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Agriculture

See also: New Ideas in Agriculture | Series: A Year on the Farm | Series: Farmers Under 40 | Series: Hispanic Farm Workers
Igor Cordeiro, Brazil, and Dan Kent take a break outside the cucumbers high tunnel. Photo: David Sommerstein.
Igor Cordeiro, Brazil, and Dan Kent take a break outside the cucumbers high tunnel. Photo: David Sommerstein.

A mini United Nations on a St. Lawrence County farm

The last time we checked in with organic vegetable farmer, Dan Kent, it was April, and there was still three feet of snow on the ground. Dan predicted he'd have to plant two weeks to a month late, and he was spot on.

"Even our highest and driest fields were muddy weeks beyond the time when we expected them to be in a condition that we could work and plant,"Dan says. "So, for some crops we were only two weeks late. For others, we were a month late."

It's finally full-on summer. And this week is a big one for Kent Family Growers. They're shipping out the first produce to their approximately 120 CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) members. The deliveries start with spinach, zucchini, and strawberries. "That's always a really, really nice way to kick off the harvesting, with those really sweet red orbs."

Another thing came late this year. The Kent's three foreign workers had to change their flights a week later because of the late start.

This year, David Sommerstein is reporting regularly from Dan and Megan Kent's in the town of Lisbon. In today's episode of A Year on the Farm, this little organic vegetable farm in St. Lawrence County becomes a mini United Nations.  Go to full article
Corn field. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/planmygreen/2675568751/">Rastoney</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

New York is central in genetically modified-food label debate

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Agricultural, food and beverage companies are spending millions of dollars to defeat legislation to require labels on food containing genetically modified crops in New York, highlighting the state's pivotal role in debates about what Americans should know about the products they consume.

Supporters argue people should know if food contains GMO ingredients. Opponents say GMOs are safe and that labels will increase prices while unnecessarily frightening consumers.  Go to full article
Ubu Ale: an artisan brew from Lake Placid Craft Brewing. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/sabine01/3875859563/">Tricia G.</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

NY announces boost for hops research, wine tasting

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) New York is giving sales tax exemptions for winery tastings and funding for hops and malting barley research.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday $350,000 will be dedicated to research on key brewing ingredients to help specialists understand different varieties that work best for the state's agriculture.  Go to full article
Some of the 19th century graffiti on the walls of the schoolhouse under restoration in Madrid, NY.  Photo: Todd Moe

Madrid: If old schoolhouse walls could talk

Traditional farming will be on display in Madrid this weekend. Antique farm implements, an old sawmill, draft horses and steam power are all part of the annual Antique Gas...  Go to full article
A driverless tractor. Photo: <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Driverless_tractor#mediaviewer/File:Case_IH_745_XL,_Claas-M%C3%A4hdrescher.jpg">Lifetec18</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Robots are coming to North Country farms

A Potsdam-based startup company called Agbotic is working on machines that can till soil, plant seeds, and even kill pests without a human operator. The company plans on...  Go to full article
The 2014 Dairy Princess Jennifer King and her court. Photo: Natalie Dignam

What dairy princesses love about their work

People from all over St. Lawrence County gathered in Canton last weekend to celebrate the 50th annual Dairy Festival.

On Saturday, the village park filled up with...  Go to full article
Governor Cuomo at the new Taste NY store. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/governorandrewcuomo/14382217604/">Office of the Governor</a>

Cuomo cuts ribbon on new Taste NY Market

LAGRANGE, N.Y. (AP) There's a new market on the Taconic State Parkway that features products from around the state.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo visited the new Taste NY...  Go to full article
Some of the action at Friday night's Dairy Princess block dance. Photo: Nora Flaherty

Were you at the Dairy Princess block dance? We were!

This year St. Lawrence County celebrated the 50th anniversary of its Dairy Princess tradition. Traditionally, the parade and festival are on Saturday, but by Friday noon...  Go to full article
The food council and people who addressed it hope to draw more consumers to places like the pavilion at the Watertown farmers market. Photo: Joanna Richards

In the quest for local food, plenty of roadblocks

A state panel that reports to Governor Cuomo on the obstacles to getting healthy food on people's plates met in Potsdam Wednesday. The New York State Council on Food Policy...  Go to full article
Photo: David Sommerstein

NY dairy farms will get surprise inspections from OSHA

Workplace safety rules are about to get a little stricter on New York dairy farms. There's an ongoing, national debate about workplace safety on farms, which are exempt from...  Go to full article

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