By Monte & Laura Bledsoe | November 18, 2011
On the evening of October 21, 2011 as guests were arriving for the first ever “Farm to Fork Dinner” at Quail Hollow Farm, Southern Nevada Health Inspector Mary Oakes under orders from Supervisor Susan LeBay, formerly a pool inspector in 2005, showed up as well and ultimately ordered the Bledsoes to pour bleach on the delectable local meats and vegetables skillfully prepared by Chef Gio of Nora’s Italian Cuisine in Las Vegas.
Below is a message from farmers Monte and Laura Bledsoe. View videos of the incident at the online gallery: www.reallyvegasphoto.com/Events/CSA-Farm-Government-Inspection
As guests were arriving, a local health district employee showed up demanding that the Bledsoes throw out all of the food prepared for their first ever “Farm to Fork Dinner” on their Quail Hollow Farm. They were ordered to pour bleach on the discarded food to prevent it being fed even to their pigs. Photo Credit: Becca Butcher
Dear Fellow Farmers, Countrymen, and CSA Members:
Being American, it hurts us to write these words: If we want the choice to choose to eat real food, we are going to have to fight for it.
We are Monte and Laura Bledsoe of Quail Hollow Farm in Overton, Nevada–a small, organic, sustainable CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm that feeds over 100 families in Southern Nevada. In addition to our CSA, we also serve two farmers markets each week and provide hands-on training and teaching to interns and WWOOFer’s (World Wide Organization of Organic Farmers) who want to learn the skills of organic farming so that they, in turn, can run their own organic farms in the future.
Recently on our farm we invited over 100 guests to celebrate the bounty of the harvest with a 5-course dinner on the farm with food provided directly from the farm to their fork. While our guests were arriving a local health district employee arrived and deemed all of our food unfit and threatened police action against ourselves and our guests if we did not only throw out all of the food; but to make it even unfit to feed our pigs, we were ordered to pour bleach on it. The health district justified this with several reasons that are all arguable but one. The meat that was provided did not come from a government-approved source.
That we are limited to purchase, supply and even to consume only government-approved (USDA certified) meats that have co-mingled with countless other animals from countless other farms carrying countless numbers of contaminants is absolutely absurd! That we are not only unable to provide these foods to an educated public but are not able to make that choice for ourselves is absolutely despotic!
This incident as well as innumerable incidents like this throughout our “free” country is a call to action!
If the heavy-handedness of our government officials concerns you please take the following actions:
- Share this information and the videos with all those who you know. Get them involved.
- Know your county, state and federal laws.
- Call your local, state and national representatives and tell them how you feel about the government intrusion into your personal food choices.
- Eat & buy local! Support your local farmers and local economy by attending farmers markets and/or joining a local CSA (visit www.localharvest.org). Patronize stores and restaurants that use these local sources. Your dollar has more clout with Congress than your vote does!
- Join the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund ( www.farmtoconsumer.org). The Fund is fighting for both farmers and consumers throughout the United States to preserve our food choices.
We want to personally thank each one of you for your interest in providing and consuming local, organic, sustainable food. It is important not only for the health and well being of our families, but for our communities and nation as well. Join us in this “Food Fight” to save one of our most basic freedoms!
“God bless us everyone!” (says Tiny Tim in Charles Dickens’ “Christmas Carol”)
Monte and Laura Bledsoe
owners Quail Hollow Farm
October 26, 2011
PLEASE Support Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund and read “Farm to Fork Fiasco” posted at www.farmtoconsumer.org/quail-hollow-farm-dinner/
Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund is SAVING our small farms and MAKING it possible for you to buy food directly from your grower you know and trust. Every dollar helps! Thank you.