State senators agree that more records should be released when North Carolina farms are investigated for environmental violations, a change from their initial recommendation last week. Ag legislation approved unanimously Thursday by the full Senate makes complaints and investigatory records at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources about alleged violations confidential, but an approved floor amendment says the documents become public records if DENR determines a violation occurred.
Watermelon Field Day coming up at Edisto
A Watermelon Field Day is scheduled for the Edisto Research & Education Center in Blackville on July 19th. Registration gets underway at 8:00 am. The first session will cover SC Watermelon Board activities, disease management, high tunnel production and a weather update, with field tours to follow. Lunch is included, and CCA and Pesticide license credits are available. To learn more call 803-284-3343 ext 221.
USDA Funding to make Energy Efficiency Improvements
The deadline is fast approaching to submit an application to get USDA loans and grants for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in rural areas. Rural Development Administrator Lilian Salerno gives of an example of a funded energy efficiency improvement project.
Dig Into Local Restaurant Promotion Coming Soon
Diners in eight Piedmont counties can enjoy special, locally sourced menu items at 42 participating restaurants as part of the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ “Dig into Local” Restaurant Week July 14-23.
Participating restaurants will feature specially designed menus that will showcase at least four North Carolina-inspired items and at least one North Carolina wine. Ingredients with a North Carolina connection will be identified on the menus.
Consumer demand for locally sourced food, whether it’s from a home garden, farmers market, grocery store or restaurant, continues to grow. A recent study released from the National Restaurant Association reports that the top two culinary trends for 2014 are locally sourced meats and seafood, and locally grown produce.