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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.

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 almost 30 years. Aubertine is a 6th generation dairy farmer from Cape Vincent in Jefferson County. In November, he defeated Republican St. Lawrence County Clerk Patricia Ritchie in a close race. Martha Foley talks with Darrel Aubertine about his hopes for the coming term in Albany.  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, agronomists have been encouraging small farms to embrace intensive rotational grazing during the warmer months as a way to cut costs. Farmers then only buy feed for the winter. David Sommerstein reports on a model 60-cow grazing farm in the Lewis County town of Denmark, near Carthage.

The Adirondack North Country Association's Martha Pickard consults for free with farmers to design a grazing management plan. You can reach her at 518-891-6200.  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 Brousseau, Chef and owner of Richard's Freestyle on Lake Placid's Main Street.  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

Commentary: Fictional Farm Life in the Good Old Days

In the midst of change in accepted patterns of farming, it's tempting to think back fondly to the "old days". Commentator Betsy Kepes re-considers an old standard.  Go to full article

McCadam Brand in Agri-Mark Plans

The company that plans to buy McCadam Cheese says cheese manufactured in New York will help it expand its markets. Agri-Mark is a cooperative owned by 1400 farmers...  Go to full article
Sheila Besaw owns the H&S Diner on Heuvelton's Main Street.

Heuvelton Rocked By McCadam Closure

The news of Vermont-based Agri-Mark Coop's purchase of McCadam Cheese Company is good for Franklin County farmers and workers at McCadam's manufacturing plant in Chateaugay,...  Go to full article
Tina Montroy has been working at the Heuvelton plant for 15 years.

McCadam Cheese Changing hands

Agri-Mark, the Vermont farmers' cooperative that makes Cabot cheeses, will buy McCadam Cheese plants in Heuvelton and Chateaugay. About a hundred jobs will be lost at the...  Go to full article

Semen Quality Harmed by Farm Chemicals?

A new study shows that fertile men in more rural areas have lower sperm counts and less vigorous sperm than men in urban centers. It's the first study that shows that semen...  Go to full article
Janet Poppendieck signs a book at SUNY Potsdam.

Anti-Hunger Efforts: Rethinking the Soup Kitchen

David Sommerstein talks with Janet Poppendieck, author of Sweet Charity: Emergency Food and the End of Entitlement. She says the growth of soup kitchens and food...  Go to full article

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