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News stories tagged with "organic"

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

Cupid comes to the farm

You've heard of speed dating? Some Vermont organic farmers are trying out a slower paced, you could say...more rural, alternative: weed dating. It has nothing to do with smoking marijuana.

In speed dating, you spend only a few minutes chatting, then move on in a fast-paced round robin with several potential partners.

Weed daters have plenty of time to get acquainted as they move down row after row, pulling weeds.

As part of an environment reporting collaboration with Northeast stations, Steve Zind of Vermont Public Radio has our story.  Go to full article
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-Brooklyn) with Brian Bennett and Bennett's son
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-Brooklyn) with Brian Bennett and Bennett's son

Schumer touts organic farms in St. Lawrence county

After visits to Saratoga Springs and Plattsburgh yesterday, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer rode the back roads of St. Lawrence County to visit a small organic farm in Heuvelton. Schumer has taken on the nickname "the Brooklyn farmer" to tout his interest in New York agriculture. At Bittersweet Farm, he discussed efforts to stop fake organic products from China from entering the U.S. But his hosts wanted to convey a closer-to-home message, more support for local farms. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Fixing the organic label

They cost more, but sales of organic foods are rising. Even in this down economy, organic food sales are going up three times faster than other foods. As Julie Grant reports, that's happening as the government is working to make sure everything that's labeled organic actually is organic.  Go to full article
Leo Branchaud coaxes a heifer out of the barn at his organic dairy farm in Tinmouth, VT
Leo Branchaud coaxes a heifer out of the barn at his organic dairy farm in Tinmouth, VT

Organic dairies struggling, too

The demand for organic milk and dairy products has grown by double digits each year since 2005, until this year. Now the shrinking economy has pushed consumer demand for pricey organic products down and that has left some organic farms in trouble. As part of a collaboration with Northeast stations, Susan Keese of Vermont Public Radio reports.  Go to full article
Ken and Katrina Hebb, owners of the Blackbird Cafe
Ken and Katrina Hebb, owners of the Blackbird Cafe

A Year of Hard Choices: Bucking the trend, a business built to last

On Monday, SUNY Potsdam economics professor Greg Gardner described a theory of development that he believes may be a good fit for the North Country in today's economy. Instead of trying to hook that big fish to create hundreds of jobs at once, Gardner says make your community attractive to young entrepreneurs. "Having educated creative people who then want to live in your community because it's a nice place to live," Gardner says, "and if they can't find a job, they'll just make one." For today's installment of A Year of Hard Choices, we meet a Canton couple who fit this profile to a "T". Ken and Katrina Hebb own the Blackbird Café on the main corner in the village. They say despite the recession, their business is thriving. David Sommerstein has their story.  Go to full article

Challenging organic and "buying local"

Across the North Country and nationwide, small and organic farms are proliferating. And more people are buying local produce and meat to sustain their farmers and their communities. An article in the current issue of Mother Jones magazine argues "buying local" is a good thing, but it's not the answer for a worldwide sustainable agriculture system. Paul Roberts wrote "Spoiled: Organic and Local is so 2008." Roberts is a journalist and the author of two books, The End of Oil and The End of Food. In Roberts' article, he argues to make food environmentally sustainable, climate neutral, and cheap enough for everyone to afford, organic and local won't be sufficient. We'll need to use some pesticides. He envisions skyscraper greenhouses in the world's cities. And lots and lots more people will have to labor in the fields. David Sommerstein spoke with Paul Roberts last week.  Go to full article
The houses that could set a legal precedent for Adk farmers
The houses that could set a legal precedent for Adk farmers

A farmer's legal feud with the APA could set new rules for agriculture in the Adirondack Park

One of the North Country's most influential and controversial farmers is locked in a court battle with the Adirondack Park Agency and New York's Attorney General. State officials say Sandy Lewis needed APA permits to build three new houses for workers on his farm in Essex County. Lewis defied their order and this spring the APA fined him $50,000. Lewis filed a counter-suit. He accuses the APA of intimidation, regulatory bullying, and hostility to farmers. The case goes to trial June 19th. As Brian Mann reports, the complex and bitter fight could establish new legal precedents for agriculture in the Adirondack Park.  Go to full article

Farm goes small to survive

In most of the country, small farms are now the exception, not the norm. Farming, especially with livestock, can mean hundreds, even thousands, of animals, and often distant, corporate ownership. Even the smallest farms are pressured to get bigger. So when a family in West Potsdam decides to make their farm smaller, they're rebelling. Kinna Ohman reports.  Go to full article

Celebrating farms and local food

NCPR is media sponsor for "Local Foods Connections," three events in early May celebrating the agriculture of the North Country with a focus on local food and the farm-to-table movement. The events will feature food experts, farmers, chefs and business people working toward local food sustainability. The events are May 1st in Lake Clear, May 2nd in Alexandria Bay and May 3rd in Croghan. Todd Moe spoke with Jefferson County Cooperative Extension's Molly Ames, one of the organizers.  Go to full article

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