Thursday, December 4, 2014

Fenced In ...Literally and Literally

Market List
Grass Fed Lamb- Leg of for your holiday meal, chops, steak, stew,
Missouri Pecans
Apple Chutney, Cherry Serrano Pepper Jelly, Chow Chow and Smoked Tomatillo Salsa for your holiday meal.
Pesticide Free Holiday Greenery; Holly, Boxwood and Pine
Ideas for gifts? REAL Antique Blue Ball Jars filled with Granola or Pecans,
Bags of Pecans or Granola, Watermelon Marmalade
Got a person to buy for who likes Spice? Garlicky Chili Sauce, Smoked Tomatillo Salsa Wild, Pickled Chili Peppers, Cherry Serrano Pepper Jelly

So this post was going to be about the fencing we are getting done as the second part of our Slow Foods Grant for St. Croix Sheep. I will talk about this but first I have a bit to say about the Food Safety Modernization Act. Over the last few years, there have been some problems with Food Borne illnesses. I would like to take this time to point out that none of these issues have been cause by local or "small" farms. However because of these problems- caused in general by Conventional Feed Lots for producing food animals and Large Multi-national Corporations who hire migrant workers that are not given clean facilities to care for themselves and ship food thousands of miles from where it's grown,  the FDA feels that there is a need for the Food Modernization Safety Act.
Lets face it, we all want Safe and Clean food. This is mainly the reason most farmers actually begin growing food. Most of us haven't gotten rich farming. However, this new act, if put through as it stands will put an incredible burden on the Small Farmer.
Besides water tests as many as 16x a year at 50-100.00 per, each farm grossing over $25,000(yes only 25,000, NOT 250,000 (divide that by a family of four) will have to have an inspected facility for produce. This means extra buildings that will have to be built and inspected again for which the farmer will pay and this includes CSA's. If your food goes out to a "consumer" which includes the customer who eats the produce from a market, CSA or a grocery store who carries it, is the farmer's farm a Farm or a Facility? So this would throw the "Farmer growing the food and what doesn't sell is made into something else edible so it doesn't go to waste", right out the window because if you prepare something, you are no longer a Farm, you are a Facility.
On top of this, and I say this is the craziest one; Rules for irrigation. If water comes in contact with the produce before harvest, you have some pretty complicated Formula on how long you have to wait before you can harvest the food. So what happens if it rains on Friday when we are harvesting for market or for your CSA box? Can we wait another week? Will it hold? Can you skip a week on your paycheck?
Let me state again, we all want safe food. These rules however are really for Big Ag, food that is shipped cross country, plasticized, handled by many hands and devoid of vitamins.
During a webinar on this topic, I asked the question; " what are the statistics for food borne illnesses caused by products coming from a small farm or farmers markets for both produce and prepared foods?" The answer was " there are none because the issues being caused are coming from Big Ag." Do we want them monitoring your right to fresh, Local, Real Food. St. Louisians have been pretty spoiled these last 10 years in relation to variety of produce, the quality and quantity of local "Value Added" salsas, jams, jellies, baked goods and fresh eggs and meat...don't get me started on the rules for animals.
If you would like to learn more about this and most importantly comment on your right to local food, click on this link;

Make no mistake, these rules will cripple the Farmers who provide for the markets and the CSA's.
You have 2 weeks to Speak out about why Local food is different than National Big Ag. Please do so. It's simple and there are templates for both Farmers and Consumers.
Now I'm hopping off of the Soapbox.

More next post on the fencing project for St. Croix sheep funded by Slow Food St. Louis.

Look for us on Twitter Folks for more Market Posts. We will be at Schlafly this weekend and next.

God's Blessings on you and yours.


Sam, Bill and Robin

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