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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.

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 theory that traces the human impact on global climate back to the dawn of agriculture.  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 barns, reduce pesticides, and manage manure to control runoff into streams and creeks. In a session on what farmers need to do to become better environmental stewards, a state Assemblyman brought up an uncomfortable issue in the agriculture industry: the open burning of plastics and other garbage. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Two Perspectives on Open Burning

David Sommerstein talks at length with Assemblyman David Koon and the New York Farm Bureau's Patrick Hooker about the issue of open burning in the agricultural community.  Go to full article

Commentary: Jill Vaughan

A story of commitment and renewal in the barnyard from commentator Jill Vaughan.  Go to full article

Methyl Bromide Use to Increase

Starting tomorrow, January 1st, the U.S. will let farms and certain other businesses use more of the pesticide methyl bromide. But environmentalists may go to court over the...  Go to full article
Harry Orlyk and his "Red trees in Salem", oil on linen.

Landscape Artist Hits the Road Daily

Over the last three decades, Washington county artist Harry Orlyk has spent countless hours outdoors capturing the beauty of neighboring silos, farmhouses, fields and...  Go to full article

Biodiesel Plant Shapes Up Slowly

Plans to build a biodiesel plant in St. Lawrence County are taking longer than expected. Canton College officials want to double the capacity of the factory. But they're...  Go to full article
Duke Wagatha drives down from northern Michigan each year to sell his Christmas trees. While in Ann Arbor, he and his crew live in this 1951 Vagabond trailer. (Photo by Mark Brush)

Tree Farmer Makes Season Merrier

In rural regions like the North Country, it's not hard to find a Christmas tree farm - where you can wander around in a miniature forest, choosing your own perfect tree. But...  Go to full article

New Life for Half of Kraft's Plant

A half-century relationship between Kraft Foods and the village of Canton is all but finished. Only a signed deed is left to finalize Kraft's sale of its cheese-making plant...  Go to full article

Burn Barrel Campaign Fires Up Debate

A new multi-state initiative to reduce air pollution from burn barrels and other forms of trash burning is receiving mixed reviews in New York. Last week the Department of...  Go to full article

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