’s ketchup, Wheat Thins, and many other products having HFCS removed by their vendors.

Gretchen Rubin was writing about happiness, but it’s the same principle. If you want people to be happy or healthy, start with yourself, find like-minded people, and eventually maybe it becomes the way things are.