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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.
Sheila Besaw owns the H&S Diner on Heuvelton's Main Street.
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, which will stay open.

But Agri-Mark says it will close McCadam's packaging plant in Heuvelton on February 1st after more than a century of operation. More than 100 people will lose their jobs. David Sommerstein reports the effects will be far-reaching for families and businesses in the small St. Lawrence County village.  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 packaging plant in Heuvelton, but the local cheddar will still be made in Chateaugay. Martha Foley talks with McCadam President Brian Lee.  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 quality differs significantly between regions of the United States. As the Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Annie MacDowell reports, agricultural chemicals may be to blame.  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

New York Losing Farmland at Alarming Rate

Farmland in New York faces some of the most intense development pressures of any state in the nation. That's according to a study by the American Farmland Trust. The group...  Go to full article

Study: Region's Prime Farmland At Risk

A new study shows prime farmland in the Great Lakes region is being lost to development. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Natalie Walston reports.  Go to full article

Feds Fall Short of Animal Disease Warnings

A recent report finds that the U-S Department of Agriculture needs to work more closely with Customs inspectors in order to stop foreign animal diseases from hurting...  Go to full article

Commentary: A Dairying Life

Small dairy farms have been in steady decline in the North Country for decades. Commentator Jill Vaughan's farm is one that had to go out of business. But she says she's...  Go to full article

Clinton County Dairy Farm Beats the Odds: Heifer Triplets!

Friday the 13th was a lucky day for a Clinton county dairy farm. A set of heifer triplets was born last Friday on the Nichols farm near Churubusco. Bernadette Nichols tells...  Go to full article
Jason McCullom in the milking parlor of his dad Kevin's farm.

Budgeting on Dairy Farms Without a Steady Paycheck

In this first part of our series on the dairy industry in the North Country, David Sommerstein looks at the price of milk as seen through the eyes of one mid-size dairy...  Go to full article

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