Erin Brethauer

Fighting Mud & Flood

Posted in Farming in the Blood, North Carolina by erinbrethauer on June 20, 2009


Jeremy Sizemore of Cane Creek Valley Organic Farms is having some pretty long days with all the storms moving through Western North Carolina. Because parts of his fields are uneven, little reservoirs of water are gathering in between rows of tomato plants threatening to either drown the plants or spread disease. Jeremy and two farm workers spent all day Thursday making little drainage ditches by hand to ease the flooding.

From Reporter John Boyle:

He and his wife, Amanda, fought through nine inches of rain in May, a record, and so far this week they’ve seen torrential downpours of two inches and one inch. Both of those rains came in less than two hours.

“For us, it makes things worse,” Jeremy Sizemore said. “Anytime it’s a wet season, it makes everything, disease-wise, 10 times worse. Organic growers would rather grow in a drought.”

This is part of a bigger series on farming in Western North Carolina. Reporter John Boyle and I are following three farms through a growing season.

Donut Eating Contest #5

Posted in Friends, North Carolina by erinbrethauer on June 18, 2009

delaney wins

Delaney (center, in the white shirt) won the donut eating contest this year to everyone’s amazement.   My b-day and National Donut Day fall in the same week (once both were on the same day) so this is the 5th Donut Eating Contest I put on in celebration.  It was memorable, as usual, and one of the most fun because the contest was based on speed instead of quantity.  So, only a few people were nauseated instead of everyone!  More room for beer!

There were 12 people who participated.  The winner of the face-off advanced to the next round and the donuts got progressively harder to eat (and watch).  Round 1 was Krispy Kreme, Round 2 Dunkin Donuts frosted…all the way up to Jelly filled in the final round.  The cake donut round was the most disturbing to watch…so heavy.

I printed out brackets so the spectators could place bets.  There were a surprising number of brackets that had *me* as the ultimate winner which is funny because I *never* win.  You would think after all these contests I would pick up some sort of strategy.  Not the case.

Delaney dismantled everyone.  This shot is my favorite because it’s the exact moment when everyone realized she won.  The crowd went crazy!  Her reward: a stomach ache, a place in donut history, and a slow clap when she left the party.

Hide and Seek

Posted in North Carolina, On Assignment by erinbrethauer on June 17, 2009


Anyone else heard of the game Camouflage? It’s like hide-n-seek except for kids who are training to be hunters. Kidding. One kid is the “predator” while the rest of the kids are mice or bunnies who have to hide in the forest. When the predator opens his eyes, he stands in one place and scans the forest for any moving prey. Anyone he sees is out and has to sit down. The last little bunny in the forest is the winner and predator for the next game. Here’s one little bunny hiding along a trail at the N.C. Arboretum. Not a bad spot.

Moments from the high school sporting world

Posted in North Carolina, On Assignment by erinbrethauer on June 2, 2009


After going through my May clips, I realized that I shot a lot more sports than usual (because I was working the late shift while my co-worker was furloughing). It was great! I forgot how much fun it is to be there for the little moments of celebration or defeat.

Northwest Cabarrus High School’s Jill Moore smiles after finishing the 1600 race against the clock. Her coaches Ann Gregson and Daniel Helms congratulate her after she finished in 5 minutes, 8 seconds which gave her team a point during the NCHSAA 3-A track meet Saturday in Greensboro, NC.