Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 3:54 am
California is parched. Wells are running dry. Vegetable fields have been left fallow and lawns are dying. There must be some villain behind all this, right?
Of course there is. In fact, have your pick. As a public service, The Salt is bringing you several of the leading candidates. They have been nominated by widely respected national publications and interest groups.
There's just one problem: Not all of these shady characters live up to their nefarious job description. Let us explain.
Pesticide-free? Nurtured with organic fertilizer? No antibiotics?
Ask any shopper, and you're bound to find mixed answers for what an organic label means.
Now, an association is trying to draw funding from something called a "checkoff" to pay for consumer advertising and research. For a checkoff to work, each farmer pays a small amount. For example, a penny-per-bushel of wheat or a dollar per cow would generate millions of dollars in pooled funding that could pay for splashy ad campaigns.
Our regular host Jill Spears caught a bug, so news host Patricia Naft filled in, with gardening guru Lance Swigart. More spring chores, & signs that the season is generally arriving weeks early this year.
Host Jill Spears & 'Gardening Guru' Lance Swigart discuss early spring gardening chores as spring seems to be arriving about 3 weeks early. They also encourage their listeners to call & pledge support to KVNF during the Spring Pledge Drive, which arrived right on schedule!
Originally published on Mon March 9, 2015 10:00 am
When it comes to the current controversy over antibiotic use on farm animals, milk is in a special category.
Lactating cows, unlike hogs, cattle or chickens that are raised for their meat, don't receive antibiotics unless they are actually sick. That's because drug residues immediately appear in the cow's milk — a violation of food safety rules.
Milk shipments are tested for six of the most widely used antibiotics, and any truckload that tests positive is rejected. So when cows are treated, farmers discard their milk for several days until the residues disappear.
Sara Creech has grown dependent on farming. She started out planting an orchard of fruit trees: apples, peaches, cherries and pears. She added berry bushes and rows of vegetables.
And then she bought her first chickens.
"A lot of people call chickens the gateway animal," says Creech, who lives in rural North Salem, Ind. "Like once you have a chicken on the farm, then you end up getting sheep on the farm, and then you end up getting horses, and cows. And then it just explodes from there."
Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 12:20 pm
The federal government banned the sale of raw milk across state lines nearly three decades ago because it poses a threat to public health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association all strongly advise people not to drink it.
Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 3:29 pm
As most people know, mushrooms love dark places. You can find them growing in the dim recesses of forests or at the foot of old trees. But is that where we get most of the mushrooms that end up in our hearty risottos and juicy portabella sandwiches?
Originally published on Mon February 16, 2015 2:57 pm
On a breezy morning next to a cornfield in rural Weld County, Colo., Jimmy Underhill quickly assembles a black and orange drone with four spinning rotors.
"This one just flies itself," he says. "It's fully autonomous."
Underhill is a drone technician with Agribotix, a Colorado-based drone startup that sees farmers as its most promising market. Today he's training his fellow employees how to work the machine in the field.
Originally published on Fri February 6, 2015 6:25 am
After more than a decade of explosive growth, sales of local food at U.S. farmers' markets are slowing. A January report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows that while more farmers are selling directly to consumers, local food sales at farmers markets, farm stands and through community supported agriculture have lost some momentum.
Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 10:34 am
2014 brought with it an abundance of grain for Colorado farmers and it doesn’t look likely to change in 2015. While farmers wait for a rebound, the new year could bring substantive policy change.
Great Plains farmers are unlikely to see relief in 2015 from sluggish commodity crop prices, according to Brian Kuehl, director of federal affairs with K-Coe Isom, one of the country’s largest agricultural consulting firms. Kuehl spoke at an economic forecast event in Greeley.