Category Archives: Valdosta Farm Days

Valdosta Farm Days this morning at the historic Lowndes County Courthouse

9AM to 1PM today! Valdosta Main Street is even advertising Valdosta Farm Days in

Downtown Valdosta Farm Days, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Lowndes County Courthouse Square, 100 E. Central Ave., Valdosta. Features a farmers’ market, arts and crafts and educational information on eating local, nutrition and food choices. Event is the first and third Saturdays May through September. (229) 259-3577 or

That’s the same historic Lowndes County Courthouse of the Preservation Committee meetings: Continue reading

The Making Of Gretchen on WALB at Okra Paradise Farms 2014-04-02

Ever wonder what goes into the few seconds of video you see on TV news? As I promised reporter Colter Anstaetts when he interviewed Gretchen for WALB TV Friday May 2nd about Valdosta Farm Days (coming up again this Saturday 9AM to 1PM at the historic Lowndes County Courthouse in Valdosta), here’s The Making Of…, including birds singing, dogs rolling in the grass, Brown Dog frolicking and bouncing across, Yellow Dog prancing, red potatoes, and red, white, and blue corn at Okra Paradise Farms.

300x225 WALB report and camera, Gretchen and LAKE camera, in Valdosta Farm Days â??Gretchen on WALB, by John S. Quarterman, for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE), 2 May 2014 You can see both the WALB TV camera and the LAKE video camera in this picture.

After some initial discussion Continue reading

Valdosta Farm Days starts today

9AM to 1PM Valdosta Farm Days at the old Lowndes County Courthouse, first and third Saturdays, starting today.

City of Valdosta Pr 24 April 2014, Downtown Valdosta Welcomes Back Farm Days,

On market Saturdays, vendors offer a variety of goods for sale such as locally-grown, locally-raised, locally-produced fruits and vegetables, plants, herbs, meats, farm-fresh eggs and dairy products, organic produce, baked and prepared foods, snacks and coffee. Patrons will also find a variety of artisan and natural products including products made from recycled goods, birdhouses, handmade soaps and body products, candles, and honey products. Those who arrive early to shop have the advantage of beating the heat and getting the best picks of the season.

The market also serves as a venue to educate the community on healthy local options. Cooking demonstrations and Continue reading

So popular it’s every Saturday and a street is closed: Valdosta Farm Days

Demand has ramped up in only a few years so that already Valdosta Farm Days has expanded its days and pedestrianized a street.

City of Valdosta PR 15 May 2013, City Announces Road Closure for Downtown Valdosta Farm Days,

Valley Street In anticipation of the large number of vendors expected for the Downtown Valdosta Farm Days this Saturday, May 18, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., the City of Valdosta is announcing an expected road closure to help citizens plan their travel downtown.

Valley Street will be closed between N. Ashley and N. Patterson Streets, from 7 a.m. until approximately 2 p.m. Adequate traffic safety measures will be in place to alert the traveling public, as the closure will prohibit traffic traveling east and west on Valley Street during this time.

Farm Days takes place on the sidewalks around the historic courthouse in downtown Valdosta, on the first and third Saturday of every month, rain or shine, through the end of October. By popular demand, the market will take place every Saturday during the month of June.

Citizens are invited to enjoy the activities associated with the Downtown Valdosta Farm Days. For more information about Main Street events, contact the Main Street office at (229) 259-3577. For information about street closures, call the Engineering Department at (229) 259-3530.

There’s no mention of any of this on the Lowndes County Commission website.


Valdosta Farm Days begins today

9 AM to 1PM today at the historic Lowndes County Courthouse, 100 West Central Avenue, it’s Valdosta Farm Days, and every first and third Saturday from May through October.

Downtown Valdosta Farm Days

Come downtown to find the delicious taste of farm fresh food picked just for you, at Downtown Valdosta Farm Days! The market showcases locally sourced produce, food items, and arts and crafts from surrounding areas.

Come for the freshness and stay for the fun at Downtown Valdosta Farm Days!

We Accept EBT, CREDIT, and DEBIT!

DVFD on Facebook.

Gretchen with rosemary and Yellow Dog:

Continue reading

Back on the job in the park —Geraldine Houston @ LCC 2013-02-26

At the 26 Febuary 2013 Lowndes County Commission meeting, Geraldine Houston wanted to inform the Commission on behalf of George Page, director of Parks and Rec, that she was back on the job. She sells cakes, cookies, peanuts, etc. in the parks. She had previously had a contract to do that, but someone else had gotten the contract. The someone else moved to Alabama, and now Geraldine has the contract again. She also sells at Valdosta Farm Days.

Here’s the video:

Back on the job in the park —Geraldine Houston
Regular Session, Lowndes County Commission (LCC),
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE), Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 26 February 2013.



Wiregrass Alley for local agricultural knowledge-based jobs

What jobs and businesses can we build out of local agriculture and VSU and Wiregrass Tech and GMC and SGMC and Moody? Build like the way Silicon Valley grew out of Stanford and HP and Intel, but different, drawing on our local strengths? Various things, no doubt, but the companies the VDT listed in its agricultural heartland article suggest maybe Wiregrass Alley:

When you factor in businesses such as South Georgia Pecan, PCA, the Langdale Company, Shiloh Farms, Dupont, Arizona Chemical, ERCO Worldwide, Coggins Farms, Carter and Sons, and the additional farmers represented by Farmer Browns, the impact of agriculture in Lowndes County alone is one of the largest private, non-governmental industries. Across the region, ag and forestry sustain the economies of a number of counties.

Many of those are obviously agricultural, but Dupont, Arizona Chemical, and ERCO? OK, I’ll buy Arizona Chemical which turns pine products into adhesives and smells. But DuPont? Sure, they make chemical fertilizer, but that’s like listing Chevron as a home heating company.

And what’s this ERCO Worldwide, which provides chemicals like caustic soda for PCA? ERCO Worldwide’s other name hereabouts is Sterling Pulp Chemicals. That’s right, the VDT listed Sterling Chemicals as an agricultural company! Well, that’s hard to deny, because, according to FundingUniverse, Sterling Chemicals “was founded in 1986 to acquire and operate Monsanto Co.’s petrochemical plant in Texas City, Texas.” Nobody can say Monsanto isn’t agricultural, when 90+% of corn, soybeans, cotton, and peanuts grown hereabouts are grown from Monsanto seeds. Which is why we have so many chemical fertilizers and poisonous pesticides being used around here. Is that really the direction we want to go?

What if we turn the VDT’s list around, and start with the “additional farmers” represented by Farmer Brown and Carters? You know, the ones who sell at Valdosta Farm Days? Farmers markets have increased 6% on average for the past decade. Why is that? Partly because of the conversations and community at a farmers market. Anybody who has gone to Valdosta Farm Days or Hahira Farm Days can attest to that. And it’s not just anecdotal: there is research to demonstrate that in farmers markets compared to supermarkets:

On average, the sociologists found, people were having ten times as many conversations per visit.

Another reason farmers markets are spreading so fast is people are paying attention to the increasing number of scientific reports that “conventional” agriculture is poisoning us, such as the recent one that demonstrates that even the inert ingredients in Roundup are poisonous or the one that links the active ingredient, glyphosate, to Parkinson’s disease. Maybe they’ve heard about Monsanto being sued for “devastating birth defects” and chemical poisoning. And most farmers market customers seem to like fresh local foods that taste good and that support local farmers.

So what if we started with those “additional farmers” that sell at Farmer Brown and Carters and Valdosta Farm Days? They are the ones already starting in a different direction. A direction that is actually more profitable, in addition to healthier (and less flooding and more wildlife). Crop rotation takes more thought and more labor (more jobs!) than just spraying, but it also takes a lot less expense on patented seeds and chemicals, for a net financial profit.

Which could help explain why the USDA says:

Consumer demand for organically produced goods has shown double-digit growth for well over a decade, providing market incentives for U.S. farmers across a broad range of products.

The USDA is talking certified organic, which has so many hoops to jump through that most local producers are not certified, yet many also aren’t using a lot of chemical inputs and are using crop rotation and other organic techniques. Techniques which many old-timers around here will recognize, because they used to use them a half century ago, but with new wrinkles such as computerized records and recent research that may make them even more effective. That’s right: modern organic and local agriculture is a knowledge-based industry.

What has all this got to do with the colleges and SGMC and Moody? Moody could be a big customer for local agricultural produce, as could the local K-12 schools; VSU already is. Wiregrass Tech can (and already is) help teach people how to grow organic or with fewer manufactured inputs. VSU and GMC can study how that’s working out, in conjunction with SGMC, which eventually will have fewer cases of some kinds of diseases to deal with. How many cases, of what kinds of diseases? There’s a field of research we could lead, along with the agricultural industry to cause such improvements in health: healthy jobs from planting to PhDs!

And if we do want other kinds of knowledge-based businesses and workers (which is where Silicon Valley usually gets mentioned), I think we’ll find they like a place that produces local healthy foods.


Agriculture considered beneficial —VDT

The VDT’s first recent agriculture story started to connect the dots to building on local strengths to growing local knowledge-based jobs in Wiregrass Alley.

“Staff Writer” wrote for the VDT 14 November 2012, Valdosta-Lowndes: An agricultural heartland,

When the Valdosta Daily Times and its sister newspapers in Tifton, Thomasville, Cordele, Americus and Moultrie decided to launch an agriculture magazine in January 2011 to be distributed across South Georgia, it was unknown how it would be received.

Well, the first couple of issues were quarterly, and then due to overwhelming response and requests, it is now a bi-monthly publication going into its third year.

While Valdosta may not consider itself an agriculture community, we sometimes forget just how much acreage and economic benefit derives from the ag and forestry industries locally. With a farmgate value of $70 million and more than two thirds of our entire county taxable digest in agriculture and forestry use, Lowndes County remains dependent on this economic sector almost as much as the surrounding counties, which we consider far more rural than ours.

That’s great, and I congratulate the VDT. Their conclusion is also good as far as it goes, but it could go further:

Continue reading

Thumbs up for agriculture —VDT

The VDT continues to congratulate agriculture as a mainstay of the local economy. It’s amazing what a little investigative reporting can turn up! Now if the VDT would connect a few dots of local strengths and suggest how we could take a few tips from Silicon Valley on how to become the Wiregrass Alley of agricultural knowledge-based industry.

The VDT opined Friday, Thumbs up,

THUMBS UP: To the region’s farmers and people involved in the agricultural industry. While some may think agriculture is a thing of South Georgia’s past, a Times story revealed this week that Lowndes County’s farmgate has a $70 million value, making it one of the strongest private-sector industries after South Georgia Medical Center. Given the continued financial clout on the economy, we offer a green thumbs up.

The “some people” would presumably include the Chamber, which made it pretty clear it considers agriculture mostly good for paving over for a shopping mall.

The VDT story mentioned in the Thumbs Up was apparently not Kay Harris’ agriculture alive and well, rather another one of the same day. See next post.


Valdosta Farm Days grant

Received 12 October 2012 from Tim Carroll from Mara Register from Larry Hanson.

Lowndes County Partnership for Health The Lowndes County Partnership for Health has received a $96,858 grant from the USDA to continue to develop Farm Days Farmers Market, establish agricultural center that will serve the agri-science educational needs of area students and provide low cost fresh produce to primarily low income populations in our area. In addition this project will aggregate commodities from surrounding farms for distribution which will support economic development among area farmers. The grant will pay for a full time farm manager over two years, a portable vegetable stand to be used on a distribution route, travel cost associated with distribution route, and promotional and educational materials for Farm days and the agricultural center. City of Valdosta staff assisted in the effort in the preparation of the grant application. This project has grown out of the partnership between the City, the South Health District and the Partnership for Health with the Farm Days Farmers Market. The last market day for the year will be held on Saturday, October 20th.

Here’s the USDA’s paragraph on that award:

$96,858 to Lowndes County Partnership for Health, Inc., Valdosta, GA, for a community‐supported agricultural center that will serve as a food hub and educational center to increase access to affordable, nutritious, local food in low‐income food deserts in South Georgia by purchasing a mobile farmers market van, offering a series of workshops to train vendors, and establishing community gardens for resident use.

That’s good news! But please, can we not use this grant to move the location of Valdosta Farm Days? It’s got a great site right where it is, around the historic Lowndes County Courthouse.