Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group          |          February 2018
Photo by Debbie Noble.
Growing Corpus Christi Bayfront and Good Food
By Aislynn Campbell, Grow Local South Texas

South Texas is a USDA-designated "Food Desert," defined as "a part of the country vapid of fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthful whole foods ... . This is largely due to a lack of grocery stores, farmers' markets, and healthy food providers."

The average South Texas resident lives in closer proximity to a convenience store, fast food restaurant and liquor store than a grocery store with a healthful produce section. Per capita, Corpus Christi has more fast food restaurants than any city in the country.

It's Not the Food Deserts: It's the Inequality 

A new study suggests that America's great nutritional divide goes deeper than the problem of food access within cities.

By Richard Florida
Too many Americans are overweight and eat unhealthy food, a problem that falls disproportionately on poor and low-income people. For many urbanists, the main culprit has long been "food deserts"--disadvantaged neighborhoods that are underserved by quality grocery stores, and where people's nutritional options are limited to cheaper, high-calorie, and less nutritious food.
But a new study by economists at New York University, Stanford University, and the University of Chicago adds more evidence to the argument that food deserts alone are not to blame for the eating habits of people in low-income neighborhoods. The biggest difference in what we eat comes not from where we live per se, but from deeper, more fundamental differences in income and, especially, in education and nutritional knowledge, which shape our eating habits and in turn impact our health.
Scientists Verify Elderberry Beats the Flu, Prevents Colds and Strengthens Immunity

European black elderberry (Sambucus nigra) is a large plant that is commonly found across Europe, central and western Asia, and northern Africa, with subspecies all over North America. There are several different species of elderberry. The berries and flowers are used medicinally and are loaded with antioxidants, quercetin, rutin and anthocyanins (a type of flavonoid that acts as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory). 

Hippocrates referred to the elder tree as his "medicine chest."  Elderberry has been used for centuries as a medicinal in European folk medicine and by indigenous tribes to boost the immune system or as a general health tonic. 

If you are looking for a specialty crop, consider the elderberry. You can offer value-added products at your market in the form of juice, tea, wine and jam. Other places to sell your crop are through a regional cooperative or national distributor. 

Food Justice Requires Land Justice

By Monica White

The food justice movement is one of the most promising political developments of the last generation. It has broadened and deepened environmentalism by knitting together concerns about economic inequality, labor rights, environmental health, and sustainable agriculture. But what often goes unmentioned in discussions of food justice is that it all begins with the land-who owns it, how they own it, and how it gets passed down from one generation to the next. This is something Savi Horne never forgets: food justice requires land justice.
As executive director of the Land Loss Prevention Project , Horne helps use the power of the law to keep African Americans farmers in North Carolina from losing their land to indebtedness, legal challenges, and gentrification, while offering technical support for farmers to make their enterprises economically viable and environmentally sustainable.

North Carolina Itinerary:
Trout Farm to Table

Authentic Appalachian experiences are happening daily in Haywood County. With 46 of the most scenic miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and an established elk population, there is always something to see. It's time to gather in the North Carolina Smokies. The farm-to-table experience in Haywood County covers everything from locally raised trout and roasted coffee to handcrafted soda and distilled spirits. 

We Need Your Conference Feedback!

What were your favorite sessions? What topics do you want to see at future conferences? We have set up this online survey, as a quick and easy way for you to give us your feedback. Once you complete the  conference evaluation form, be sure to fill in your name to be entered into a drawing for ONE FREE 2019 General Conference Registration.  Only one entry per participant. Prize is non-transferrable. The deadline for entry into the free registration is midnight on February 21st. 

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Amanda C. Hodges
Welcome to Our New Outreach and Development Director, Amanda Hodges

Southern SAWG is pleased to announce Amanda Hodges as our new Outreach and Development Director. Some of you may have already met her in Chattanooga. Amanda started work the week of our annual conference in January. She pitched right in, helping make the conference a big success. Amanda brings a special combination of skills and experience to the position, as well as a love for family farming in the South. We are thrilled to have her on the team.
Our Mission

Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group's mission is to empower and inspire farmers, individuals, and communities in the South to create an agricultural system that is ecologically sound, economically viable, socially just, and humane. Because sustainable solutions depend on the involvement of the entire community, Southern SAWG is committed to including all persons in the South without bias.
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