7.21 Food & Farm Report

Friends, Romans, Countrymen,

Travels during recent weeks have taken me far afield, some fields farther than others, some unbelievably enchanting. Chief of these was an excursion to Cumberland Island off the southernmost coast of Georgia, where the population of wild horses dwarfs the number of permanent human residents. I have no pictures at the moment, although there is an abundance in the making. For, beginning this weekend, I will be the new garden manager for the garden-to-kitchen enterprise of the Greyfield Inn, a mansion turned hotel distinguished for its elegant lodging and world-class food, to say nothing of the almost pristine surroundings.

Food, FOOD!–organic food, supplied as much as possible by me and whatever happy volunteers I can list. In no uncertain terms, this is a dream come true: the opportunity to experiment in varieties and methods, and the chance to combine cultivation with wildness. But it’s hardly without accompanying challenges, as I’ve never grown anything in sandy soil, having been born and raised in the hard pack of North Georgia red clay. And I have no doubt there will be a host of pests and undreamed of hiccups along the way.  But–as someone much smarter than I once said–oh, the places we’ll go.

What does this mean for the site? Well, it’s going to keep going, hopefully with a stronger motor than the one’s that’s been puttering along these last several months. There may be some delay between this post and the next as I become acclimated. But I’ll still be in the South, and there will still be farmers in the region trying to make a living. Perhaps Farmer South’s incidental focus will change a bit, but these are things that will evolve with time.

With that in mind, I give you one more post before I depart on Friday, one last, if slightly trivial, report to savor until we meet again. Enjoy!

Food Goggles?

First and foremost, I have no idea what this site is, who is behind it, or whether it qualifies as a teensy bit useful. On the other hand, I think that Inside insides MRI’s of vegetables and fruits are unbelievably cool. Seriously, check out their page (the pictures may take a minute to load). Can you identify the image below?

Celery. We talkin’ about celery.

Health Child Healthy World breaks down the 10 Fruits and Vegetables To Buy Organic due to common pesticide exposure. I’ve never grown celery, but reading about it last night, I get the idea that it can be a real hassle. I’ve copied part of the list below. Notice that grapes–a staple for most kids–makes the list.  You’ll have to follow the link for the rest.

  • Sweet Bell Peppers: There are many varieties of sweet bell peppers and perhaps even more different types of pesticides used on them. Testing ranked sweet bell peppers as the vegetable with the most pesticides found in a single sample and the vegetable with the most pesticides overall.
  • Celery: In testing, celery had the highest percentage of samples test positive for pesticides and the highest likelihood of having multiple pesticides in a single sample.
  • Imported Grapes: Imported grapes contain methyl parathion and methomyl, a carbamate insecticide listed as an endocrine disruptor; as well as dimethoate. Since they are grown under different regulations and guidelines, there pesticide residue levels frequently exceed acceptable levels set by our own government.
  • Spinach: Permethrin, a possible human carcinogen, and dimethoate dominate spinach’s toxicity ratings, but CU notes that residue levels have been declining as U.S. farmers reduce use of these insecticides. DDT has been found in spinach, which leads all foods in exceeding safety tolerances.
  • Potatoes : Pesticide use on potatoes is growing, CU warns. They may contain dieldrin and methamidophos, and children eating potatoes risk getting a very high dose of aldicarb, CU says.

  • A great way to carry your child and feed him, too!

    Behold the new watermelon baby seat (I see a marketing opportunity for watermelon farmers waiting to happen):

    (HT: Craig)

    Sure sign of the apocalypse: Shrek is hocking Vidalia onions

    Those poor, poor vegetables. I have nothing else to say. Read the story for yourself.

    Filed under “Do yourself a favor”

    Please read Fed Up With Lunch: The School Lunch Project. Mrs. Q deserves her own Titanium Spork award for documenting the brown gunk served to America’s schoolchildren every day. Her blog is, absolutely, one of the most important things happening on the interweb.

    Alas, the sweet potato pics will have to wait. Until we meet again. Happy sailing.


    2 thoughts on “7.21 Food & Farm Report

    1. Pingback: Dirt Department « Farmer South

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