New immigrants often face an unexpected challenge: how to navigate away from an American diet that takes a toll on your health? That’s becoming easier in New Hampshire due to a network of markets and farms that carry familiar foods for the state’s foreign residents.
New Hampshire is home to a small but growing immigrant population; about one in 20 Granite Staters are foreign born. And there’s an experience that unites many of them: that bewildering first visit to an American grocery store.
With the weather warming up across New England, people are heading for the coast. Today Word of Mouth hits the high seas. First we'll ponder the unfathomable push and pull of the open ocean. Then, we’ll speak to an artist who created the world’s first submerged sculpture park, his underwater gallery not only attracts art-lovers, but serves as an artificial reef. Plus, farmed fish now exceeds beef production. Have fish farmers learned from the mistakes of the meat industry?
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In 1986 there were an estimated 50,000 Civil War re-enactors in the U.S. Since 2000 their ranks have been cut in half. Today on Word of Mouth: the decline of Civil War reenactments, and what drives someone to take on the identity of a 19th century solider. Plus, after millennia of selective breeding, there are now over 3000 known varieties of apple. But, are our beloved Galas and Honeycrisps in peril? Why the extinction of wild apple species in central Asia could spell disaster for their descendants. And, when it comes to rice, why brown may not be the healthier.
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While an increasing number of states and retailers are looking to pass GMO labeling laws, planting genetically modified corn, soybeans, and cotton remains the norm among North American farmers. Seed makers claim that of modified – or treated – crops resist pests and disease, reducing the need for expensive herbicides and pesticides. In pockets across the nation, however, farmers who once championed GMO seeds are complaining that they no longer deliver on those claims. Some are reverting back to conventional seeds for their commodities crops. Elizabeth Royte is a contributor for Fern, The Food and Environment Reporting Network. Her article, “The Post GMO-Economy” is featured in the winter issue of Modern Farmer.
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.
An expanded “Auto Dealer Bill of Rights” law is set to take effect today. It offers auto and equipment dealers protections from some requirements set by manufacturers. But a key part of the law is now on hold.
If you think there are too many food deserts in cities across the United States, try finding some fresh produce in outer space. Naturally, NASA makes sure astronauts living on the International Space Station don’t go hungry, but since it costs about $10,000 to send a single pound of food to the I.S.S., you can bet they don’t see a lot of leafy greens.
That cost is just one reason growing fresh food in outer space is a crucial step in the future of manned space exploration. Jesse Hirsch is a staff writer for Modern Farmer, where you can find his article, “Space Farming: The Final Frontier”.
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.
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.
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.
Oyster farming in the Great Bay Estuary is in the midst of a little bit of a boom. In recent years, the number of oyster farms has leapt from 1 to 8, with more on the way. These gains are boosting the hopes that using these filter feeders as an “outside-the-pipes” way to clean up the waters of the Great Bay could become a reality.
At farmer's markets, co-ops, and small local farms, heirloom tomatoes are becoming more common. They're older tomato breeds – some very old – that haven't been hybridized or genetically modified, and with seeds that can actually be planted to grow new tomatoes. A pair of young New Hampshire farmers wants to raise awareness that heirloom doesn't just mean tomatoes, and they've started what they say is the state's only all-heritage farm, River Round Heirloom, to prove it.
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.
Dear EarthTalk: I understand that, despite the popularity of organic foods, clothing and other products, organic agriculture is still only practiced on a tiny percentage of land worldwide. What’s getting in the way? -- Larry McFarlane, Boston, MA
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.
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”.
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.
A new book examines what it calls “the failed economics of the traditional small dairy farm”, blaming a complex, highly regulated market where middlemen and mega-farms always win. We’ll look at this phenomena in New England, and how the author says there are new models that offer some hope.
Kirk Kardashian – Senior writer at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College and author of "Milk Money: Cash, Cows and the Death of the American Dairy Farm.
Many kids spent their summer vacation attending camp. Maybe it was the typical cabin-in-the-woods experience, with swimming and archery lessons. Surely you or someone you know was shuttling their young aspiring athlete to and from sports camps of one sort or another. Budding engineers may have headed for science programs. There are kids, however, who spent a week or two learning to milk a goat, as well as the finer points of feeding a 700 pound pig. They did that- among other activities- at the Educational Farm at Joppa Hill in Bedford.
As a farmer in Bhutan, Laxmi Narayan Mishre provided food and stability for his family.
But when ethnic tensions flared in the small Himalayan country, his land was seized.
With his wife and ten children, Mishre would spend the next two decades living in a cramped refugee camp in neighboring Nepal. Rumors swirled about a possible resettlement to America, and what life would be like here.
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