Jessica Placzek/KQED

It used to be that farms were cleared to make way for housing developments. Now, developments are making room for farms.

Agricultural neighborhoods — or agrihoods — are neighborhoods with urban farms. They are being sown across California, and buyers are eating them up.

Twodot Books

The cow is pregnant, and attempting to give birth. 

But there are complications, and the rancher pulls out tools, including chains, a hammer, and a chisel. 

Gail Jenner saw it in her own barn, and tells the story in one of the essays in the book she edited, Ankle High and Knee Deep: Women Reflect on Western Rural Life.

kcmckell/Live Aloha

Hypothetical: if we all have the same opportunity for success in society, but some of us live in environmentally degraded areas, are we all receiving justice?  Under the concept of environmental justice, the answer is no. 

It's not a new concept; the Oregon Legislature created an Environmental Justice Task Force nearly a decade ago. 

The task force meets in Medford this week (September 25th) with the heading "Fairness For the Land and the Worker." 

The Northwest Forest Worker Center and the farmworker group PCUN are among the sponsors.

  The recent news that the Earth's population could hit 11 billion by the end of the century should give anyone pause.

Maybe we are capable of feeding all those mouths with current agricultural technology, but what if large chunks of farmland are rendered unusable by climate change? These are the questions Joel K. Bourne, Jr. considers in his book "The End of Plenty: The Race to Feed a Crowded World.


It's not just a way of farming, it's a way of life: permaculture. 

Narrowly defined, it's about agriculture that can be sustained indefinitely, because it is agriculture that acknowledges the needs and rhythms of the ecosystem being farmed. 

And it's not just for the country.  The Northwest Permaculture Convergence is an annual gathering of permaculture devotees, to be held in a suburban setting for the first time this year, in Eugene. 


The end of container service at the Port of Portland may sound at first like a story affecting just the Portland area. 

But the port says ships carried containers going to and from 31 of Oregon's 36 counties, affecting exports and imports across the state. 

The Agriculture Transportation Coalition, the State of Oregon and other entities are hosting workshops across the state, to help importers and exporters find solutions that do not involve shipping out of Portland. 

New Society Publishers

Who grows your food?  The question has been asked a lot in recent years, with a renewed emphasis on small farms, organic farming, and eating food from local sources. 

The players are frequently white.  Natasha Bowens knew the story was more complicated and diverse... her own family tree contains both farm slaves and farm owners. 

So she set out on a multimedia project to portray farmers of color, and that led up to a new book The Color of Food: Stories of Race, Resilience and Farming. 


We get the image of the American farmer locked in our heads, and it's usually a guy in overalls.

But the truth is a bit more diverse.

And the Southern Oregon Historical Society explores that truth in its current display, "Women of the Land: Southern Oregon Women in Agriculture."


Raw milk is either sought-after or reviled; there appears to be little middle ground. 

But the landscape is changing just a bit... Oregon authorities just loosened regulations on the advertising of raw milk. 

The topic is one well-known to David Gumpert, who writes of food and small business. 

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

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

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

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

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).


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

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

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.