Grist for the Mill

October 28, 2015
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As I write this, a large swath of our state is still cleaning up from a devastating 1000-year flood.

It’s been weeks already since the waters crested, but it’s still difficult to truly grasp what that means. The skies are clear here, autumn in full and brilliant swing. We’re working on our holiday issue. We are looking ahead.

But recovery is still ongoing. Follow this thread: a girlfriend in Columbia texts to say her boiled water advisory has been lifted. If the drinking water is contaminated, consider the state of the water that flooded the fields. And the strength of it—a phrase from a New York Times article about the aftermath: “The peanuts had already floated away to a neighbor’s farm.” Direct crop losses might exceed 300 million dollars, according to the SC Department of Agriculture, not only peanuts and other fall vegetables, but cotton, one of our most important economic crops. Feed supplies were lost. Logging roads destroyed. Imagine the scope of the losses that follow these.

And so in this season of thankfulness, we’re remembering our farmers, our friends and neighbors who need our help. As the picture of the damage continues to develop, edible Upcountry is committed to keeping our readers here in the Upstate informed about how to best help restore our local food system. Right now, it takes time to organize. We talked to Sara Clow of GrowFood Carolina, the state’s first local food hub, based in Charleston. She told us how much the calls and questions about support are appreciated, but too, support is something that needs to be sustained for seasons to come. For farmers, the worst impact of disaster often manifests one or two years later, when losses have time to settle in, after attention has turned elsewhere. “The most important support we can offer,” says Sara, “is to buy local every day we can, always.”

Time is such a significant element of the growing season.

And we know we can count on our community in times like these.

Ashley Warlick, Editor

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