By Jacob Bembry
Greene Publishing, Inc.
It’s unknown at this time if it was a downburst or a tornado that was responsible for knocking down trees and damaging property in the northeastern sector of the county on Wednesday evening. It is known that there was a lot of hail. Some have even estimated up to five inches of the icy pellets.
“I don’t know how many inches there was,” said Jeanine Albritton, “but my whole yard looked like snow.”
Jeanine said that right before the hailstorm hit, it had been very quiet. Then the hail began pelting everything.
“The wind was so forceful,” she said. “It was blowing the hail around and it was hitting my house like little pellets.”
A number of trees were reported down at Hickory Grove United Methodist Church, as well as trees down around Cactus Street. Corn had also been blown over on Cactus. A trampoline had been blown away and wrapped around a tree on property near Joe D. Agner’s property in the area.
Doug Finney, a volunteer with the Pinetta Volunteer Fire Department, had cut trees to clear people out in the Hickory Grove area. He said that Mike Littleton had measured five inches of hail at the back of his patio.
Littleton could not be reached by phone at press time.
Finney said that there had been no severe weather warning and that he’d had no bad weather at his home in Madison.
Terry Barrs, from Tri-County Electric, and his crew had worked to restore power to folks in the area affected by the storm.
Finney said that at the time volunteers with Pinetta had left that they had been able to clear the property of everyone that dispatch knew about.
Archive for June 2011
By Jacob Bembry
By Ginger Jarvis
Madison residents may have to travel to Greenville or Lee for their July 4 fireworks fix. Then again, maybe they’ll be able to ooh and ahh by Lake Francis as usual. The project is in the wind, waiting for the nod from the city attorney; it was put on hold by the city commissioners at their regular meeting on June 14.
The problem arose from a statement by the interim director of the Chamber of Commerce, Cindy Vees, who told the board that the Chamber could not afford to hire a commerical fireworks company. For a cost of $12,000-15,000, the company would provide a 20-minute show pre-loaded so that no person would have to touch the fireworks. The fee would increase by about 15 per cent for insurance. “So soon after Down Home Days, we cannot go to our businesses and ask them to contribute for this,” Vees said.
City Manager Harold Emrich said that Johnson and Johnson has volunteered to purchase the fireworks at wholesale cost, which would require persons to load the pipes and set off the fireworks manually. Fire Chief Alfred Martin said that none of his firefighters are certified to do that. However, that still left the question of liability insurance.
Emrich suggested that City Attorney Clay Schnitker check the possibility of liability insurance wtih the person in charge of the fireworks show in Lee, since that policy may also cover the show in Madison. He said the the city policy would not cover any injury incurred during the show should an accident occur.
Vees said that if the show is permitted, the Chamber will promote it and do what they can to assist. Martin added that the Fire Department will have a truck on hand and will assist with other preparations. Emrich said that city employees would set up bleachers, close off the road, and provide security.
With those understandings, Commissioner Rayne Cooks moved that the show go on if the insurance is provided by some entity other than the city. Commissioner Judy Townsend seconded the motion, and it was passed unanimously.
Lovers of fireworks will have to wait to find out whether Madison will continue its July 4 tradition or if they’ll have to enjoy a display elsewhere.
The Florida A&M University Ag. Discovery camp were visitors in Madison on Tuesday, June 14, and enjoyed a delicious meal at O’Neal’s Country Buffet. The campers are mostly high school students attending 4-H summer camp at FAMU. Ray Mobley, pictured at the far left on the back row, was the leader for the camp. Mobley, who is a veterinarian and associate administrator of the Cooperative Extension Program at FAMU, grew up in Madison.
June 20, 1941
Miss Vivian Lanier and Mr. John Marshall Green, to wed.
Henry Ford established the first of his famous village industries has just passed another milestone.
$11,000,000 bomber parts factory is 9th major ford defense project.
Boys trained in Michigan Industry help to put China back on her feet.
June 15, 1951
Miss Jennie Wadsworth retires from teaching after 32 years.
Mr. Glosson Sheffield has just completed gathering 62,000 lbs. of Black Rye Seed from Northwest of town.
Mable Serena O’Steen announce her engagement to Joseph Harold King.
Lee Wallard, winner of the 500-mile Indianapolis race receives a model and the keys of the Chrysler New Yorker convertible that paced the “500” start.
June 16, 1961
The Valdosta Southern railway depot is being torn down this week where the lumber will be taken to Clyattville for repairs.
Not growing corn in 1961 will bring approximately $135,000 of free-flowing federal funds into Madison County.
D.C. Williams was shot in the arm and stomach. He went to the hospital for surgery and was also charged with charges with a total bond of $6,750.
Miss Robbie Louise Cruce to Lt. Curtis D. Earp, Jr. will wed June 18, 1961.
June 18, 1971
Warrant officer John L. Studstill was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism.
Randle Odom grew an extra large tomato in his garden that weighed 1 lb.!
Beverly Elaine Franklin and Robin Ftizgerald Reid announce their wedding.
The Madison County Recreation Center is planning to open their swimming pool on Saturday.
By Lynette Norris
Greene Publishing, Inc.
In the age of corporately owned mega-farms, CSA (Community Sponsored Agriculture) is helping small farmers compete in a very large playing field.
The practice of community sponsored agriculture started in Japan, a country with limited land and few resources. However, people still wanted to eat healthy diets, so they made deals with nearby farmers, sponsoring crops and trading work hours for a share in the harvest.
The practice made its way to the United States in the 1980s, and Wynn Heritage Farm was the first in Madison County to adopt the practice. Melvin “Mel” Wynn operates the 49-acre farm, which his parents, Jack and Velma Wynn, purchased in 1949. The “baby” of six children, Wynn now runs the farm with the help of Roxy and Daisy, two reddish-brown boxers whose official jobs are as “greeters” during the day and “varmint control” during the night.
“I have to plant enough for the possums and the raccoons, too,” he jokes. He has tried trapping them, but they become “trap-wise and trap-shy.”
They’ve never learned how to handle the dogs, however. If Roxy or Daisy finds them, “they’re up a tree.” Deer are another problem, he says, pointing to a set of deer tracks near a field.
Wynn credits his success to his family members, who support his endeavor with use of tractors and other farm equipment, but the most credit by far goes to his number one helper and right-hand man, Larry Morris, who can fix anything that needs to be fixed and do anything that needs to be done. If not for him, says Wynn, “Most of what gets done around here wouldn’t get done at all.”
Wynn enjoys his work, and left 30 years in the jewelry business to come back to farming. He and Morris have a favorite saying that “what we do should be illegal because it’s so much fun.”
The members who buy into his community sponsored farming either purchase a share for cash at the beginning of the planting cycle, or put in work hours at the farm, or both. In return, the members receive one box a week of six to eight different items during lean times, and up to 14 during times of plenty. The popularity of what he does has grown so much that he has tripled his membership in the last year. If he triples a couple more times, his farm will be maxed out. “It’s hard to do what I do on a large scale,” he says. Most CSA farms have an average membership of about 100, although he has heard of farms with membership numbers in the thousands.
This helps not only the community but the farmer as well. Wynn doesn’t have to borrow money for buying seeds and plants at the beginning of the plant cycle and he doesn’t have to guess how much to plant or how much he thinks he might be able to sell. He knows how many members he is growing for. Any extra he has, he sells to the public, but if supplies are limited by unforeseen things like droughts, members will get theirs first. “I treat all of them like family.”
Like a family, they share in the good times and the bad times. Sometimes a harvest will fail, or not be as abundant as usual, because Wynn cannot control nature. This year, the cantaloupes failed because of the drought (last year they thrived because the rains were “absolutely perfect”) and even with irrigation, some of the corn is suffering. The watermelons are half the size they usually are, “but they’re super-sweet.”
He will also make “u-pick” arrangements with members of the public in addition to selling at the market. All they need to do is contact him. Also, if anyone donates a piece of equipment that he can actually use on the farm, they become members of the CSA.
The list of things he grows on his farm is a long one; as he says himself, “there’s not much I don’t grow.” He has several acres of vegetable gardens spread out everywhere, growing broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, four or five kinds of lettuce, onions, sweet and hot peppers, tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, pole beans, wax beans, butter beans, zipper cream peas, black-eyed peas, purple hull peas, three varieties of purple eggplant, white eggplant, okra, mustard, turnips, Brussels sprouts, cantaloupe, honeydew, kohlrabi….
He also grows fields of sweet corn and field corn, which must be planted at least 500 feet apart to avoid cross-pollination of the two varieties; that would mar the taste of the sweet corn.
Additionally, he doesn’t plant the entire crop all at once, but over several weeks, so he can make the harvest last longer for members. It is a constant chore to maintain the plants at different ages, requiring a constant switching out of plows to accommodate the different sized plants. It is a marvel that he can keep up with all of it, but he does.
He tries to incorporate as many organic practices as possible into his farming; but his farm is more what he calls “transitional;” not completely organic because sometimes the bugs have to be sprayed, but he uses the safest spray he can find. He also enlists the help of purple martins to control the insect population, and each year he tries to incorporate a few more organic growing techniques if he thinks they might be feasible.
If anyone else wants to start up a CSA, he’ll be glad to answer any questions and give them any helpful information they might need in the process. “We’re not in competition with each other,” because the goal is sustainability.
As he drives around in a cart pointing out the spread-out gardens over multiple acres, he admits that the work is hard, but still he hopes that this will soon be a full-time endeavor, as he gradually reduces the amount of time he spends running his lawn-care service on the side. “I love it,” he says, looking over the fields of peas, peppers and corn. “I just got tired of living my life at 550 miles an hour. I love the quiet, the peace, the solitude of God’s world.”
To learn more about Wynn Heritage Farms, visit the website at www.localharvest.org/wynns-heritage-farm-M32301, or contact Mel Wynn at (850) 973-2729.
Shortly after 3:00 AM on Thursday, June 16, 2011 residents
on the east side of the city of Madison were jolted out of bed
by very large lightning bolts. A tree on Park Loop was set
ablaze by the electical show and fire was all the way up and
down the 70 foot tree located just a few feet from the wooden
deck of the vacant home. Fortunately alert neighbors and a
quick response from Madison Fire/Rescue prevented the fire
from spreading to the house. Madison city Police also responded
to the scene. About an hour after the strike brief heavy rains
help lessen the possibility of a flare-up later. Madison received
.64 of an inch of rain by 4:45 AM.