Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

June 25, 2012

Organic farming reduces footprint

TAHLEQUAH — Barefoot Farm owners Johnny and Karen White discussed low-impact gardening and eating locally-grown food as part of the Tahlequah Public Library’s Living Green Series on Thursday.

Karen said her husband is the primary farmer, and she takes center stage to give public presentations of their experience of becoming a certified organic farmers. Karen gained public-speaking credentials as a part-time lecturer at Northeastern State University and dietitian with Cherokee Elder Care.

According to Barefoot Farm information listed on the Local Harvest website, the White’s certified-organic farm is an all-natural plantation that is an extension of their low-impact homestead, which is heated with a wood stove, said Karen. Barefoot Farm uses a single acre to produce a wide range of produce, free-range eggs, and dairy goats; as well as a few grass-fed cattle on adjoining land. The Rose-based farm got its name from the fact that the farmers are often barefooted when working.

“Organic is just a system that minimizes pesticide use, and it only allows certain ones that are usually made from plants and flowers and things like that,” she said. “They’re not usually broad-spectrum things that kill off little insects like lady bugs and things. And it helps build the soil to keep it fertile. You’re just trying to make a healthier plant and reduce pesticide use.”

Healthy, natural growing conditions and the benefits of buying and eating locally-produced food encompassed Thursday’s presentation of why those issues are important.

“It’s obviously fresher and that affects nutrition,” said Karen.

“The longer it’s off the plant, it loses nutrients. There are certain vitamins that are more susceptible to degradation over time, so [locally-grown] things are healthier and it keeps you in touch with the seasons. If you’re eating raspberries in January that are from the frozen section, they’re not from here. So you kind of lose appreciation for them. I guess it’s pronounced more when you’re eating those things from where you are only when they’re in season. When the strawberries come in and they’re local, they taste so much better than strawberries shipped in from somewhere on the continent over the winter.”

Eating locally-grown vegetables and fruit or land-grazed cattle also helps reduce the carbon footprint made by mass-food production and delivery.

“Most local producers, I think, are more sustainably minded and on a smaller scale,” she said. “When you have a lot of animals on a big feedlot, then you have a manure problem. It used to be, on a small farm, you could work manure into your garden and make it more fertile, but you’re potentially polluting water – like when we think of the chicken farms getting into the Illinois River from runoff from chicken manure and things like that. It’s in reducing your footprint so that your food doesn’t have to travel as far in terms of using a bunch of oil being trucked here and keeping your food dollars local.”

White said she anticipates food prices at grocery stores will continue to rise with the cost of oil production.

“When we have a local food system, we have alternatives, and I envision down the road that it’ll be cheaper to shop locally than to buy from the grocery store,” she said. “I’ve been thinking about when we go to the farmers’ market every week. After we finish selling I separate our funds, and this week I went grocery shopping with some of the money, and I was buying food for my family from money we got at the farmers’ market. I just love that idea. I hope you guys feel good about supporting my grocery shopping, but it’s kind of neat. It didn’t have to go through all of these different channels. We could just survive off of having these local businesses.”

The Whites invited those interested in learning more about organic farming and eating locally-grown food to visit them at Barefoot Farm, at 1689 N. 485 Road in Rose, or call (918) 479-4700.

Click here to get the entire Tahlequah Daily Press delivered everyday to your home or office. Code for E-EDITION TRIAL OR SUBSCRIBE Click here to get a free trial or to subscribe to the Tahlequah Daily Press electronic edition.

It's the ENTIRE newspaper (without the paper) for your computer, iPad or e-reader.

Text Only
Local News
  • sr-NSU-Earth-day.jpg NSU students observe Earth Day

    Students and members of the community converged on Northeastern State University’s Second Century Square on Tuesday to spend an afternoon celebrating Earth Day.
    The event featured tables sponsored by campus organizations, prizes and music by Chris Espinoza. NSU’s Earth Day theme was “Gather Here. Go Green,” and was organized by the Committee for Sustainability and the Northeastern Student Government Association (NSGA).

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • ts-smallholders-courtesy.jpg Rural smallholders host annual show

    More and more, many people are showing growing interest in learning the sources of their food, including meat. As such, interest in farm-to-table living is increasing.
    Saturday, the Rural Smallholders Association held its annual spring show at the Cherokee County Fairgrounds, promoting the farming of sheep and goats, along with giving the general public a sample of their products.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • pitts-hurley.jpg Wanted man nabbed during traffic stop

    Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies arrested a wanted man this week after a traffic stop near South Muskogee and Willis Road.
    Hurley D. Pitts, 40, was being sought by authorities on a motion to revoke a previous sentence.
    Sheriff’s Deputy Jarrick Snyder said he stopped a car after it ran off the road a couple of times. A woman was behind the wheel, and Pitts was sitting in the passenger seat.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • SR-Wikafile.jpg Communiversity Band performs Sunday

    Musicians from on and off the Northeastern State University campus have made their final preparations for an upcoming performance of the NSU Communiversity Band.
    The ensemble performs Sunday, April 27, at 7 p.m., in the NSU Center for the Performing Arts. The conductor is Dr. Norman Wika, associate professor of music and band program director. Guest conductor is student Kameron Parmain. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students and seniors.
    “Everything has come together very well this semester,” Wika said.
    “We have about 40 musicians, and everyone who started the rehearsals has stuck with it. This could be the best Community Band concert yet.”

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Council concerned over reports of land contamination

    Negotiations involving the purchase of nearly 20 homes on 7 acres of land near Basin Avenue hit a snag Monday night when concerns surfaced over potential contamination of the area.
    Tahlequah Mayor Jason Nichols had proposed the city purchase the homes and duplexes as a large step in a greenbelt project, which would establish a solid park and trail system from the downtown area to the site of the city’s old solid waste transfer station.
    Until Monday, details of the negotiations had been mostly discussed behind closed doors, though Nichols confirmed the list price for the property to be $480,000.

    April 23, 2014

  • Council tables cell tower permit apps

    Tahlequah city councilors on Monday opted to hold off on approval of two special-use permit applications that would help AT&T install a couple of 150-foot cell towers within the city.
    Branch Communications is asking for the permits as it attempts to construct two monopole cell towers – one on Commercial Road near Green Country Funeral Home, and another at the Tahlequah Public Schools bus barn on Pendleton Street. Other towers are being built outside of the city limits.
    Members of the city’s planning and zoning board gave their OK for both permits last month.

    April 23, 2014

  • SR-WalkaMile1.jpg Walk a Mile 2014

    Men squeezed into feminine footwear Saturday by the hundreds to walk in solidarity with women on the issue of sexual violence – and their clop-clop-clopping echoed down Muskogee Avenue.
    The fourth annual “Walk a Mile In Her Shoes” brought men to Norris Park, accompanied by their enthusiastic female supporters, to walk – and often wobble – in high heels over a mile-long course to raise funds for Help-In-Crisis.
    “It hurts every year,” said John Christie, a Sequoyah High School student participating in his third Walk a Mile. “I get home, sit down, blisters come up and the calves hurt. But it is worth it. It’s for a good cause.”

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • adams-christopher.jpg Michigan man gets 13 years on plea to rape, sodomy of girl

    A 28-year-old Michigan man will spend about 13 years in an Oklahoma state prison after pleading guilty to four counts of first-degree rape and one count of sodomy involving a 13-year-old girl.
    Christopher Dale Adams, of Lake Orion, Mich., received a 13-year prison sentence for each of the five charges, to be followed by seven years suspended. All sentences will run concurrently.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • logan-amy.jpg Police take down pair on pot distribution charge

    Tahlequah police officers arrested a pair Sunday night for allegedly possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute it.
    Tahlequah Officer Cody Warren said police were asked to investigate when 35-year-old Amy N. Logan, of Tahlequah, allegedly took a family member’s car without permission.
    While Warren was speaking with the owners of the vehicle, Logan arrived along with 26-year-old Theoplilus James Mollie, of Tulsa.

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • land-lisa.jpg Two nailed with meth, pot hidden in bag of chips

    Two people were arrested early Monday morning when Tahlequah police stopped a vehicle near Basin Avenue and found methamphetamine and marijuana hidden in a bag of chips.
    Tahlequah Officer Cory Keele said he noticed a Nissan heading north on Park Hill Road, and the vehicle later stopped in an intersection.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo


How confident are you that the immunizations for infants and children are reasonably safe?

Not at all confident.
Somewhat confident.
Relatively confident.
Extremely confident.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' Obama to Oso: We'll Be Here As Long As It Takes Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers