New Hampshire’s farm legacy extends to the very beginning of our state’s history, when farmers from over-crowded areas in southern New England started to move north in search of more open land. While the soil in New Hampshire was not as fertile as they’d hoped, farmers did take root in the state and are still here. And while the country overall has seen a trend toward fewer, bigger farms, new data from show the reverse in New Hampshire and New England: over the past five years, the state’s number of farms has grown 5%, for a total 30% increase over the past decade.
The national debate over whether foods that contain ‘genetically modified’ ingredients should be labeled has come to New Hampshire, with a bill in the legislature to require such language on food products- ranging from corn flakes to canola oil. We’re looking the arguments, from questions about health and environmental impacts to the economic costs of labeling.
As farming takes off for a new generation of hip young homesteaders, beautifully crafted farm photos have made an impression in digital media – who hasn’t seen an adorably old-fashioned photo of sun-drenched pasture on Facebook… or a picturesque sunrise over a dewy, field of grazing grass-fed livestock on Instagram?
As a goat farmer and freelance photographer based in Vermont, Stephanie Fisher worries her own idyllic farm photos might be sugarcoating a job that’s often tougher than it looks. She spoke with word of mouth producer Taylor Quimby about her recent article in Modern Farmer, “The Side of Farming You Won’t See on Facebook”.
It used to be all farmers needed was some land, some seed, a little luck and a lot of hard work to be successful. Today's farmer needs all of that plus social media skills, marketing savvy and a business plan.
The community-based organization Farm Hack brings together innovative farmers, technology designers, and hackers to approach agricultural challenges without the top-down energy-intensive tools used in mainstream mega-farming. Farm Hack uses both online and face-to-face meetings to encourage and share creative methods among small farms all over the country. Ben Shute joins us, he is a New York state farmer and co-founder of Farm Hack.