BEHIND-THE-SCENES: “Where The Food Comes From” S1, Ep.6-7
The “Dog Days” of summer is such an interesting phrase. But what exactly does it mean? It refers to the hottest and most humid days of the summer. The Farmer’s Almanac tells us it begins July 3rd and ends August 11th. The term conjures up images of sitting on a front porch sipping lemonade, sweet tea, or your beverage of choice. But, alas, this was not the case. Instead, “Where The Food Comes From” spent the first week of August in the beautiful sweetpotato fields of North Carolina. (Yes, it’s one word — look it up!)
SO THE JOURNEY BEGINS!
Our first visit was to Leggett Farms in Nash County, N.C. In addition to growing sweetpotatoes, the Leggetts grow tobacco, cotton, soybeans, peanuts and strawberries. What an assortment! The interviews with Brent and Sue Leggett were great, but it was the interviews with the boys that really hit home. The first interview with 10-year-old Carter, the younger of the two boys, took place in the sweetpotato field (which I am still tempted to spell as two words – please don’t tell our friend Michelle Grainger, the executive director of the North Carolina SweetPotato Commission!).
OFF TO NASH PRODUCE!
Next up is Nash Produce -- located in Nashville, N.C., it is a pretty big operation. Nash Farms is a grower-owned co-operative that represents 15 or so NC sweetpotato farmers. You see the interviews with CEO Thomas Joyner in the television show. But the highlight was filming the NC sweetpotato commercial featuring Rebecca Scott, Marketing Director for Nash Produce. Rebecca, at the time of filming, was very pregnant and wearing a cute gingham dress. In my opinion (don’t forget I am from the Northeast) she looked like the epitome of a country girl!
OUR JOURNEY CONTINUES – HELLO JONES FAMILY FARMS!
What can I say about the Joneses (of Jones Family Farm)? They are one terrific family with so many personalities. We met the head of the family Jim Jones first. He is a quiet man, but one I would not want to mess around with when it comes to all aspects of farming and beyond the farm. His interview was in the sweetpotato field. When Jim finally let Chip pull out a sweetpotato plant I was shocked to see how many are actually on one plant!
FINALLY, OUR LAST STOP – SCOTT FARMS!
Scott Farms in Lucama, N.C., is a sixth-generation farm going back to the 1800s. That is pretty impressive — I don’t even know where my people were that far back. I guess I can hit ancestory.com, but Chip keeps me too busy for that. I digress. Our interviews took place in the office of the packing house. Through the office window, I was stunned to see how clean the packinghouse was and that it was air-conditioned!