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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.

Testing Wireless Food Stamps in Farmers' Markets

It's the height of the season for luscious, farm-grown fruits and vegetables. But most people, who get help from the government with buying their food, can't take advantage of the fresh, nutritional food at their local farmers' markets. The food stamp system was replaced in many states with new Electronic Benefit Transfer cards. And since vegetable stands don't usually come equipped with electricity, both farmers and many poor people were missing the harvest. But New York hopes to change that with a new pilot program that's bringing wireless EBT technology to farmers' markets. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Joyce Kryszak has more on how the program is catching on.  Go to full article

Using Sewage Sludge on Crops

The more people inhabit the earth - the more sewage there is. Something has to be done with it. Before chemical fertilizers were invented, farmers used human manure to improve their crops. Some still do. About three million dry tons of treated sewage - called sludge - fertilize sod, pasture land and even food crops every year in the United States. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Amy Tardif looks at what the practice may be doing to the environment.  Go to full article

Mark Swanson is North Country Public Radio

Mark Swanson from Philadelphia explains how to put a milking machine on a cow.  Go to full article
Scientists at Paul Smiths College conference discuss invasive species

Scientists Say Invading Species Threaten North Country Lakes, Rivers

A half-dozen invasive plant and animal species are spreading in North Country lakes and rivers. Organisms like Eurasian watermilfoil and zebra mussels edge out less...  Go to full article
New cork can be harvested every 8-10 years.

Natural Selections: Cork

Traditional cork is harvested from the bark of a European variety of oak. Dr. Curt Stager and Martha Foley discuss the venerable history of this useful material which, in...  Go to full article

Paul Smith's Conferees Link Phosphorous Pollution to Development

Scientists at a water quality conference at Paul Smith's College say phosphorous pollution is damaging lakes and rivers across the Adirondacks. Despite decades of...  Go to full article
Ag Pro Ltd. is waiting to get more soybeans at a better price

Soybean Plant Still Idle, Eyes New Products

A soybean processing plant in Massena is waiting for the price of beans to drop before it re-opens after shutting down at the end of June. But as David Sommerstein reports,...  Go to full article

A Market Based Approach to Water Pollution

The Environmental Protection Agency is looking at a market-based attempt to reduce water pollution. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Jenny Lawton explains.  Go to full article

A Local Guide to Pasture-Raised Meat

Meat lovers are increasingly looking to pasture-raised beef, lamb, and chicken as a healthier and more sustainable alternative to commercial feed lot meats. The Adirondack...  Go to full article

Alpaca Farming Becoming Next Livestock Trend

There's an up-and-coming livestock trend in the region. Alpacas are common in the high plains of Peru, Chile and Bolivia, where people have used their fleece for clothes and...  Go to full article

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