AGRICULTURE

AGRICULTURE
5:25 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

Are Farmers Market Sales Peaking? That Might Be Good For Farmers

A customer shops for produce at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market on March 27th, 2014 in San Francisco.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

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.

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AS THE WORM TURNS
11:55 am
Wed February 4, 2015

As the Worm Turns, Tuesday, Feb. 3rd, 2015

Credit Suze Smith

The seed-saving discussion continues... Host Jill Spears & gardener extraordinaire Lance Swigart discuss ways to improve the long-term characteristics of your harvest.  Next week: pruning!

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AS THE WORM TURNS
1:10 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

As the Worm Turns, Tuesday, Jan. 27th, 2015

Week 2 of the conversation about seed saving between host Jill Spears & gardening expert Lance Swigart.

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AGRICULTURE
11:50 am
Wed January 28, 2015

2015 Likely To Be A Mixed Bag For Colorado Farmers

A global glut of wheat is keeping prices low for farmers.

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.

An American rebound from drought, and bumper crops in other parts of the world, have caused a grain glut that has pushed down prices for corn, wheat and soybeans. Farmers are coming off a couple seasons of some of the highest corn prices in years.

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AS THE WORM TURNS
7:28 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

As The Worm Turns - 1/20/15 - Seed Saving

Credit Suze Smith

Host Jill Spears and gardening guru Lance Swigart discuss seed saving - how & why to grow your own garden seeds.  A Montrose caller has an interesting bean crossbreed, and another caller wonders how to protect her corn crop from being cross-pollinated by her neighbor's GMO corn.

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AGRICULTURE
10:21 am
Thu January 15, 2015

Hemp's Legality Has Stunted Research, But That's Starting To Change

Some hemp varieties can grow up to 20 feet tall, like this plant growing in a Lafayette, Colorado warehouse.

Originally published on Mon January 12, 2015 1:05 pm

Humans have been growing hemp for centuries. Hemp-based foods have taken off recently. So have lotions and soaps that use hemp oil. Studies underway now are examining how different compounds in cannabis could be used as medicine. There’s hope its chemical compounds could hold keys to medical treatments for Parkinson’s disease and childhood epilepsy.

Scientists studying industrial hemp say the plant holds a tremendous amount of promise. But to unlock its potential there’s very basic scientific research to be done.

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AS THE WORM TURNS
7:21 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

As the Worm Turns, 1/13/15

Credit Zephyros Farm and Garden

Host Jill Spears welcomes Daphne Yannakakis of Zephyros Farm and Garden to the studio to discuss winter operations at Zephyros, an organic 35-acre family farm located just outside of Paonia.

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AS THE WORM TURNS
1:50 pm
Tue December 30, 2014

As the Worm Turns, 12/23/14

Host Jill Spears welcomes Wind Clearwater to the program.

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AGRICULTURE
1:15 pm
Thu December 25, 2014

Helping Colorado Dairymen Lighten Your Milk's Energy Load

Dairyman Jim McClay in front of his cows.
Stephanie Paige Ogburn KUNC

Originally published on Thu December 25, 2014 11:57 am

What comes to mind when you think about milk? Like it or loathe it, you probably associate it with cereal, Oreos and milk mustaches. One thing you probably don't think about? Energy.

It turns out, it takes a lot of energy to make a gallon of milk. Recently, a few Colorado dairymen have been working to lighten their milk's energy load.

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AGRICULTURE
1:45 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Nuns On The Ranch Give A Heavenly Twist To Beef

Sister Elizabeth feeds Yoda, a water buffalo calf at the ranch. The nuns bought the buffalo to make mozzarella.
Sonja Salzburg for Harvest Public Media

Originally published on Thu January 8, 2015 1:17 pm

Many beer aficionados are familiar with the rare breweries run by Trappist monks. The beer is highly sought after, but it's not the only food or drink made by a religious order. Many abbeys and convents have deep roots in agriculture, combining farm work with prayer.

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AS THE WORM TURNS
1:08 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

As the Worm Turns, 12/16/14

Host Jill spears welcomes Wind Clearwater to the show.

'To mulch, or not to mulch - that is the question' (from a caller.)

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AGRICULTURE
1:45 am
Wed December 17, 2014

For Crop-Duster Pilots, Wind Towers Present Danger

A pilot for Earl's Flying Service sprays chemicals on a field in southeastern Missouri.
Courtesy of Mike Lee

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 9:29 am

Crop-dusting pilots are the adrenaline junkies of the agriculture world. They whiz through the air, flying under power lines to sow seeds or spread pesticides on farmers' fields.

It's a dangerous job, and now these pilots are facing a new challenge — short towers that can sprout up in fields overnight. These towers are used to gather data for wind energy companies.

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AGRICULTURE
6:02 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Colorado Farmers Work To Ensure Diversity In Rare Sheep Breed

Black Welsh Mountain sheep, a rare breed, graze at Desert Weyr, a farm near Paonia, Colo.
Credit Laura Palmisano

Federal researchers are on a mission to back up the genetic material of the plants and animals that the nation’s food supply depends on. A pair of ranchers in the hills of western Colorado are joining in and are trying to ensure the future of the rare Black Welsh Mountain sheep.

It’s a sunny morning at Desert Weyr, a 40-acre sheep farm outside of Paonia, Colorado.

Oogie McGuire and her husband own this farm. They raise Black Welsh Mountain sheep. They’re smaller than the white sheep most people are used to seeing. They’re solid black, and the males have curled horns. 

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AGRICULTURE
1:51 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Women's Work Is Never Done On The Farm, And Sometimes Never Counted

Owner Mary Kraft at Badger Creek Dairy outside Fort Morgan, Colo.
Luke Runyon KUNC/Harvest Public Media

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 9:45 am

The average American farmer is a white man in his late 50s. Or at least, that's who's in charge of the farm, according to new data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

But the number of female-run farms has tripled since the 1970s, to nearly 14 percent in 2012. And if you dig a little deeper, you'll find women are showing up in new roles. But because of the way farm businesses are structured, women's work often isn't included in those USDA counts.

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AS THE WORM TURNS
11:45 am
Wed December 10, 2014

As the Worm Turns - Tuesday, 12/9/14

Credit Zephyros Farm and Garden

Host Jill Spears welcomes Don Lareau of Zephyros Farm, a small diversified family farm on 35 acres near Paonia.

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AGRICULTURE
2:54 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Cheap Crops Mean Tight Times For Midwest's Fledgling Farmers

Like many beginning farmers, Grant Curtis wants to invest in his operation, but expectations of low prices are tying his hands.
Abby Wendle Harvest Public Media

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 4:18 pm

Farmers who just got into the business in recent years found it was a good time to both plant and harvest.

"We were all spoiled little brats the past two years, with $5, $6, $7 corn, yep," says farmer Grant Curtis.

He's sitting in the captain's chair of his combine on a brisk, overcast day in western Illinois. He's driving back and forth over rows of corn on his family's farm. Then he arcs the 80,000-pound machine off course towards a single stalk he missed.

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AGRICULTURE
3:52 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

With Harvest Season, 'Trimmigrants' Flock To California's Pot Capital

Trimmers prepare the marijuana flower, or bud, to make it more appealing to consumers. They use scissors to snip off the leaves and stems.
Brett Myers Youth Radio

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 5:42 pm

California's Humboldt County is known for its towering redwoods. But this region about 200 miles north of San Francisco has another claim to fame. Humboldt is to weed what Napa is to fine wine — it's the heart of marijuana production in the U.S.

Every fall, young people, mostly in their 20s, come from all over the world to work the marijuana harvest. They come seeking jobs as "trimmers" — workers who manicure the buds to get them ready for market. The locals have a name for these young migrant workers: "trimmigrants."

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AS THE WORM TURNS
1:50 pm
Fri November 28, 2014

As the Worm Turns - Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014

Credit Suze Smith

This will be the last program for this season with Lance Swigart & Lulu Volkhausen.

The panel started with an emailed question about grapes that aren't thriving, & show blotchy colors on the leaves. The show continues with discussion about seed saving, Hutterite beans, tool maintenance, Lance's magnificent compost pile, and more.

To honor the Thanksgiving holiday, Lance expounds on being thankful for the past 10,000 years of human efforts to grow crops, which has resulted in our current plethora of food varieties & growing methods.

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AS THE WORM TURNS
4:22 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

As the Worm Turns, Tuesday, Nov. 11th

KVNF's gardening gurus discussed finishing up this year's garden and prepping for next year. Callers from Norwood & Nucla asked about the wisdom of adding potato foliage to the compost pile, and for garlic-growing advice.

Tip of the week: Don't burn fallen leaves! Doing that is like stealing nutrients from your soil, since the trees take up those nutrients to create the leaves in the first place. Better to just run the lawn mower over them & leave them to decompose, or, if you must rake, pile them up somewhere & wait for nature to turn them back into soil.

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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.

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