St. Patricks Day. As a young child, the only thing I knew about St. Patrick’s Day was that if I didn’t wear green to school, I was going to get the fire pinched out of me. All. Day. Long. Lesson learned. As I got older, I learned that green was and still is, NOT my color. I can put on a green shirt and my skin will respond in such a way that I could pass as a leprechaun myself. In college, I learned the celebratory act of drinking green beer, and lots of it. Never during these times in my life was food a part of the recognition and celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, nor was St. Patrick himself for that matter. As an adult, I have learned that food is, in fact, a fundamental part of the celebration. While corned beef and cabbage are thought to be an Irish tradition on St. Patrick’s Day...
The 21st Annual Georgia Organics Conference & ExpoOne of the largest of its kind in the Southeast
Employees from White Oak Pastures were proud to attend the 2018 Georgia Organics Conference in Tifton, GA the second weekend in February. Georgia Organics is a non-profit organization that champions organic agriculture and healthy families by empowering farmers to thrive, helping schools engage children in delicious and educational farm-to-school experiences, and making organic and local food accessible to all Georgians. White Oak Pastures has been a committed supporter of Georgia Organics for several years.
To Your Health Sprouted Flour is an organic, sprouted flour company located in Bullock County, Alabama. It was started in founder and president, Peggy Sutton's kitchen in 2005 for a few friends and family members. Peggy had researched the benefits of sprouted grains and the time-honored tradition of how our ancestors would harvest grains that had naturally sprouted in the fields. Whenever she began to explain the benefits of sprouting to family and friends, the response was always, "Can't you just do it for me?" And so she did! And that's how To Your Health began.
When you close your eyes and think of Mardi Gras, what do you envision? Perhaps the glamorous parades splitting the crowded streets as beads, trinkets, and doubloons are tossed from adorned participants on floats. Maybe you see the colors of purple, green and gold which signify justice, faith, and power. Some may view something dark or supernatural with images of voodoo, zombification and Papa Legba. Movies and TV shows such as Tremé, True Detective, and James Bond’s “Live and Let Die” have depicted both sides of the light-hearted and darkness of Mardi Gras.
When Dana St. Pierre offered his wife, Amy, a home remedy handed down from his German grandmother, Elisabet, I’m quite certain neither anticipated the path on which this would lead them. Amy can attest to the profound improvement in her overall health and energy levels. Because of that, she suggested they make a batch of their tonic for the 2010 Sire City Sanctuary Shindy, a Berkshires-based holiday artisans festival. Not only did Dana and Amy sell out of their tonic, they also had eager people showing up on their doorsteps wanting refills! Dana and Amy have taken an age-old family tonic and tweaked it to soothe the contemporary palate. Partnering with Amy’s brother, Brian, they created a company with the mission to promote an amazingly healthy lifestyle with Fire Cider.
When you think of February, you may think of Valentine’s Day, hearts, flowers, cherubs, and chocolate. But the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute also chose February as American Heart Month, to raise awareness of heart health, and urge Americans to lower their risks for developing heart disease.
White Oak Pastures recognizes the importance of American Heart Month and a healthy heart. After all, here on the farm, we are responsible for One Hundred Thousand Beating Hearts daily.
Employment opportunities in South Georgia can be challenging, but when Bobbie Lee Williams rode by White Oak Pastures, he was intrigued by the men and women driving tractors and by all of the animals. This was enough to entice him to seek employment on the farm. “The people here are friendly and everybody has made me feel welcomed. Everybody gets along with one another and helps each other out.”
Here in North America, we celebrate the rise of the New Year by staying up til midnight in our respective time zones to watch a lit shiny ball or, in one case, a Moon Pie drop from the sky. As the crowds' countdown to “1”, projectiles are shot in the air with the spectacle of colorful booming fireworks bursting against the black canvas of the midnight sky. The much-celebrated fireworks were first developed in Medieval China, which leads us to the topic of the Chinese New Year. February 4th sparks the celebration with reunion dinners with emphasis on creating thoughtful dishes to celebrate ancestors, much akin to how Southern families gather. 2019 celebrates the Year of the Pig with the distinction of the Earthly branch.
It is noted in some myths that the Jade Emperor held a race to an...
“I lost my father when I was eleven years old. All I ever had in my life was my mother, Teresa Huff, so that’s who keeps me going and motivated. She works at a financial company, and my step-dad runs a lawn and tree service. He was raising hogs, so I guess it grew on me.” That may be why Jamaal gravitated towards White Oak Pastures. “I liked to be around animals and wanted to learn techniques to raise them.” Jamaal works in our Poultry Production Department caring for our pasture-raised chickens and says, “White Oak Pastures is family.”
Mark Harrison grew up working on his “Grandpa’s” farm, as well as surrounding farms before his detour through another field - the field of real estate development. “After the crash in 2008, I returned to a simpler way of life and started farming again. I have been practicing regenerative farming and humanely raising animals for years.”
While working in the Mental Health field, Sarah Jordan was looking for a change of pace. “I always had farming in the back of my mind, and when my partner moved to southwest Georgia, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to do that. White Oak Pastures was, for me, the opportunity to learn how to farm. I came here as an intern in August 2017. Soon after, I was hired in the organic garden department,” where Sarah has recently been promoted to manager!
“My days revolve around leading my team in growing healthy vegetables and healing the land in the process. This means we do everything from planting seeds to harvesting crops, preparing new plots for planting, to weeding and tending to established crops. We see the vegetables through, from the time they are planted until they are packaged...
White Oak Pastures has been a proud member of Georgia Organics for over a decade now, and has supported and attended this conference each year. This year, we are excited Will Harris was asked to speak as the keynote speaker for the 21st Annual Georgia Organics Conference in Tifton, Georgia. Harris, the owner of White Oak Pastures, was also the recipient of the 19th Annual Georgia Organics Land Steward Award. This award honors an individual who has contributed significantly to the organic movement in Georgia; on the farm through environmentally friendly production and off the farm through leadership, education, and outreach. Georgia Organics Board Member and farmer Joe Reynolds, who presented Will with the award, stated, “Will Harris has the...