Agriculture

Recently, the Governor of Massachusetts announced 27 grants to benefit farmers across the Commonwealth, to assist in improving energy efficiency, and to implement renewable energy systems. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports…

The grants totaling $325,000 are part of the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources’ Agriculture Energy Grant Program. In the fifth year of the grant program, 27 farms from the Berkshires to Nantucket were awarded funding to reduce energy costs and improve efficiency.

The Sharon Springs Harvest Festival takes place this Saturday and Sunday in Sharon Springs, New York. The annual event, run by Beekman 1802, celebrates the magic of small town America with a Harvest Hop, a Harvest Feast, a Farmer’s Market and more!

The USDA is helping fund an effort to get products from local farms into the kitchens of large institutions in the region, such as colleges and hospitals.  Officials say the demand for food from closer to home continues to grow, but the infrastructure to supply it has not kept up.  WAMC”s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports

Sally McCay, UVM Photo

A new solar installation at the University of Vermont is targeting not only powering part of the campus, but enhancing Vermont’s statewide agriculture sector.

If you are hoping to go apple picking this fall, you may want to call ahead to make sure your favorite orchard is open.

As reported by the Times Union, some capital region orchards will not be open to those looking for ‘pick-your-own’ this year due to heavily reduced crop yields following unseasonable weather over the last six months.

WAMC

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin and state officials were at a farm in Middlesex Wednesday morning to highlight agricultural and farm recovery, and continuing relief efforts, since Tropical Storm Irene hit the state nearly a year ago.

Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition

The U.S. Farm Bill does more than fund agricultural programs.  It is also the source of money for the SNAP, or food stamp program, and is also the largest source of conservation funding in the federal budget. A coalition of groups from the Great Lakes region is calling on federal legislators to pass the Farm Bill.

Barbara Zheutlin, Berkshire Grown Executive Director, and Andrew Morehouse, Executive Director of The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, join Ray in Studio A to talk about Berkshire Grown's Share the Bounty project and their 10th anniversary event - a lecture by the Nature Conservancy’s Frank Lowenstein titled “Climate Change and Local Agriculture,” followed by a party in honor of local farmers on Saturday, July 21, at 2:00pm at

A community of more than 5000 young farmers and activists, the Greenhorns are committed to producing and advocating for food grown with vision and respect for the earth. They are the subject of a film and new book, which will be presented as part of the Curiosity Forum in Cambridge, NY on Friday night. We learn more from Deb Foster and Luke Deikis.

The Washington County Fiber Tour is celebrating its 20th year this weekend. You can visit alpacas, rabbiits, goats, sheep and lambs, llamas, and more - on several farms in beautiful Washington County. We are joined by Sylvia Graham (Fiber Kingdom in Salem, a breeder of angora rabbits and small business owner), Judy Leon (alpaca farmer and fiber artist - her farm is called Alpacas of Haven Hill) and Karin Kennedy (a sheep farmer from Easton).

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