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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.

Natural Selections: Wild Rice

Did you know that wild rice isn't really rice? Martha Foley and Dr. Curt Stager take a closer look at this marshland staple of Native American diet.  Go to full article
A volunteer plants onions in Gouverneur's community garden last spring

Growing Gardens in Jefferson County

Land has been cleared for a new community garden in the North Country village of Philadelphia. Organizers say the garden, near Fort Drum, will be a reliable source of fresh vegetables for area families and food pantries, and a powerful means to bring people together. Todd Moe talks with Odette Butler, of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Jefferson County. For more information about community gardens, call 315-788-8450  Go to full article

Modified Crops Swap Genes With Weeds

Genetically modified crops are planted throughout the Midwest. But some scientists are concerned genes from these crops could escape and work their way into weedy plants. With these genes, weeds could become more vigorous and harder to kill. New research shows this can happen between closely related crops and weeds. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Cristina Rumbaitis-del Rio prepared this report.  Go to full article

U.S. Cracks Down on Dairy Imports

New York lawmakers are urging U.S. trade representatives to restrict dairy imports from Canada that compete with North Country dairy products. David Sommerstein reports...  Go to full article

Popular Herbicide Breeds Resistance

Some weeds are developing a resistance to one of the most popular crop herbicides. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Shawn Johnson reports.  Go to full article
Photo from burnbarrel.org

Spreading the Word on Burn Barrel Hazards

If you shop at a P&C supermarket, you may have noticed a new message on the plastic bags there. It says, "Please Don't Burn This Bag." The message is a part of an...  Go to full article

Web Exclusive: Helping Farms Reduce Burning

David Sommerstein talks with Dr. Lois Levitan of the Environmental Risk Analysis program at the Cornell Center for the Environment. This week she completed a report entitled...  Go to full article

Farm-to-School: Improving Farm Income and School Lunches

Cornell Cooperative Extension officials in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence county say the time is ripe to start serving more North Country-grown produce in local schools. ...  Go to full article

Commentary: Small is Beautiful

A convergence of news stories about big hamburgers and small farms got Station Manager Ellen Rocco thinking about connections and scale.  Go to full article
Kevin Sullivan's greener pastures.

Seasonal Dairying: A Viable Alternative

Most dairy farmers in the North Country milk their cows all year long. It brings in a steady paycheck and ensures a steady flow of milk to manufacturing plants. But a small...  Go to full article

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