3.26 Food & Farm Report

Loose ends and late afternoon diversions before another sunny March Saturday:

Young, hip, beautiful: From fashion photographer to farmer, this is the new generation living off the land. Plus, funny-looking rabbits!

Darwin Carter, candidate for Ag Commissioner in Georgia, recently spoke to Republicans in Union County: In this YouTube video, Carter is woefully short on policy content and unfortunately long on his personal relationship with Ronald Reagan, which, I think, has little direct bearing on the job.

Although Carter says farmers need to “get out of the coffee shops” and start producing, Facing South writes that America’s subsidized agricultural production and trade policies have threatened the ability of other nations to feed themselves:

What’s been good for [Arkansas’] Riceland and U.S. rice farmers has not been so good for Haiti, though. With its market flooded by U.S. rice, Haiti’s domestic rice production has dropped dramatically. That’s made the country dependent on other nations for food and driven farmers out of the countryside and into the crowded cities that proved so vulnerable in January’s earthquake.

Sue Sturgis’ article claims that until the mid-1980’s, Haiti produced enough rice for domestic consumption. Now, Haitian President Préval says “he wants agricultural investment in his country prioritized over food aid.” In light of the country’s steep terrain and population, rice may not be the crop that enables Haitians to feed themselves once again.

On the subject of rice, a Louisiana rice farmer has gone off and got himself all sustainable:

Back then, he and his brother were farming 2,000 acres. But “it got to where you could plow 100 acres and you wouldn’t find one earthworm.” As he spoke, he turned over the soil in his experimental vegetable garden, sending earthworms squirming back toward the ground. “And as I learned about the nutrition, there just wasn’t no stopping. You’re dealing with life!”

Who knew that brown and white rice are essentially the same thing? “Brown rice has the hull removed and leaves it at that, but white rice is then polished to remove the vitamin-B-rich bran.”

For the chicken-lovers out there, the U.S.D.A. reports that domestic production totaled 6.90 billion eggs in February 2010, down slightly from the same period last year. However, that’s more eggs with less chickens, down one percent.  Georgia’s individual contribution was 348 million eggs.

Think about those numbers. There are 6.81 billion people in the world.

Last but not least, two of my favorite bloggers are strutting their stuff today. A big welcome back to Chattanooga’s own uber-talented and lovely Annie and Twin Yolks.  And check in on the keeper of the mysteries, Amber, with a lyrical entry about her northern Alabama home:

If one were to eat the earth where I was born, she would recognize me. She would know something of the field people before me, how we don’t know how to separate ourselves. We see the work under our nails, and we leave it there. It’s in us anyway. We taste tomatoes and say, “only here. Only here do we know how.”

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