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News stories tagged with "organic"

Megan and Dan Kent, the barrel washer, and squeaky clean celeriac. Photo: David Sommerstein
Megan and Dan Kent, the barrel washer, and squeaky clean celeriac. Photo: David Sommerstein

Lisbon organic farm looks to grow while staying local

Agriculture is changing quickly in New York. Greek yogurt is reshaping the dairy industry. Maple syrup is becoming big business. And microbrewers, distillers, and hop-growers are some of the new stars in the "buy local" movement.

But perhaps the biggest change is the attention to diversified, sometimes organic, fruit, vegetable, and meat growers. The number of farmers markets and CSAs has more than doubled in about five years. Food hubs are popping up across the state to help small farms reach larger markets. And Gov. Andrew Cuomo has promised a first-ever summit to link upstate farmers with New York City consumers. There's never been more attention to the "farm-to-table" movement.

This year, David Sommerstein will make several visits to one organic, diversified farm, Kent Family Growers in St. Lawrence County. He'll follow the seasons, the crops, the labor, and the business of making a living being an "eat local" farmer. Dan and Megan Kent started farming on just five acres of land. A dozen years later, they're priming for big-time growth.  Go to full article
Megan and Dan Kent, the barrel washer, and squeaky clean celeriac. Photo: David Sommerstein
Megan and Dan Kent, the barrel washer, and squeaky clean celeriac. Photo: David Sommerstein

Lisbon organic farm looks to grow while staying local

Agriculture is changing quickly in New York. Greek yogurt is reshaping the dairy industry. Maple syrup is becoming big business. And microbrewers, distillers, and hop-growers are some of the new stars in the "buy local" movement.

But perhaps the biggest change is the attention to diversified, sometimes organic, fruit, vegetable, and meat growers. The number of farmers markets and CSAs has more than doubled in about five years. Food hubs are popping up across the state to help small farms reach larger markets. And Gov. Andrew Cuomo has promised a first-ever summit to link upstate farmers with New York City consumers. There's never been more attention to the "farm-to-table" movement.

This year, David Sommerstein will make several visits to one organic, diversified farm, Kent Family Growers in St. Lawrence County. He'll follow the seasons, the crops, the labor, and the business of making a living being an "eat local" farmer. Dan and Megan Kent started farming on just five acres of land. A dozen years later, they're priming for big-time growth.  Go to full article
Photo: Julie Grant
Photo: Julie Grant

Farm Bill helps dairy farmers go organic

Going organic offers a higher milk price for dairy farmers. But it's expensive to earn organic certification and learn a whole new mind set for producing milk without chemicals or antibiotics. The new Farm Bill increases funding to help conventional farmers make the transition.

Ellen Abbott reports on one central New York farmer who's happy he made made the switch.  Go to full article

What's out - and what's next - for the farm bill

Yesterday when you woke up, you may not have felt different. But farm country did. The federal farm bill expired because Congress wasn't able to pass a new one by the September 30th deadline.

The farm bill is huge. It funds everything from food stamps to wetlands restoration to school nutrition - in addition to helping to pay for commodities like corn, soybeans, milk, and cheese.

So now that there's no farm bill, it's hard to know what's changed. David Sommerstein joins us to sort through it all.  Go to full article

Plenty at stake in farm bill standoff

UPDATE: Thursday afternoon, the Wall Street Journal reports House Speaker John Boehner has officially confirmed that the farm bill won't be taken up until after the November elections.

North Country farmers are anxiously watching the status of the new farm bill in the House of Representatives. The current farm bill expires on September 30. The Senate passed a new five-year, $497 billion farm bill over the summer. But House leadership has yet to let its version come to the floor for a vote. "Tea Party" Republicans want to see much deeper cuts in the biggest item in the bill -- the federal food stamp program.

So what if the Farm Bill isn't passed by the end of the month? How would that affect North Country agriculture?  Go to full article
Special displays at Wegman's in Liverpool, N.Y., highlight local produce.
Special displays at Wegman's in Liverpool, N.Y., highlight local produce.

North Country grocery stores look to the local

As fast as veggies are popping up in the garden, local foods are showing up on grocery store shelves throughout northern New York.

A new food co-op recently opened in the Jefferson County town of Clayton that showcases locally-sourced vegetables and other products. And big grocery chains like Hannaford and Wegman's are getting in on the trend, too, adding more of the region's products to store shelves.  Go to full article
Dan Kastleton is a 9th generation dairy farmer from Herkimer; he is part of the Organic Vally dairy cooperative.
Dan Kastleton is a 9th generation dairy farmer from Herkimer; he is part of the Organic Vally dairy cooperative.

Lawmakers break for ice cream on Dairy Day

Lawmakers are on a tight schedule in Albany this week. With the end of the legislative session set for June 21, they're pushing the clock to finish work on a myriad of large and small issues, and get legislation passed before time runs out.

But they got a break yesterday (Tuesday), and it was a sweet one, as New York's dairy farmers brought their ice cream, chocolate milk, mozzarella string cheese. and their politics to lobby their legislators.  Go to full article
Todd and Michelle Asselin raise free range livestock and work day jobs.
Todd and Michelle Asselin raise free range livestock and work day jobs.

Farmers Under 40: Big and Small, We Need 'Em All

There's no doubt farming's a volatile industry. With grain and gas prices constantly fluctuating, and more and more consumers searching for low prices, it's no wonder the number of farms has dropped. Last summer, NCPR traveled the North Country looking for the next generation of farmers. This week, we're listening back to some of the stories we found.

The key to farming since the 1970s has been to go big with a few cash crops, search out efficiency, utilize technology and produce more from each acre.

Some young farmers want to do it their own way. They want to stay small, avoid mainstream distribution and maybe grow organic. These new farmers face different challenges from their traditional predecessors, but they can't avoid the economics. Steve Knight tackled the knotty subject of farm economics.  Go to full article
Todd and Michelle Asselin raise free range livestock and work day jobs.
Todd and Michelle Asselin raise free range livestock and work day jobs.

Farmers Under 40: Big and Small, We Need 'Em All

There's no doubt farming's a volatile industry. With grain and gas prices constantly fluctuating, and more and more consumers searching for low prices, it's no wonder the number of farms has dropped.

The key to farming since the 1970s has been to go big with a few cash crops, search out efficiency, utilize technology, and produce more from each acre.

Some young farmers want to do it their own way. They want to stay small, avoid mainstream distribution, and maybe grow organic. These new farmers face different challenges from their traditional predecessors, but they can't avoid the economics.  Go to full article
Kristen serves breakfast to the crew at Essex Farm (Photo:  Brian Mann)
Kristen serves breakfast to the crew at Essex Farm (Photo: Brian Mann)

Chronicling the Dirty Life of a North Country farm

It's not easy managing a small organic farm in the Adirondack Mountains. It's even more complicated managing that farm while also writing a book about the experience.

Kristen Kimball, author of The Dirty Life, has managed that double feat and her new book is drawing national attention.

Kimball farms in the town of Essex with her husband Mark. This week, she spoke about how farming redefined her life with Melissa Block, host of NPR's All Things Considered.  Go to full article

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