agriculture

Basic Books

Do you stop to think about the importance of seeds in your life? 

Your morning cup of coffee starts with them, and much of what you eat, wear, and use comes from seeds. 

Conservation biologist Thor Hanson wants us to think about seeds and what they give us. 

And he gives us plenty to work with in his book The Triumph of Seeds.

Roving From The Rogue To...

Dec 13, 2014
Rogue Rovers

Farming in harmony with nature can take some special tools. 

Take the FarmDogg, for example.  The what? 

It's a light duty electric all-terrain vehicle designed to get farm workers around farms. 

And it is the creation of Rogue Rovers, with offices in Ashland, Oregon and Brazil. 

Small Farms That Make Big Bucks

Dec 11, 2014
themarketgardener.com

Maybe you've always been interested in farming, but just didn’t have the land for it. 

You might not need that much. 

Organic farmer Jean-Martin Fortier runs a "micro-farm" in Quebec, with only about an acre and a half of permanent planted space. 

Yet the farm makes enough money to feed Fortier's family. 

And he shares the secrets and techniques in his book The Market Gardener.

Adding To Farm To School Programs

Dec 9, 2014
kcmckell/Live Aloha

Maybe kids really do like healthy food better when they understand where it comes from. 

And when they grow it themselves. 

That's the business of Rogue Valley Farm to School. 

That organization and Rogue Farm Corps are getting grants to continue their work from the Oregon Community Foundation

Food From A Box: Gro-Volution And Aeroponics

Oct 2, 2014
Wikimedia

You've probably heard of hydroponics--growing plants in a water solution without soil. 

And there's aquaponics, combining hydroponics with a fish tank. 

Now we'll focus on aeroponics… growing plants in air and mist.  No soil, no water bath.  Confused yet? 

A Southern Oregon company called Gro-Volution is gearing up for a revolution in the field of aeroponics to grow food crops. 

Pear Harvest Lags In The Rogue Valley

Sep 9, 2014
Wikimedia

It's pear harvest season in the Rogue Valley, and the harvest does not look so good so far. 

After a hard early winter freeze followed by little precipitation, there were bound to be some crop impacts. 

And early reports show a smaller pear yield than in past years. 

Barry Tibbetts with Crop Production and Protection at Naumes Inc. joins us.

Eat Local Week In The Rogue Valley

Sep 2, 2014
Wikimedia

Turn over some of the produce in the store next time you shop. 

You'll probably find labels bearing information like "product of Chile." 

So a lot of our travels a long way to get to our tables. 

While local farmers produce many of the same products. 

That's why THRIVE, The Rogue Initiative For a Vital Economy, hosts "Eat Local Week" later this month (September 12-21).

USDA

Recent financial reports indicate that the people in opposition to Jackson County's anti-GMO crop measure have the money advantage, and much of the money comes from other states. 

But the anti-GMO (so PRO measure) forces have their own friends in other places. 

Those include the people of the Biosafety Alliance, who work on GMO and other issues. 

João Felipe C.S./Public Domain

The local ballot measures are the big news items in Oregon's May 20 primary election. 

That's especially true in Jackson County, where an anti-GMO crop measure is up for a vote.  And there's a measure to fund libraries as well.  And another: a measure to keep the Oregon State Extension service operating in the county. 

The Caged Bird Sings Of Change

Mar 3, 2014
Wikimedia

It's not this year, but a previous one, that may be weighing on the minds of California farmers. 

2008's Proposition 2 requires more spacious quarters for egg-laying hens, but it gave farmers more than six years to comply. 

Animal-rights activists at the Humane Society and other groups say many farmers have yet to make any changes, and could miss the deadline. 

Counting California's Record Grape Harvest

Feb 25, 2014
Fir0002/Flagstaffotos/Wikimedia

It takes a while to compile the numbers from California's massive wine grape harvest. 

But here goes: 2013 was a record year, even better than 2012.  The crush records recently compiled show 4.23 Million tons of grapes, for a total crop value of more than $3 Billion. 

Reviving Crop Donation Tax Credits

Feb 17, 2014
kcmckell/Live Aloha

Drop a bag of clothing off at Goodwill, and you'll get a receipt and a potential tax credit. 

But farmers who grow extra acres of food and donate the produce to food banks get no such tax credit in Oregon.  And they used to. 

GMO Perspective Straight From The Farm

Jan 24, 2014
João Felipe C.S./Public Domain

CORRECTED event info below...

Howard Vlieger lives on the Iowa farm where he was born and raised. 

But his worldview extends far beyond the fields. 

Keeping Them Down On The Farm (Bill)

Dec 20, 2013
João Felipe C.S./Public Domain

Maybe by the time you read this, Congress will have completed work on a farm bill. 

But it certainly dragged its feet getting up to speed. 

Wine Industry Grows Quickly In Southern Oregon

Dec 5, 2013
Fir0002/Flagstaffotos/Wikimedia

From former pear orchards, a bounty of wine. 

Many of the same Southern Oregon agricultural plots that were once home to pear orchards are now home to vineyards growing wine grapes. 

kcmckell/Live Aloha

So the growing season is over. 

But that does not mean an end to products from area farms. 

Cacophony/Wikimedia

The peak of the shipping season for Christmas trees has arrived.

Christmas tree farmers in Oregon's Willamette Valley are optimistic about this year's harvest. An oversupply of Christmas trees, which began to take hold in 2005, made it rough going for tree growers for many years.

Taking On The State Over Raw Milk

Nov 26, 2013
FiveRings/Wikimedia

You can sell raw milk in Oregon, but because of health concerns--the milk is not pasteurized--the state controls such sales tightly. 

For example, farms can't advertise the fact that they sell raw milk. 

Adopting Agriculture As An Occupation

Nov 21, 2013
João Felipe C.S./Public Domain

Has the tide turned on interest in farming as an occupation?

For decades, the numbers of family farmers declined, and the acreage worked by large agribusiness companies went up. 

GMO And The OMG Factor

Nov 12, 2013
gmofilm.com

Opponents of genetically modified food products (GMO) suffered a setback when Washington voters, like California's a year ago, declined to enact a law requiring labels on GMO foods. 

But the electoral setback likely has little effect on the passion of the anti-GMO crowd. 

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