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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...
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...


Agriculture
Jul 31, 2014 — China has been a big and growing market for U.S. corn. But then farmers started planting a kind of genetically engineered corn that's not yet approved in China, and the Chinese government struck back.
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?
 

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.

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. Cooperative Extension started its first farm-to-school pilot programs last summer in Canton, Massena and at SUNY-Potsdam. The aim this year is to get more farmers and schools involved. Request program information. Todd Moe reports.  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 but growing number give their cows a break during the coldest months. It's a technique called seasonal dairying. Its supporters say it's gentler on the cows, easier on the environment, and gives small dairy farms a future in an industry that's growing ever bigger. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Farmers Get Help with Agricultural Districts

Farmers will have an easier time getting their lands included in agricultural districts under a new state law. Jody Tosti reports.  Go to full article

Maple Syrup Producers to Gather in Verona Next Month

A chartered bus will take some 50 St. Lawrence County residents to the New York State Maple Producer's Conference in mid-January. Jody Tosti reports.  Go to full article

Farm Pollution Researchers Threatened

Some scientists are being threatened because they're investigating pollution from farms. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Lester Graham reports.  Go to full article

Aubertine Ponders New Role as State Lawmaker

When the new state Assembly officially opens January 2nd, Assmeblyman-elect for the 118th district Darrel Aubertine will be the first North County Democrat in that body in...  Go to full article
Kevin Sullivan's intensive grazing fields (top) and a conventional farm barnyard.

The Joy of Grazing

Fewer than 10 percent of North Country dairy farmers graze their cows on pasture. Most confine their herd to big barns and feed them grains and hay. But since the 1980s,...  Go to full article

Grass Fed vs Grain Fed Meat

Grass fed meat is a hot topic in culinary circles. A symposium this weekend will bring farmers and chefs together at Paul Smith's College. Martha Foley talks with Richard...  Go to full article

Wanted: Farmers!

Cornell Cooperative Extension is using the North Country's cheap, abundant land and rich soils in an effort to lure farmers to the area. As Jody Tosti reports, information...  Go to full article

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