Sustainable Agriculture and the Local in the Lowcountry

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Transcript Sustainable Agriculture and the Local in the Lowcountry

Sustainable Agriculture and the
Local Foods Movement in the
Lowcountry
Rita Bachmann
Local and Sustainable Foods Advocate
Organic Farmer
New York ‘04 * California ‘05 * South Carolina ’06-’14 * Virginia ’10
Rooting Down Farms
Vegetable Garden Educator + Edible Landscaper
Rita’s Roots Backyard Harvest
2011 - present
LLF Incubator Farm Manager + Mentor
Dirtworks Incubator Farm 2013-2015
Why Eat Local?
Michael Pollan says it best...
- Fresher + Healthier + Seasonal
- Keeps farmers on the farm and farmland as farms!
- Supports your local economy +
Creates community
- Get to know your farmer and their production practices
-Food safety
-Reduces your carbon footprint
How to Eat Local in the Lowcountry
*** CSAs
*** Farmers Markets
*** Earth Fare and Whole Foods
– Grow Food Carolina
*** Farm Stands
*** Restaurants
Find the Fork!
*** GROW YOUR OWN!
Agriculture in the Lowcountry
- Plantations – Rice, Indigo, Cotton
- Cabbage, Potatoes, Tomatoes
Hello NAFTA, Goodbye Domestic Agriculture!
- Pine trees
Population Growth…farmland
turns into neighborhoods
(big thanks to air conditioning)
Organic Agriculture almost non-existent until
well after the millennium.
Challenges in Agriculture
Locally:
-Sandy Soil – low nutrients
-Expensive Farmland
-Lack of Resources – farm inputs, equipment, mentorship
-Disease and Insect Pressure
Universally:
-Farming is Hard Work!
-Farming does not traditionally pay well – era of Cheap Food
-Farming is Gambling – In Hand of Mother Nature
-Quality Farmland is expensive
-Government regulations
Agriculture Today…
-New farms sprouting up and old one’s finding success
-Smaller scale than in the past
-Lowcountry Local First’s Growing New Farmers
apprenticeship program
- Dirtworks Incubator Farm
= Farm Community!
Production Techniques in Sustainable
Agriculture
Soil Health as primary goal
Healthy Soil = Healthy Plants!
- Cover Cropping
- Incorporation of beneficial microbes and
fungi
- Use of compost and manures
- Reduced tillage + conservation tillage
-Integrated Pest Management
-Promotion of biodiversity
-Crop rotation + diversification
-Minimization of petroleum inputs
-Use of biodegradable and natural mulches
-No synthetic fungicides, pesticides,
herbicides or fertilizers
- Deliver and sell products to local markets
monocrop
Technology in Small Scale Food Production
On the Farm…
-Small 35 horsepower or less tractor with a
front loader
-Implements used for soil preparation
- disc harrow with a bar
- bed shaper
- Flame weeder
- Refrigeration
In the Garden…
-Solar Pathfinder
-Soil probe
-Rototiller or broadfork
-Construction tools
-Micorrhizae
-Smart phone
-Sturdy pick up truck
Garden and Vegetable Issues
Insects:
-Squash Vine Borer
- Stink bugs
- Caterpillars
- Mole Crickets
Disease:
-Powdery +
Downey mildews
- Black Rot
- Blights
- Wilts
Other Creatures:
-Voles
- Deer
- Dogs
- Rats
Going Local in your own Backyard
We can grow an abundance of food in our back (and front!) yards and we
can grow it all year round!!
Vegetables
Salad Greens
Nightshades
Brassicas
Roots
Okra
Corn
Cucurbits
Herbs
Asparagus
Mushrooms
Hops
Animals
Rabbits
Chickens
Ducks
Quail
Eggs
Fruits
Citrus
Figs
Plums
Pears
Blueberries
Blackberries
Raspberries
Strawberries
Loquats
Pineapple Guava
Olives
Rita’s Roots Backyard Harvest
http://www.ritasroots.com
- Founded Spring 2011 as a part time endeavor
- Full time July 2012
-Celebrating 4 years this month!
-First Employee in 2015!
Mission:
To Grow Gardeners in the Lowcountry
and take the Guesswork out of
Gardening.
Gardens of many Shapes and Sizes…
Raised Beds
Food Not Lawns!
Gardening in Small Spaces
So you want to be a farmer…
or just grow your own food
Farming internship and apprenticeships:
-ATTRA – National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service
- WWOOF – Willing Workers on Organic Farms
- Lowcountry Local First – Growing New Farmers
Farm and garden materials:
-Possums
-Buck Lumber
-7 Springs Farm, Check VA
-Kinsey Ag Services
-Johnny’s Seeds
-Heavenly Seed
-Sea Island Savory Herbs
Educational Resources:
-Clemson Extension website and
agents
-Clemson extension master
gardeners
-The Citrus Guy blog
Gardening When it Counts – Steve
Solomon
The New Organic Grower – Elliott
Coleman
Growing Fruits and Nuts in the
South - William Adams and Thomas
Leroy
Joel Salatin