A Challenge To Food Blog South Attendees

Today is the day -- more than 125 foodies are gathering at Birmingham's Woodrow Hall for the first ever FoodBlogSouth Conference. I'm honored to be a part of this groundbreaking event, which brings together foodies, bloggers, restaurant owners, and our community.

I have no doubt that great ideas are going to be born today. Major kudos to Shaun Chavis and Jason Horn, who put together this event on their own and grew it beyond even their dreams. 

Before I get ready to head to Woodrow Hall, I'm throwing out a challenge to attendees. Today The Birmingham News featured a story about a North Alabama farmer whose business has been virtually destroyed by the recent ice storm. An excerpt:

"When a crash woke farmer Rod Palmer at 5:20 a.m. on a snowy Jan. 10, he knew exactly what the sound was -- his six greenhouses were collapsing to the ground. So was his livelihood. 
'It was the same feeling I had when my daddy died,' he said. 'Every time I think about it I want to puke.'

Those greenhouses, almost the entirety of his Gadsen farm, Owl's Hollow Farm, did more than sustain the 31 types of produce growing in them -- they provided his income. His troubles are now causing a ripple effect on Birmingham-area restaurants that depend on his organic vegetables and herbs."

According to the story, he lost his crop of 12,600 lettuce heads, more than $200,000 of equipment, and essentially, his livelihood. His produce supplies Birmingham farmer's markets, like Pepper Place, and several restaurants,  including Betolla, Little Savanna, Cafe Dupont and Ocean.

So, here's my challenge to the smart people gathered today at Woodrow Hall, and our foodies friends:

How can we help this farmer? What can we do with our blogs, our brains, and our ingenuity to help this person in need?

Leave your thoughts, pass it along, and let's start talking about reaching out to him today.