Monthly Archives: April 2015

Veggies and pesticides: know what you eat!

You will be very happy you and your family are eating Bee Branch Farm veggies, especially green beans, after learning more about the potential effects of pesticides on your health.

Recently, Consumer Reports released their Pesticides in Produce Report.  I am hopeful that with this respected mainstream publication sharing their well-researched findings that more people will educate themselves on what they are consuming and how it affects their health, as well as how the specific farming practices being utilized affect the health of the farm workers, community and environment.

Director of Consumer Safety and Sustainability, Dr. Urvashi Rangan, discusses an overview of this report in this interview on WNYC.  It is worth a listen, but for the detailed information, I suggest reading the report and downloading the free full scientific report with risk guide.

We all have to weigh our options and make choices based upon our values and means.  I believe the first step in being able to make the best choice possible is by educating ourselves.   First, the report reinforces the health benefits of eating your veggies, even if you can’t choose the lower pesticide risk organics.  However, given the choice, vegetables grown using organic methods without synthetic pesticides reduce your risk of exposure to harmful pesticides.  This is especially pertinent if you are pregnant or have children; the young are more susceptible in their development.  If you need to weigh and choose which veggies you can select organic vs. conventional, then the report provides a risk guide to help you assess where best to invest your organic dollars.   You will see that they recommend always buying organically grown green beans and peppers because of the high risk rating.  You can enjoy all the Bee Branch Farm peppers and green beans you want with a smile on your face!

Definitely, eat your veggies and fruit.  Know your farmers and their farming practices.  Educate yourself.  Make the best informed decisions you can for your family, your community and the sustainability of farming and the environment.

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Visit to Horne Creek Living Historical Farm and Getting There

Glenn and I enjoyed traveling the rural back roads of North Carolina for a couple of days earlier this week.  We meandered from Morganton to Wilkesboro, with a very useful stop at Brushy Mountain Bee Farm to stock up on jars and bee gear.  The place was buzzing with bee enthusiasts, their bee stories and exchange of experiences.

Then we selected a few vineyards on the Yadkin Valley Wine Trail to visit and sample their vintages.      One of our favorite stops was a visit to Olde Mill Winery and Vineyard, a family run and owned business.  Beautiful place, great people , good wine and a commitment to quality.

We had not made reservations, and asked at one of the wineries for a recommendation.  Chip, of Vintage Inn, happened to be there and let us know they had a room available, and the Inn’s guests who he was taking on a tour of the wineries, gave a glowing recommendation.  We loved it.  Chip and Sandy were great, and they are close friends with our own local Applewood B&B owners, Nancy and Larry.  Fun connections.

On our final day, we enjoyed several hours at the Horne Creek Living Historical Farm in Pinnacle, North Carolina.  Lisa Turney, the site manager, was extremely generous with her time and gave us a tour of the home and farm, providing us with thoughtful insights, history and answering our many questions.  It was interesting to learn more about a Piedmont farm in the early 1900’s and compare that to our mountain farms, everything from the difference in the tobacco process to seeing a fruit/vegetable drying shed for the first time.

They have also started a Southern Heritage Apple Orchard, which we plan to visit again.  We are currently enjoying the book by Creighton Lee Calhoun, Jr., Old Southern Apples:  A Comprehensive History and Description of Varieties for Collectors, Growers, and Fruit Enthusiasts.

I highly recommend a visit to the farm which can easily be combined with hiking and camping at nearby Pilot Mountain State Park.  This is situated on Hwy 52 just north of Winston-Salem.  At the most, it is 30 minutes from I40, but I, of course, recommend the more ambling back roads route with all of its fun discoveries along the way.