Natchez-Adams-Vidalia adopt government-sponsored recycling?
Issues of race needed to be sorted out.
Political hucksters aren’t wanted.
The Miss-Lou’s breaking news:
Historic Jefferson College embraces wild and crazy fiddling. Employment
stats are not as good as expected. Adams Supervisors will buy the Rentech
mill for $9 million.
The Advice Goddess:
Her boyfriend wanted to shock her. He
did. Too bad.
Terry Savage on money:
Student loans carry financial risks. Savage has
McAllister on health:
New research may an impact on the gun
Thomas Sowell thinking clearly:
Today’s political speech is more vehemence than reasoned argument.
Beware of the education
Tourists and pilgrims welcome:
The weather’s finally
turning into spring with temperatures in the 70s. It’s the perfect time to
visit the Miss-Lou.
Win cash or prizes!
Check to see if you won
our 20” BMX bike.
More good writing:
Bill O’Reilly and Peter
Rinaldi take no prisoners. See their commentaries
Mississippi’s greatest assets
by Charlie Mitchell
OK, it was tacky to notice — but I did. At a gospel singing to benefit
efforts to get more nutritious food into
a couple of the choir members were — and I have no room to talk — “over-nutreated.”
Plump. Too much fried chicken. Not enough raw veggies.
But that little factor should in no way overshadow (sorry)
the message, the effort.
As a resident of this town, I’m proud to have observed the
kindling of a trend. For whatever reason, people here are getting back to
their roots (including carrots and turnips).
a thriving community garden and at least three vegetable and fruit
cooperatives that are, from all appearances, becoming more commercially
successful every season. Local restaurants are also diving into the
farm-to-table movement, and patrons are increasingly shopping for local fare
when dining out or when visiting one of several farmers’ markets.
Longtime readers may remember previous gripes about living in
such a fertile locale and having so much food shipped in. I like to buy a
pineapple from Hawaii or a banana from Belize at the supermarket as much as
anybody, but it has never made sense to me why a pig that grew up in Utica
had to be shipped to seven or 15 states before returning as a package of
bacon for sale in the corner store. It has never made sense to me why we are
offered flash-frozen (and uninspected) catfish and shrimp from
there’s such bounty in Delta ponds and the
Gulf of Mexico.
Same for fruits and veggies.
I know, I know. Economies of scale. American workers want too
much money. The federal government has too many regulations. Blah, blah,
But even accepting all those factors, it has always been
incongruous so see so much open land devoted to so few food crops.
I think about a flight I once took on a clear day from
From the window I could see the
I took a nap. When I woke up, I looked out the window. We were still over
the desert. Sand, sand sand. Couldn’t grow a pea.
I was also in
There, 8 percent of the land is “arable.” That means 92 percent of the
entire area was not suited for producing food.
there are 11 million — 11 million! — arable acres available, almost 40
percent of the entire state.
have varying business models. For the most part, people are invited to
purchase “shares” of whatever the owners grow. Some offer “pick your own.”
Some offer front-door delivery. Individuals and families can combine,
depending on need. For an entire harvest season, the produce comes in. Some
also offer farm-fresh eggs and limited quantities of chicken, other meats
Restaurants can buy shares, too, or just purchase whatever
becomes available after individuals pick up their boxes. Then, innovative
chefs tailor their menus to what ripened that week.
This ancient style of doing business with neighbors is
ratcheted up to light speed by the Internet, with shareholders getting
regular emails and updates. “Ding, your squash is ready.” And, of course,
the owners willingly offer and share recipes keyed to the moment.
From over in the Delta, there are reports that more and more
people are returning to gardening, pursuing for pleasure and fitness
practices that shielded their grandparents from starvation.
It’s not a bad thing that the 1950s and 1960s happened.
Nothing wrong with plastic or mass packaging or microwaved meals. Nothing
wrong with warehouses or fleets of 18-wheelers shipping stuff coast-to-coast
and back again. But things had gotten out of balance.
initiative, at least on the surface, is about finding more ways to get more
locally grown items on school menus. That means navigating the maze of
nonsensical USDA rules and regulations. It may even mean restaffing school
kitchens with cooks because several have converted to 100 percent heat and
eat items (with the same nutritional content as the cardboard packaging).
We’re too fat. We don’t eat well. Our fate is in our hands.
This is the time of year when a $2 package of Kentucky Wonder
seeds will send shoots up a pole and yield enough green beans to feed a
family — excellently — for many months. We’re getting back to that.
It’s so great to see trends such as these blossom. (Sorry,
Mitchell is a Mississippi journalist. Write to him at Box 1, University, MS
38677, or e-mail