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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.

Jay Bridge Fight Continues With Federal Suit

A couple in the town of Jay is suing the state of New York in Federal court, hoping to block construction of a new bridge over the east branch of the Ausable River. Yesterday, the state Department of Transportation served the couple with an eviction notice for a 7-acre portion of their farm. DOT officials say the land is needed to build the new bridge -- but won't enforce the eviction until the matter is heard in court Monday. Brian Mann has details.  Go to full article

Farm Numbers Leveling in New York

The number of farms in New York dropped slightly last year. Higher prices helped farmers make more money. And as David Sommerstein reports, analysts say the hemorrhaging of farms of the 1980s and 1990s seems to have stopped.  Go to full article

Ontario's "Rural Revolution" Catches On

Last Friday, hundreds of tractors, buses, and pickup trucks shut down access to the Canadian side of the international bridge near Ogdensburg for several hours. The protest was organized by a coalition of farmers and property rights groups across rural Ontario. They want their government to lower taxes, reduce regulations, and leave them alone. They're a part of a growing movement that's drawing the attention of the Canadian public. David Sommerstein reports.

To learn more about the history of the landowners associations involved in the "Rural Revolution" protests, David Sommerstein spoke with Carla Hilton, producer for CBC Radio in Ottawa (To listen, click the interview link below). She began covering the groups when they emerged in the rural Ottawa Valley.  Go to full article

Balancing Private & Public in Canada

Unlike in the United States, the Canadian constitution, drafted in 1982, puts the rights of the group over the rights of the individual. Robert Thacker is a professor of...  Go to full article

Report: Dairy Prices Volatile

There's a continuing crisis in the dairy industry--price instability--and it's getting worse. A government report investigating dairy pricing was released this week. Greg...  Go to full article

Farm Technology Harvests Trendy Subsidies

It's rare when a factory and a mega-farm can help reduce pollution. But a project planned in the Midwest promises just that. The project would produce a fuel additive that...  Go to full article
Ogdensburg bridge (painting by John Morrow)

Canadian Farmers to Blockade Ogdensburg Bridge

Tomorrow, a group of farmers and property rights advocates plan to stop traffic on the international bridge near Ogdensburg. Beginning at 9 in the morning, they say they'll...  Go to full article
Euripides the alpaca

Audio Postcard: The Alpacas of Angel Knoll

The alpaca - a Peruvian cousin of the llama - has been domesticated for about 5000 years, but they've only been raised in North America since 1984. The animals hail from the...  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Pre-Modern Climate Change

The study of global warming usually focuses on man-made increases in greenhouse gases caused by modern industrialization. But Dr. Curt Stager and Martha Foley look at a...  Go to full article

Open Burning Issue Smolders at Farmers' Conference

Last week in Syracuse farmers touted their environmental stewardship at the annual conference of the New York State Agricultural Society. Farmers presented new ways to build...  Go to full article

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