Tag Archives: local

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.


Press mum on new glysophate evidence

I quoted Jill Richardson back in March about about Professor Col. Don Huber’s letter to USDA Secretary Vilsack about new evidence found of diseases caused by Roundup. She writes 27 April 2011, Why Is Damning New Evidence About Monsanto’s Most Widely Used Herbicide Being Silenced? It turns out that Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide might not be nearly as safe as people have thought, but the media is staying mum on the revelation.
Huber was unavailable to respond to media inquiries in the weeks following the leak, and thus unable to defend himself when several colleagues from Purdue publicly claiming to refute his accusations about Monsanto’s widely used herbicide Roundup (glyphosate) and Roundup Ready crops. When his letter was finally acknowledged by the mainstream media, it was with titles like “Scientists Question Claims in Biotech Letter,” noting that the letter’s popularity on the internet “has raised concern among scientists that the public will believe his unsupported claim is true.”

Now, Huber has finally spoken out, both in a second letter, sent to “a wide number of individuals worldwide” to explain and back up his claims from his first letter, and in interviews. While his first letter described research that was not yet complete or published, his second letter cited much more evidence about glyphosate and genetically engineered crops based on studies that have already been published in peer-reviewed journals.

And that’s plus all sorts of evidence about other ill effects of glysophate, including lower IQ in children, and Roundup-Ready crops themselves causing organ disruptions. All that plus the very real risk of the genetically modified crops having unpredicted effects. There’s much more.

Could this silence of the press be because only five companies own more than half of all the media in the U.S.? Let’s not forget the legal system is also complicit, given the Fox-can-lie case.

So what can you do? vote at the checkout counter. Buy local and organic. And of course bug your elected officials about doing something about it.


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.


Whisk pictures and videos

Gretchen buys meat, fresh vegetables, ginger, cereal, chicken, sausage, and bacon at Whisk Organic Market in Valdosta. Also Newman ginger cookies.

She says Gracie says people who come in often don’t understand organic fruits and vegetables aren’t always the most beautiful ones. But they’re tasty!

Here’s a playlist of videos of proprietor Gracie Crane Douglas talking about her store.

Gracie Crane Douglas and Whisk Organic Market, Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 15 Feb 2011
Pictures and Videos by Gretchen Quarterman.

More pictures of Whisk Organic Market in a flickr set.


Tripper’s local flavors

Charlie Tripper’s restaurant says We Are Committed To LOCAL FLAVORS:
Whenever possible we us[sic] local meats, cheese and produce to provide our diners with fresh and dynamic flavors. Local products from the likes of Gayla’s Grits, Horner Farms, Sweet Grass Dairy and Thompson Farms allow Charlie Tripper’s to serve delicious and local farmstead fare year round. Menus are subject to change in order to accommodate seasonality and availability.
4479 North Valdosta Road
Valdosta, Georgia, 31602
This post owed to Buddy Boswell.


The Biotech Bully of St. Louis is having a Bad Year

Ronnie Cummins writes in Counterpunch, Coexistence With Monsanto? Hell No!
Monsanto’s Roundup, the agro-toxic companion herbicide for millions of acres of GM soybeans, corn, cotton, alfalfa, canola, and sugar beets, is losing market share. Its overuse has spawned a new generation of superweeds that can only be killed with super-toxic herbicides such as 2,4, D and paraquat. Moreover, patented “Roundup Ready” crops require massive amounts of climate destabilizing nitrate fertilizer. Compounding Monsanto’s damage to the environment and climate, rampant Roundup use is literally killing the soil, destroying essential soil microorganisms, degrading the living soil’s ability to capture and sequester CO2, and spreading deadly plant diseases.

In just one year, Monsanto has moved from being Forbes’ “Company of the Year” to the Worst Stock of the Year. The Biotech Bully of St. Louis has become one of the most hated corporations on Earth.

All that and paraquat doesn’t work on mutant pigweed, either. The whole “no-till” fable is unravelling.

The article mentions scientific studies about bad health effects of genetically modified foods, and goes on to warn of Monsanto maneuverings through the EPA and the Gates Foundation. Then he points to the European Union as leading the way: Continue reading

Fixing a perfect storm of bad planning and design

Asked about typical modern shopping corridors, Texas A&M Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning Eric Dumbaugh replied:
“from a traffic safety perspective, the modern commercial arterial is a perfect storm of bad planning and design. These roads are designed to support high operating speeds, making it difficult for drivers to stop quickly to avoid a crash, and the presence of commercial and retail uses on these roads means that drivers will routinely need to stop quickly in order to avoid crashing into pedestrians, bicyclists, and especially vehicles turning in and out of driveways.”
The 2006 article, Safe Urban Form: Revisiting the Relationship Between Community Design and Traffic Safety, by Eric Dumbaugh and Robert Rae, notes: Continue reading

Trees make streets safer

Beta New Urban Network reported 1 September 2006 that Research: trees make streets safer, not deadlier:
Proposals for planting rows of trees along the roads — a traditional technique for shaping pleasing public spaces — are often opposed by transportation engineers, who contend that a wide travel corridor, free of obstacles, is needed to protect the lives of errant motorists.

Increasingly, however, the engineers’ beliefs about safety are being subjected to empirical study and are being found incorrect. Eric Dumbaugh, an assistant professor of transportation at Texas A&M, threw down the gauntlet with a long, carefully argued article, ”Safe Streets, Livable Streets,” in the Summer 2005 issue of the Journal of the American Planning Association. A follow-up article by Dumbaugh, in the 2006 edition of Transportation Research Record, will present further evidence that safe urban roadsides are not what the traffic-engineering establishment thinks they are.

Though engineers generally assert that wide clear areas safeguard motorists who run off the roads, Dumbaugh looked at accident records and found that, on the contrary, wide-open corridors encourage motorists to speed, bringing on more crashes. By contrast, tree-lined roadways cause motorists to slow down and drive more carefully, Dumbaugh says.

Dumbaugh examined crash statistics and found that tree-lined streets experience fewer accidents than do “forgiving roadsides” — those that have been kept free of large, inflexible objects. He points to “a growing body of evidence suggesting that the inclusion of trees and other streetscape features in the roadside environment may actually reduce crashes and injuries on urban roadways.”

The study asks a key question: Continue reading