According to the USDA, Americans are producing and eating more locally-raised food every year. But the market for local meat has trailed behind the market for local produce. Until recently, reasoning has been that there’s a shortage of local slaughterhouses. But as three slaughterhouses open their doors in NH this year, industry-wide studies show that more slaughterhouses may not be the answer, after all.
An agricultural art dating from the Neolithic period shares a glass with the robotics of the future. Since the first evidence of grapevine cultivation for wine about 7000 years ago, viticulture has developed a degree of automation…still, wine-makers depend on human hands and eyes to thoroughly -- and tediously -- inspect their crop for quality and yield. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University are developing an automated grape-counting system that will help lighten that load and lead to the production of better wine. Sara Reardon is a staff writer and reporter for New Scientist who covered the machines that could change the future of winemaking.
With almost 60 farmers markets across the state, demand for local food is growing. But local farmers still struggle to make a profit growing local food. In fact, about three quarters of all farms in New Hampshire gross less than $10,000 from sales each year.
This is the first installment in our summer business series investigating how a changing market place is affecting New Hampshire farmers.
This week some NHPR staffers got their first weekly share of veggies from a nearby CSA – which stands for community supported agriculture.
The idea is that consumers buy a share of the year’s crops in advance – that gives them a weekly supply of produce, while farmers get a more stable income stream than what they might have selling just through farmers markets or farmstands.
Congress is in the midst of renewing this giant legislation, after missing its first deadline to do so. And New Hampshire farmers are keeping an eye on this process, they want assurances a final measure won’t just favor big agribusiness, but also, the smaller farms prevalent in our region. We’ll find out the bill might include and what’s at stake for the Granite State.
Americans largely oppose the slaughter of horses for human consumption. Despite the cultural taboo, the United States is a key exporter of live horses to slaughterhouses in Mexico and Canada. Each year, more than 100,000 American horses are killed in North America for consumption abroad. Many American horses are given drugs that are carcinogenic to humans, putting consumers’ health at risk.
New Hampshire apples are already ripe, about two weeks ahead of schedule. They're available at farm stands and farmers' markets, but that doesn't mean you can head to the orchards to pick them yourself – just yet.
Lorraine Merrill, Commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food discusses the new Farm bill in Congress, as well as trends here in New Hampshire -- from the struggles of dairy farms to new efforts promoting exports of Granite State food.
Dear EarthTalk: How do green groups feel about the new 2012 Farm Bill draft recently released by the Senate? -- Roger Wheeler, Miami, FL
Like so much of the legislation coming out of Washington, D.C., green groups are mixed on the new Farm Bill now making its way toward a floor vote. No doubt there are some conservation bright spots in the bill, but the question is: Are there enough and do they go far enough?
Eight years ago, the garden was decrepit and abandoned. Beverly McClain walked by it all the time, on the way to her daughter's school. And one day, she and a motley group of fellow gardeners decided to revive it.
Dear EarthTalk: American farmers are an aging population. Is anyone doing anything to make sure younger people are taking up this profession in large enough numbers to keep at least some of our food production domestic?-- Beverly Smith, Milwaukee, WI