AGRICULTURE

Agriculture, land issues and gardening concerns in the KVNF listening area.

Host Jill Spears is taking a break from the airwaves while she runs for a position on the Paonia Town Council. In her stead, farmer & ag marketer Peggy Soup takes over the host chair. In this episode she visits with gardening guru Lance Swigart about seed saving for biannual plants.

Host Jill Spears welcomes gardening guru Lance Swigart back to the studio, along with special guest Sarah Pope, Seed Librarian for the Delta County Library District. They discuss seed saving and seed libraries, which allow patrons to check out locally-grown seeds for planting in their own gardens.

Host Jill Spears welcomes guest gardener Peggy Soup to the studio for a friendly chat on a variety of agricultural subjects.

Host Jill Spears is joined by gardener Amber Kleinman & special guest Maria Hodkins of Butter & Love, a certified traditional foods cook & instructor and fermentation specialist. They discuss many aspects of fermented foods such as sauerkraut, and share tips on fermenting at home.

Maria can be reached at 970-527-8928 or realbutterandlove@gmail.com.

One resource that was mentioned is the book "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Fermenting Foods" by Wardeh Harmon.

Bad weather prevented our scheduled guest gardener from getting to the studio, so this week's show was an encore airing of the program originally aired on Nov. 24th, 2015. Tune in next Tuesday, Dec. 29th, for a regular live program.

Host Jill Spears welcomes guest gardener Amber Kleinman to the air, for a chat about food canning & preserving.

Gardening guru Lance Swigart is taking some time off from the show, so this episode feature the "Lady Worms," gardener Lulu Volckhausen & host Jill Spears.

Suze Smith

Late-season gardening tips from garden gurus Lance Swigart & Lulu Volckhausen, hosted by Jill Spears

Amber Kleinman / iSeeChange

Harvest is done on the Western Slope.  All the cherries, peaches,  apples, and pears have been picked and sold, and now frost and snow is settled in.  Over at iseechange.org, several people were keeping track of the long growing season and the turn to winter.  

photo of Lance
Suze Smith

As killing frost moves through Western Colorado gardens, our gardening crew discusses food storage chores, as well as some ideas for seed-sowing to prepare for early spring germination.

Jeff Reynolds

As cold weather approaches, our gardening gurus discuss end-of-season chores and crop storage tips, and we hold a contest! Can you guess the weight of this lovely winter squash from Lance's garden? It's 14" in diameter & 7" tall, not including the stem. (Listen to the show to find out the answer, and hear who won... Guesses ranged from 9 lbs. to 55 lbs.)

photo of Lance
Suze Smith

Host Jill Spears visits with gardeners Lance Swigart & Lulu Volckhausen as we face the first killing frost of the season.

It's fall. Time to pick apples. For some of us, that's casual recreation, a leisurely stroll through picturesque orchards.

For tens of thousands of people, though, it's a paycheck. They drive hundreds of miles for the apple harvest in central Washington, western Michigan, the shores of Lake Ontario in upstate New York, and Adams County, Pa.

"The truth is, every apple that you see in the supermarket is picked by hand," says Philip Baugher, who runs a fruit tree nursery in Adams County.

Suze Smith

As the Worm Turns, Pledge Drive Edition! Jill, Lance & Lulu share gardening advice & ask you to support Mountain Grown Public Radio, KVNF. 

Suze Smith

Host Jill Spears welcomes regular "worms" Lulu Volckhausen & Lance Swigart, and special guest Aaron Heideman, for a show about Forest Gardening.

flickr user question_everything

It’s been a weird year for weather in Colorado. With a winter so warm and dry that trees bloomed in January, hay farmers started having flashbacks to the drought of 2012. But by spring, rains did come to Colorado, and the wet weather has been good news - for some.

As part of a special iSeeChange collaboration with  KDNK in Carbondale, and KSJD in Cortez, Amy Hadden Marsh and KVNF's Jake Ryan started looking at how the hay markets fared this year. 

Nowadays consumers are more willing to pay extra for a rack of ribs if it's produced nearby. A local bone-in ribeye, on average, costs about $1 more than a conventional steak. A pound of local sliced bacon has a $2 upcharge, according to retail reports from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

What are we paying for when we pay more for local meat? Lots of things. But small producers say one key issue that's holding them back, and driving up costs, is the strict rules when it comes to how they slaughter their animals.

Host Jill Spears & gardening experts Lulu Volckhausen & Lance Swigart discuss harvest time issues. Amber calls with a question about broccoli. Lance points out the downsides of consuming "baby greens."  New compost piles are underway.

photo of Lance
Suze Smith

Harvest time! Host Jill Spears & gardening gurus Lulu Volckhausen & Lance Swigart discuss harvest-time tips (while gnoshing on fresh-picked grapes & raspberries!)

The Environmental Protection Agency has released a final version of updated rules intended to keep farmworkers from being poisoned by pesticides. The previous "worker protection standard" for farms has been in effect since 1992.

Host Jill Spears is joined by regular gardening gurus Lance Swigart and Lulu Volckhausen, and special guest Jere Lowe of Earth Friendly Supply Co. in Paonia, for a discussion about the ins & outs of growing cannabis for personal consumption.

Host Jill Spears & gardening gurus Lulu Volckhausen & Lance Swigart discuss how to prepare your garden for winter.

photo of Lance
Suze Smith

Harvest time!

This episode is all about the end result of a season's work - harvesting the fruits of our labors! Lance reveals his tips for picking melons at exactly the right time. Lulu relates how her squash & pumpkin vines are completely taking over her yard. We also get tips for how to safely trap & release a pesky skunk!

On a research farm north of Fort Collins, Colorado, in a secret location, buried in the middle of a corn field, grows Colorado’s newest and most buzzed about commodity crop -- industrial hemp.

It’s almost harvest time at the farm, and soon researchers at Colorado State University will be adding bushels of hemp next to the usual, familiar piles of corn, wheat and oats.

Hemp is a member of the cannabis family, but it’s lacking in psychoactive properties. Instead, it’s grown more for fiber and oil. But decades of prohibition have left academia lacking in published scientific research about the plant’s very basic properties.

Host Jill Spears is joined by regular gardening experts Lance Swigart & Lulu Volckhausen, and special guest Frank Stonaker of Osito Orchard on Rogers Mesa west of Hotchkiss.

Another episode of our weekly gardening chatfest, with host Jill Spears and gardening gurus Lulu Volckhausen and Lance Swigart.

cows, dairy farm
U.S. Department of Agriculture

Across the state 70 facilities are under quarantine for a viral disease that affects livestock.


Small Potatoes Farm
Laura Palmisano / KVNF

The state is offering financial assistance to Colorado farmers looking to move away from using flood irrigation. 

photo of Lance
Suze Smith

Host Jill Spears visits with gardeners Lance Swigart & Lulu Volckhausen.  Lots of food coming out of the gardens at this time of year. The crew takes calls from several listeners. There's even a tip for how to have a bit of fresh asparagus in the middle of August!

Urbanization of Agricultural Land

Aug 6, 2015

An additional 2.5 million people are expected to move to Colorado by 2040, the vast majority of them headed for the Front Range.   As part of Connecting the Drops, our state-wide water series, Maeve Conran looks at the impact on Colorado as its landscape changes from crops to houses.

The traffic on a stretch of I-25 north of Denver is the soundtrack to the changes that farmer Kent Peppler has seen happening in Weld County. 

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