Michael Samuels


Fiber-bearing animals, and the next generation of shepherds, are the focus of the 38th annual event.

Canterbury Passes Looser Farmstand Regulations

Mar 12, 2014
Farmers Mkt Produce

Regulations on farmstands in Canterbury will be loosened.  Two-thirds of residents voted in favor of the measure on Tuesday. 

Amanda Loder / NHPR

While national interest in agriculture has declined over the past five years, the US Department of Agriculture reports a five percent increase in New Hampshire farms

And those farmers who open roadside farmstands reap the benefits of the local food movement.  But this traditional venture has become a point of contention—and an item on the Town Meeting ballot—for the town of Canterbury. 

What Makes A Farmstand A Farmstand?

Michael Samuels


Raising venison is one of the fastest-growing agricultural industries in the country, but that growth has yet to reach NH.

How Would N.H. Farmers Change In A Changing Climate?

Jan 30, 2014

Among the questions food producers and farmers are looking at these days is how they might be affected by a changing climate – and what they might do about it.

Amanda Loder / NHPR

New Hampshire’s Christmas tree farms are mostly very small operations—even by Granite State standards.  

catchesthelight via Flickr Creative Commons

Three years after it was put up for sale, an 11-generation family farm in New Hampshire has been sold. 

Members of the Tuttle family owned the 135-acre farm in Dover since 1632, one of America's oldest continuously operated family farms.  They put the fruit-and-vegetable farm up for sale in the summer of 2010 as they dealt with competition from supermarkets, pick-it-yourself farms and debt. 

The original price was $3.35 million. Foster's Daily Democrat reports it sold last month for a little over $1 million to Matt Kozazcki, who owns a farm in Newbury, Massachusetts.  

The NH Department of Agriculture was founded 100 years ago today.
Michael Samuels

The New Hampshire Department of Agriculture is celebrating its 100th anniversary.


She Shimmers via Flickr Creative Commons

Fall in New Hampshire means fairs, foliage – and getting out to one of the state's 300-odd apple orchards to pick your own. Elaine Starkey is out at Butternut Farm in Farmington, with her sons and grandkids, to do just that.

"They usually have donuts, but we got here a little late."

'Pick Your Own Apples' now means not just picking the fruit, but also hay rides, corn mazes, petting animals, And enjoying other seasonal products, like cider, pies, and yes, donuts. 

Michael Samuels

In the fields, at farmer's markets, in food pantries and schools, gleaners are proving there's plenty of local fruits and vegetables to go around.

Growing Pains: Financing N.H.'s Farm Renaissance

Sep 11, 2013
Harriet Alexander

Increasing demand for local food has led farmers to seek capital: funds with which to start or grow their businesses.   In most industries, an increase in demand from consumers spells profits, so banks and other lenders will pull out their checkbooks.  But farming is a little different.  In New England, farmers aren’t actually likely to make much money.  This isn’t new: farmers have always relied on farm credit co-ops and the federal government for loans to grow their businesses.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

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. Seacoast Reporter Emily Corwin takes an in-depth look at New Hampshire's agriculture community in her five-part series, Growing Pains.

New England Farmers Worried About Proposed Federal Food Safety Rules

Aug 20, 2013

Representatives from the US Food and Drug Administration are traveling around the country this summer speaking with farmers about the Food Safety Modernization Act – which is the biggest reform of food safety laws the country has seen in more than 70 years. 

The FDA held a public hearing on their proposed rules at Dartmouth College.  The farmers we met there are very concerned about the consequences the proposed rules could have on New England agriculture. 


Photo courtesy By Gerbriel Kamener and Sown Together

Detroit’s declaration of bankruptcy this summer opened up the floodgates for stories of its decline. Documentary films, photo essays, and articles reveal a once-proud American city, home to world’s highest-paid workers and a strong middle class, as a shell of its former self. Some residents are finding hope among the abandoned neighborhoods, crumbling municipal buildings, and rusting car factories that made the motor city hum.

In the mid-1800s the United States was home to more than fifteen thousand varieties of apple - two thousand in New England alone.  That diversity was pretty much wiped out by the growth of industrial agriculture and today, only a few varieties remain…at least in the supermarket.  John Bunker , a man known as the apple whisperer, is on a quest to find, save and preserve long lost types of apples.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

  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. 

Logan Shannon

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.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

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.

Want CSA Success? Get To Know Your Neighbors

Jun 13, 2013
Amanda Loder, NHPR

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.

NOAA George E. Marsh Album

E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: Could it really be true that we are in the midst of the worst drought in the United States since the 1930s?                                                         -- Deborah Lynn, Needham, MA


E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: What is the “Monsanto Protection Act” and why are environmentalists so upset about it?                                                                                                       -- Rita Redstone, Milwaukee, WI

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.


su-lin via Flickr Creative Commons

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. 

Todd Bookman / NHPR

On Edward Epsen’s farm in Salisbury, New Hampshire, around 40 pigs are doing what lucky pigs get to do: forage for acorns and graze in pastures high with Timothy grass.

“So we are going to be killing this pig here, and the other one that was walking around on this side of the electric net," says Epsen. “It slipped out of sight for the moment…oh, there he is.”

The two that will die in a few minutes are American Mulefoots, a rare breed known for its lard.

When Epsen approaches, the 250-pound pigs roll onto their backs.

New England Apple Orchards Face Apple Shortage

Oct 2, 2012
<a href="">Judo_dad1953</a>

Phil Rymsha is turning away apple-picking and cider-drinking hopefuls at his orchard in Harvard, Mass., because there simply aren't enough apples on his trees.

N.H. Apple Crop Arrives Early

Aug 21, 2012
<a href="">iMaffo</a> / Flickr

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.

N.H. Dept. of Agriculture, Markets, & Food

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.


E - The Environmental Magazine

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?

You may think that the great historic debate between communism and private property is over.

Well, it's not. Not at your local community garden.

Take, for example, the experience of Campos Community Garden in Manhattan's East Village.

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.


E - The Environmental Magazine

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