Posts by Patricia Brhel

Pat Brhel is a community volunteer and freelance writer who lives in Caroline, N.Y. She can be reached at or 607-539-9928.

Profit per Square Foot: Tackling Challenges Unique to Urban Farming

By Patricia Brhel / April 7, 2014

Many people dream of the simple life – growing their own food, maybe even making a living as a farmer – but bills need to be paid and it’s a long commute from the peaceable kingdom to the cubicle. Can you make a living while still living in or near a city? The answer is…maybe.…

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Blue Oyster Cultivation

By Patricia Brhel / January 14, 2014

Producing mushrooms is not easy, but with the right growing conditions, a harvest can be both profitable and beautiful. Mushroom farming, like any other agricultural enterprise, requires study, experience, controlling the growing environment as best you can, a certain amount of intuition and some luck. Edible mushrooms are the fruit of certain kinds of fungus.…

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Water Saving Strategies for Your Farm & Garden

By Patricia Brhel / October 1, 2012

It’s been a long, hot summer. July was the hottest month in over a century, and a lot of farmers, from tiny one acre plots to hundreds-of- acre century farms, have been worried about their water supply. It turns out that those who farm using old fashioned or organic principals are faring best in this…

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New York Cheese Wrapped Up

By Patricia Brhel / October 3, 2011

Cheese unexpectedly became controversial at farmers markets across New York State in the summer of 2011. One duty of the New York State Department of Agriculture is inspecting and enforcing New York state law regarding safe distribution of farm products. In late June, they  stepped into New York City’s Green Market and shut down several…

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Family Dairy Ventures Back into Cheese

By Patricia Brhel / July 4, 2011

Members of the Snow family have been farming in the Town of Caroline, New York, since 1816, nearly 200 years. The current generation has returned to cheese making, a value added product, to enhance the options for their milk and increase the farm income. Cal Snow says, “We’ve got some cheese making equipment around here,…

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