In this age of global markets and marketing, more often than not, the food we eat is grown on large industrial farms; then shipped across the country, or from central or South America, or overseas, to huge distribution centers, where it’s sorted, packaged, processed, and then trucked to chain supermarkets, convenient stores, and fast food outlets.
We seldom think about the environmental impacts resulting from expanded mechanization and transportation of foodstuffs over great distances; of the ecological consequences of large-scale mono-cropping of food with intensive use of pesticides; or the impacts that food globalization has on our health (e.g. 2/3 of Americans are now considered overweight or obese). » Continue Reading.
Today’s explosion of an appreciation of and demand for local foods is a positive affirmation of farming. There is a new gratefulness for farmers as caretakers of the working landscape and purveyors of quality foods raised nearby. A better understanding of the need for open spaces, preserving soil, safeguarding water and practicing safe animal care has increased markedly. It is an invigorating time, especially for those of us who have been embroiled in agriculture most of our lives.
I think back to when I enrolled in a two-year agriculture program there were only 12 students in the major and only 1 female. The four-year baccalaureate was struggling and certainly not overenrolled. Fast forward to today and most Colleges of Agriculture are busting at the seams with students. » Continue Reading.
The King’s Garden at Fort Ticonderoga will hold the sixth annual Garden & Landscape Symposium on Saturday, April 8th in the Mars Education Center. Designed for both beginning and experienced gardeners, this day-long symposium includes insights from garden experts who live and garden in upstate New York and northern New England. This event is open by pre-registration only. » Continue Reading.
The Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District has partnered with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to provide financial assistance for agriculture and forest management to Hamilton County landowners though the United States Department of Agriculture Resource Conservation Partnership Program.
Funding is available for residents who would like to enhance their agricultural practices through the installation of high tunnels over an existing garden. Funding is also available for implementing forest management plans and wildlife habitat enhancement practices. » Continue Reading.
New York Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced February 3, 2017 as the application cutoff date for Signup 1 of the USDA’s Conservation Stewardship Program for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017.
The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is among the largest working-lands conservation programs in the United States. Through CSP, agricultural producers and forest landowners are paid for actively managing, maintaining, and expanding conservation activities like cover crops, rotational grazing, ecologically-based pest management, buffer strips, and pollinator and beneficial insect habitat – while maintaining active agricultural production on their land. » Continue Reading.
As Eve so famously discovered, apples are alluring. These brightly colored orbs tempt us with crisp flesh and juicy sweetness. It’s no wonder that apples have spread throughout the temperate regions of the world.
The mother of all apples, malus sieversii, which originated in the rugged mountains of Central Asia, has given rise to thousands of varieties over time, bearing names ranging from regal to whimsical, including Maiden’s Blush, Blue Pearmain, Bellefleur, Duchess of Oldenburg, and Seek No Further. Apples first arrived in the Americas in the 1600s, and by the early nineteenth century were being grown to make everything from cider, sauce and pies to apple butter. » Continue Reading.
The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program has posted the results of recent precision apple orchard management research evaluating the impact of applying precise orchard management practices to improve the yield, fruit size and quality of the regional apple crop for a more consistent higher economic return per acre.
Three specific strategies are under evaluation by a research team of Northern New York apple growers, Cornell University faculty, and Cornell Cooperative Extension personnel. The orchard management practices, designed to enhance the efficiency of apple production, include precision orchard thinning, irrigation, and harvest timing. » Continue Reading.
The farmer-driven Northern New York Agricultural Development Program has released the results of field trials indicating that fresh market baby ginger produced by regional growers can sell for four times the price of conventional ginger sold in stores.
But should every grower start planting ginger?
The market potential of ginger as a season extension and profit builder for Northern New York growers was evaluated as part of the Advancing Season Extension and Protected Culture Efficiency Project funded by the farmer-driven research program. The project also included enterprise budgeting for growing the high-value alternative high-tunnel crops of ginger, turmeric, summer lettuce and basil. » Continue Reading.
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