- Pollinators in peril: A new UN study predicts 40 percent of invertebrate pollinators are at risk for extinction, threatening nearly 90 percent of the plants that rely on bees and butterflies for pollination. Read more here.
- Where’s the beef? A coalition of U.S. farmworkers is calling for a boycott of Wendy’s to urge the restaurant chain to pay an extra penny per pound of tomatoes to supplement farmworker pay. Read more here.
- Red wigglers: N.C. State’s world-renowned worm expert Rhonda Sherman is gearing up for the 17th annual vermicomposting conference, which draws participants from across the globe. Read more here.
- Family business: Debbie Roos profiles Melinda Fitzgerald, owner of Pittsboro’s Country Farm & Home supply store, which won the CFSA’s 2015 Business of the Year Award. Read more here.
- #food: Grist reports on a study using Instagram to map food deserts. Read more here.
Food of the week: collards
Sadly, we may have missed Collard-Stealing Night this year. According to the NC Folklife Institute, recreational collard stealing used to be a regular occurrence in the Pender County region throughout the winter months, but especially in early January:
On Collard-Stealing Night, Burgaw residents would sneak into each other’s collard patches after dark, and cut down a few plants. They would then tiptoe onto neighbors’ porches, where they would pile or strew the leaves, before ringing the doorbell or knocking on the door, and fleeing. In a 1985 article about the tradition in the Raleigh News & Observer, Burgaw native D. Vann Harrell, Jr., described the ideal collards for the job. “You want big ones,”he said. “Ones the size of foot tubs, ones that have a lot of manure on ‘em. The stinkier the better.”
The author notes “Collard-Stealing Night was looked forward to by young people with the same kind of fervor as Halloween is today.”
Read the full article here.