Archive for the 'political issues' Category

Now At Greensboro Farmer’s Curb Market!

Food. Probably the most important decisions we will ever make is what we eat. The effects of eating healthy or not are for life and, probably more than any other single thing, affects the quality of life we have. Chose healthy food even though it cost more initially. The true cost of eating cheap unhealthy food is poor health and higher medical bills.

A lot of people are looking for more local meats and produce, and that is a good trend. But if the local food is laden with pesticides or is GMO’s that produce their own pesticides, what have you gained? Or if meats are grain based instead of grass based you are missing the added health benefits. Choose organically grown produce and grass based meats for optimum health.

Hurray! Finally! We just received USDA approval for our new grass-fed beef and free range chicken labels. So now we can advertise our production methods since they will be printed on the package labels. It will be a couple weeks or so before we have product with the new labels but it appears our long ordeal with the USDA is over on this one.

Although we are out of some items we have quite a bit of grass-fed Jersey beef, especially steaks and ground beef. The same is true with pasture raised free range chicken. In fact, we just picked up chicken from the processor the day before the USDA label approval arrived. So we need to move these items so we can make room for product with the new labels.

We have switched all our chicken feed to 100% organic feed from Reedy Fork Organic Farm near Elon, NC. (www.northcarolinaorganicfeed.com) They received a grant to install a feed mill and have just started selling feed made from 100% certified organic ingredients. This is the only source of organic feed made in NC. It is about 50% higher (plus a 100 mile round trip ) than the feed we had been using which means the cost of chicken and eggs will have to go up. But we feel, and hope you will agree, that being assured there is no pesticide residues, or GMO grains, or chemically derived grain byproducts will be well worth the price. This is in keeping with our commitment to providing you with the best quality, most healthy food we can produce.

Our gardens are still doing well and we have zephyr gourmet squash, silver queen sweet corn, jade stringless beans, Yukon gold potatoes, our German Johnson tomatoes, salad tomatoes, heirloom green zucchini, heirloom clemson spineless okra, both slicing and pickling type cucumbers, hot and sweet peppers, spaghetti squash, butternut squash, and field peas.

Announcing! Beginning this Saturday (7/23) we will be selling at the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market on Yanceyville Street. Hours are from 6:00 until 12:00. Debra will be managing our table there and she hopes to meet new customers as well as see some of you who may frequent that market. Of course, she will have the same products we have at the Triad market.

Our hours at the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market are Tuesday and Wednesday (10:00 until 3:00) Thursday, Friday, and Sunday (9:00 until 3:00) and Saturday ( 8:00 until 4:00). We are in space #74, farmers area #2.

We will be looking for you at the market!

Silver Queen White Corn!

Hooray! We finally had some rain at the farm! After pumping water almost every day for almost two months it is nice to have a break. And the crops are looking much better.

More and more people are asking questions about how we produce our food products and we think that is a good thing. We gladly answer all your questions and, in fact, encourage them so you can be informed and confident you are purchasing the healthiest food available. With all the deceitful marketing practices around the safest thing you can do is get to know your farmer! Ask questions. Visit the farm. Be proactive in securing your food health. That may involve educating yourself in sustainable farming practices. A good place to start is www.attra.org. Then support your local farmer for the freshest food around.

Fox News and Natural News reports there has been a deadly accident at a Tyson Foods chicken processing plant in Springdale Arkansas. Two chemicals were mixed together which produced deadly chlorine gas causing 173 of 300 workers to be sent to the hospital. Five workers were taken to intensive care and fifty were hospitalized for days. This sounds like something that might happen at a chemical plant rather than a food processing plant.

The chemicals were not identified but various forms of chlorine and ammonia are routinely used in industrialized meat processing. Add to that salt water injections along with artificial flavorings and preservatives (including carbon monoxide, nitrates, and ammonia ), then perhaps irradiation and the meat ends up a processed food product full of chemicals. That is just in the processing phase and does not include the deplorable growing conditions most animals experience.

Our animals, both beef and chicken are processed at a small family owned and operated local plant. No harsh chemicals are used. Only natural lactic or citric acid is used to control bacteria. There are no weight adding injections or preservatives. Even the air is removed from packages by vacuum packing. The resulting meat package is free from any added chemicals or chemical treatments. It is ‘real food’ as pure and natural as can be.

To view the article : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2011/06/29/dozens-us-chicken-plant-workers-hospitalized/

We have a fresh supply of grass-fed Jersey beef including steaks, roasts, ground beef, etc. There is also all items of pasture raised chicken.

Our new laying pullets ( young hens ) are beginning to produce so we will have several dozen fresh farm free range eggs on Saturday.

From our gardens we have heirloom tomatoes, heirloom salad tomatoes, heirloom zucchini , Zephyr squash, cucumbers, green and yellow wax beans, banana peppers, jalapeno peppers, arugula, new Yukon gold potatoes, and sweet corn. ( corn will be silver queen white beginning Saturday )

Hours at the market are Tuesday and Wednesday ( 10:00 until 3:00); Thursday, Friday, Sunday ( 9:00 until 3:00); Saturday (8:00 until 4:00). We are in space 74, farmers area 2 at the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market.

We will be expecting you at the market!

The Difference Between Good Corn and Bad Corn

Some areas around have received substantial rains in the last few days. At the farm, we have had only about 1/4 inch in the last six weeks or so. Needless to say it is bone dry here. So our new well is getting a work out trying to irrigate as much as possible. Otherwise we would have next to nothing from the fields. However, I am afraid to look at our electric bill.

With pumping water every day we have zephyr gourmet squash, cucumbers, zucchini squash, our family heirloom German Johnson tomatoes, salad tomatoes, arugula, new fresh dug potatoes, and a few jade stringless beans.

Our sweet corn will begin maturing the first of next week. The first crop will be golden queen which is a yellow F1 hybrid. All the later plantings will be silver queen ( white ). These are both non-gmo F1 hybrid sweet corns.

There will be people selling sweet corn with a sign saying ‘no pesticides’ or ‘not sprayed’, etc. And they may be telling the truth. However, if there is no sign of a worm or bug the corn has either been sprayed with insecticide or it is a gmo variety that produces it’s own toxin to kill pests. The toxin is a bt produced by the gmo plant. If a bug or worm eats any part of the gmo corn plant he is eliminated. The thing is when you eat the corn you are eating the toxin. And you can’t wash it off because it permeates the entire plant.

Organic production does not allow gmo’s ( genetically modified organisms ). Our corn (and everything else) is non-gmo. There will probably be some worms and bug bites but you can rest assured it is healthy for you to eat.

The NC house and senate has passed a bill ( HB168) which exempts bonafide farms from forced annexation by municipalities. As long as the farm remains in operation it may not be annexed without the owners written permission. We think this is a good thing and hope the governor signs it.

As we have mentioned in previous newsletters we are waiting (still) for the USDA to approve our grass-fed Jersey beef label. We have been selling down our stock in anticipation and as a result we are low on some items. We have a few NY strip and Fillet steaks along with ground beef, stew beef, cube steak, beef liver, and that is about it. Wish they would hurry up!!

There is a good supply of pasture raised chicken in boneless/skinless breast, split breast, leg quarters, backs, necks, livers, hearts, and whole chickens.

Market hours at the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market are Monday and Tuesday (10:00 until 3:00); Thursday and Friday ( 9:00 until 3:00 ); Saturday ( 8:00 until 4:00 ); Sunday ( 9:00 until 3:00). We are in space 74, farmer’s area #2.

Come see us at the market for high quality organically produced meats and produce.

Gorgeous Spring!

Wow! The last couple of days have been gorgeous! And Spring begins Sunday! We are already extra busy with 12 to 14 hour days and still not enough time to get everything done. That is why I am late writing this news letter.

We will begin daily hours at the market next week. (every day except Mondays) For the next couple of weeks we will be open Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 until 2:00; Saturday from 8:30 until 3:00; Sunday from 10:00 until 2:00. We are again in booth #74 at farmers area #2. Debra will again be ready to help you during the week days. We appreciate her help.

We have tender, sweet spring greens in collards, red and green kale, mustard, turnip, upland cress, and red and green leaf lettuce. It is time to plant cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Swiss chard, romaine lettuce and we have plants for all of those. We also have several varieties of tomato plants ready for you to get an early start. Herb varieties are catnip, lemon balm, sage, white horehound, mint, and oregano.

There is a good selection of grass-fed Jersey beef and pasture raised chicken. Chicken is on sale at 25% off the regular price and beef roasts are all $5.00 lb.

We have plenty of free range farm eggs.

One bit of information you may be interested in is a UN report stating that small scale sustainable farming is the best choice for feeding the world’s growing population. To check out the article and link to the report http://www.slashfood.com/2011/03/08/u-n-small-scale-farming-could-double-the-worlds-food-productio/ . I bet Monsanto and Conagra are seeing red!

We will be looking for you at the market.

Blessings,
Joe

USDA and GMO Seed

We are absolutely enjoying the almost perfect weather the last few days! And it’s busy, busy, busy working the soil in the fields and planting lots of seeds in the greenhouse.

Seeds are amazing things. They come in all shapes and sizes with some so small they look almost like dust. And they appear to be dead dry plant material. But each seed contains a spark of life and when exposed to the right temperature and moisture conditions begins to grow and produce a living plant. In fact, almost all living things on earth, including humans, owes their very existence to the life that comes from seeds.

That is why it seems so unnatural and dangerous to manipulate the genetic make-up of seeds. Genetically modified plants (GMO) have been proven to transfer their alteration to nearby conventional plants. The corporate seed companies have patented their modifications and can test plants on farms to see if they contain their gene pattern. Farmers have been sued because their conventional crops have been contaminated by GMO crops nearby.

Now biotechnicians have come up with what is called a ‘terminator gene’. This simply means the seeds from plants containing this gene will not germinate. These seeds must come from the seed company because the seeds produced by the crop will not grow. It is possible that eventually a few seed companies will have absolute control of all the food producing seeds in the world.

And what happens if the ‘terminator gene’ transfers to conventional and native plants? All life on earth could be in jeopardy. Once GMO’s are introduced into the environment it is impossible to reverse.

Only organic farming prohibits the use of GMO’s. But even this may be at risk because of potential cross-contamination from GMO crops.

So far the USDA has given the green light to almost all GMO seed introductions. And most people don’t even know it is happening. The general public needs to inform themselves and pressure the government to be more cautious.

We plan to be at the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market on Saturday from 10:00 until 3:00. We have grass-fed Jersey beef, pasture raised chicken, free range farm eggs. All beef roasts are still on sale at $5.00 lb.

We will have some collard greens and upland cress.

Come on out and visit with us at the market.

Only a Farmer?

Greetings,

It has sure been a hot day at 94 degrees here. I have been out raking and baling hay. No, we don’t have a tractor with an air-conditioned cab. So we get the heat and dust but also the sweet smell of freshly cured hay!

We are hoping for rain since it is really getting dry. Our gardens are producing less because of low moisture. And we would soon have fall greens with a good rain. But that is all a part of the farming experience.

We lost one of our farmer neighbors this week. He was run over by a farm tractor while hauling up hay.He was only 53 years old. While the news was certainly a shock to us a statement in his obituary was even more shocking. It stated he was “only a farmer.” I don’t know who wrote that and maybe it was a mistake but I am afraid there are many in our society that don’t realize if it were not for farmers there would be no food. Someone has said one of the problems with American society is we have never been really hungry. That’s probably worth pondering. If we don’t value what someone does then we are not willing to pay much for what they produce.

In our last news letter we introduced our local organic shiitake mushrooms. Several of you have already bought some. The health and nutritional benefits benefits of shiitakes is well documented and those grown on natural hardwood logs, like ours, have higher levels of beneficial compounds than those grown on other materials. Some of the compounds aid in digestion, lower cholesterol, are anti-aging, suppress cancer tumors, and boost the immune system. With all the talk about the possibility of an influenza outbreak consuming shiitakes might be a way to bolster our immune system against that and other viruses.

Beginning this week, we are having a 10% off sale on all beef and chicken products. We know you like sales so we hope you will take advantage of this offer.

We continue to have a few dozen fresh free-range farm eggs. The early bird gets the worm on these so to speak. More will be available when our new pullets begin to lay.

Vegetable items include squash, field peas, purple hull crowder peas, red crowder peas, green beans, okra, about five types of heirloom tomatoes (including romas), eggplant, peppers, onions, potatoes, basil and arugula. Not all items are always available during the week but we try to have some of everything on Saturday.

Market hours are Tuesday through Friday (9:00 until 3:00) and Saturday (8:00 until 4:00). We are at the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market, Farmer’s area #2, booth 74.

Bring your shopping baskets and meet us at the market!

A new pathway to sustainable farming in NC

The concept of a local and regional food system is growing in popularity. Various groups are getting involved in researching and developing the idea. One of these is the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) sponsored by NC State and A&T Universities. They have a program aimed at influencing state legislators to support local food initiatives.

Below is a flyer describing their program including opportunities for you to get involved. More information may be found at www.cefsfarmtofork.com.

Building a Sustainable Local Food Economy in North Carolina:

From Farm-to-Fork

We are pleased to announce that over the next year, the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (www.cefs.ncsu.edu) has been funded to reach out across the state and together with our partners ask: What will it take to build a sustainable local food economy in North Carolina?

From the mountains to the coast, various organizations are promoting and implementing exciting initiatives to support our state and communities through sustainable local agriculture.  Examples include new farmer’s markets, local food policy councils, comprehensive county- or region-based food initiatives, farm incubator programs, farm and/or garden youth education programs, health and nutrition projects focused on local sustainable foods, procurement initiatives by large retail and institutional buyers and schools, and much more.

If each North Carolinian spent 55 cents/day on local food (just 5 percent of the $4010.00 that we spend on average on food consumption per year), it would mean $1.7 billion for the state’s economy.  That money circulates here in the state so has a multiplier effect, rather than going to a corporate headquarters in another state.

Other benefits of a sustainable local food economy in North Carolina include economic development, job creation within farming and food sectors, preservation of open space, decreased use of fossil fuel and associated carbon emissions, preservation and protection of the natural environment, increased consumer access to fresh and nutritious foods, and greater food security for all North Carolinians.

Over the next year, CEFS and its partners will be gathering information from across food system sectors:  conducting regional meetings, targeted issues discussions, interviews, and hosting a statewide summit on March 2 and 3, 2009.   Our desired result is a Statewide Action Plan for Building the Local Food Economy with specific steps (short- and long-term) that policy makers, Universities, government agencies, environmental organizations, businesses, funding agencies, social activists, NGOs and citizens can take to make this happen.

The first three regional meetings, held in Raleigh, Burgaw, and Asheville, were very well attended.  Because of the interest, three additional meetings have been added:

Charlotte area:  December 8, 2008.  1:30-4:30 at Cabarrus Arena and Event Center.  The address is: 4751 Highway 49 North, Concord, NC 28025 and directions can be found at: http://www.cabarrusarena.com/pages/Direction.html.

Winston-Salem:  December 10, 2008.  5:30-8:30 PM.  SciWorks. 400 W Hanes Mill Rd, Winston Salem, (336) 767-6734.  directions:  http://www.sciworks.org/SciInfoDirections.html.

Greenville:  December 15, 2008.  1:30-4:30 at St. Timothy’s, 107 Louis St., Greenville.

Please RSVP to amber_polk@ncsu.edu if you are attending a regional meeting as these meetings have been filling up, and check the initiative website (www.cefsfarmtofork.com) for updates.

The purpose of the regional meetings is to bring together those engaged in all aspects of the food system, to collect information and ideas that will be the building blocks of discussion at the summit and eventually the core components of the State Action Plan.  We want to identify specific regional and local sustainable food systems models that are working and also regional challenges that can be addressed through policies, programs, and funding. We seek to engage the broad group of those involved with the food system including farmers, suppliers, processors, economic development organizations, distributors, farm and food industry workers, extension and other educators, marketers, financial institutions, Universities and community colleges, elected officials, government agencies, county and city planners, farm organizations, anti-poverty organizers, social justice workers, consumers and consumer groups, granting agencies, health and wellness organizations, environmental groups, food banks, and more. These regional meetings will be facilitated listening sessions and provide important input into this process, so we are encouraging broad participation.

The end product–the State Action Plan–will articulate a shared vision and set of common goals for building a local, sustainable food system and economy in North Carolina.  It will:

1)            describe key elements of our current food system and define key terms;

2)            identify the diversity of people, businesses, and organizations involved in and impacted by North Carolina’s food system;

3)            highlight specific efforts and partnerships underway across our state and within different sectors of the food system to achieve greater “localness” in our food system; and

4)            identify opportunities for action, and propose priorities, both in the short and long term, that will enable us to make progress toward shared goals.

Finally, another key goal of this process is the formation of an ongoing working committee or task force, with broad representation across food system sectors that will focus on facilitating and carrying out action items, provide ongoing networking opportunities, and revise the action plan as needs and priorities change.

A “Road to the State Action Plan” listserv has been established to keep participants up to date on activities and progress. Please respond to Amber_polk@ncsu.edu to be added to the listerv. If you or your organization is engaged in a food systems project, please take a minute to fill out the contact information sheet attached or found on the website for this initiative (www.cefsfarmtofork.com) describing the nature of the work you or your organization does.  This information will be included in a database for all participants, and may also result in further interviews by the project team. If you have questions about the initiative, or would like more information about the State Action Plan, please contact nancy_creamer@ncsu.edu, CEFS Director.   For more information about CEFS, see:  www.cefs.ncsu.edu.

Please feel free to share this information with others who may be interested in becoming involved with this project.  .

We continue to be at the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market on Saturday from 8:00 until 3:00.

We still have fall greens including kale, mustard, collards, and arugula.

Several items in the meat department are on sale:

Whole Chickens – 10% off

Split Chicken Breasts – 25% off

All Steaks – 10% off – includes fillets, NY strip, rib eye, and sirloin

Pork breakfast sausage, 1 lb. bulk, mild or hot – $4.00 lb

We want to wish all of you a very MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR! And thanks for all your business which has helped make this the most successful year ever for us!

Alternative fuels

There is a good spring hay crop this year and we have been busy trying to get it made. The problem has been getting enough sunshine to get it cured. The other problem is affording enough diesel fuel for “Old Blue.” (our farm tractor) So hay making costs are up along with everything else.

The nice cool spring weather has made it comfortable out working. And for cool weather crops, such as potatoes, it has been a great season. However, some of the warm weather vegetables are growing slowly and will probably be later than usual. I’m sure summer is on its way though.

Fuel prices continue to rise and no one seems to know what to do about it. The oil companies have a different excuse almost every day. Politicians just blame each other. Meanwhile, most of us are hurting and feverishly trying to adjust. Since oil is a basic part of our economy everything is increasing in price.

But, as we have said, there are alternatives. Every city or county that has a landfill should have a methane gas collecting system. The methane could be used to produce electricity or for other energy needs. Since methane is said to contribute to “global warming”, or is at least a pollutant, it seems to just make sense to use it. The city or county could sell or trade the energy to reduce their operating cost.

Since it is Memorial Day weekend we should all honor our military personnel both past and present. We personally think most wars are unnecessary. But those guys and gals deserve our thanks.

Our freezers are well stocked with Pasture Finished Jersey Beef, Pastured Chicken, and Homegrown Pork. It is the beginning of cook-out season so we have a special sale on sirloin steaks at 10% off the regular price.

Vegetables are a little slow in coming but we will have some Jericho Romaine lettuce and a bit of arugula and kale along with strawberries. We continue to have some Heirloom tomato and herb plants.

NWV News

I recommend this site NWV News North American Military Agreement Signed by US and Canada. You should check out this article.

Gorgeous Fall Greens

Hello,

We will be at the Triad Farmers Market Wed. (21) -9:00 to 2:00, the day before Thanksgiving, and will not be there on Sat. (24) which is the Sat. after Thanksgiving. Beginning Sat., Dec. 1, we will be there every Sat. until New Year, weather permitting.

We have gorgeous fall greens and turnip roots. We still have a few pastured chickens, all cuts of pasture finished Jersey beef and homegrown pork.

An issue about the USDA’s National Animal Identification Service (NAIS) has come to my attention. Attached is a statement by the now candidate for president Ron Paul that describes the detrimental effects of the NAIS on small farmers and people who own even one animal. Briefly, it would require all livestock owners (even one horse, cow, rabbit, goat, pig, chicken, duck, pigeon, etc.) to register their premises in a national database. Also, each animal would have to have a microchip identification from birth to death. If an animal leaves the registered premises, for any reason, it must be reported within 24 hrs. or risk enormous fines. The cost would probably drive many small farmers out of business, not to mention millions spent by Uncle Sam. It would, at the least, spell the end of free ownership and commerce of livestock in the US.

At the moment, after public outcry, participation in NAIS is ‘voluntary’. However, states are pressured to use deceptive and coercive tactics to increase registrations. For instance, remember the $500,000 to aid farmers with shipping costs for hay because of the drought? Unless your farm is in the NAIS you don’t qualify. People that have animals processed at USDA facilities, like we do, are added to the list without their knowledge or consent.

The urgent issue,at the moment , is Section 10305 of the Livestock Title that is elusively attached to the 2007 Farm Bill currently being considered in the US Senate. If passed, the language of 10305 validates NAIS without legislative debate on the program. Also, a non- disclosure clause would make it illegal, under threat of fines or imprisonment, for anyone to report any details concerning NAIS including contaminated product recalls and disease outbreaks. So a program that is purported to preserve the health of the public would keep you in the dark and vulnerable.

Perhaps most troublesome of all is this applies to only American agriculture. Imported meat has no tracking requirement. Of course, all this was cooked up by USDA, Agribusiness, and the electronics industry.

For more information on NAIS see: www.nonais.org (read Farm Bill Update  2007-11-08); www.stopanimalid.org

For more on Section 10305, including action alerts see: www.libertyark.net; www.openthegovernment.org/otg/farm_bill_letter.pdf; www.downsizedc.net/2007/nov/13/nais_vote_at_any_moment; www.westonaprice.org/federalupdate/aa2007/01nov07.html

The correct way to contact your Senator and Congressman is included in these web pages. We urge you to voice opposition immediately. And spread the word to everyone you can.

Blessings,

Joe Peterson