I wanted to remember what it was like before it got paved so I took this video.
Gretchen is at the old Lowndes County Courthouse now, setting up for Valdosta Farm Days, 9AM to 1PM today.
By Colter Anstaetts reported from Okra Paradise Farms for WALB yesterday, Lowndes County farmers ready for “Farm Days”,
Lowndes County farmers will be at the courthouse in downtown Valdosta from 9 a.m.to 1 p.m. selling their crops. This is the fourth year for the “Farm Days” program, and Lowndes County farmers are looking forward to it.
“I’m definitely looking forward to Farm days,” said Gretchen Quarterman, a farmer in Hahira. “It’s an excellent opportunity for farmers, not only to sell but for local people to get local, fresh food. And, when we buy from local farmers we support the local economy.”
Gene Godfrey will talk about Making Provisions From A Local Level at South Georgia Growing Local 2014 about:
Addressing challenges doing harvest time
Providing moments for show and tell
Supporting our mission throughout the year
Here’s his church website with additional information: Newsome Street Church of Christ in Hahira.
Elsie Quarterman is 102 years old today. She was born in Valdosta in 1910, played basketball for Hahira High School, graduated from Valdosta High School, got a B.A. from Valdosta State College, and taught English in Morven, Naylor, Columbus, Lake Park, and Lyons, Georgia.
Dr. Elsie Quarterman got a Masters and a Ph.D. from Duke University in in botany and plant ecology. While studying for her Ph.D., she was a professor at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, where she was one of the first women full professors and was the first woman department chair (Biology). She specialized in the cedar glades of central Tennessee, including one now named after her by the state. There is an annual wildflower festival named after her. She rediscovered the cedar glade Tennessee coneflower, Echinacea tennesseensis, which previously was thought to be extinct, but has since been taken off the endangered species list, partly due to her work. Her wikipedia page has more information about her work and her many honors.
Here is world traveller Elsie in 2006 leading a family group on the Isle of Skye in Scotland:Continue reading
According to the Nature Conservancy (undated), Tennessee Coneflower — No Longer Endangered
After years of hard work and the support of many dedicated individuals, an iconic flower is once again thriving in Tennessee. On August 4, 2011, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the removal of the Tennessee coneflower from the Endangered Species List, marking an extraordinary recovery from the brink of extinction. The story of the coneflower exemplifies the power of conservation.Her nephew Patrick found this.
In 1968, Vanderbilt biology professor Elsie Quarterman and graduate student Barbara Turner accidentally discovered the fuschia-colored coneflowers at Mount View Cedar Glade. The plant had been thought extinct until the rediscovery. In time, three other coneflower sites were discovered in Davidson and Wilson counties. In 1979, the Tennessee coneflower became one of the first plants to be recorded on the Endangered Species List.
Quarterman subsequently became a trustee of the Tennesee Chapter of The Nature Conservancy and urged the protection of the cedar glade habitats where the Tennessee coneflower and other rare plants have adapted to live in harsh, stony conditions.
Less than one percent of endangered species ever get taken off the list. The Tennessean reports:
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to officially remove the wildflower by Sept. 2, from its list of plants that are near extinction.
“The Tennessee coneflower’s recovery is an example of what can be achieved through the combined efforts of dedicated partners,” said Cindy Dohner, the Service’s Southeast Regional Director, in an emailed announcement.
Echinacea tennesseensis was thought extinct until Dr. Elsie Quarterman rediscovered it in 1969 in the cedar glades which are her academic specialty. She was 59 then.
Now she is 100, and still being honored by her students and by her state.
Aunt Elsie was born in Valdosta and played basketball for Hahira High School, before she started her very long career in botany and plant ecology.
As aye, Elsie!
PS: This post owed to Patrick Quarterman.
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.
Kim Cleary Sadler, Assistant Professor of Biology at Middle Tennessee State University and co-Director of the Center for Cedar Glade Studies. (Student of Thomas “Tom” Ellsworth Hemmerly, who was teaching and couldn’t come.)
Dr. Elsie Quarterman, Professor Emerita of Plant Ecology, Vanderbilt University
Carol C. Baskin, Professor of Biology, University of Kentucky
There were classes, botany walks, owl hoots, and musicians. Here’s the schedule. It was sunny this year, unlike last year’s great flood. Next year, you should come! Get out of town, take a walk in the glades.
Elsie got a guided tour, with Tennessee State Naturalist Emeritus Mack Pritchard and his successor Randy Hedgepath. Here they are with Elsie’s nephew Patrick Quarterman, while Gretchen Quarterman photographs a glade.
Here State Naturalist Randy Hedgepath consults with Dr. Quarterman about identification of a cedar glade plant.
Elsie got out of the car to look at this one with Randy and Ann Quarterman: Continue reading
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.Fortunately, you can buy local and organic food around here, at Fiveash Grocery in Hahira and at Whisk in Valdosta.
“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.”
“It’s just waitin’ in the wind.”