Saturday, January 25, 2020

Another Reason To Buy Organic Apples

One the many varieties of USDA Certified
Organic apples grown on Metzger Heritage Farm
I was interested to read this in an article published by the Rodale Institute.
"A recent study conducted in Austria and published in 'Frontiers in Microbiology' found that conventionally grown apples host more pathogenic bacteria that can harm human health than organic apples. In contrast, organic apples are home to greater varieties of the 'good' bacteria, such as probiotics that can promote gut health."
Fascinated? Read more about the study in this article in Modern Farmer. 
Add this information to the fact that conventionally grown apples have more pesticide residues than any other fruit or vegetable. According to the Environmental Working Group's analysis of USDA data, pesticides showed up on 98 percent of apples tested.  Apples were found to have up to 48 different kinds of pesticides on them. Long-term exposure to pesticides is linked to cancer, infertility and neurological conditions, such as Parkinson's, and even small doses of pesticides are far more dangerous for children, with their smaller bodies and developing nervous systems.
Our organic apple orchard is blanketed in a layer of slushy snow on this January afternoon but winter's chill is just what they need! Fruit trees must go through a dormant period (known as a chilling period) to prepare to produce fruit the following summer.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Sustainable Agriculture In Project 2025

Potter County, Pennsylvania has been my home for most of my life. Arthur and I returned to Potter County in the late 1970s, found ways to make a living, established our places in community life, raised two children and step-by-step brought new life to an old family farm.
Our children, while they both appreciate their small-town upbringing, are building their lives, families and careers far from Crandall Hill.
That's one of the reasons I am watching with great interest, the launch of Potter County's Project 2025. 

Project 2025 is being developed by the Potter County Commissioners to address continuing population loss and the out-migration of our young people. The Project aims to "assemble stakeholders, conduct intensive research and implement a strategy to reverse population loss and median age growth by the end of 2025."

Those are admirable and lofty goals. Commissioner Barry Hayman made the following comment on a Facebook post:
Let's not forget our farmers in all this. Agri-tourism, small unique local products and producers could also be big in the mix. Potter County Pure could mean something, especially for those looking for 'clean' alternative to products made by factory farms.
I agree with Mr. Hayman and, further, I think continuing to work toward a vital, strong local foodshed is one of the key ways young people can be attracted to the kind of rural lifestyle Potter County offers.

Click here to access a recent document compiled by the Young Farmers Coalition "Growing Pennsylvania's Future:  Challenges Facing Young Farmers and Recommendations to Address Them."