Working Oxen on the Farm Today

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I never thought I would be learning to farm with oxen.  I grew up in Chicago and I did not get to see the country all that often.  The only “Bulls” I knew of were a professional basketball team.  After high school, I chose to go to college out in Iowa.  It is interesting how…

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Wanted: Infrastructure Real and Virtual

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When I first moved to Madison County in central NY, I was surprised to learn that very few farmers were selling products in the NYC market. In my fresh perspective, connecting upstate farmers to NYC seemed like a fairy tale waiting to happen.  Madison County had rolling hills that were not being plowed under to…

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The Right Tool for the Job

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Tools are now and have always been vital to farming: They’re how we interact with the land to get things done. Whether it’s a stirrup hoe or a cultivating tractor, our favorite tools become extensions of our bodies, as we use them again and again. We farmers have a very interesting relationship with our tools.…

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Sweet Cherries: A MAP for the Future

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Craig Kahlke engaged local growers in trials of a new preservation method for sweet cherries. Welcome to the Northeast SARE Spotlight! SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education) offers grants to farmers, educators, universities and communities that are working to make agriculture more sustainable – economically, environmentally, and socially. Learn about whether a SARE grant would…

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Report Rare Nuts, Please!

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NY Nut Growers Association Seeks to Preserve Heirloom Nut Trees In the 1930’s, a lot of interest developed in growing English (Persian) Walnuts in New York State. The Canadian Minister, the Rev. Paul Crath, had collected seed nuts and seedling trees from his native Poland and was growing them successfully in Southern Ontario. He formed…

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Marvin Looking Fine

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Our summer photo features comes to us from “The Farmer’s Husband”, a diversified farm in Schoharie County, NY, owned by Thomas McCurdy and Bailey Hale.  The farm is currently raising chickens, ducks, turkeys, rabbits, goats, sheep and pigs.  Thomas says, “We don’t want to be big, just big enough to be self-sustaining, producing as much…

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Sheepfolds, pigpens, chicken coops, and smoke houses:  on a farm with animals, these places have meaning. Cynthia G. Falk writes about the agricultural and architectural diversity of historic farm buildings in her new book: Barns of New York: Rural Architecture of the Empire State (Cornell University Press, 2012). This is a beautiful book about the…

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Is a Farm Loan Right for You?

By Noreen Atkins & John Flocke Nathaniel Thompson approached the Cortland NY FSA Credit Team in 2006 for loans to purchase a 5 acre parcel of land and build a barn in an attempt to expand his business.  Nathaniel is an organic vegetable farmer, specializing in salad greens and root crops. He markets his produce as…

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I Love My Pasture!

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This article was one of four winning entries in a writing contest sponsored by the New York State Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative (GLCI).  GLCI is led by a Steering Committee of farmers and agricultural professionals to promote the wise use of private grazing lands, and is funded by the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service. James and…

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