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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.
George Good encourages an ewe to come to her twin lambs.
George Good encourages an ewe to come to her twin lambs.

The Fading Custom of Spring Lambing

Even if you didn't grow up on a farm... springtime seems to bring with it thoughts of baby chicks and spring lambs. Maybe it was those cardboard cutouts on the bulletin board in grade school. But it's not as common to find sheep on the farm today. Farming is different. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Lester Graham found some spring lambs, and a man who still thinks sheep have a place on the farm.  Go to full article
Ken Hill in his Atlasta Farms "office" in Lisbon

Redefining North Country Agriculture

There's a big change underway in North Country agriculture. The number of dairy farms has plummeted since the 1990s. Most of the victims are mid-size family operations. Large farms are on the rise, but so are small ones. According to the latest agricultural census, there are more 10 to 50 acre farms in New York now than any year since 1974. And most of those don't milk cows. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

What's the Future for Farm Markets?

As we heard in David Sommerstein's story, there's optimism in a new kind of farm in the North Country. The biggest challenge all farms face to survive is the same, though, finding a market that offers a liveable price for farm products. To learn more about agricultural markets, Martha Foley spoke with Fred Kirschenmann, director of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture in Iowa.  Go to full article

Sugar Season is On, but Acid Rain Takes Toll on Trees

Around the North Country, sugar houses are in high gear, boiling maple sap into syrup. The spring harvest is big business in this part of the world, but it's also a part of...  Go to full article

Canton Eyes Agri-Business Zones

Two economic development programs to help agriculture in New York are moving forward. Facing the closure of the Kraft cheese plant this summer, the town of Canton is trying...  Go to full article

Trash Burning Can Threaten Human Health

For most of us, getting rid of the garbage is as simple as setting it at the curb. But not everyone can get garbage pick-up. So, instead, they burn their trash. The Great...  Go to full article

Clinton: Spreading the "Made in NY" Message

David Sommerstein talks with Senator Hillary Clinton about the challenges -- and promise -- of marketing New York farm products in New York City, as well as filling the...  Go to full article

NY Farmers Await More Details on Dairy Trade Pact

Dairy farmers are still awaiting the details of a free trade pact signd last month between the United States and Australia. Australia is the world's third largest dairy...  Go to full article

Farmers Push for Medicaid Reform

Farmers are adding their voices to the chorus of those calling for reform of Medicaid funding in New York. The New York Farm Bureau held seven press conferences across the...  Go to full article

Raw Milk Advocates Petition Small Farmers

Sales are strictly illegal in New York and many other states, but fans of raw milk believe un-pasteurized milk is more nutritious, and more delicious than commercial milk. ...  Go to full article

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