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Each week it gets better and better. Lilies and daisies, beans and peppers. There is so much variety in the gardens of our region. Your growing techniques range from precise, vigorous vegetable gardens to slightly wild and whimsical flower beds,...
  From my garden perch in DeKalb, and from looking through all of the photos you’ve been sending in, it appears that we’re having a banner growing year. Good mix of rain and sunshine. Of course, there are bugs and deer to challenge...
So why didn’t the zucchini cross the road? He didn’t want to become squash! Yes, indeed it’s time for squash jokes. Calabacin, cousa, courgette, cymling, cuccuzza, curcubita pepo, scallop, vegetable marrow, butterbar, crookneck,...
  Seems to me the weather has been cooperating nicely with gardening goals: a fairly balanced mix of sun and rain. And, it shows in your photographs of gardens from across the region. The collection today takes us from a school garden in Long...
This corn was nicely mounded and will recover from the wind. Last summer, a severe storm drove through my garden when the corn was about 10 days out from picking. We lost some but salvaged 75% by building a stick and rope lattice system down each...


Agriculture
Aug 20, 2014 — The EPA wants to "clarify" the scope of its oversight of water under the Clean Water Act. Big farm groups like the American Farm Bureau Federation call this a power grab that would place every ditch and mud puddle under federal regulation, forcing farmers to get permits for small trenches around the farm.
Aug 20, 2014 — The bread that Jules and Helen Rabin have made in their fieldstone oven for four decades has a cult following in central Vermont. But this may be the last summer they sell it at the farmers market.
Aug 12, 2014 — Studies warn that climate change will threaten corn production in coming decades. Meanwhile, farmers are experimenting with new planting methods in hopes of slowing soil erosion from torrential rains.
Aug 6, 2014 — The most contentious issue in Tuesday's Missouri primary was the "right to farm" amendment. It is meant to protect farmers and ranchers from state laws that would change or outlaw current practices.
Jul 14, 2014 — Some rookie farmers in northern Michigan are growing saskatoon, a shrub that looks like blueberry. They're also experimenting with it in the kitchen — in jams and pies.
 

Special Reports

Audio Series
Farm to Farm, Family to Family: David Sommerstein travels with NC dairy farmers to a Mexican village many of their migrant workers call home.
Audio Series
A Year on the Farm
In this monthly feature series, David Sommerstein follows life in the barn, on the fields, and in the farmhouse through the changing seasons on the Andrews dairy farm near Gouverneur NY. This series won the 2006 "Cap" Creal Journalism Award from the New York Agricultural Society.
Audio Series
Hispanic Workers on North Country Farms
Five years ago, just a handful of farmers in the North Country employed Hispanic workers. Now many use workers from Latin America. The transition can be a bumpy one, for farmers and for the people they hire. David Sommerstein tells their stories in this ongoing series.
Beekeeper
Audio Slideshow:
Beekeepers facing new challenges
Lucy Martin visits with Ontario beekeeper Terry McEvoy and talks about colony collapse disorder and other apiary ailments that raise concerns about the food supply.
Audio Slideshow
Sights & Sounds of the Dairy Princess Parade
We go to the sidelines of one of the big events on the annual dairy calendar, the St. Lawrence County Dairy Princess Parade in Canton. Fire engines, tractors, and floats rolled down Main Street on Saturday.
Audio Series
Diversifying North Country Farms
NCPR reporter David Sommestein's series on diversifying North Country farming won the 2003 “Cap” Creal Journalism Award from the New York State Agricultural Society.
Photo Audio Essay
Dairy Farming in the North Country
The time seemed right to look at the challenges facing dairy in the North Country. In part 1 we look at the price of milk, as seen through the eyes of one mid-size dairy farmer. In part 2 we visit a cheese manufacturer proposing drastic changes in the way North Country farmers do business. David Sommerstein reports.
Audio Slideshow
A Barn-Raising in Upper Jay (Real 6:23)
These days, most new barns are built quickly with steel frames and sheet-metal siding. But some landowners are taking a little more time, using methods and materials passed down over hundreds of years.
Photo Audio Essay
Saving New York's Historic Barns
Some of New York's oldest barns are getting facelifts. Todd Moe visited a Canton family's 1820 English threshing barn slated for restoration.

School Connects Kids to Healthy Eating

American kids are overweight. Nutritionists say one major reason is that kids are eating too much junk food, and not enough fresh produce. A government pilot program is trying to get kids to eat more locally-grown fruits and vegetables in school by giving them out for free. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Rebecca Williams visited a school where the experiment is underway.  Go to full article
Are soybeans a promising future for farmers like Bill Brewer?

Can Soybeans Take Root on North Country Farms?

Facing rock-bottom milk prices and mounting debt, dairy farmers are looking for other ways to stay in business. An extra field of hay or corn could help pay the bills in tight times.

Soybeans have been trumpeted as a promising alternative. In part two of our series on diversifying North Country agriculture, David Sommerstein reports soybeans will never be the staple crop they are in the Midwest, but they could be a part of a mix that redefines farming's future in the region.  Go to full article

Call-in Special: The Crisis in North Country Dairy Farming

NCPR news has focused special coverage this week on the crisis in the dairy industry. Martha Foley was joined by NY Assemblyman Darrel Aubertine from Cape Vincent, a farmer and former dairyman, and Pete Barney from St. Lawrence County Co-operative Extension, to discuss the stakes and the stakeholders, and to take calls from listeners.  Go to full article
Dave Fishel catches up with his former cows.

Diversifying the Dairy Industry

The North Country dairy industry is facing some of its bleakest times in memory this summer. Farmers are going deeper into debt and working jobs off the farm. The main...  Go to full article

Low Milk Prices Take Their Toll

David Sommerstein talks with Judy Aldrich, chair of the St. Lawrence County Agriculture and Farmland Protection Board, about factors contributing to the struggling dairy...  Go to full article

Low Sperm Count Linked to Pesticides?

A study last year found that men living in rural areas have lower sperm counts than their urban counterparts. Now, researchers say they?ve found a possible reason for the...  Go to full article

Sights & Sounds of the Dairy Princess Parade

June is National Dairy Month. We go to the sidelines of one of the big events on the annual dairy calendar, the St. Lawrence County Dairy Princess Parade in Canton. Fire...  Go to full article
Assemblyman Darrel Aubertine

Aubertine Touts Bills to Protect Real Milk

North Country Assemblyman Darrel Aubertine says two bills passed out of committee that he says would protect dairy farmers from powdered milk substitutes called milk protein...  Go to full article

New Ag Program Helps Farmers Cope with Environmental Concerns

New York's agricultural producers are getting some financial help to improve conservation practices on their land. The Environmental Quality Incentives Program, or EQIP, is...  Go to full article
State Senator Jim Wright

Agriculture Bill Passes State Senate

A bill to extend Empire Zone tax credits and incentives to agricultural cooperatives passed in the state Senate Monday. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

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