Food & Agriculture News: 6/8/23

Food & Agriculture News: 6/8/23

Atlanta chef Terry Koval wins 2023 James Beard Award - AJC 

Let’s gooooo!! Huge honor for a great chef and absolute gem of a human being. Chef Terry has been a friend of ours for many years and it’s awesome to see him recognized in such a big way. He has put his heart and soul into his restaurant The Deer and The Dove, a true family owned and operated restaurant. Congrats Terry, we love you! 

Peach state turns to citrus as invasive disease ravages Florida oranges - Savannah Now 

Our friends at Abundance Landscapes (formerly Thyme to Party) have been on this for a couple of years, selling citrus fruit trees at their annual fruit tree sale. As much as the “Georgia Peach” is a bit of a misnomer anyway (Carolina and California produce much more), it’s becoming more and more difficult to grow peaches here. 

Our mild winters don’t provide enough “chill hours” to help peaches grow, then sudden freezes in late spring kill off peach flowers that would otherwise turn into fruit. 

However, that’s no problem for citrus! Think lemons, limes, satsumas, grapefruit. They’re one of the fastest growing crops in Georgia. 

Unfortunately it’s not all good news. There’s a bug infecting more than 80% of citrus groves in Florida, decimating production. That bug will eventually hit Georgia. While there’s no stopping that from happening, UGA Extension is working on solutions to mitigate the problem and prevent widespread damage – something that’s much easier to do in new orchards rather than established operations. 

Robot farmers? Machines are crawling through America's fields. And some have lasers. - USA Today

As regular readers of this newsletter, you won’t be surprised by an article about robot farmers. This one is well worth reading. It’s truly fascinating what these machines are capable of doing and how much they can help farming operations – not just gigantic farms either. 

There are fears that these machines will replace farmworkers, which, frankly, is true for many professions these days. However, in this case, it will most likely replace farmworkers doing the most backbreaking brutal work possible, while creating new opportunities for jobs like managing and maintaining fleets of robot machines. 

Will there be fewer jobs? Most likely. Will those jobs be much better? Absolutely. 

Decatur creates new vendor program, adding food carts to city - WSB TV

Good initiative in Decatur to provide more support for food producers who don’t have brick and mortar stores. This follows on the heels of a years long battle with the state to make food trucks easier to operate in Georgia. 

With the high cost of rent and all the difficulty hiring food service workers, running a brick and mortar restaurant is becoming harder and harder. This will provide a small but meaningful opportunity for eight food cart operators in the near future. Applications are due June 20.

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