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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 8, 2014 — Ohio farmers say they are not the only ones to blame for Toledo's polluted drinking water. They say they are using only as much fertilizer as they need to grow their crops.
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.
 

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.

"Forbidden Fruit" Worries Foresters

In Europe, the black currant fruit is really popular, but chances are, you've never tasted it here. Farming black currants was banned nearly a hundred years ago because the plant spread disease through forests. Now, states are easing up on their bans, and growers are determined to bring this "forbidden fruit" to the American palate. But forestry experts caution that the black currant revival may still pose a danger to trees. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Lisa Phillips reports.  Go to full article
Rabbis Osdoba, Brook, and Levertov.

Kosherizing a North Country Cheese Plant

Production resumes this week at Ogdensburg's beleaguered cheese factory. The plant has shut down twice in two years. But its new owner, Ahava Food Corporation of Brooklyn, believes a growing market for kosher foods will pave the way for ambitious growth, including plans to quadruple the plant's workforce. The word 'kosher' refers to ways to produce, prepare, and eat food according to Jewish law. Last week a delegation of rabbis came to Ogdensburg to 'kosherize' the plant, an ambitious task of steaming, scouring, and blowtorching. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Study Ranks Pesticide Residues on Produce

A report from an environmental group says peaches, strawberries, nectarines, and apples are more likely to be contaminated by pesticides than other produce. As the Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Celeste Headlee reports, the non-profit group says washing produce doesn't eliminate pesticide residues.  Go to full article
Yellow areas are included in CREP program.

Farmers Get Help Protecting Creeks

The state and federal government Wednesday announced $62 million to help New York farmers protect rivers and streams from agricultural run-off. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Task Force Focuses on Farming

Farmers and farming advocates from Adirondack counties were in Westport last week to share their concerns about the future of their livelihood. They spoke at the latest in a...  Go to full article
Atrazine is commonly used by corn farmers.

Enviro Group Sues to Ban Herbicide

One of the nation's largest environmental groups is suing the Environmental Protection Agency in an attempt to get the agency to ban an herbicide widely used by farmers. The...  Go to full article
Filmmaker John O'Brien

A Portrait of Vermonters on Film

David Sommerstein talks with filmmaker John O'Brien. He gained fame in Vermont with his film Man With a Plan that made dairy farmer Fred Tuttle a cult hero and...  Go to full article

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...  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...  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....  Go to full article

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