Pressure Canning Chicken at Farmers’ Market

A very special thank you to Dawn Jordan for doing a great job at the Columbus Tailgate Market on Saturday. Dawn shared her pressure canning and poultry expertise with market customers as part of the Discover You Can grant.

A lot of people are intimidated by pressure canning, but the experience seems worthwhile. Dawn slow roasted four chickens to yield six quarts of meat and one quart of broth. At market, Dawn sampled turkey that was pressure canned two years ago. Now, it is easy enough to open the can of turkey, combine with a mirepoix, noodles, and cook to make an easy turkey soup. 

Thanks to Dawn for her canning inspiration! For more on pressure canning chicken, Ball has some great information:


Farmland Movie at Tryon Theatre presented by Farm Bureau

‘Farmland’ is a movie dedicated to younger farmers running their farms and ranches. Sponsored by the Polk County Farm Bureau, this is a different look at farms.

We will update with more details as we get them but be prepared for the showings on August 25th!

Ruminant Toolbox – A Huge Collection of Information

ATTRA has a website with mountains of information for small ruminant producers. Powerpoint presentations, white papers, manuals, FAQs, and more. This is a great resource for those with sheep and goats – peruse when you get a chance.

Go to Small Ruminant Toolbox

Diversity of a Pollinator Garden in NC

There are some lovely photos from Debbie Roos of Cooperative Extension fame at her website, Growing Small Farms, here are a couple of the pictures but click here to see many more.

If you find yourself in the Piedmont, she hosts monthly tours of the garden and you can find those dates on her website.

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Ag Center Collects Used Cooking Oil for Blue Ridge BioFuels

The Ag Center has been proud to host a used cooking oil collection unit for almost a year now. Please remember to bring any used cooking oils that you can over to the Ag Center to the lower parking lot.

Here are some reminders of what cannot go in the bin from Blue Ridge BioFuels:

  • Grease trap waste
  • Water
  • Hydrogenated Oils (lard or shortening)
  • Large volumes of animal fat (small volumes ok)
  • Food Solids
  • Motor Oil, Chemicals, Paints
  • Trash

Find out more about Blue Ridge Biofuels.

Chef Richard Ruben at Farmers’ Market Tomorrow

I have had the pleasure of meeting Chef Richard Ruben and discussing with him the fine art of cooking which directly preceded having the sudden realization of how terrible I am at cooking. What gets me very excited though is that Richard is willing and wanting to share his knowledge of cooking, preserving, and making the most of our meals.

Tomorrow he will be at the Columbus Farmers’ Market and will lead a guided tour of the market starting at 9 am, looking at fresh produce and expanding the possibilities of how that food can be prepared. In talking with him he opens up another level of cooking that oftentimes can seem unattainable. More Alton Brown and less Wolfgang Puck.

Richard is also the author of The Farmers Market Cookbook which can be purchased online at Amazon

Richard will also be kicking off the Farm Class Series for the Ag Center on Thursday, September 18th from 6 to 8pm. The class is Puttn’ Up, a chef’s guide to learn new preservation techniques. Participants will make and take: Smoky Pickled Okra, Minted Beets, Summer Savory Salt, Sugared Apples, & Tarragon Red Wine Vinegar. Sign up information will be on the Polk County’s Farm website so hurry as only 14 slots are available.

Feeding Nine Billion – Animated Video

The first video in this series is about 12 minutes long and is enjoyable to watch and learn a few things about food security and our future. Local foods play an important part in this role, check out all the videos below at:

NY Times – Don’t Let Your Children Grow Up to Be Farmers

From the New York Times comes a news article discussing that many new farmers are working other jobs and unable to get to the next step of being a full time farmer. What do you think?

NEW HAVEN — AT a farm-to-table dinner recently, I sat huddled in a corner with some other farmers, out of earshot of the foodies happily eating kale and freshly shucked oysters. We were comparing business models and profit margins, and it quickly became clear that all of us were working in the red.

The dirty secret of the food movement is that the much-celebrated small-scale farmer isn’t making a living. After the tools are put away, we head out to second and third jobs to keep our farms afloat. Ninety-one percent of all farm households rely on multiple sources of income. Health care, paying for our kids’ college, preparing for retirement? Not happening. With the overwhelming majority of American farmers operating at a loss — the median farm income was negative $1,453 in 2012 — farmers can barely keep the chickens fed and the lights on.

Others of us rely almost entirely on Department of Agriculture or foundation grants, not retail sales, to generate farm income. And young farmers, unable to afford land, are increasingly forced into neo-feudal relationships, working the fields of wealthy landowners. Little wonder the median age for farmers and ranchers is now 56.

Read the rest here.

Basil Downy Mildew

Check out the link below for more information about this problem and some great close up pictures to help identify if this is a problem occurring with you.


CFSA Gap Certification Videos

CFSA recently launched a series of videos to supplement the “Good Agricultural Practices for Small and Diversified Farms: Tips and Strategies to Reduce Risk and Pass an Audit” manual. This video series continues to document real-world examples of how small, diversified farms can employ these tips and strategies to meet GAP certification requirements.  We hope you find this video series useful, and be on the lookout for future GAPS workshops throughout the Carolinas.