Top In the Field blog posts of 2009

by | Jan 6, 2010

Since we started the In the Field blog in March 2009, we’ve had a great time bringing you stories and insight on agriculture in North Carolina and the people who serve the industry. As 2010 begins, we thought we’d take a look at the top five posts that received the most views on the blog since its start. From peach recipes to gourmet cooking contests to social media interviews, we certainly had a wide array of information that we hope served you.

Check out each post and a short blurb, or access the post in its entirety by clicking on its title.

5. Agriculture and social media: Q&A with Sue Colucci

Why did you start your blog? I started WNC Vegetable and Small Fruits News to highlight and document the problems I encounter in the field. I want to report these problems to educate my growers and other agriculture educators, but also for myself. I figure if I document a problem in August of 2008, there is a good chance I might see that problem again in August of 2009. My goal is to take high-quality pictures of diseases, insects and abiotic plant disorders to educate growers and other extension agents on problems they might see in the field.  …

4. Keepin’ it rural: How agriculture uses social media

Coleman, the company behind those iconic green camping stoves, lanterns and other camping gear, recently launched its “Original Social Networking Site” ad campaign. In the commercials, old home movies shot around campsites play while the narrator talks about the times before Facebook and Twitter. To some, a world without social networking sites is a lot like those home movies – calm. For others, social media are growing necessities to connect with people around virtual campsites, and 8mm film is replaced by smart phone videos uploaded to YouTube. The agriculture industry can embrace social media as a way to open new lines of communication with growers, distributors and consumers. Social media also gives local farmers and specialty food producers an opportunity to compete with larger farms around the country. …

3. Winning Peach Day dessert contest recipes

Peach Day at the State Farmers Market was a huge hit, and we have the winning dessert contest recipes to prove it. In the adult category, Raleigh’s Judy Easterly took top honors for her Fresh Peaches and Cream Pie; Wake Forest’s Alice McFadden won second place for her Creamy Peach Walnut Tart; and Adena Syfrett’s Peach Cobbler recipe took home third place. In the children’s category, Chloe McFadden won with her Yummy Sugar Cookie Peach Pie.

2. Judge for yourself: Best Dish in NC contest judging begins

The finalists in this year’s Best Dish in NC restaurant contest were recently named and have been posted to the Best Dish Web site. I recently scrolled through the pictures of the dishes in the Fine and Casual dining categories and thought to myself, “wow, I want to be a judge.” I even mentioned it to NCDA&CS marketing specialist/contest coordinator, Matt Tunnell. His response was a dreamy, “If I got a dollar for everyone who said they want to be a judge…”

1. Fresh North Carolina strawberries in November?

If there is a fruit that seems to kick off spring, it’s strawberries. Appearing quickly and making a short, tantalizing run in production, strawberries herald the colorful and tasty buffet that is to follow – peaches, watermelon, tomatoes, etc. Luckily, research under way at the Piedmont Research Station in Salisbury may greatly extend the timetable for locally grown strawberries. The station has harvested strawberries for the past 26 weeks and has a goal of keeping plants in production for 40 weeks total. In comparison, an average strawberry plant typically produces six to seven weeks before warm temperatures halt production.