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  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...
Several converging experiences over the last week got me to thinking about the role predators play in the food chain and even, it turns out, on the shape of our landscape. It began with my hen house, led to the ridge at the top of my hay field, and...
News flash out of Seattle: the minimum wage has just been raised to $15/hour, by far the highest in the country. Indeed, it’s double or more the rate in Arkansas ($6.25) and about half the states,  almost triple the rate in Georgia and...
We’ve all seen the various charts floating around the interwebz showing which mega-corporations own which food brands. The one posted below came to me via Alex Hillsberg’s blog post which I highly recommend. The gist of his analysis:...


Agriculture
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.
Jul 1, 2014 — The University of California, Davis is the source of most commercial strawberries. Now, the university's strawberry breeders are going into business for themselves, and farmers are worried.
Jun 20, 2014 — Breweries have been providing farmers with free or discounted grain to feed their animals for centuries. But a proposed FDA rule intended to make food safer could disrupt that relationship.
Jun 9, 2014 — Water is scarce in California, and prices are all over the map. Some farmers are paying almost 100 times more than others. Should water flow to the highest bidder?
May 29, 2014 — As Oklahoma enters its fourth year of sustained drought, some farmers expect the harvest to be so bad they'll end up calling their insurance agents and declaring this year a total loss. StateImpact Oklahoma's Joe Wertz reports that some are calling this the worst drought since the '50s — or even since the Dust Bowl.
 

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.

Lake Placid Forum Draws Presidential Hopefuls

Organizers say four contenders for the Democratic party's presidential nomination will visit Lake Placid this week, for a two-day forum on rural issues. The event - which begins Friday evening - will include a banquet and a series of speakers, including top Democrats from New York state. Brian Mann has details.  Go to full article

Ag Coops May Benefit From Empire Development Zones

The State Senate is considering legislation that would extend benefits of Empire Development Zones to agricultural cooperatives. Dairy cooperatives are made up of farmers who pool their resources to be more competitive in the marketplace. The bill's sponsor, Senator Jim Wright, says when the Empire Zones were first established the agricultural industry didn't have a need for those types of benefits.  Go to full article
Brainstorming local answers for the economy

"Going Local": Promise & Challenge

Last week about a hundred community leaders from St. Lawrence County came together to chart a new future for economic growth. Their mission was to identify opportunities for local business development. The occasion was the 1st annual Burt Symposium at St. Lawrence University, entitled "Going Local: Capitalizing on Our Resources in St. Lawrence County". David Sommerstein stopped by near the end of the two-day conference and reports on the group's progress.  Go to full article

Cold Winter Takes Toll on Bee Population

Beekeepers say the long, cold winter took a toll on the bee population. Jody Tosti has more.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Ruminants

Ever wonder about animals that have more than one stomach, like cattle and deer? What do they do with those extra stomachs anyhow? Martha Foley and Dr. Curt Stager chew over...  Go to full article

Farm Buffer Strips a Lasting Solution?

Each spring, the seasonal rains and melting snow lead to millions of gallons of water entering rivers and streams around the Midwest. While that water is important for the...  Go to full article

What's Your Ecological Footprint?

David Sommerstein talks with the co-directors of the Global Living Project about calculating how many natural resources each of us consumes. It's called an "ecological...  Go to full article
US Sen. Chuck Shumer

Schumer Visits Lewis County and Massena

Senator Chuck Schumer outlined his agenda of North Country issues in two appearances yesterday. New York's senior senator discussed a statewide snowmobile insurance plan in...  Go to full article

Gardeners, On Your Mark!

Okay, there's still snow on the ground in some parts of our region, but last weekend's sunshine and mild temperatures drew some of us out into the garden. Martha Foley talks...  Go to full article

2nd Sap Run May Salvage Syrup Season

Yesterday's warm temperatures induced a late run of sap in the maple trees of northern New York and Vermont. The second run may save a strange season that maple syrup...  Go to full article

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