From Twitter this morning:
@mileycyrus my tweets were just on headline news- people twitter is NOT news! i just wanna live and learn
Miley, I am so with you. I too, just want to live and learn. Other than the fact you are 16 and have a few hundred million dollars in your bank account, we have a bunch in common. However, I must say my tweets have more than a little news value (if unrecognized by Headline News), and I find plenty of news from other people’s tweets.
This morning, Eurofruit had a tweet about the expanding availability of the Envy apple from New Zealand. Washington producers and growers in 11 other countries are growing the variety but won’t have significant commercial volume for several years.
What is the top fruit and vegetable news stories in the consumer media this morning? Check out this article from The New York Times (also tweeted by the NYT) on the “underground” fruit economy.
The story kind of reminds me of the “couchsurfing” phenomenon that I heard about last year from a young journalist in Honduras. If you must know, from the http://www.couchsurfing.org/, an explanation about couchsurfing:
CouchSurfing is a worldwide network for making connections between travelers and the local communities they visit.
TK: Well, the underground fruit economy operates on similar principles: Web sites that embrace the principle “You share what you’ve got and I’ll share what I’ve got.” Gee that sounds pretty un-American, if you ask me.Anyway, from the New York Times story about the underground fruit economy:
All over the country, the underground fruit economy is growing. At new Web sites like neighborhoodfruit.com and veggietrader.com, fruit seekers can find public mulberry patches in Pennsylvania and neighbors willing to trade blackberries in Oklahoma.
In Royal Oak, Mich., a woman investigated how to start a fruit exchange modeled after Fallen Fruit (fallenfruit.org), an arts group that designs maps of accessible fruit growing in Los Angeles neighborhoods.
In Alaska, cooks used Facebook to find willing donors of backyard rhubarb, the first dessert crop that grows after the long winter. In Columbia, S.C., university students pulled spare peaches from orchards and donated them to a local food bank.
Supporters of this movement hold two basic principles. One, it’s a shame to let fruit go to waste. And two, neighborhood fruit tastes best when it’s free.
“There have always been people harvesting fallen fruit,” Ms. Wadud said, “but there’s a whole new counterculture about gathering and eating public fruit. This tremendous resource is growing everywhere if people just start looking around.”
TK: Another Web story reminds us that the underground fruit economy may be all we have left if we keep piling on new costs on growers. From New York comes a story about growers who are concerned about a push by state lawmakers to saddle them with new labor regulations.
From the story in The Daily Gazette:
“Agriculture is not like owning a factory. You can’t just shut the lights off after 40 hours and go home,” said Kevin Bowman, whose Bowman Orchards has more than 50 years in Saratoga County. “Crops need to be picked when they need to be picked.”
Issue number one for New York farmers has quickly become the Farm workers Fair Labor Practices Act, state legislation that would give collective bargaining rights, overtime pay, workers’ compensation and unemployment benefits for farm workers.
“One of two things would happen — the price of stuff would have to go up, or we close the door,” said Keith Buhrmaster, president of Glenville-based, 200-acre Buhrmaster Farms.
Buhrmaster’s cost of labor would double and any hopes of expanding his farm would be dashed. The shortage of farm workers would become worse, he said.
“The men, they want to work the hours, that’s why they’re in the business. We would have to bring in more people and give everybody less hours,” Buhrmaster said. “That will upset the labor force and they’ll go somewhere else.”
Lobbyists for the New York Farm Bureau are actively opposing the bill, which passed the state Assembly Monday night by a vote of 86-58. The bill is now in the Rules Committee in the state Senate.
If the bill becomes law, Schenectady County Farm Bureau field adviser Klaus Busch believes it would destroy the local agriculture industry
TK: If lawmakers are truly enthralled with the concept of more local food, surely they will not enact a measure that will produce the opposite result.
Other honorable mention picks from the consumer media:
Home food preservation
Produce purchase benefit kids – a Publix fundraiser for children’s hospital
Reactions to Idaho Fry Company naming dispute