Southern Soil Issue #3 2020

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SOIL a growing food





Southern SOIL


Contents 20 18

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04....... EDITORIAL





47....... THE BOOKWORM

Aboutthe Cover Marissa Paykos of Whippoorwill Farms poses with her farm dog Johnny and a few pigs from the herd. Johnny desperately needed a second chance at a good life and Marissa was in need of a trusty farmhand with four paws. Through a little patience, some hard work and a lot of determination - they both got just I S what S U E ~they 3 ~ needed! 2020

Southern SOIL

Editorial Forget the ballot, vote with your fork! It’s that time again, leading up to November during a presidential election year. Everyone has an opinion on who MUST win in order for the world to be a better place. I’m not actually suggesting you forget the ballot … by all means, participate in the democratic process and make your voice heard. But hear me out for a minute.


What if you could influence the major issues of the day without having to wait for an election cycle? What if you could, in effect, vote every single day for the kind of world you’d like to live in? What if you didn’t have to wait for politicians to fix the world’s problems? How is this possible? What decisions do we make every single day that could have that kind of an impact? An impact on hot-button issues like climate change, health care, social justice, immigration, animal welfare and the economy? Your food choices, the decisions you make every single day about where you shop and the kind of food you buy makes a dramatic impact on the world you live in. Concerned about climate change? Support your local farmers. Not only will it drastically reduce your carbon footprint, requiring your food to travel less than 100 miles instead of thousands of miles, but many local farmers are working hard to grow food using methods that are sustainable or even regenerative.

Small farms that embrace polyculture (as opposed to monoculture systems), incorporate agroforestry (integrating forests and pasture) and regenerative agriculture are building soils, sequestering carbon and contributing to lower greenhouse gasses. Concerned about your health? Support your local farmers. Farmers that are growing and producing food for their own families and their local communities are accountable directly to their customers. So, even if you choose to support a local farmer using conventional methods of agriculture, you are far less likely to encounter issues with E. Coli or Salmonella contamination when buying produce from a farmer who knows he or she will be seeing your smiling (or not smiling) face next week. Local farmers choosing to grow using organic or natural methods will provide you and your family with produce that has not been exposed to harsh chemical fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides that have been proven to contribute to many of our common chronic diseases like: obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Those that are raising animals for dairy, meat and/ or egg production who are using natural methods are not relying on the overuse of antibiotics which can lead to antibiotic-resistant superbugs, leaving humans without this vital line of defense. Concerned about illegal immigrants? Support your local farmers. By not shopping at the grocery store, you can most likely avoid buying products that were produced by taking advantage of illegal labor forces. Illegal

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labor is appealing to Big Ag because they can get away with paying their workers less wages and can subject them to less safe working conditions saving them time and money. Those cost-savings are then passed on to the consumers who are demanding the cheapest possible product at the grocery store. Your small, local farms are mostly family owned and operated. Without thousands of field hands in their employ, they are not a big draw for an illegal workforce. So, if you want a crackdown on illegal immigration, one of the best ways to contribute is to be willing to pay fair-market value for the food you consume.

Local farmers markets and farming co-ops often make a special effort to serve communities that have limited access to fresh foods. And local food systems help protect against food insecurity. Local farms often participate in educational programs, teaching children and adults alike about food, nutrition, and responsible methods of growing foods and raising animals. In contrast, Big Ag often takes advantage of immigrant labor through low wages and unsafe working conditions. Additionally, unsafe farming practices often put surrounding low income communities in danger from pollution, run-off and excessive animal waste; often resulting in communities with higher incidences of asthma, cancer and other chronic illnesses. I could go on, but I hope you are starting to get the picture. While voting is important, I would argue that the choices we make every single day - voting with our purchase power - have a far greater cumulative impact on the world we live in. Money talks. You may not feel that you have enough money to make a difference, but every single dollar you spend is a vote for the kind of world you want to live in. The kind of world you choose to leave for the next generation. Eat wisely. Your choices matter.

Concerned about social justice issues? Support your local farmers. There are more women and minority owners of small farms than large corporate farming operations. If you are getting to know your local farmers, you will have the opportunity to support farms that are owned by women and other minorities.

And please remember this is only my personal and somewhat humble opinion, it does not necessarily reflect the opinions of our awesome advertisers or the farms and people whose stories we share! Let’s keep on growing,

LeeAnna Tatum


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SOIL a growing food




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Southern SOIL


Richard Cowart of Bootleg Farms pictured with Zoei (see her bio on page 12)

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Working Dogs:

man’s best friend on the farm

by LeeAnna Tatum

When we pause to consider and be grateful for all those who played a role in ensuring that we have food on the table, there’s a good chance that we give little thought to man’s best friend. After all, in most homes, the dog is more likely to be blamed for taking food from the table, not helping it get there in the first place! But working dogs have important jobs to do within our local food systems! Whether they are solitary protectors guarding against predators or are working closely with their humans to safely guide livestock to where they need to be, dogs are some of the hardest working hands (paws?) on the farm. So, to give them their due, we wanted to take this opportunity to introduce you to some of these hardworking and heretofore unsung farm heroes from our local farms who work tirelessly without vacation or overtime pay to make sure that you can enjoy things like: fresh eggs, dairy products and pasture-raised meats. Johnny of Whippoorwill Farms Meet Johnny of Whippoorwill Farms in South Carolina. Johnny is a German Shepard, approximately three years old, who was rescued from a local animal shelter. His primary job is to help his human roundup errant pigs and piglets. He also serves as security guard as his presence on the property provides a deterrent to predators. Johnny has been on the farm for about six months, during which time he has gone (con tinued on page 10)

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from having an overactive predator drive which

“I had called and talked to them and they said that

threatened livestock to being an indispensable

he had been rehomed twice because of his prey

member of the farm team.

drive. They didn’t seem convinced that we would be able to take him on and train him, but they agreed

Marissa Paykos had been looking to add a livestock

that I could take him for two weeks and see if it

guardian to the farm and was on the waiting list for

worked out.”

a Great Pyrenese or other more traditional guardian breed. But in the meantime, Johnny became

Within only a few hours of being on the farm,

available at the local rescue.

Johnny proved he had earned his reputation as a predator and it became clear that Marissa’s work

“We’d been looking for some livestock guardian

was cut out for her.

dogs, but I’m a big fan of rescue and I don’t really like to buy a dog when there are so many that need

Undeterred, she set out to retrain Johnny’s way

to be rehomed,” Marissa explained. “I like to wait

of thinking and to focus his attention on her. She

until something comes along that seems like it will

tethered him to her so that he was by her side


throughout her day as she did her chores around the farm. When not tethered to her, she worked on

When Marissa found out about Johnny, she called the rescue group to discuss a possible adoption. 10

his recall.

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“After having him tethered to me for two weeks

his help. A lot of those pigs are small and training

he really started respecting me,” Marissa recalled.

on the fence and it just makes it much easier to

“I never used a shock collar. Treats weren’t really

have Johnny here to help. I can’t imagine not having

something that got him excited, so it was mostly

him now. He’s a great dog!”

just lots of praise and keeping him working all day.”

(con tinued on page 12)


“He sometimes gets excited with the chickens and the ducks, but what he’s really helpful with is the pigs. We have pigs that get out because we use all electric fencing. Especially when I’m training new pigs or piglets to stay in the fencing, he’s been really instrumental in helping me keep the herd together.” Johnny was fortunate to find in Marissa someone who refused to give up on him. She was able to see beyond the downside of his predator drive (killing chickens) to find an appropriate use for his talents (wrangling pigs) and in the process not only did Johnny find a good home where he has plenty

Service dogs change lives! SD Gunner Fund helps provide much needed service dogs to qualifying veterans with disabilities and special needs children here in Southeast Georgia. Connect with us on social media

of work to keep him busy, but Marissa gained a valuable helper on the farm. “We have about 50 pigs right now, so it would really be too much for me to manage on my own without

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The Dogs of Bootleg Farm:

to get in line for

Zoie, Shepard and Griff

milking or to be moved along to another area of the pasture. His side hustle on the farm is moving fallen branches from one place to another. Bootleg Farm is a goat dairy and also home to chickens, ducks and geese. The canine workforce handles security and crowd


Introducing the livestock guardians of Bootleg

control, in a manner of speaking. Richard Cowart

Farm in Springfield, Zoie (see photo on page 10)

appreciates the different forms of assistance his

and Shepard (pictured above). Zoie and Shepard

dogs provide, whether it’s the peace of mind he

are Anatolian Shepherds, a breed of dog that likely

gets from knowing his guardians are on the job at

goes back thousands of years originating in Turkey.

night or the extra help in the morning Griff provides

As livestock guardians, they live peacefully among

with keeping the goats in line - his dogs definitely

the flock (in this case goats) and their job is simple

have an important part to fill on the farm.

- defend against predators. Zoie is approximately seven years old and Shep, one of her offspring, is

Zoie and Shepard work together to ensure the


other animals on the farm are safe from hungry predators. They patrol the perimeters and also


spend time with the goats, blending in and keeping

at their

an ever-watchful eye for danger.

heels (and sometimes

“We’ve not lost an animal to a big predator,” Richard

their faces)

said. “We know there’s a big bobcat in the area and

is Griff. Griff

we hear the coyotes all the time … we’re probably

is a Blue

halfway between the Savannah River basin and the

Tick Heeler.

Ogeechee River basin, so we have that wet swampy


land to the outskirts of both sides of us which is

as a puppy

prime for those coyote and foxes.”

and raised on the farm, Griff’s job is to play “bad cop” to his human’s “good cop” when it comes to encouraging reluctant goats

Richard has recently begun raising rare breeds of geese and chickens, which are much more

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susceptible to fox predation than the

“The name ‘Anatolian Shepherd’ the ‘shepherd’

goats. But the Anatolians have done a

is only part of the name in the sense that he’s

good job of keeping them safe.

shepherding to care for or protect them,” Richard explained, “he’s not shepherding as far as moving

“I worry more about foxes for my ducks,

them around and herding them or walking them

geese and chickens,” Richard explained.

from here to there.”

“I’ve just gotten into working with the nature conservatory with Cotton Patch

That job belongs to Griff.

geese and Sussex chickens. The Cotton Patch is a critically endangered breed

Griff earns his keep first thing in the morning when

of geese and the Sussex is recovering.

it’s time to milk the goats. It’s his job to ensure

I worry about the foxes with them, but I

that the stragglers move along when it’s their turn

haven’t lost anything to a fox that I know

to be milked. By having Griff to help move the

of but I have found some fox carcasses.”

goats through, Richard is able to maintain a calm demeanor and ensure the goats don’t get overly

“If you’ll notice, this is kind of how they work, Shep

excited prior to milking.

came down here with us to the goats,” Richard said as we walked through the pasture, “and Zoei stayed

“In the morning, the first two sets (of milking goats)

back there ... That’s pretty typical of this breed - one

come in like clockwork and we do seven rotations

will stay around or pretty close to the flock and the

… the next ones get a little ornery … what happens

other will do it’s own thing off to the perimeter. And

is Griff comes in with me and I just tell him to move

for as big as they are, you’d be surprised how fast

them around. I have to keep him under control a

they are.”

little bit because as you can see he is kind of high strung,” Richard says with a laugh as Griff barks and growls at Shep. “When milking, it’s very helpful because you don’t want to get aggravated and loud because you want the goats to stay calm. So if the dog can go in there and move them around and you’re not fussing and screaming - it’s very helpful.” (con tinued on page 1 4)

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With approximately 120 goats - 56 that are milked every day - on the 50 acre farm, the dogs are an essential part of the team, helping to keep things running smoothly and providing peace of mind. The Australian Shepherds of Wildhaven Farm: Jake and Snippy This is Jake from Wildhaven Farm in Midville. Jake is an Australian Shepard from a very distinguished pedigree. His job on the farm is to help his person easily move livestock (sheep and cattle), saving her time and energy and keeping her safe. Barbara Hammond was first introduced to the Australian Shepherd breed in the 70’s when she acquired her first dog from the Hartnagle family in Colorado. Dogs from this kennel can trace their lineage back to the earliest dogs as the breed was being established here in the US. 14

Jake comes from a long line of champions and working dogs, so his herding instincts are very strong. He has sired many litters and has offspring living all around the world. But for Barbara his Jake’s daughter Snippy is learning to herd as well. She often works closely with her smaller person

greatest value is his companionship and the invaluable assistance he provides around the farm.

as the two of them learn together to communicate

“They save me so many steps - I don’t think I could

and effectively move livestock around the farm. Not

do this at my age without the dogs,” Barbara, age

fond of the sheep, Snippy prefers working with the

75, asserts. “Also, it’s for safety. Jake is amazing.

cattle and ducks.

We had a bad ram once and that thing would charge you and he charged the dogs, but within two months Jake had him to where he would not go near the dog and if the ram came near me, Jake was on him. He would not let anything hurt me.” Wildhaven Farm hosts a small number of sheep and Australian lowline cattle which are raised as

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breeding stock. Barbara relies on her fourlegged co-workers to help her safely move and work around the livestock. “We move stock mostly,” Barbara explains. “My chores for them are: moving stock from one pasture to another, guarding a gate (because when you go through a gate sometimes the cows and the sheep want to get out the gate) ... Also when you put hay out, you have to take a string off the hay bale and you have to put the hay feeder down and you don’t want the cows to get hit by it and you also don’t want the cows all over you

where she needs them to be. As Jake is getting

while you’re doing your work. So the dogs’

older (he’s about eleven), she is also working to

job is to keep the cows off of you. Anywhere you

train up two of his offspring to be able to take over

put the dog is where you don’t want the stock.”

when it’s time for him to retire.

Jake is extremely focused on his work and he and

Barbara’s granddaughter Jaley is learning to work

Barbara work in partnership to move the livestock

with the dogs and she and Snippy are learning (con tinued on page 16)

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together by working with ducks. Ducks are small

predatory stalk. Everything you’re doing with them

enough to not be any danger to Jaley as she and

is channeling prey drive,” Barbara explained.

Snippy learn the finer points of working together to move stock.

“I can stand here by the gate, and he’ll bring the animals to me - saves me a lot of steps!”

Snippy does not quite have her father’s intensity, but she is eager to work and clearly fond of her

Barbara clearly loves her dogs and enjoys working

young handler.

with them, but it’s also evident that they serve a very important role on the farm by saving her a great deal of physical exertion and also keeping her protected from the livestock as she goes about her chores. As we gain a better understanding of where our food comes from and


learn to not take for granted the food on our tables; let’s “She doesn’t have the same level of training

take a moment

that Jake has, but I can get her to do what

to appreciate all the hard

I need her to do,” said Barbara, “and she’s

working farm dogs who

especially good with cows - she loves,

protect livestock from

loves, loves cows! She’s not too aggressive,

predators and help farmers

but she’s aggressive enough.”

work more safely and efficiently with their animals.

“But it’s a partnership, you really have to be in a partnership with your dogs - it’s a

It should also not go

team effort. You can’t make them do it, it’s

unacknowledged that


working dogs love to work. There may be an inclination to feel sorry for these dogs that are

“Jake has what you call ‘eye’ … he can control

denied a couch potato lifestyle indoors, but with

stock from across the field because of how he

their personalities and instincts, these dogs are

looks at them and with body language … he has a

literally doing what they’re born to do!

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Whether it’s the active lifestyle of the heelers and herders who tend to be high-energy dogs with a great deal of intelligence and desire to please or the guardian breeds who exhibit more of an independent nature with a laid back appearance and an underlying ferocity these dogs live in a way that harnesses and utilizes their natural tendencies and strong instincts.


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Southern SOIL

Small Farm


I n t h is series, g et t o kn o w mo re a b o u t t h e sma ll far m o p era t io n s t h a t a re u sin g su st a in a b le met h o d s t o help meet t h e lo ca l d ema n d f o r f resh f o o d . An d meet the f a rmers t h a t a re ma kin g it h a p p en !

Whippoorwill Farms is located on 40 acres of

“In our old farm, we did more in terms of pastures

forested land that provides forage for chickens,

and pasture-raised and we had man-made shade

rabbits and hogs raised for meat. Marissa Paykos

structures for the animals, but I noticed that

has been farming for the past few years, not only

they struggled in the heat of the summer. So,

dedicated to raising healthy meats for her family

for me it was an end goal to be able to establish

and customers but also driven by the desire to

a silvopasture and be able to have that be the

leave the land better than she found it.

habitat,” Marissa explained. “And then once we’re done farming,” she continued, “we haven’t decimated the land, so native animals can come back in. It doesn’t over grow into an unmanaged field - it’s a forest. You can use it for hunting, for conservation… there’s a lot of


opportunity with raising the animals this way.” “Making a difference in the environment is important and that’s what leads most of our decisions.” Marissa, her husband James and their daughter Ellie recently moved from two acres to the 40 acres they have now. This move has given them the opportunity to not only have room to expand the farm but also to change their methods of land and livestock management - shifting from pastures to forested paddocks that provide more opportunities for their animals to forage and stay more protected from the weather.

All livestock on the farm have plenty of room to roam and are rotated throughout the property for

Silvopasture is an agroforestry practice that integrates trees, pasture and forage for livestock. Studies have shown that this method improves the land’s ability to sequester carbon and creates a healthier environment for trees and livestock alike.

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maximum benefit to the animals and the land. Marissa farms fulltime with daughter Ellie by her side. In addition to raising livestock for meat, they also grow seasonal produce. Visitors are

Whippoorwill Farms is a regular vendor at Forsyth

welcome and camping

Farmers Market in Savannah and the Hilton Head

sites are available

Island Farmers Market. Products generally available

for those wishing to stay overnight.

include: chicken, pork, rabbit, fresh eggs and seasonal produce. There is also a “pay what you can� produce stand on the farm.


Ellie and Mommy Chicken are inseparable. Although Ellie is very attached to this particular chicken, she is also very aware that the chickens on the farm are raised for meat.

To learn more, visit their website!

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Southern SOIL


In this article, Dylan Biggs looks at the benefits of low-stress livestock handling techniques



Depending on the circumstance and the animals, getting cattle to do what you want can be very easy, very difficult or nearly impossible. I grew up working cattle on my family’s ranch, TK Ranch in Alberta, using horses and dogs to help get the job done—a practice we continue to this day. When I was a kid in the 1960s, however, horses were broke, cattle were chased, and dogs and kids tried to help (but mostly just learned to stay out of the way). Back then, if livestock were not cooperating it was standard practice to show them—in no uncertain terms—who was the boss. I don’t recall any other consideration for doing anything different. A high-stress environment One of my early memories was going with my Mom down a back road on a dark rainy night to check on my Dad. I was about seven. He was out on horseback bringing a heifer back to the yard. He was riding a big black gelding named Rowdy. I remember my Mom driving very slowly and Dad charging out of the darkness up to the driver’s window. His slicker was shining from the rain and Rowdy was all lathered up. Both Rowdy and my Dad had the same wild look in their eyes. Dad was mad at this heifer for jumping fences to get away from horse and rider, and he wasn’t going to let her get away with it. That was usually the way with my Dad: he had a short temper when it came to working cattle and he was mad more often than not. Our own worst enemy Handling cattle can be challenging, frustrating and even maddening. It isn’t always a walk in the park. Some cattle are much more nervous than others and poor disposition can make it difficult if they run away as soon as they see you. An animal, or a herd of animals, consumed by fear is very difficult to control. At the opposite end of the spectrum, extremely docile and tame cattle that totally ignore you can be equally impossible to move. They truly don’t care what you are asking them to do and some will even get obstinate. There are also situations where you are asking your cattle to do something new; or where they are faced with novel obstacles they aren’t comfortable with, like crossing asphalt, bridges or railway tracks that makes moving them difficult. In addition to the above, us humans also have a part to play. What I have learned in handling

livestock over the last 50 years is that we can truly be our own worst enemies. It isn’t we lack the a growing foodthat movement virtues of patience, compassion, understanding and good will (though there is variation in that regard!). The biggest obstacles we face are our impulses around cattle. The things we do without thinking, without conscious awareness, that result in us being at the wrong place, pressuring at the wrong time and in the wrong direction, and either over pressuring or under pressuring relative to what the animal is telling us. Counterproductive impulses For example, people often think if they get directly behind a beef animal it will move forward. Yet cattle have peripheral vision: they have a blind spot directly in front of and behind them. When an animal can’t see what you are doing they will often stop and hook around to look. When you don’t understand this biological fact then it’s not unreasonable to think the animal is being difficult when they turn around instead of going forward. Once you understand this and adjust your position to being out from the hip instead of directly behind, then your ability to control that animal’s direction changes dramatically for the better. In short, we need to understand and address our counterproductive impulses when working cattle so that we can start to get out of our own way. Some of you may protest upon reading this. I can hear you assuring me that your cows come when they’re called; that they willingly go through gates that you open when rewarded with fresh green 21 grass or with the right feed in a bucket or on a tractor. I agree: those tactics can and do work. What I ask you to recall, however, are the instances where no matter how sweet the feed, how green the grass or how lovely your voice that your cows refused to do what you asked. The times when they wouldn’t cross the asphalt or go into the corrals. Or when your bull refused to leave the neighbor’s cows. Or when a cow wouldn’t go onto the trailer or truck, or into the barn. Or when she lost track of her calf and ran back. What behavior did you resort to in order to get the job done? I expect you resorted to what you were attempting to avoid by leading them: arm waving, whistling, hissing, possibly yelling, use of a cane or a whip, running, chasing and so on. Sound familiar? (con tinued on page 2 2)

“Low-stress livestock handling can contribute to the wellbeing of your cattle, allowing you to handle them in all situations in a safe, calm, efficient manner—effectively minimizing the amount of stress you expose them to.” S S U E pages ~ 3 ~8-11, 2 0 2and 0 was This article first appeared in A Greener World’s Sustainable Farming magazine, Winter/SpringI 2020, written by Dylan Biggs of TK Ranch in Alberta, Canada. Reproduced here with kind permission. For more information about A Greener World—home of the world’s leading labels—visit .

“Manageability isn’t the only benefit. Using behavioral principles Southern SOIL to reduce stress also increases productivity, faster weight gain, more milk and less disease and injury. Cows that are calm and relaxed are a lot safer, too, resulting in improved handler safety.” (con tinued f r om page 2 1)


Trust and respect The happy medium between wild cattle and excessively tame cattle are manageable cattle. Cattle that respect you enough to yield their position to you. That trust you enough to respond in a relaxed walk in a calm trusting manner. You can move manageable cattle where and when you want using your movement and your position to create the right pressure at the right place at the right time. This is what effective herding or driving is all about. Once you learn these techniques you can calm wild cattle over time so they trust you enough that you can herd them under control. You can also get super tame cattle to respect you enough to be able to get them to go where you ask. An effective working relationship with cattle is built on trust and respect and they are two sides of the same coin. Without a balance between trust and respect, moving a herd or individual animals will always be more challenging. A working relationship The question for the cattle industry isn’t whether the job gets done, because it always gets done, day in and day out. The question is how the job gets done. At the end of the day is everyone still in one piece? Was human and/or animal safety and welfare compromised at any stage? Are we all still talking to each other? The running joke in cattle circles is that the best test of a future relationship is to have the happy couple work livestock together. If the couple is still talking— and like each other —afterwards, it’s a positive sign the relationship will work. I remember my Mom and us kids going back to the house in tears on many occasions; this seems to be a universal experience on family farms across North America. Not to mention that, as kids, we all knew the corrals were a great place to hear all sorts of colorful language! After working livestock, it’s also good to reflect on whether there are broken boards to replace, wires to mend, gates to fix or vehicles to repair. Most importantly: at the end of the day are the cattle calm and relaxed and prepared to do the whole thing over again? Or do they trust you even less and want to keep

you at an even greater distance? All food for thought. Low stress meat For those of us who direct market beef, ensuring our cattle meet their end in a calm, unaffected state is important on a number of levels. This requires that the animals be sorted, loaded, hauled, unloaded, penned and, when the time comes, be quietly walked into the stun box. How they respond to this handling pressure will be the sum of all of their past handling experiences. If an animal is upset and its final moments are filled with agitation and fear, then all of the time and effort we have invested into animal welfare, right back to its birth, will be at risk of being wasted. Meat quality is directly related to stress: just ask any seasoned hunter and they will tell you that a clean kill results in the highest quality meat. We all care about our animals or we wouldn’t be in this business. Knowing they had a good last day because they were calm and quiet makes the whole process more digestible, too. It’s easy to blame the cattle when things go awry. It’s easy to lose our patience and get mad when we face time constraints and are pressured to get finished. But for all the lost tempers and foul language, I guarantee that not one lick of it actually helped to get the job done. Good livestock handling starts with us and in the final analysis we must take responsibility for the outcomes or nothing will ever change. Further information Dylan Biggs offers regular practical seminars on low-stress livestock handling, including: introductory one-day seminars; intensive two- day cattle handling clinics; advanced cattle handling clinics; and custom cattle handling clinics. Find out more at dylanbiggs. com or call 1-888-857-2624. Watch Dylan in practice in a Canadian Centre for Health & Safety in Agriculture video: watch?v=45jAC5PEqTI Dylan and Colleen Biggs raise Certified Grassfed by AGW beef cattle and sheep and Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW pigs at TK Ranch in Alberta.

An insight into flight zones Flight zone and balance points are not static for every animal. It is something you have to learn and feel ...

a growing food movement Move from side to side to get an animal to turn around Press into the head to make the animal turn

Walking towards an animal at this angle will cause it to move forward

Pressing at these positions will most likely cause the animal to hook around to the right

Press into the hip for forward movement 23 When you push from behind you’re in their blind spot, so the animal could turn in any direction

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Like you and I, cattle have their own personal space. A flight zone can be defined as the space surrounding an individual animal or a herd that, when penetrated, will cause an attempt to re- establish a comfortable distance from the intruder. Flight zones are not static; they will vary in size and shape due to a number of environmental conditions and circumstances. It is important to realize that the size of flight zones can change depending on the handling. You can shrink the flight zones of nervous cattle or increase the flight zones of quiet cattle that don’t want to move. Low stress livestock handling is based upon strategic pressuring of the flight zone of individual animals or a herd. Ideally, a handler will never penetrate the flight zone so aggressively or so deep that the animals panic and take flight. Rather it is a process of applying and releasing pressure on the flight zone edge in a manner that gets the response you want. Pressure is equal to proximity, speed and body language. Don’t confuse speed and body language. Remember: body language reflects your emotional state. You can be moving very quickly and yet still be calm and confident and you will get a totally different response than someone else moving at the same speed that is frustrated and angry. To make this work you need to develop a feel for the flight zone and an understanding of herding dynamics so you can be in the right place at the right time in the right manner. Having a feel for the flight zone will allow you to finesse the flight zones using your movement and your position to get the cattle to calmly and quietly go where you are asking.


Southern SOIL


a growing food movement

Community Garden:

Preservation for Sustainability

by Sheila Moon

There is nothing worse than to have a bumper

where you are living now and harvest season may

crop of something and not have a plan in place to

catch you off guard. Make sure you have done your

use it. Most of us by now have harvested all of our


summer’s hard work.......but then what? Your preferred method for preservation may We’ve shared with those that helped us, we shared

also change based on the climate as well. I have

with those less fortunate, we’ve shared with our

found myself leaning toward freezing many more

church and family and friends … And we still have

fruits and vegetables here versus where I grew up

more than what we bargained for.

because of our hot, humid, rainy weather in late summer.

If you are like me - now is the time to have fun. There are three primary ways to preserve food: Preservation is like anything else, it takes planning. You may have grown up somewhere other than

dehydration, freezing, and canning. (con tinued on page 26)


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Dehydration can be done using an oven or a

Fruits that I freeze are strawberries, blackberries,

dehydrator. Basically, what you are doing is

blueberries, and wild elderberries. Vegetables I

removing the water from the food to preserve and

freeze are: yellow squash, okra, and whole small

store it. I personally love to use this method when

onions, crowder peas, kale, broccoli and sweet

making fruit jerky or what most school age children

corn. Yellow squash I individually freeze first as I

call fruit roll-ups.

do the berries. Sweet corn can be frozen on the cob - most par boil the corn before freezing if you

Freezing has become my favorite way to preserve

leave it on the cob.

food here in Southeast Georgia. I have learned over the years there are a few ways to freeze fruit. You

My family and I have a long-standing tradition of

can put them into the freezer bags unfrozen or

coming together during the corn harvest. We take

you can individually freeze each piece of fruit on

great pains to arrange our schedules - even when

parchment paper and then put the fruit into freezer

that means traveling and/or taking time off work to


get together.

One other way is to put sugar or sugar water on the fruit, stir it up and then place in a bag or in freezing containers. I have found these containers are hard to write the dates on year after year and are hard to organize in a freezer especially if you have limited 26

amount of space.

Fall Planting Schedule Collards........................ Aug 1 - Sept 1

Cabbage..........................Aug 1- Oct 1

Putting away corn is a family affair. Pictured here is my mom, Diann Means, stepdad Robbie Means, my brother Aron Metternich and my late grandmother Dorothy Johnson, AKA Grandma J.

Lettuce.......................... Sept 1 - Oct 1

Each of us has a task, whether it is to husk the corn,

Mustard.................... Aug 15 - Sept 15

cut the corn off the cob, cook the corn in the milk

Green onions.............. Sept 1 - Dec 31

it in my mother’s freezers for 24 hours. As you just

Kale.............................. Aug 1 - Sept 1

Onions (dry bulb)........ Oct 10 - Nov 10 Radish......................... Sept 1 - Oct 15 Spinach....................... Sept 1 - Oct 15 Turnip......................... Aug 10 - Sept 1

on the stove, cool the corn, bag and date it, or stack read it is quite the process. Obviously, my family loves corn! The next best thing to having enough corn in the freezer is having enough spaghetti sauce In the pantry for the whole year. Yes, we can our own

a growing food movement My niece Sydney Metterich

My oldest niece Sydney Metternich and the late Dorothy Johnson A.K.A. Grandma J.

I vowed to can my own next year...... My advice for any of these methods is to start small. You may find you don’t care for frozen fruits and would prefer to eat the fruit that is in season.... if you’ve never frozen squash keep in mind frozen squash is mostly used in casseroles or soup. My family prefers their squash fresh and their broccoli frozen. You will fine tune the in’s and outs of dehydrating and freezing.

tomatoes and chilies like Ro*tel, our own spaghetti sauce and salsa. I am still experimenting with ketchup but I haven’t accomplished putting any up yet. But truly, it’s ok - it gives me something to look forward to next year. I can jellies and jams, pickles, anything tomato, jalapeños and sweet potatoes. Another one on my to-do list is potatoes. Most would say, what? Can potatoes? But part of sustainability is to be able to have what you need at your fingertips. Through the few months that we were asked to stay home as much as we possibly could, the canned potatoes I bought were very useful for casseroles, soups and stews.

Canning on the other hand is an art. Being prepared is key, two people in the kitchen is almost a must. Of the three methods, it is the most expensive way of preservation and the more complicated. There is hot water bath canning and pressure cooker canning. Depending on what you are canning is what method you will use. Like I said canning is an art. If you love to cook, you will likely enjoy canning. Canning is best learned by participating in the process. If you’re able, learn from someone with experience before attempting it on your own. Buy a canning book, help a friend put up her favorites she likes to can, join a community group or one online that supports sustainable living - there are many from which to choose.

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a growing food movement


Does it have a place in sustainable food systems?

by LeeAnna Tatum

In the world of agriculture, especially sustainable agriculture, hydroponics is a method that has received its share of skepticism and attention from detractors. As a soil-less means of growing plants, does hydroponics have a role in sustainable local

growing process somehow incorporate living organisms that create a cycle of nutrients.

food systems?

hydroponic production. Certification to the USDA organic standards is currently allowed as long as the certifier can demonstrate it is certifying in a way that complies with the standard.”

That is a question which I wanted answered for myself. In this article, I explore the reasons why two of our local producers choose to grow hydroponically and get some answers from one of Savannah’s leading experts on hydroponics.

According to the USDA’s own report, “The USDA organic regulations do not currently prohibit

Let’s cover some basics and deal with some of the main criticisms. Hydroponics is a method of growing plants without soil. Fertilizers - nutrients in the form of their basic chemical components - are added to the water which serves as the conduit for carrying these nutrients into the plants via the roots. Hydroponic systems are inherently not organic in the truest meaning of the term because the fertilizers consist of basic components, not the living matter from which those components are derived. In most countries around the world, food grown hydroponically cannot be labeled as organic for this reason. In the United States, organic certification by the USDA of hydroponically grown foods is not prohibited. However, it does require that the


Later in that same report, it defines hydroponics as “the growing of plants in mineral nutrient solutions with or without an inert growing media to provide mechanical support.” And the committee is in agreement that it should not be allowed to receive organic certification. Confused yet? That’s fine. So are the experts. So, what it basically comes down to is that hydroponically grown foods don’t have the “organic” label because the process is not part of a biological cycle of nutrients passing between living (con tinued on page 30)

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organisms such as what takes place within soil (where micro-organisms break down organic material into the nutrients that are then made available for the plants to utilize). This is the case, because hydroponic systems supply plants directly with the specific nutrients they need already To learn more about broken down to the point where the roots can take AQUAPONICS which them up and use them. incorporates fish and microorganisms into the growing Essentially, hydroponics allows plants to be grown process, check out our article in an environment that is completely self-contained on Billy’s Botanicals in one and not a part of the broader ecology. For those who of our previous issues. are “soil” purists, this represents a significant barrier to including hydroponics in a sustainable food system. Keep in mind, however, that many hydroponic growers, including those discussed in this article rely on the same fertilizers that have been approved for use by certified organic growers. And in most cases, are using far less of them (since the fertilizers go directly to the root system); and for indoor systems, they do not require the use of any pesticides or herbicides including those that are approved for organic growers. 30

So, now that we’ve covered some of the things that hydroponics isn’t and why some in the sustainable food movement are somewhat resistant to this method of agriculture; let’s talk about the reasons I believe hydroponic farms are an important piece of a local sustainable food system. (I emphasize “piece” because we should never become dependent on one form of agriculture. Period. And we must have farmers who are investing in our soils and local ecologies through sustainable, regenerative and holistic farm practices in order to have a truly sustainable system.) Location, Location, Location! When it comes to location, hydroponic farming is where it’s at. Small spaces, large spaces, indoor, outdoor, infertile land, asphalt, underground, rooftop - the locations are virtually limitless given the right system for the environment.

Grant Anderson of Better Fresh Farms Grant started his farming career with hydroponics, wanting to grow a safer, healthier product for his family and his community without the use of pesticides and herbicides. Better Fresh Farms is currently housed in four retrofitted shipping containers that provide a fully controlled environment for growing. The farm primarily produces a wide variety of greens and radishes. Grant’s method of farming is on the high-tech end of the spectrum. His system is controlled through an app where he can monitor and adjust everything from the temperature to the amount of fertilization and the level of the lighting. His newest edition also has a robotic element that automates the movement of the plants throughout their growing process - from seedling to harvest.

a growing food movement

In growing systems like those used by Better Fresh Farms in Metter, shipping containers are retrofitted to provide a fully controlled growing environment: temperature, lighting, water and fertilizer levels are all computer monitored and controlled. These container farms have the potential to be ultra-local as they can be placed directly in urban centers - within a few short blocks of restaurants and retailers. They can also be used effectively in areas where harsh climates or otherwise poor growing conditions make traditional farming difficult or impractical. Another means of making the farm more local to urban centers is the use of outdoor, above-ground systems like some of those on display at Tasty Farms in Savannah, the demonstration garden for Savannah Hydroponics and Organics. They are ideal for rooftops, patios or parking lots. These

Kelly & Andrew, owners of Savannah Hydroponics and Organics

systems look very much like a traditional container garden, but use a non-soil alternative as a growing medium. You can’t get much more local than growing food in your own home. Hydroponics makes it possible to not only grow indoors, but to grow in a very small (con tinued on page 32)


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amount of space. “Whether someone has an apartment or a small house in a neighborhood, there’s things we can do to save square footage. Kitchen herb gardens are great … there are ways to maximize square footage,” Andrew Morris of Savannah Hydroponics and Organics explained.

Coy Hancock of The Hancock Farm Coy incorporated hydroponics on his farm about three years ago and hasn’t looked back. More of a traditional farm environment, his hydroponic system is


But hydroponic farms are not restricted to urban use. The Hancock Farm located near Bartow makes use of a hydroponic system within a more traditional greenhouse environment in a rural setting. Minimal Impact on the Environment Because it is a growing method that is largely separated from the surrounding environment, hydroponics has minimal impact on the local ecology. Unlike large-scale conventional farming methods that are largely dependent on fossil fuels, hydroponics has the potential to leave a much smaller carbon footprint.

located indoors with a cooling system that mitigates the heat, but does not provide full climate control. His greenhouses protect from insects and most weather conditions while still relying on natural sunlight. Coy likes the convenience

Ironically a system with “hydro” in its name, uses much less water than conventional growing methods where irrigation is required. Most hydroponic systems are designed with a closed loop that recycles the water. “It uses less water because it recirculates,” Coy Hancock of The Hancock Farm explained, “and coming from Arizona, that’s a big deal to me. I mean … we use so much less water than we would use if we were growing outside.” Grant Anderson of Better Fresh Farms also chose hydroponics from a standpoint of conserving resources. “One of the bigger things I saw farming had as an issue with moving forward is resources … the ability to use 95%

that the computer system provides in monitoring and controlling inputs, but does not use a smart device with his system. The farm currently has one fully operational hydroponic greenhouse used for growing greens. A second greenhouse is nearly complete which will be used to grow tomatoes and cucumbers and a third will be used for growing strawberries.

a growing food movement

less water (in a hydroponic system) than traditional pivot-irrigated farms, I thought made a lot of sense for the long term.” “Beyond that,” Grant continued, “the ability to cut out chemicals that you would use to protect plants, keep pests off of them, deter deer … we don’t have to use any of that indoors in a controlled climate. The goal was to have a really sustainable conscientious farm that we could be proud of how we did it - that we did it, not only thoughtfully with the end product and end user in mind, but that it would be effective in the long run.”

weeks away from being able to harvest an entirely new crop. This kind of resiliency is especially important to local food systems as our climate is changing and storms are becoming stronger and more frequent, droughts more widespread and temperatures less predictable. As our climate changes in ways we may not have yet realized, it will be especially important to have growers who are using methods that are less vulnerable to the elements. In its first few years of operation, The Hancock Farm was a traditional tilled organic farm, open to the elements, and was hit hard two years in a row with high winds which caused widespread damage. A big part of what motivated their transition to hydroponic greenhouses was the ability to mitigate the climate and unpredictable weather events. Versatility

Resiliency Hydroponic systems provide a certain level of resiliency to the act of farming. With the exception of outdoor systems, most hydroponic farms are indoors and as such are protected from the effects of severe weather. Drought, hail, high winds, frost, flooding, freezing temperatures, heat waves weather events that can devastate a traditional farm will have little to no effect whatsoever on a crop grown in a controlled environment. That’s not to say that these farms are immune to disaster. Far more dependent on electricity and, in some cases internet connectivity, weather can certainly have an adverse effect. However, even if an entire crop is lost, the grower is only about 8

We’ve already covered all the ways that hydroponics make it possible to grow almost anywhere, but this type of farming also makes it possible to grow anytime! Relearning to eat foods within their proper season is an important part of supporting a local food system. With a global food market, we’ve become accustomed to eating the fruits and vegetables that we want to eat at that moment, regardless of the season. And that makes it very difficult for local growers who simply cannot meet that demand. As conscientious consumers, we should be aware of this fact. And there are many reasons why eating foods within their season is a good thing to do. However, not all consumers are going to make their choices, either while shopping for groceries or while eating out, based on what is currently in season. (con tinued on page 3 4)

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Consumers have come to expect and therefore demand things like: fresh strawberries in October, tomatoes in January and fresh greens in July. If we don’t have local growers who can meet that demand, our local food systems lose out to the global marketplace. Hydroponic growers have the opportunity to fill that place within the local market. And Dare We Say It - Convenience! “Convenience” is a word that rarely finds its way into the sustainable food conversation - except when it is something to be disdained or an obstacle in the consumer’s mind that needs to be overcome. After all, the slow food movement is the very antithesis of fast-food and convenience foods. But let’s not forget that convenience is not a bad thing per se … only when it comes at the expense of nutrition, the environment and our health. Convenience in and of itself is quite a nice thing.


Hydroponic systems make it possible to grow food without having to worry about weeds or insect pests; food can be grown right in one’s own home, even right in the kitchen; planting, transplanting and harvesting can all be done without stooping, bending, or kneeling. And food can be grown consistently from seed to harvest within a predictably reliable time frame. In a perfect world perhaps hydroponic systems wouldn’t be needed. Where soils were fertile, climates perfect and tastes in tune with nature’s natural rhythms. But we don’t live in a perfect world. We live in a world where some ground is so contaminated with pollutants it’s unsafe to grow food. We live in a world where our climate “norms” are changing rapidly. We live in a world where urban development makes land space limited right at the point where demand for food is highest. And we live in a world where the inhabitants like to eat tomatoes in January.

Andrew Morris of Tasty Farms Growing plants has been the primary focus of Andrew’s personal and professional interests for more than a decade. He started Tasty Farms as a testing and demonstration garden for his small urban farm and retail garden supply store, Savannah Hydroponics and Organics. Closely resembling a traditional container garden, Tasty Farms utilizes a blend of organic, hydroponic, and aquaponic techniques to grow plants above the ground minimizing environmental impact and disease. Plants

And in that world, hydroponic growers help keep our local food system just that little bit more secure, more diverse, and better equipped to meet local demand.

are never treated with harsh chemicals and are only sprayed with natural disease and pest controls.

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Pictured is a spicebush butterfly perched on a Mexican sunflower. The spicebush butterfly is so named because the spicebush is its primary host plant.

Photo by Ellen Honeycutt

a growing food movement

Native Plant Highlight: Spicebush Lindera benzoin

By Greg Lewis This article is courtesy of the Coast Plain Chapter of the Georgia Native Plant Society. The GNPS is dedicated to promoting the stewardship and conservation of Georgia’s native plants and their habitats. The Coastal Plain Chapter serves the people in the Coastal Plain ecoregion of Georgia. This includes all areas south of the Fall Line in middle Georgia, from the Alabama and Florida borders to the Atlantic ocean. To learn more, please visit their website.

Description and Care:

spicebush is outgrowing the space you have for it, prune it. It will be best to prune after it flowers in

For many months of the year, spicebush, Lindera

the spring, but before the new growth begins, to

benzoin (lin-DARE-ah BEN-zo-in) is a passive,

avoid trimming the flower buds set the previous

unassuming shrub with attractive dark green


foliage that is generally nestled in somewhat moist, woodland areas from Florida to Canada.

5 Benefits of Planting Spicebush 37

Unassuming may be slightly hyberbolic, but there is much to see and know about this little woodland

So, why would you want spicebush in your


landscape or garden? Spicebush has many benefits to wildlife: it provides food for birds and small animals, serves as host plant for the spicebush swallowtail butterfly, and is a nectar (food source) plant for many pollinators. Taking all that into account, there are at least five reasons one would want this modest shrub in a garden or landscape: the foliage, the flower, the fruit, the caterpillar, and the spicebush swallowtail butterfly (Papilio troilus).

Photo by Ansel Oommen One Spicebush care is simple - it takes very little. If there is diseased or damaged wood, prune it. If it gets too unruly for you and you would like a more formal, refined look, prune those unruly parts. If the

Spicebush has dark green foliage making it a handsome hedge or backdrop for groundcovers and wildflowers. By fall, the dark green foliage (con tinued on page 38)

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will turn yellow. While it thrives in full sun, it also

Dioecious plants like spicebush house the male

does well in partial shade in zones 4-9; some sun

and female flowers on different plants. The male

aids the flowers and fruit production. Spicebush

plants have male flowers and female plants have

generally is found in moist areas and can grow

only female flowers. If you have a female shrub

successfully in a range of moisture conditions

with a male nearby, leave the flowers on to produce

including very wet soil, moist, well-drained soil, and

fall fruit. Having fruit does not affect whether the

occasionally dry soil. It can grow between 6-12

plant attracts spicebush swallowtails, but the

feet tall and wide, so caretakers can decide how to

fruit does provide an additional reason to employ

best use it in their space. While spicebush may not

spicebush. Typically, the nursery trade sells plain

typically be used as a specimen tree, it is a perfect

ole spicebush—with no delineation of male or

way to add native plants to the landscape. It can be

female. To increase the likelihood of getting male

used in rain gardens, woodland gardens, and even

and female plants for the fruit, the homeowner and

along rivers, creeks, and ponds.

landscaper should consider buying multiple plants to increase the opportunities of having the fruit for a fall feast for the birds and animals.


The yellow flowers are dioecious—appearing as attractive, dainty flowers in spring, from March to May. The flowers open before the leaves emerge 38


Fruit is another reason to consider planting

and are held close to the branches. They are a

spicebush. By late summer, in August or

pollinator favorite and one other thing, they are

September, spicebush will have green drupes that


turn red when they mature. Remember, to get the fruit you need both male and female plants. The leaves and fruit can be crushed to provide the spice scent—sometimes used as a substitute for allspice. The fruit (spicebush seed) provides food for birds and small animals. If there is any fruit remaining

Photo by Ansel Oommen Photo by Ansel Oommen

Photo by Ansel Oommen a growing food movement

after the birds and animals have their fill, they make a lovely viewing for humans. So, spicebush provides pleasing visual and olfactory opportunities.


If the dark green foliage, yellow flowers, red fruit are not enough to draw one to the spicebush, then there is the caterpillar. Visitors to my nursery are generally underwhelmed when I show them the spicebush; that is, until we unfurl one of the foldedup leaves and discover the caterpillar huddled inside. Then they are beyond thrilled. In fact, our grandkids ask about the caterpillars in the leaves; they provide such a sense of wonderment and intrigue.

Photo by Greg Lewis more like a snake (notice the large eyespots). Eventually they transform into the stunning

These little creatures are so fascinating, beginning life looking like bird poop before changing to look

spicebush swallowtail butterfly. (continued on page 4 0)


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How do you know if you have some of those


caterpillars lurking on your spicebush? Well, the

Dyer, M. (n.d.). Spicebush information: Learn

caterpillar folds the leaf partially or in half. The larger snake- like caterpillars fold the leaf in half, while the smaller caterpillars, which resemble bird poop, will partially fold over a leaf.

about growing a spicebush plant. Gardening know how. Retrieved May 19, 2020 from https://www. spicebush/growing-a-spicebush-plant.htm Haynes, C. (n.d.). Botanical terminology: Flowers, houses and sexual reproduction. Retrieved May


The final attraction of spicebush is the spicebush swallowtail butterfly. Spicebush is the host plant for this beautiful pollinator. The spicebush swallowtail is a wonderful surprise to anyone who has the good fortune to cross its path. Any one of these five are reason enough to have this (did I really call it unassuming earlier?) shrub where you can enjoy it. Once it is established, spicebush is easy to maintain having few “enemies� 40

seeking to destroy it. I encourage you to find some spicebush and follow it for a year to enjoy the green and yellow foliage, lovely yellow flowers, red fruit, brown and green caterpillar, and the impressive spicebush swallowtail butterfly.

19, 2020 from https://hortnews.extension.iastate. edu/2009/2-4/monoecious.html Plant profile for Lindera (Spicebush). (n.d.). Retrieved May 19, 2020 from https://plants.usda. gov/core/profile?symbol=LINDE2 Anon (7 October, 2008). Field Notes from the Beiser Field Station: October 7, 2008, The Spicebush Swallowtail; The Amazing Snake-Mimicking Caterpillar. Retrieved May 19, 2020 from http:// Photo Credits: Ellen Honeycutt, Georgia Native Plant Society Greg Lewis, Flat Creek Natives, LLC Ansel Oommen,

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Photo courtesy of Rebekah Faulk Lingenfelser

a growing food movement

Some Kinda Good in the Neighborhood by Rebekah Faulk Lingenfelser Rebekah Faulk Lingenfelser is the author of the best-selling memoir “Some Kinda Good.” Featured in Forbes, on Food Network and ABC, she writes about Southern, coastal cuisine, locally sourced and in-season. Connect with her on social media by liking Some Kinda Good on Facebook, or follow @SKGFoodBlog on Instagram and Twitter. To learn more, visit

Fall for Apple Cinnamon Bundt Cake The first official day of fall is September 22.

pit. While the weather in Southeast Georgia

Bring on the granny smith apples, the bright

is sometimes uncooperative, we can always

orange pumpkins and multi-colored gourds,

hope for the best.

the cooler weather, football and pumpkin spice everything. Lattes, coffee creamer, candles... oh my. In the fall, there’s always something baking in my oven. Nothing beats the aroma of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger, and the trickle of a good cup of coffee brewing on a crisp morning. Scarves and boots come out of the closet, along with autumn decorations, and the scene is set to kick-off the holiday season. Coffee cakes, pumpkin cookies and the county fair come to mind. During this season, I often

The cinnamon apple bundt cake recipe I’m

make a big batch of chili and cornbread, and

sharing with you today is fall on a cake stand.

invite folks over to sit around an outdoor fire

Filled with chunks of tart Granny Smith apples, (con tinued on page 4 4)

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it’s tender, sweet and makes for a beautiful

or on the porch in your rocking chair for a midday

presentation. Dusted with confectioners sugar, it

snack. There’s never a bad time to eat something

bakes up to a stunning golden brown and fills the

Some Kinda Good!

home with tempting aromas. You don’t need a

For more fall recipes and cooking videos, be sure

special occasion to whip up this cake. It’s the kind

to visit my food blog at and

I love to have on my countertop when neighbors or friends pop in for a visit.

connect with me on social media. If you make

Serve it for breakfast with hot coffee or brunch

I’d love to hear from you. Send me an email at

with mimosas. It’s perfect for dessert after dinner Happy fall, y’all!

one of my recipes or have a cooking question,

Some Kinda Good Apple Cinnamon Bundt Cake Ingredients


3 Eggs

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 cup canola oil

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups peeled, chopped tart apples,

3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

such as Granny Smith

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

2 cups sugar

2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

3 cups all-purpose flour

Directions In a large bowl, beat the eggs, oil and vanilla. Add apples and sugar; beat for 1 minute. Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and baking powder; add to apple mixture until blended. Pour into a greased and floured 10-in. fluted tube pan. Bake at 325° for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Using a sifter, sprinkle evenly over the cake confectioners sugar.

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Southern Soil Swag Show your support for the local sustainable food movement southern style!


or w m k oo B e

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reading the best and weeding the rest



The Market Gardener: A Successful Grower’s Handbook for Small-Scale Organic Farming written by Jean-Martin Fortier is packed full of practical information for anyone interested in growing food for profit. Geared toward small-scale farming, this book covers all the bases from finding the right property to connecting with customers and all points in between. It is filled with charts, diagrams and definitions designed to help anyone considering a path toward market gardening make well informed decisions and have a good idea of what to expect.

Fortier shares the lessons he has learned while building a successful and profitable market garden on just 1.5 acres of property. Through careful record keeping of his own experience, he is able to provide very specific details and tips on everything from site selection to seed starting, pest management, soil building, crop planning, weed control, tool selection, and more.

“You can enter agriculture professionally by replacing pricey equipment and infrastructure with a different skill set that is based on appropriate technology and innovative growing practices. My hope is that our experience and the information shared in this handbook will help aspiring farmers understand how this can be achieved.” Though the author and the farm this book details are located in Quebec, Canada; the information and experience shared can be applied to a market garden business here in Southeast Georgia.

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