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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.

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, like Allied and Dairylea. Those coops sometimes invest in factories. But previously they weren't eligible for the tax breaks and cheap power available to other plants under the Empire Zone program. The St. Lawrence County Farm Bureau says the new law may help find tenants for places like the soon-to-be-vacant Kraft plant in Canton.  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 agriculture in the North Country and statewide. In 2000, local markets and stands sold more than $230 million in products in New York. Today, there are 30 farmers markets just in the North Country. But making a living on the land by selling locally isn't easy. David Sommerstein visited a family farm north of Malone to see how the business works.  Go to full article

Slavery in Our Time

Last Friday, Governor George Pataki signed a new law making June 19th a state holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, in the 1860s. But slavery isn't just history; it's contemporary. Martha Foley talks with a member of North Country Free the Slaves about modern day slavery.  Go to full article

Northeast Lawmakers Push For New Dairy Bill

There's more than a year left before a controversial federal milk program expires. But Northeast lawmakers are already pressing their Midwestern counterparts to support a new...  Go to full article

Scientists Watch Farm Pastures for a New Tent Caterpillar Threat

Rising populations of the coming eastern tent caterpillar this year may be a danger to horses and cows in the North Country. Steve Van Der Mark is the point person on this...  Go to full article

Tent Caterpillars on the Rise

It's always something, it seems. This year, it's cicadas to the south, and it's tent caterpillars here in the north. Tent caterpillars are nothing new, their silky nests are...  Go to full article

USDA Withdraws Organics Law "Clarification"

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has withdrawn a "guidance statement" regarding organic food production. Some feared the directive was an attempt by the government to relax...  Go to full article

Farm Advocates In Adirondacks Say the Future is Local

On Wednesday, a group of farmers and local leaders from the Adirondacks traveled to Quebec. They made the trip to learn about strategies for developing and marketing local...  Go to full article

"Got Milk?" Campaign Provokes Lawsuit

Dairy farmers across the country contribute part of their paychecks into a government program which pays for a national advertising campaign. Supporters say the "Got Milk?"...  Go to full article

Agricultural Coops Given Empire Zone Benefits

Legislation approved by Governor Pataki yesterday will allow dairy cooperatives to receive Empire Zone benefits. The Empire Zone program offers tax incentives to encourage...  Go to full article

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