WNPR

agriculture

Mark Buckawicki / Creative Commons

When it comes to new varieties of vegetables, small is better. As the average size of the typical home garden shrinks, plant breeders have been working to create varieties of our favorite veggies that fit in containers and small beds. 

Ciera Holzenthal flickr.com/photos/cierah / Creative Commons

I first came across tillandsia, or air plants, at a boutique garden center in San Francisco a few years ago. This trendy plant seemed like the answer to many people's dreams of a low-care house plant. 

Guilherme Cardoso flickr.com/photos/guiskatenator / Creative Commons

I recently returned from a trip to India, and while visiting a friend in his garden outside Delhi, I was struck by one brilliantly colored, red plant. This five-foot-tall and -wide plant looked familiar. Upon closer inspection, it was a poinsettia.

In 2014, the Obama administration issued a federal memo aiming to put an end to random deportations of people living illegally in the U.S. who aren't criminals. But a closer look finds that there are still cases where immigration authorities are ignoring these policies, including in Vermont.

Beth Briczinski has been keeping a list of all the things companies are turning into products labeled as a kind of milk. "There's soy and almond and rice," she says. "Hemp, pistachio, macadamia nut, sunflower."

Briczinski is highly annoyed by these products. She's vice president for dairy foods and nutrition at the National Milk Producers Federation, which represents the original milk producers: dairy farmers.

Mónica Pinheiro flickr.com/photos/monica_andre / Creative Commons

Oh by gosh by golly, it's time of gifts for your favorite gardener. I may not be much of a singer, but I know gifts a gardener in the family might like.

dianeham / Creative Commons

Buying local doesn't just need to be for produce. That's the message of a program trying to get consumers to think bigger about the so-called "locavore" lifestyle.

Ted Thompson flickr.com/photos/buffaloted / Creative Commons

I'm always fascinated with plant names. Take Christmas cactus, for example. It's not really a cactus, and can bloom from November until March. Yet it's this time of year when we see Christmas cactus everywhere. 

Mr. Nixter flickr.com/photos/stankus/15241691836 / Creative Commons

One of my favorite vegetables for Thanksgiving is the leek. Called the poor man's asparagus by the French, leeks originated around the Mediterranean, and have been eaten for more than 3,000 years. 

Kake flickr.com/photos/kake_pugh/6641536287 / Creative Commons

Gourmet mushrooms have become popular for cooking, and none more so than the shiitake mushroom. 

kaboompics.com / Creative Commons

When I drive around and see home owners raking and bagging their leaves to remove them from their yard, I think they're missing a big opportunity. 

Pete B. flickr.com/photos/nyweb2001 / Creative Commons

One flower that's often passed along from generation to generation is the geranium. Luckily, it's also easy to overwinter indoors, since it won't survive our winters. Here's how to keep it alive.

Lisa Brettschneider flickr.com/photos/flyfarther79 / Creative Commons

The big day is upon us. Halloween is here and one of the traditions is to carve a Jack O'Lantern. I like tradition, but if you're interested in something different this year in Jack O'Lanterns,  try decorating some other winter squashes, too. 

James DeMers / Creative Commons

Spring bulb planting is in full swing this month. While weather conditions can influence the survival of your tulips, daffodils, crocus, and other spring bulbs, critters can have a dramatic effect, too. 

Darren Swim commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Relic38 / Creative Commons

This common flower has been grown for thousands of years in China and Japan not only for its beauty, but for medicinal and culinary uses. A Chinese proverb says, "If you want to be happy for a lifetime, grow chrysanthemums."

Ivo Ivov flickr.com/photos/53421063@N02 / Creative Commons

While tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths get all the attention for spring flowering bulbs, lately I've been more interested in the small bulbs. 

Camilo Rueda López flickr.com/photos/kozumel / Creative Commons

Popcorn is not just that buttery, salty snack you buy at movie theaters. It's actually an ancient and nutritious grain.

Laura Nolte flickr.com/photos/laura_nolte / Creative Commons

Japanese anemones, or wind flowers, are actually native to China, but were frequently cultivated in Japanese gardens when European explorers first saw them in the 17th century. 

This fruit's botanical name means “food of the gods.” While most of us are familiar with the Asian versions we find in grocery stores in fall, there is a hardier American type too. The fruits ripen around the first frost into sweet, custardy orbs with a hint of clove. It can even be made into beer. What's this fruit? It's the persimmon.

Spirou42 / Creative Commons

This native fall blooming perennial flower was supposedly was named after the goddess Astraea, who cried for the dead on Earth killed in wars. 

Your Dilapidated Barn Is Super Trendy. Just Ask HGTV

Sep 1, 2016

Larry Gerdes is having his barn taken down and disassembled in Malta Bend, Mo. It's about the size of a three-car garage but stands much taller in a clearing surrounded by 6-foot stalks of corn.

The barn's exterior is graying, part of its roof is missing, and there's a gaping hole looking out from the hayloft. It's about 100 years old, and it's not really useful.

"It's deteriorated and it would cost a lot of money to repair it," Gerdes says. "And it doesn't fit into modern farming. Unless you got two cows to let them loaf inside, nothing fits, and it's just obsolete."

When people hear the word drought, they likely think of California. But there's also an extreme drought in parts of New England. The Northeast is experiencing the worst drought in more than a decade.

George Bredehoft / Creative Commons

While admiring the tomato fruits in my garden recently, I stumbled upon some damage to the tops of the plants. They were defoliated, almost like a deer had mulched on them, and the fruit was chewed too. After closer inspection I came face-to-face with the tomato hornworm.

cjuneau / Creative Commons

Connecticut’s early settlers came to this region in part for our fertile farmland — but what is the state of farming in Connecticut today?

This hour, we explore agriculture in the Nutmeg State.

USDA NRCS / Analia Bertucci / Creative Commons

As the farming population gets older, a federal grant is going to fund training programs for new farmers. 

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