In North Carolina, the 2014 growing season stretched well past the state fair

CM-MR-3-GrowingNC2by Chris Bickers

The topsy-turvy 2014 North Carolina growing season came to an almost-complete end the first weekend in November, when many crop-producing areas experienced a killing frost that brought an end to growth in the field.

The end came later than expected. Over the past century, the first killing frost in North Carolina has usually fallen somewhere close to the beginning of the North Carolina State Fair, in the third week of October. In fact, North Carolina farmers have traditionally regarded the fair as celebration of the end of the harvest season. [Read more…]

Scaling up for institutional markets

CEW-MR-2-Institutional 967by Tamara Scully

Opportunities for scaling up small farms to serve a growing wholesale institutional demand for locally-sourced foods are knocking at the door. But farmers who choose to answer the call are advised to become GAP (Good Agricultural Pratices) certified, will need to implement washing and packing efficiencies, learn to manage labor, and have adequate storage facilities.

“People want what we are doing. Do not be afraid to scale up your farm,” farmer Tom Murtha, of Blooming Glen Farm in Perkasie, PA, said. [Read more…]

The Great American Milk Drive ~ helping families thrive

CE-MR-2-Milk Drive1by Elizabeth A. Tomlin

It’s a fact. Ninety-five percent of food banks report that they do not receive milk in their donations.

“New York is one of the nation’s top milk producers,” stated Beth Meyer, Vice President of Communications with the ADADC. “Yet, on average, the state’s food banks are only able to provide about one gallon of milk each year to the families they serve.”

Meyer said it has been a challenge for Feeding America to meet food banks demand for milk because of the lack of donations, since people usually donate non-perishable items. [Read more…]

New York State farmland to benefit from $17.6 million

CE-MR-1-NYS Farmland3by Katie Navarra

More than 6,400 acres of New York farmland will remain dedicated to agricultural purposes and will be protected from future development thanks $17.6 million made available through the Farmland Protection Implementation Program.

Across New York State, the funds will help preserve 21 farms in 12 counties including Saratoga, Washington, Rensselaer, Columbia, Madison, Cortland, Onondaga, Ontario, Livingston, Suffolk, Dutchess, and Orange Counties. [Read more…]

Fall Harvest Requires Increased Focus on Safety

OhioCOLUMBUS, Ohio – Working long hours without an adequate amount of sleep is just one example of how farmers can increase their risk of injury during harvest, a safety expert with Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences said.Knowing some simple safety precautions to take during harvesting is critical for farmers to reduce the potential for injuries, said Andy Bauer, an Ohio State University Extension agricultural health and safety professional. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the college. [Read more…]