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  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...
We’ve all seen the various charts floating around the interwebz showing which mega-corporations own which food brands. The one posted below came to me via Alex Hillsberg’s blog post which I highly recommend. The gist of his analysis:...


Agriculture
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?
May 29, 2014 — As Oklahoma enters its fourth year of sustained drought, some farmers expect the harvest to be so bad they'll end up calling their insurance agents and declaring this year a total loss. StateImpact Oklahoma's Joe Wertz reports that some are calling this the worst drought since the '50s — or even since the Dust Bowl.
 

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.

Gov't Expands Farm Preservation Program

For almost 20 years, the federal government has paid farmers to convert some of their land to natural habitat for plants and animals. The Conservation Reserve Program is designed to protect the creeks and rivers that border farms. This year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is expanding the program to take on an additional two million acres, including 132,000 acres in Illinois. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Jonathan Ahl reports.  Go to full article

Calcium Weighs In

The Jefferson County town of Calcium celebrated the dietary benefits of milk, cheese, and yogurt yesterday as a part of the national "Got Milk?" dairy campaign. About 150 people in the Watertown area spent 4 months on a high dairy, low calorie diet and lost an average of 14 pounds each. The diet was based on research by Dr. James Hill of the University of Colorado School of Nutrition, who found eating more calcium causes the body to burn more fat. David Sommerstein talked with participant Tony Bova.  Go to full article

Apples Alone Not Enough For Many Orchard Owners

The fall season brings with it celebrations of the harvest. Pumpkins and gourds show up at the grocery store. And for many families, fall means a trip to the apple orchard. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Lester Graham observes that often that traditional celebration of the harvest just ain't what it used to be.  Go to full article

Fresh Food: The Benefits of Buying Directly from Local Farmers

A wide selection of local produce is available this season, and that means plenty of opportunities to buy fresh produce at farmers markets and roadside stands. ...  Go to full article

Pollution Breaks For Factory Farms?

Environmental groups allege the Bush administration might want to give large, so-called "factory farms" a break under the Clean Air Act and Superfund laws. The Great Lakes...  Go to full article

Farm to School Program Expands

For the second straight year, SUNY Potsdam is helping promote the work of North Country farmers by using locally grown fresh fruit and vegetables at the school. The...  Go to full article
Paul Hawken of <i>Natural Capitalism</i>

Sustainability Guru Kicks Off Series in Watertown

Jefferson Community College in Watertown kicks off a year-long look at sustainable economic development tonight with a nationally-known speaker on the subject. ...  Go to full article

Mark Berninghausen is North Country Public Radio

Mark Berninghausen, a beekeeper from Brasher Falls, explains how he "knocks on the door" of a hive without riling up the residents.  Go to full article

Nina Sullivan is North Country Public Radio

Nina Sullivan of Banker Orchards in Plattsburgh talks about this year's apple crop and the pleasures of the harvest.  Go to full article

Kelvin LaBrake is North Country Public Radio

Kelvin LaBrake of LaBrake Farm puts his cattle out to graze.  Go to full article

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