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FDA Visits Peregrine Farm

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Photos and text by Debbie Roos, Agricultural Extension Agent.

September 28, 2009

The NC Fresh Produce Safety Task Force hosted the Food & Drug Administration in Raleigh for a Small Farm Produce Safety Listening Session on Monday, September 28, 2009. Senior advisors and policy experts from both the FDA and the USDA listened to a panel of North Carolina small farmers as they shared their thoughts and concerns about impending produce safety legislation.

After the listening session, the FDA and USDA folks visited two area small farms: Peregrine Farm and McAdams Farm.

Click here to see WRAL coverage of the listening session and farm visit.

Group at packing shed

Farmer Alex Hitt (center, in cap) talks about postharvest handling at the Peregrine Farm packing shed.

Group by the greenhouse

Alex discusses production techniques next to their greenhouse.

In front of mobile high tunnels

Alex describes their mobile high tunnel system and discusses the crucial role of cover crops on the farm.

Alex and his wife Betsy also raise pastured turkeys for the Thanksgiving market. The turkey manure provides valuable nutrients and organic matter for the soil. The FDA advisors were interested to learn how Alex and Betsy rotate the turkeys through their produce fields. They have detailed crop rotation plans that ensure that vegetables are harvested no sooner than 120 days after the manure has been incorporated into the soil and decomposed.

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