| Date of Last Update: 29 October 2013
Watch your email for crop condition updates. If you are not on our email list and would like to be, please contact us. Typically the newsletter will be short and come out weekly during the harvest season [June to August] to let you know what is happening. It also comes out once or twice in the off season.
Happy Berry Escapes Saturday (10-26-13) Freeze
On Sunday Oct 27 Walker Miller reported “the only damage was a little injury to tropical plants like Impatiens and Bee Balm. The muscadines are fine.” He explained that there was no wind that night and an inversion set up over Lake Keowee. The air over the lake was warmed by the lake and took up moisture from the lake. As cold air slid off the mountains on to the lake surface starting late in the evening it pushed the warmer air up. As it rose it started to cool and the moisture condensed and formed a heavy fog releasing the heat of condensation. At 6 AM that morning when we were leaving for the Greenville TD/Cliffs Market on Main Street, the farm was totally enveloped in a dense fog. There was no frost! Yet we saw lots of frost and frozen windshields as soon as we were a quarter mile from the farm.
“The bottom line” said Walker “is the muscadines were not hurt and we are still loaded with big, sweet fruit; and we do not see any cold weather forecast for at least a week.” PLEASE come help harvest this bountiful crop of muscadines. If you are not sure what to do with them, check out our recipes online! Or just ask us!
Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) threatens small farmers.
"For years, food contaminated with human pathogens has been sickening thousands and killing some consumers. It seems like hardly a day goes by that we do not hear about a food recall” says Walker Miller, a local farmer and owner of The Happy Berry. These incidences include cut/sliced and bagged green, sprouts, eggs, melons, frozen berries and processed meats to name a few.
As a result, the FSMA has charged the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to develop and enforce new food safety regulations. They have drafted 1500 pages of rules that are now open for comment, but only until November 15. The Cornucopia Institute says “The proposed rules are grossly misdirected and a potential disaster for family scale farms and their loyal customers”… While “the root causation …of the contamination…remains unaddressed…as the FDA’s oversight does not extend to mega farms and processors…” The reason the mega farms and processors are not to be subject to these new regulations would appear to be a result of lobbying by industrial agriculture.
Walker Miller agrees. “The proposed rules take a gun and badge approach, with a ‘gotcha’ attitude instead of an educational and warning approach with a way to get back “on track” says Miller. The FSMA would be better served to follow the model used by the SC Department of Agriculture and Clemson University Public Service Activities. They have used the proactive education and warning approach with great success. Even the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture has asked for a total rewrite of the FSMA propsed rules.
Miller says “Only a fool would not be concerned about food safety!” But in his opinion the proposed new rules will not prevent the contaminations as hoped, but merely work to strangle and quash the growth of local and regional healthy food systems.
If you are concerned that the proposed FSMA rules will shut down the growth of local and regional healthy food systems, we implore you to please write your concerns to: FDA about Preventive Control Rule: FDA-2011-N-0920 and produce standards Rule: FDA-2011-N-0921 at: Division of Dockets Management, FDA, 5630 Fishers lane, Rm 1061, Rockville, MD 20852. For More Information and talking points, go to www.carolinafarmstewards.org/fsma-issues/ .
If you are not concerned- we think you should be! Please call Walker if you have any questions or if you have a group that would be interested in hearing a presentation on the topic.
Willow with Catkins Season Just 2 Months Away
Mr. Willow, aka Lou, has been collecting cotton so we can make our traditional bouquets of “North Meets the South.” He will be at the farm Saturday November 2, in the afternoon, in case you want to come by and see him. Sorry no willows for sale yet. We will be planning the upcoming season of home shows and garden club events. If you need a program for your club or event give us a call so we can get you on the itinerary. We would love to provide a program.
We are ever so grateful for your continued support!