Overcoming life’s challenges

CM-MR-3-Overcoming-life2158by Sally Colby

Michelle Kirk took her husband Bill to the emergency room in September 2012 because he hadn’t recovered from what they thought was a minor illness. They were shocked to find that Bill was in kidney failure, but doctors didn’t know the reason. After exhaustive testing, Bill was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a form of bone cancer. Over the next several months, he underwent stem cell treatment, dialysis and chemotherapy. In February 2013, Michelle brought him home from an extended hospital stay, right in the middle of calving season. She says the first thing Bill requested when he returned home was to be driven to the pasture to see his cows. But keeping him inside as he continued his recovery proved to be difficult. [Read more…]

A local legend and her border collies

CN-MR-3-Colliesby Laura Rodley

Local legend Becky Peterson’s shadow doesn’t stay behind her or disappear at high noon. It runs in front of her, to her side, a little bit ahead. Sometimes she has four or five. Her shadows are pedigree border collies she raises at Orchard View Farm. They follow her wherever she goes, although not all at once. When needed, she can choose from five working dogs. [Read more…]

Aspen Ridge Farm: naturally-raised meats

CE-MR-2-Aspen-Ridge-by Tamara Scully

Hidden down an old dirt road, Aspen Ridge Farm is home to Meredith and Bucky Acly, their two young children, and the assorted livestock they raise in rural Warren County, New Jersey. The 25-acre farm, located in Oxford, is home to pastured broilers, laying hens, pigs, dairy cow, veal calves, and Icelandic sheep. [Read more…]

Successful urban farmers use intensive agriculture

CN-MR-1-Urban farmersby Sanne Kure-Jensen

There are many benefits to farming in urban areas. Most urban farmers enjoy being close to their markets and customers. They also spend less time and money transporting goods to customers than rural growers. Urban sites generally offer easy access to potable water. Most urban farmers have fewer wildlife problems than their rural counterparts. Urban environments also tend to be 6 – 8 degrees warmer than rural areas. This is partly due to the heat island effect of pavement and sidewalks. [Read more…]