Stoney Mountain Farm

Farmers don’t always start with the passion for farming – sometimes it’s the love of the outputs that lead to the love of the inputs. In Olga’s case, it was her love of Manchego cheese (a specialty of Spain) that led to her love of sheep. In her 40s, she decided something in her life had to change, and she pivoted from the insurance business in Durham to farming west of Burlington.

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Does natural = healthy?

I often find myself rolling my eyes at claims like “natural”, “gluten free”, and “cage free”. What do these things mean? Does it mean the product is better for me than the one next to it without such a claim? Maybe…but it often requires some reading and perhaps some homework to discern the truth. This post has a bit of the background of food labelling in the United States, an overview of some of the more common labels (and commonly confusing) as well as links to resources to find more information.

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April 2020 Book Review “The Food Explorer”

Review of the 2018 book, The Food Explorer, by Daniel Stone

If I had known there was a job called “agriculture explorer” when I was a kid, that’s exactly what I’d have told everyone I was going to be when I grew up. David Fairchild was the first of a select group that had that title with the now defunct Office of Seed and Plant Introduction at the US Department of Agriculture. They introduced over 200,000 species and varieties of plants to the US from 1898 to about 1930.

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February 2020 Book Review “Freedom Farmers”

Review of the 2018 book, Freedom Farmers, by Dr. Monica M. White

“Agricultural Resistance and the Black Freedom Movement” is the subtitle to the book and if the concept of agriculture as a resistance movement doesn’t pique your interest, you should read it to learn more about the history of the intersection of agriculture and Black freedom in the United States. She gives depth to important historical figures, particularly the work of Fannie Lou Hamer, George Washington Carver, W.E.B. DuBois, and Booker T. Washington as well as to the much-underappreciated Black cooperative movement, which continues today.

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