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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.

Savor Local Produce With a 'Slow Food' Evening

We're at the height of locally grown, fresh fruit and vegetable season. The corn is sweet, the tomatoes are plump and juicy, and a group of North Country gardeners are encouraging their neighbors to take advantage of it. Gardenshare, a not-for-profit network in the region is distributing a packet of information about the "Slow Food" movement. David Sommerstein talks with Katherine Asher, president of Gardenshare's board of directors.  Go to full article

Buying Organic: Grocery Stores or Local Farm-raised?

It can be tough deciding whether to buy organic foods at the market. Organic produce often costs more, sometimes doesn't look as nice, and can compete with locally-produced products that might be raised organically but don't carry the government's certification. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Julie Grant looks at what you're getting when you buy the organic label.  Go to full article

Sounds of the County Fair

The sights, smells, and sounds of county fairs are classic ingredients of summer. The midway barker beckoning you in to a show. The whip of the wind through your hair on the day-glow roller coaster. And of course, the smell of fried dough and French fries. The St. Lawrence County and Lewis County fairs run this week and through the weekend. David Sommerstein prepared this audio montage from the midway of the St. Lawrence County fair in Gouverneur.  Go to full article
McHugh and Clinton visit a farm near Fulton

Clinton, McHugh Announce Rural Economic Package

After Ogdensburg, the pair headed south to a dairy farm in Oswego County. Clinton and McHugh talked about a fix for the way farmers are paid for their milk. The current...  Go to full article

Vines and Wines: The Art of Growing Grapes

Martha Foley talks with horticulturist Amy Ivy about growing grapes for juice or wine. Even in a backyard vineyard, it's part art and part science.  Go to full article

Interview: Bruce Chassy - GM Foods are Safer

Critics of genetically engineered foods question the safety of using genes from different species to alter the behavior of plants. But the supporters of bio-engineered...  Go to full article

Monsanto Pulls Plans for GM Wheat

If you look at the nutrition information on a package of muffins or a box of cereal you're likely to see things such as soybean oil and milled corn. More likely than not,...  Go to full article

Interview: Jeff Smith?Dangers of Genetically Modified Foods

Products made from genetically engineered crops are appearing in more and more foods. There's a good chance just about any prepackaged food that's made with soybean oil, soy...  Go to full article

Pataki Approves Expanded Ag Coops

Governor Pataki yesterday signed a bill into law that allows agricultural cooperatives to take advantage of New York's Empire Zones. Dairy farmers sell their milk to coops,...  Go to full article
Cathy and Frank Stepnoski at the Malone farmers' market

Making a Living at the Farmers' Market

Farmers markets, roadside stands, and U-picks give us fresh produce and a unique relationship with the people who grow the food we eat. They're also a growing part of...  Go to full article

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