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We still have glorious photos of flowers and vegetables planted in pieces of ground scattered across the region, from western Vermont to the Tug Hill, from the southern Adirondacks to Ottawa. Kinda cool. I’d imagine a lot of food is being...
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...


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.
Harry Orlyk and his "Red trees in Salem", oil on linen.
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 livestock. He lives in Salem, New York, near the Vermont border, and works out of the back of his van. Orlyk is adamant about creating a daily image. No matter what the season, no matter what the weather, he paints every day, sitting inside his truck, with the steering wheel as an easel. He says he doesn't go far because the landscape is always changing, and not always for the better. Lu Olkowski caught up with Harry Orlyk to learn what inspires his artwork.  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 still waiting for investors and federal legislation to make the project financially feasible. David Sommerstein reports.  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 in urban areas, it's harder to get that in-the-woods feeling. Here's a story sent to us by the Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Mark Brush, out in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where one tree-grower brings a little bit of the north woods charm to the city.  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

DEC Launches Burn Barrel Campaign

State environmental officials are renewing attention to the health and environmental dangers of burning trash outdoors. The Department of Environmental Conservation has...  Go to full article

USDA to Boost Use of Ozone-depleting Chemical?

The USDA wants to increase the use of methyl bromide to keep invasive insects from getting into the country. But some environmentalists are fighting the plan, saying the...  Go to full article

118th Assembly District: Interview with Darrel Aubertine

Two years ago, Cape Vincent farmer and Jefferson County legislator Darrel Aubertine became the first Democrat to represent the North Country in Albany in almost 30 years. ...  Go to full article

NY Farmer Urges Legislative Reform

A central New York farmer, fed up with what he says is an "abysmal" business climate, has launched a website and is trying to get state lawmakers to pledge to change their...  Go to full article
At work far from home

For Jamaican Apple Pickers, Hurricane Ivan Hit Home

One month ago, Hurricane Ivan slammed into the island of Jamaica, ripping apart houses and knocking out phone lines and electricity. The storm hit just as hundreds of...  Go to full article

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