Angry Moms at SCC July 22, 6:30

“We are facing an obesity epidemic. This generation will be the first in the nations’ history to live shorter lives than those of their parents.” - Centers for Disease Control

Sustainable Sandhills Presents “Two Angry Moms”
Thursday, July 22nd 6:30-8:00 PM

Dempsey Student Center Sandhills Community College
Two Angry Moms shows not only what is wrong with school food; it offers strategies for overcoming roadblocks and getting healthy, good tasting, real food into school cafeterias. The movie explores the roles the federal government, corporate interests, school administration and parents play in feeding our country’s school kids. See what happens when fed-up moms start a grass-roots revolution!

Please stay after the film for a panel discussion with local school food experts.


SOS, July 29, Ft. Bragg's Environmental Stance, Sou. Pines


On July 29, Save Our Sandhills will host Alan Schultz to speak about Fort Bragg’s commitment to conservation and wildlife management. Fort Bragg, initially constructed in 1918 in order to fulfill an essential role in our national security, has also evolved into an outstanding natural resource for the North Carolina Sandhills. Fort Bragg’s and Camp Mackall’s 160,000 acres (they are managed as one) comprise only a fraction of the nation’s Department of Defense lands. Nevertheless, the Fort’s forest managers began a visionary program decades ago that has had profound implications for research involving the health of the longleaf pine ecosystem with its unique wildlife habitat.

Alan Schultz, currently Chief of the Fort Bragg Wildlife Branch, leads teams of biologists, conservation officers, and public use specialists as they collaborate with others to enhance and protect the Sandhills natural resources. Schultz’ academic training is in Wildlife Ecology and Management, and his career spans over 27 years in the southeast with specializations in wildlife ecology and management, ornithology, forestry, and public natural resource regulation and usage.

In all, Schultz’ varied experiences make him comfortable in addressing the issue of multiple land use in conservation. Fort Bragg’s multiple land use incorporates the following into a single management strategy: military training, conservation, forest products, prescribed fire, and the public use of natural resources. Some of this strategy evolved as a by-product of experience. For example, military training exercises occasionally produced small fires, and these fires mimicked the natural lightning strikes common in the Sandhills. This fire was found to be essential to both the flora and the fauna of the longleaf pine ecosystem.
Because of Fort Bragg’s focus on conservation management and its immense amount of acreage, it not only serves as an ecological laboratory, but also as a showcase for diverse habitats and their resultant diversity of species. Its combination of natural resource managers and military trainers working together helps humans, plants, and wildlife benefit from a unique symbiotic relationship.
Join us for an informative and interesting evening; refreshments will be served.  Thursday, July 29 at 7 PM in the Southern Pines Civic Club at the corner of Ashe and Pennsylvania.


Big News from CFSA (Carolina Farm Stewardship Assoc.)

Local Food to the Rescue: Joel Salatin Comes to North Carolina

by Fred Broadwell

CFSA was honored to host influential farmer and activist Joel Salatin as he visited Pittsboro, NC yesterday. Joel started his day with a brief stop by the CFSA office where staff filled him in on CFSA activities. Roland McReynolds then escorted Joel to Piedmont Biofuels and CFSA member Doug Jones' Biofarm, where Joel learned about Piedmont's biodiesel production and Doug Jones' season extension and variety trials work.
At 4 PM, a group of fifty CFSA farmer members and friends gathered at Cohen Farm for a CFSA member exclusive pasture walk with Joel. Cohen Farm, owned by CFSA members Murray and Esta Cohen, is a longstanding organic farm with 40 head of beef cattle, pastured hogs, heritage chickens and organic hay production. While standing in the middle of a gorgeous pasture, Joel enthralled the crowd with his provocative discussion of farm management, using the Cohen's farm as a case study. Joel described in detail his mob grazing techniques, putting 350 beef cattle in a small area with four foot tall grasses and moving them daily, on a six month rotation. "My neighbors think I'm nuts! But it works." Joel believes that the mob grazing forces the cows back into their natural behaviors -- they eat more aggressively lest their neighbor eats a plant first. "The cows don't just eat the ice cream and ignore the spinach." To Joel's pleasure, this has been leading to better plant biodiversity in the fields.
Following the herd, he deploys two chicken tractors with 800 birds each, commenting that it takes just as much time to handle a large flock as a small one. "We need to build in efficiencies on the farm." At a minimum, he recommends one chicken per cow to complete the mob gazing system.
When asked about liming and seeding, he said that he had never sown a seed or put out lime in thirty years. He said that proper grazing and letting the grass grow tall will build soft and rich soil; management is the key problem, not the soil ph. He's not opposed to some soil amendments and does purchase greensand, but doesn't see that as the place to start. Joel talked extensively about fencing and preferred to buy or lease land with no fencing in place since so often it is in the wrong place. "No straight fences!" he extolled. "Let the fencing follow natural pathways and good access points."
When the discussion moved to water, Joel suggested investing money in ponds and building them deeper and bigger to make a farm more drought tolerant. "We are stewards of the land and it is our duty to honor the land by making it resilient. Water is critical."
When asked about shade, Joel extolled the virtues of portable shade devices and described his equipment, joyrigged from old wagon chassis, piping and shade cloth. His equipment is made to withstand strong winds, which is important. One of his devices, he said, can provide shade for up to 100 head of cattle.
What about predators getting his chickens? For flock protection from ground predators, Joel strongly suggested well-trained guard dogs, whether exotic breeds or mutts. "Start them young." For aerial predators, he likes having a goose -- just one goose per flock has worked for him.
After the pasture walk on Wednesday evening, Joel spoke about food issues to an overflow crowd of 300 at Central Carolina Community College. He complimented the college on its sustainable farming program and new Natural Chef program (cosponsors of his visit.) Joel then gave an engaging hour-long talk on the perils of our industrial food system and how it is affecting our health, our communities and our rural landscape. When asked whether sustainable farming could feed the world, he brought up the events of the 1940s. Just when composting and a profound biological view of farming was emerging, World War II hit with its massive investment in bomb-making. Chemical fertilizers, cousins of bomb-making materials, received a massive subsidy from the government. It is just now that biological farming is finally catching up!
CFSA thanks Joel for visiting the Carolinas and appreciates the support of the NC Tobacco Trust Fund Commission, CCCC and an anonymous donor for making his visit possible. We also want to thank the Cohens for opening up their farm and Angelina's Kitchen for refreshments.