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People and Places Sunday, Jan. 19

Rowan Retired School Personnel

At the January 15 meeting of Rowan Retired School Personnel, clothes were collected for the clients of the Rowan Vocational Workshop. The group heard a presentation on beginning teachers in Rowan Salisbury Schools from their mentor, Mrs. Mary Ponds. Attendees also enjoyed a soup luncheon for $5, with all proceeds going to the Scholarship Fund.

 

Kneeling Gardeners club news
KANNAPOLIS — The Kneeling Gardeners met at Trinity United Methodist Church, 416 East First St., for their November meeting. Guest speaker was Dr. Penelope Perkins-Veazie from NCSU’s department of horticulture where she heads the research on post-harvest physiology and technology for fruits and vegetables.

Her research involves storage methods to extend the shelf life, and to determine fruit and vegetable roles in human health, storage technologies to enhance functional food compounds, and the identification and quantification of health-related compounds in fruits and vegetables and from production systems. She evaluates for safety, quality and consumer-appeal characteristics such as flavor, color, antioxidants and texture to make sure growers will have better quality fruits and vegetables for high-value markets.
Dr. Perkins explained what organic production is. It is the systemic approach to farming that is focused on integration of cultural biological, mechanical practices to foster cycling of resources to promote ecological balance for plants and livestock. The General Rule of Thumb is that it must be of natural origin rather than synthetic (i.e. fertilizers, some pesticides). Certified organic means that rules and paperwork have been met and inspected by an auditor. We were allowed to do a little testing on our own with blueberries. Organic vs. Conventional. Dr. Perkins brought blueberries for us to taste for the actual sugar content. She had us come forward and use little zip-loc bags with 2 or 3 blueberries for each type of blueberry, mash them up in the bag to make a puree to put in the machines. This was very engaging for the audience. When it comes to quality and flavor, organic is not always better than conventional.

Organic does not mean pesticide free, only that approved pesticides for use on organic have been used. It is better to vary our diet and know that the supplier is trustworthy and possibly buy reduced pesticides if organic is outside your budget. The website https://www.theproducenerd.com covers how to select produce, how to take care of it in easy to follow language. The value of organic production is usually 1.5 to 3 times more than conventional and makes up 5.4% of the marketplace. Most popular are fruits and vegetables. In the United States the organic sector of the market shows a 2% gain per year.
The next meeting is 7 p.m. Jan. 27 with Mary Bradford from Tropic Exotic Bird Refuge.

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