Episode 208   addthis

  The story of agriculture in America and those who work the land has often been told in song.  Jason Shoultz takes us to California to discover the farms, fields and honky tonks that form the roots of one branch of American country music.
Then America’s gulf coast is home to a hard working group of men and women who harvest the sea for shrimp. But damage from hurricanes and competition from foreign fisheries are challenging a way of life as old as the country itself.
    And the buzz on bees! They may be tiny, but they play a “big” role in American agriculture. Jennifer Quinonez says honeybees are under attack by a new predator and their survival affects many of the foods you eat every day.
    And Pat McConahay takes you to Tennessee where they’re harvesting a very different kind of crop in the waters of Birdsong Creek: small and precious freshwater pearls.

Music of the Land Music of the Land
Across the country on large and small farms, it’s country music that crops get planted by, get worked by and get harvested by. It came from the old world folk songs our earliest farmers knew. It’s music that grew up with America herself, among the mountains and valleys, the fields and ranches.


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Rough WatersRough Waters
When Hurricane Katrina roared into the Gulf of Mexico in 2005, the small fishing town of Delacroix, Louisiana was directly in its path. Lifetime resident Ricky Morales is a shrimp boat operator who thought that the storm would likely destroy all of the homes in this coastal town.


Tree Harvest Tree Harvest
Today, the Ellis family farm has grown to some 12 hundred acres and Elliott along with his sons Brad and Keith will harvest pecans from more than 14 thousand trees. Georgia grows and processes some 60 million pounds of pecans every year making it the number one pecan producer in the nation.


Not So SweetNot So Sweet
California Almond farmers grow 80% of the world’s almond supply and almost 100% of the United States almond crop- generating more than 1 point five billion dollars a year in revenue. But to pollinate trees and grow those almonds, you need bees, lots of bees!


Fresh Water FarmingFresh Water Farming
Washboard mussels which are native to the Tennessee Lake. These aren’t eating mussels, but used for producing freshwater pearls. The biggest and healthiest mollusks are implanted with a tiny piece of shell. That shell fragment acts as a seed, an irritant around which the mussel creates a pearl for protection.

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