agriculture

ENVIRONMENT
8:01 am
Fri November 14, 2014

With Drought The New Normal, Calif. Farmers Find They Have To Change

California sheep rancher Dan Macon had to sell almost half of his herd because the drought left him without enough feed.
Kirk Siegler/NPR

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 9:37 am

Ask Northern California sheep rancher Dan Macon what this drought is doing to his pocketbook and he'll break it down for you real quick.

"It's like if you woke up one morning and lost 40 percent of the equity in your house," he says. "Our primary investment in our ranch is in these sheep and we just sold 40 percent of our stock."

Read more
AGRICULTURE
11:15 am
Wed November 12, 2014

Golden State Joe: California Makes A Play For Coffee's Future

Jay Ruskey grows coffee next to avocados on his farm, Good Land Organics, in Goleta, Calif. The two crops are often grown together in Central America, partly because they can share fertilizer and water.
Lisa Morehouse KQED

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 1:29 pm

Coffee has been grown since at least the 13th century in places such as Indonesia, Ethiopia and Central and South America. Though it's not a traditional region for growing coffee, California is playing an increasingly big role in the future of this beloved and lucrative crop.

Sammy Venegas stands on a hillside in Goleta, Calif., outside Santa Barbara, that's shrouded in fog, thick with avocado trees, passion fruit and coffee plants. With a white bucket slung around his neck like a baby carrier, he picks only the reddest coffee beans.

Read more
FOOD
1:01 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

How 'Double Bucks' For Food Stamps Conquered Capitol Hill

These wooden tokens are handed out to shoppers who use SNAP benefits to purchase fresh produce at the Crossroads Farmers Market near Takoma Park, Md. Customers receive tokens worth twice the amount of money withdrawn from their SNAP benefits card — in other words, they get "double bucks."
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Mon November 17, 2014 10:52 am

The federal government is about to put $100 million behind a simple idea: doubling the value of SNAP benefits — what used to be called food stamps — when people use them to buy local fruits and vegetables.

This idea did not start on Capitol Hill. It began as a local innovation at a few farmers' markets. But it proved remarkably popular and spread across the country.

"It's so simple, but it has such profound effects both for SNAP recipients and for local farmers," says Mike Appell, a vegetable farmer who sells his produce at a market in Tulsa, Okla.

Read more
FOOD
1:06 am
Mon November 10, 2014

Want To Grow These Apples? You'll Have To Join The Club

Pinatas are among the new generation of club apples — varieties that are not just patented, but also trademarked and controlled in such a way that only a select "club" of farmers can sell them.
Stemilt Growers LLC

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 6:21 pm

There's an apple renaissance underway, an ever-expanding array of colors and tastes in the apple section of supermarkets and farmers markets.

Less visible is the economic machinery that's helping to drive this revolution. An increasing number of these new apples are "club apples" — varieties that are not just patented, but also trademarked and controlled in such a way that only a select "club" of farmers can sell them.

To understand the new trend, start with the hottest apple variety of recent years: Honeycrisp.

Read more
AGRICULTURE
1:21 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Prison Dairy Gives Inmates Job Skills — And A Sense Of Purpose

Jose Franco and his colleagues at the Corcoran prison dairy milk about 300 cows a day.
Lisa Morehouse

Originally published on Wed November 5, 2014 3:45 pm

Making license plates is the stereotypical job for a prisoner, but in California's Central Valley, a group of inmates are doing very different work, supplying milk to almost every prisoner in the state system.

They earn just 35 to 95 cents an hour, but inmates at Corcoran state prison say the job gives them plenty of other benefits.

Read more
AGRICULTURE
10:21 am
Tue November 4, 2014

Fracking And Agriculture Clash In Colorado's North Fork Valley

A view of the North Fork Valley and the town of Paonia.
Credit Laura Palmisano

The United States is the world’s largest oil and natural gas producer. North Dakota and Texas are experiencing an oil boom. And many other states are seeing natural gas production increase through hydraulic fracturing.

Colorado has nearly 53,000 active wells. But, the state’s energy boom is a source of tension. 

Read more
FOOD
3:00 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Monsanto Hired This Guy To Help It Win Over Millennials

The headquarters of Monsanto, near St. Louis, Mo. Monsanto is the world's largest seed supplier.
Juliette Michel AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 30, 2014 9:08 am

As I scrolled through tweets about a panel on agricultural entrepreneurs at the SXSW Eco conference earlier this month, one caught my eye. The sender was Vance Crowe, Monsanto's director of millennial engagement.

Corporate America is currently caught up in a torrid infatuation with millennials, who befuddle and torment the companies who want their dollars.

Read more
AGRICULTURE
9:13 am
Fri October 17, 2014

Startup's New Sprays Promise Longer-Lasting Fruit, Fewer Pesticides

Apples were beginning to ripen Aug. 26 on trees at Carter Hill Orchard in Concord, N.H.
Jim Cole AP

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 6:08 am

Scientists at startup Apeel Sciences have figured out the secret to doubling lifespans. Not our lifespans, alas, but those of fruits and veggies. And they do it naturally.

It's a big deal. Worldwide, we throw away about a third of our food, some $750 billion per year — and the percentage is even higher in the United States. One reason is rot: Food goes bad before we can bite in.

Read more
AGRICULTURE
8:30 am
Thu October 2, 2014

California Cracks Down On Farmers Market Cheaters

A customer shops for produce at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in San Francisco in March.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 2, 2014 2:06 pm

Could that beloved farmer at your farmers market possibly be lying to you, passing off supermarket produce as locally grown?

California's state officials seem to think so. Last week, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a new law that will raise $1 million to deploy a small army of inspectors to farmers markets around the state. The inspectors will check for signs that farmers are selling fruits and vegetables that they didn't actually grow themselves, but instead picked up wholesale.

Read more
FOOD
1:38 am
Tue September 30, 2014

European Activists Say They Don't Want Any U.S. 'Chlorine Chicken'

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 11:46 am

Mute Schimpf doesn't want to eat American chicken. That's because most U.S. poultry is chilled in antimicrobial baths that can include chlorine to keep salmonella and other bacteria in check. In Europe, chlorine treatment was banned in the 1990s out of fear that it could cause cancer.

"In Europe there is definitely a disgust about chlorinated chicken," says Schimpf, a food activist with Friends of the Earth Europe, an environmental group.

Read more
FOOD
9:36 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Keeping Heirloom Apples Alive Is 'Like A Chain Letter' Over Many Centuries

Goodband compares these Knobbed Russets to shrunken heads. Others say potatoes or toads. They're all gnarled and warty and brown, but don't be intimidated: They taste great when ripe. They originated in Sussex, England, in 1819.
Melissa Block NPR

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 4:08 pm

It's apple season, and if you go to the supermarket you'll find the usual suspects: Red and Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, MacIntosh. But these big, shiny, perfect apples often look better than they taste. Thankfully, there's a whole world of heirloom apples out there — fruit that may look funky, but tastes fantastic, with flavors unlike any you've tried before.

Read more
AS THE WORM TURNS
12:43 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

As the Worm Turns - Tuesday, July 29th

As the Worm Turns episode aired Tuesday, July 29th, 2014.

Read more
AGRICULTURE
9:27 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Local Motion: An In-Depth Look At What Organic Farming Really Means

Thistle Whistle is a 15-acre farm in Hotchkiss,Colo.
Credit Laura Palmisano

On this week's Local Motion, we’ll be looking at organic farming, and really, what that means.  There are a number of unique certifications that differentiate produce from conventional farming.  It can get a little confusing as to what the word "organic" means, what makes a farm certified USDA organic, and why some farmers choose different programs, or none at all.  

KVNF's Jake Ryan talked to Steve Ela, Mark Waltermire, Lynn Gillespie, and Don Holt. 

Read more
FOOD
5:29 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Cherries Are Ripe For The Pickin' In The North Fork

Bing cherries on a branch at Delicious Orchards in Hotchkiss.
Credit Laura Palmisano

The summer fruit harvest season has started in western Colorado. Cherries are usually the first fruit ready for picking in the North Fork Valley.

Read more
COMMUNITY
10:53 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Local Motion: Carol Parker with the Valley Food Partnership

A field of pinto beans
Credit Jeri Mattics Omernik/Valley Food Partnership

The 2nd Annual Western Slope Colorado Food & Farm Forum is coming up on Saturday, January 11th at the Montrose Pavilion. The conference brings together farmers, ranchers and others in the ag industry for conversations about sustainability, food production and marketing. 

For some details about the conference and this year's main theme of "Making Every Drop Count," we spoke to Carol Parker, President of the Valley Food Partnership based in Montrose.

Read more
NEWS
10:38 am
Thu December 12, 2013

Forget The Golf Course, Developers Use Farming To Sell Suburban Homes

The Bucking Horse subdivision in Fort Collins, Colo., will include a working CSA farm, complete with historic barn, farm house and chicken coop.
Credit Luke Runyon/KUNC & Harvest Public Media

For decades, housing developments in the suburbs have come complete with golf courses, tennis courts, strip malls and swimming pools. But make way for the new subdivision amenity: the specialty farm.

A new model for suburban development is springing up across the country that taps into the local food movement. Farms, complete with livestock, vegetables and fruit trees, are serving as a way to entice potential buyers to settle in a new subdivision.

Read more
NEWS
8:15 am
Wed December 11, 2013

KVNF Regional Newscast: Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Headlines

  • BLM Finds Temp Location for Gunnison Office after Fire
  • Experts Examine Cost of Natural Disasters
  • Forget the Golf Course, Developers Use Farming to Sell Suburban Homes
  • Grand Junction Airport Authority Members Looking into Fraud Allegations
FOOD
11:45 am
Fri November 29, 2013

A Trip to the Trading Post Kitchen

The Old River Road Trading Post in Paonia
Travis Bubenik/KVNF

The holidays are officially here, and while Thanksgiving may have come and gone, there’s still plenty of festivities to be had in the coming months.

And of course, what would the season be without food, and lots of it?

To get you into the holiday spirit and prepared for long, laborious hours in the kitchen, we took a visit to a cooking class hosted by Chris Bailey at the Old River Road Trading Post in Paonia.

Read more
NEWS
8:48 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Proposed Merger would create Flour Milling Goliath

Farmers in Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and Nebraska harvest about one-third of the nation’s wheat acres, according to the most recent Agricultural Census.
Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

Fall is planting time for wheat across the Great Plains and this year’s crop went into the ground while big changes were underway in the wheat market. Some of the biggest players in the flour milling industry are joining forces to make the country’s largest miller even larger.

Read more
NEWS
8:58 am
Fri October 18, 2013

KVNF Regional Newscast: Friday, October 18, 2013

Headlines

  • Heather Jensen Will Stand Trial in Grand Junction
  • Water Conflicts Escalating between Agriculture and Growing Colorado Cities
  • Aspen Medical Marijuana Dispensary Gears Up for Retail Sales
  • Colorado Oil and Gas Association Donates Over $604,000 to Pro-Fracking Campaigns
  • KVNF Sports Report

Pages