Field and Forest, by Richard Gast

Prepare next year’s garden beds now — without digging or tilling

If you’re thinking about a new garden bed for next spring, you need to start preparing now. You need to select an appropriate site, keeping in mind that adequate sunlight is essential, as is good air circulation and, in most cases, relatively level ground. Good soil is essential, too. In ...

Shiitake Mushroom Cultivation workshop

It’s easy and fun to cultivate edible mushrooms using logs, stumps, or other mediums (i.e. straw, corn cobs), and the moist shade of your wooded property. Each mushroom variety offers its own unique, often nutty flavor. And mushrooms are packed full of nutrients: things like B-vitamins, ...

Become aware of invasive species and their potential consequences

It seemed like a good idea. Let’s start a silk industry in the United States. Silk is a valuable cloth in demand all over the world. And insects do the work. All we need to do is import some gypsy moths from France, then just sit back and wait for the money to roll in. So, the moths were ...

Advancing a soil health movement

On July 18, the New York Soil Health Initiative hosted the state’s first Soil Health Summit. The summit provided an opportunity for attending farmers, researchers, agriculture service professionals, government agencies, nonprofits, policy makers interested in advancing soil health efforts, ...

Examining potential threats to monarch butterfly migration

The monarch butterfly may be the most recognized butterfly in the world. With the exception of the polar regions, the medium-size butterflies can be found on every continent on Earth. Their spectacular migration in eastern North America, from breeding locations in Canada and the United ...

It’s National Ice Cream Month

You know it’s hot outside when you stop by a friend’s home on the Fourth of July, he’s got a growler of Township 7 Raspberry Haze ale and a half-gallon of Stewart’s butter pecan ice-cream on the kitchen counter, and he’s making himself a craft-beer float. “Try one!” he said. ...

We should stop buying bottled water

I don’t actually remember the first time I saw single-serving bottles of water for sale. But I do remember thinking that it was crazy! Who would pay for water? Was I ever wrong! According to the Beverage Marketing Corporation, which provides management consulting, research, and ...

Adirondack Harvest North Country Farmers Markets are now open for the season

Farmers markets have existed as a part of American society, business and trade since 1634, when the first farmers market in the new world opened for business in Boston, Massachusetts. And throughout much of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, outdoor market places were vital centers of commerce ...

Intense caterpillars

They hang around on finely spun strands of silky string, blue-black caterpillars parachuting ever so slowly to earth, landing in yards, crawling around on decks and porches — even finding their way into homes. Over the past few weeks, several people have asked me about them. Some have ...

Foraging for wild food and medicinal plants

If you go... --- What: Cornell Cooperative Extension of Franklin County’s Wild Edibles and Medicinal History Workshop When: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 26 Where: 4H Camp Overlook; Beach Road, Mountain View. How much: $85 includes all materials and lunch - Reduced ...

Understanding the importance of wild pollinators to orchard crop viability

If you’re like me, you enjoy the beauty of colorful flowers and love eating fresh fruits and vegetables. You recognize that many of the medicines and supplements we use come from plants. And you realize that the astounding diversity of ornamental, food and medicinal plants that we grow or ...

Moles and voles and yards with holes

It’s spring. Days are getting longer. The weather’s getting warmer. The sun is sitting higher in the sky. And, as I write this, the persistent snow in my yard is finally giving way to bare ground. This is the time of year when the consumer horticulture season really begins in earnest at ...

Cornell researchers advance industrial hemp as New York agricultural crop

As farmers across the state get ready for the 2018 growing season, an interdisciplinary team of researchers from Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is preparing to oversee a second year of industrial hemp field trials across New York state. Cornell has been ...

Phenology and the potential implications of climate change

How do you know when spring has begun? Is it the flow of maple sap? The first crocuses coming up through the snow? Ice out on local lakes? The arrival of the first red-winged blackbirds? The clamor of peepers? Apple trees and/or lilacs blooming? Meriam-Webster defines phenology, which is ...

Extremes in weather can profoundly affect maple syrup production

Northern New Yorkers are definitely not strangers to cold winter weather. But most of us would rather have not had to deal with the brutally relentless cold that gripped much of the nation during December and January. According to data from the Southeast Regional Climate Center, cities ...

Maple confections — A sweet gift for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day. The day when, more than at any other time of the year, people declare feelings of romantic interest, love, and adoration for one another. This is most-often done with a card. Approximately 150 million Valentine’s Day cards will be exchanged in the US, this year; 2.6 billion ...

Community supported agriculture

In this age of global markets and marketing, more often than not, the food we eat is grown on large industrial farms, then shipped across the country, from Central or South America or overseas to huge distribution centers where it’s sorted, packaged, processed and then trucked to chain ...

Will the extreme winter cold wipe out ticks?

I’ve been asked on four different occasions recently, how tick populations will be impacted by the December/January below-zero cold. Some of those asking had heard reports, apparently claiming that tick populations would be decimated, if not eradicated, by the prolonged period of ...

From farm to pint

There’s an old Irish toast: to long life and a merry one, a quick death and an easy one, a pretty girl and an honest one, a cold beer and another one! If you’re like me, you brought in the new year by raising a glass of frothy-delicious craft beer from a small, independent craft brewery (or ...