Farmer’s markets become more popular

I’ve mentioned before in previous blogs about sites like LocalHarvest ,http://www.localharvest.org/, that can be researched online to find a farm near you selling goods you may want to buy. Take a look and see all the kinds of things offered. Some places ship goods, or you can search by zipcode for a farm or market near you.  The usual things like milk, eggs, beef, lamb, chicken, or the unusual like honey and lavendar are waiting to be enjoyed.  The economy and uncertainty of where some of our food comes from makes it even more necessary to see what is homegrown in your state or nearby town. 

Sign up for a CSA (community supported agriculture) offered by a farm near you.  For a small fee they will sign you up as a customer; once they fill their quota of customers they will close the sign up for the year or season.  They have to make sure they have enough goods for their customers so they won’t have so many they can’t fill orders. 

Right now people are ordering their holiday turkeys.  See where the nearest pumpkin farm is.  Who is marketing fall vegetables.  Need compost?  Look no further.  How about handmade soaps or fragrances?  The list of services is endless.  Some take their products to a weekly farmer’s market.  The popularity of farmer’s markets means you should find one near you most weekends.   Take a look and enjoy food and goods from your community.

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Hurricane Ike

Well, Ike was a huge  storm that impacted several states.  It was a huge storm that stayed together and traveled up from the Gulf and north through Texas then northeast from Texas into Arkansas, Missouri,  and into Illinois and Ohio.  The devastation is massive.

The state of Texas did a great job of coordinating evacuations and all went smoothly.  They are rescuing those who stayed behind as well as rescuing the livestock that are stranded.  Those who stayed behind say they will never stay behind again when an evacuation order is given.  One neighborhood had 14 houses on fire.  Sometimes it’s what the storm triggers that creates destruction as well, like fallen trees killing people, electric lines down all around, gas leaks, etc. 

Here is info from an e-mail alert I am on for livestock and animal rescue, to report dead or stranded animals or to call for hay or shelter.  Several states are giving assistance in the rescue and shelter.  Please call the numbers below for assistance. Dialing 2-1-1 will find you help also.

UPDATE
Texas Animal Health Commission
Box l2966 * Austin, Texas 78711 * (800) 550-8242 * FAX (512) 719-0719
Bob Hillman, DVM * Executive Director
For info, contact Carla Everett, information officer, at 1-800-550-8242, ext. 710, or
ceverett@tahc.state.tx.us
 
Hurricane Ike– September 15, 2008
 
Animal response to Hurricane Ike continues to be a team effort, as the issues are much larger than the resources of any one agency or association.  The TAHC statewide has worked with the livestock industry to establish sites for emergency shelters, and with local governments, agencies and associations to develop animal issues committees.
 
+ The Texas Animal Health Commission continues is supporting the disaster district committees in the affected area with persons who have animal and livestock expertise.  The agency has established a small area command in the Austin headquarters, and is one 30+ agencies in the Governor’s Division of Emergency Management.
The TAHC’s Area Command can be reached at 800-550-8242, ext 296.
 
+ At the request of the TAHC, members of a National Veterinary Response Team (NVRT) are now being deployed by the federal government to assist in Texas recovery operations.  Animal response teams from both Florida and New Mexico have volunteered to provide assistance to Texas via the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) system and are awaiting final authorization.
 
+ A joint TAHC and USDA Veterinary Services team is working in the Beaumont area, assessing large animal issues from the air and ground.  The scope of livestock death loss is not yet known.  Another team will be assessing the western side of the storm area, when re-entry is allowed.
 
+ The Texas State Animal Resource Team (TXSART), supported by the Texas Veterinary Medical Association, is working in the area with credentialed animal care groups. 
A TXSART hotline for Orange and Jefferson County has been set up at:  409-980-7280 and 409-838-2510.
 
+ In several storm-ravaged counties, large numbers of cattle and horses caught in the storm surge either died or fences are down, and animals are loose or stranded.  The TAHC is coordinating carcass disposal with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and the National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).  Reports of dead livestock should be made to the TAHC’s Area Command Center  at 800-550-8242, ext 296. Callers will be asked to provide the location, species of animal, approximate number, and if, possible, the GPS coordinates of the site.
 
+ The Texas Agrilife Extension, Texas Department of Agriculture and livestock industry groups which have established “Operation No Fences: Hurricane Ike Horse and Cattle Relief” to collect feed,  hay and water troughs to provide the livestock with safe feed and water. 
For more information or to make a donation, call the Texas 4H Foundation at 979-845-1213.
 
+ Producers who wish to donate hay or are in need of hay are encouraged to call the
Texas Department of Agriculture’s Hay Hotline at 1-877-429-1998.
Visit
www.tda.state.tx.us/hayhotline for more information.
 
+ Many of the emergency animal shelters for large and small animals remain operational, and livestock producers continue to generously volunteer their pastures and barns for evacuees. 
Evacuees who need to locate sheltering space should call 2-1-1.
 

Early information from shelters providing reports indicate that more 550 livestock and about 1,200 small animals were provided refuge.  This does not include persons sheltering their pets in their temporary housing, or individuals providing sheltering space.  The TAHC has sourced pet cages from Louisiana to augment the local sheltering capacity.