Category Archives: Lemon Basil

Sunday Morning Rituals….Sometimes They Have to Change

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COO at Aladay LLC
Organic Farmer, Property Preservation Specialist and Custom Glass & Wood Worker. Blogger extraordinaire...
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Pygmy Goats, Bucky and Charlie
Bucky and Charlie
The weeders of Aladay Organic Farms

 

This morning was Blueberry Pancake Breakfast with Charlie and Bucky. A Sunday Morning ritual for the three of us. This morning I knew something was not quite right by the way the horses, Daisy and Lilac were acting. When I entered Bucky and Charlie’s pen even the peacocks, Aaron, Darren, Baron, Karen, and Sharon acted as if something was awry.

In addition to Blueberry Pancakes Charlie loved apples, apricots and cherry’s. He would just love it when we pruned fruit trees as he got to clean all the branches of fruits and leaves. Most trees and flower was a good snack for Charlie and he absolutely LOVED Lemon Basil…even hobbled in his last few days he would still stand on his hind legs for Lemon Basil. His favorite though would have to be Poppyseed Garlic Bread with Tortilla Chips being a close second.

 

This morning was somewhat more somber as Charlie did not have the energy he usually has nor the excitement for his favorite breakfast of Blueberry Pancakes. You see Charlie’s health has been declining of late, so bad I have been considering giving him a pill from the Vet. So I sat with Charlie while he ate and I just held him calmly talking to let him know it would be OK. I guess Charlie knew it is going to be a cold winter and had no desire to face one more brutal winter of cold. He looked up at me and just kinda of sighed and laid his head down in my lap for the last time.

Bucky and I laid him to rest under his favorite apple tree in the front portion of Laci’s Rose garden. His favorite flowers were Iris’s so while we laid Charlie to rest we planted a new patch of Iris’s on him so he can smell their fragrance every spring. It was a little difficult trying to explain to Bucky his lifelong friend would not be waking up again.

Charlie and Bucky came to me via an abusive situation.

Bucky saying goodbye
Bucky paying his last respects…

Charlie is survived by his Bucky his lifelong buddy, Daisy and Lilac and the peacocks, Aaron, Baron, Darren, Karen, and Sharon,  The turtles, Reginald and Rigina, and Katy  Koi, Me the keeper of the food, and all the rest of the staff at AOF…

Knowing Goats are not like cats I shall be on the look out for a new buddy for Bucky. If anyone knows of anyone that may need to thin their herds or has a a critter that they feel would help Bucky through his time of sorrow please let us know…They’ll be given a good home..

 

 

charlie...
The last look at the camera two days ago…Charlie liked tomatoes also…

 

 

Cahrlie's last photo.
Two days ago feeding Charlie tomatoes…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo of charlie
RIP Charlie

 

Ode to Charlie

You traveled down my road one day

I opened the gate and let you in

From the people and place you’d come to know

This was the best there’d ever been

You lived here with Bucky, peacocks and 2 mares

You loved your apples, oats and herbs growing there

Your days were easy and gentle

No with no strife to wear

And after your blueberry pancackes

You laid down softly in my lap

You took your last breath

And seemed to say

Thanks for these days good chap!

Written by:Laci Young

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Writing: Aaron Aveiro

Photographs: Aaron Aveiro

Ode to Charlie By; Laci Young

GMO Products: Trying to Unravel the Technology, Part Two

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Are all GMO Porducts Bad???
Are all GMO Products Bad???

Many of our readers, farmers and ranchers of the Silver State, and customers at the farmers markets have expressed their concerns over Genetically Modified Organisms or what is commonly known as GMO’s in our food supply. While I have been extremely vocal on this issue in regards to the possible hazards, I also think it is important that we as lay people understand about this technology. As l attempt to look at the issues that the finished products of GMO products provide us, whether they be good or bad, I also think we need to completely understand this type of technology.

This will be the first of a series of articles on GMO products. We hope that throughout the series we are able to provide information that will show both sides of this technology in an understandable format.

Me personally, while I do not understand the technology, I’m not ready to discard it as junk science and say that all of the GMO technology is bad, yet at the same time I do not believe the technology has been around long enough to provide substantial information either way on the good and bad of this technology.

Our first interviewee is Christel  F. Harden. I first came in contact with Christel in one of the Agriculture Networking groups in LinkedIn, as with most of my first encounters with people that I have come to gather knowledge from, I made a statement…a vocal statement… and was told to check my facts…which half of them turned out to be wrong!!! However, as with most that tell me to “check” things it was all good in an information sharing way to increase knowledge in a manner to understand the complex technology of this GMO culture that has sprung up in our agriculture industry.

 

Christel F. Harden
Christel F. Harden

Christel Harden has over 30 years of agricultural experience in industry, university, government, and private business settings.  Her varied experience includes product development of agricultural chemicals, agricultural security course development and instruction, and public outreach for the South Carolina Botanical Garden. She has taught courses in biology and biosecurity at the secondary to graduate levels, and serves on the adjunct faculty of the National Center for Biomedical Research and Training at Louisiana State University.  Christel is currently assistant department head for the Department of Plant Industry at Clemson University and the State Plant Regulatory Official for South Carolina.  In her current position, Christel directs all state plant pest regulatory programs to limit movement and prevent establishment of invasive plant pests and pathogens.  These programs include nursery inspections and certification, export certification of plant products, apiary programs, noxious weed management, exotic pest survey programs, and laboratory diagnostics.

Christel obtained her B.S. degree in Plant Sciences from Clemson University and her M.S. degree in Horticulture and Plant Pathology from North Carolina State University.  She is a member of the American Phytopathological Society and the South Carolina Exotic Pest Plant Council.  She is active in the National Plant Board, a professional organization of State Plant Regulatory Officials, serving on the Board of Directors and as President of the Southern Plant Board.

Here is our interview…

 

What got you interested in Biological Sciences?

I cannot remember a time that I was not interested in biology and agriculture.  My father grew up on a farm in north Alabama, and I loved to visit and ask a million questions about the animals and crops.  Dad was stationed in France with the Army when I was young.  My family rented a house in the middle of a huge vineyard in a farming community in the Bordeaux region.  That was a different and fascinating type of agriculture for me to observe.

 

You have taught for LSU for about 10 years now.  What other courses have you taught during your career? 

I teach two courses for LSU at the adult education level that are designed to train emergency responders and individuals involved in the production or processing of food to prepare for and respond to agricultural terrorism or other high-impact events affecting the US food system.  In addition to those courses, I have also taught general biology from the secondary through the undergraduate level, and Food and Agricultural Biosecurity at the undergraduate and Master’s level.

 

Have you always had an analytic approach when reviewing materials?

No, I think that approach developed as I advanced through my career.  Much of my experience within plant regulatory agencies has involved drafting regulations or addressing infractions of regulations.  The wording of regulations must be very precise in order to produce exactly the desired result without over-regulation (restricting untargeted goods) or leaving loopholes.  As a result, whenever I read science articles (or political articles, for that matter), I constantly look for logic or evidence gaps.

 

Your current position is State Plant Regulatory Official for South Carolina.  What is a plant regulator?

A plant regulatory official is responsible for enforcing state laws and regulations pertaining to movement of plants and plant products within states and across state lines.  The purpose is to prevent introductions of plant pests and pathogens to new areas in order to protect natural ecosystems and agricultural resources.  Of course this requires a team of inspectors, plant pathologists, entomologists, registration specialists, invasive species experts, and survey coordinators for us to remain aware of what is coming into and leaving our state.  South Carolina even has organic certification inspectors in the Department of Plant Industry!  (I’m trying to make friends here!)  We rely a lot on technology to stretch limited funding and personnel as far as possible.  In the past few years, we have introduced on-line data collection via iPads, submission of digital photos for insect identifications, use of field immunostrips for preliminary disease diagnosis, etc.  I never get bored in this job, and I am not stuck behind a desk all the time.

 

In the past you have stated that you are somewhat Pro-GMO. Why?

As any new technology is developed, agriculture should evaluate it for how it might fit into food production.  To my mind, genetic modification is a rapid way of introducing desired traits into a crop.  I haven’t seen any studies to make me avoid GMOs in my diet.  It is important, however, to have vocal people on both sides of this issue who state opinions and ask questions to serve as a check against abuse of the system towards either extreme.  What I mean is that not every proposed genetic modification should be pursued, but neither should all GMOs be prohibited.

 

From another standpoint, one of my concerns is the connection between food security and political unrest.  This came about due to my involvement in agricultural security efforts in South Carolina as well as across the US.  In developing countries, there is a strong correlation between food insecurity, corrupt governments, and political conflict, including terrorism.  Along with international efforts to fight corruption and promote economic development, we need to increase access to food for citizens of the world in order to increase political security.  There is no single method of agricultural production that can accomplish this.  It will require both large and small farms, GMOs and traditional breeding programs, organic and IPM.

 

Not to change the subject, but for my own diet, I am more concerned about eating food that is fresh, less processed, and grown close to where I live than I am about consuming genetically modified foods.  The reasons for this are multi-fold.  First, you cannot get a ripe, tasty tomato from a grocery store – especially in the winter.  Some foods just shouldn’t be purchased from a supermarket, and if a tomato isn’t fresh from a farm, I don’t eat it. .  Second, I believe in “local grown” and supporting South Carolina farmers.  Third, from an environmental point of view, it makes more sense to purchase local food than to support shipping food across the country with the associated vehicle emissions and fuel costs.  Finally, my background also leads me to consider food security.  The weakest link in food security is transportation, although security in that sector is improving.  The less distance your food moves from its production area, the less likely that any tampering will occur.

 

With GMO technology fairly new in the agriculture industry do you feel that more study needs to be performed on the possible side effects in regards to health risks?
Genetically modified crops have been in the food supply since the mid-1990s, so about 20 years.  In that time there have been no peer-reviewed scientific studies showing any negative health effects from GMOs.  Any health effect claims have been anecdotal or correlations.  I know that there is disagreement about the acceptability of studies and what they show, and that many of your readers will disagree with me – and that’s fine.  However, science is all about studying the effects of one thing on another thing, so more studies WILL be done on the long term effects of GMOs on health – and that is good.  More knowledge is always good.

 

Why do you think that the majority of people have a distinct fear in regards to GMO technology?

I’m not sure that the majority of people have a distinct fear of GMOs, although a lot of people certainly do.  Many of those people have a thorough understanding of molecular biology, and their concern is based upon their scientific knowledge.  Many others, however, do not understand the technology at all, so their fear is based upon a lack of understanding or a misunderstanding of genetics and its manipulation in GMOs.

 

From a professional viewpoint, where do you see this technology in 20 years?

Well, I can guess as well as anyone else!  Forty years after the introduction of GMOs to agriculture, any long- or short-term health effects will likely be known, so I think that GMOs will be more accepted by consumers and growers.  There will be more standardized tests and protocols for GMOs before commercialization, but I can’t predict how strenuous those tests will be.

 

Now that Football season is upon us…Which Tiger do you root for???

Finally an easy one!  This is a great year to support both the LSU and Clemson Tigers since both are ranked in the top 10!  Plus they won’t play each other unless it is in the post-season games.

 

USDA Program encouraging the support of local farmers
USDA Program encouraging the support of local farmers

 

Christel mentioned “Local Grown”. There is a program that is sponsored by the USDA. Know your farmer Know your Food….A very good program that emphasizes buying locally when at all possible. By participating in your local farmers markets you help your communities in many ways, first by keeping revenues in your community, second you help support local business. Great program to participate in. See you at the market!!!

 

Until Next Time

Happy Gardening

Be sure to look for another recipe in our Good Food Good Life series…

good food 001

 

Story; Aaron Aveiro

Photos provided by; Aaron Aveiro, Google Images, Christel Harden

Views expressed are not necessarily those of Aladay LLC ownership