Stories from The Allegheny Front archived under

Agriculture/Food

Ginseng TV Show Features Questionable Practices

A new TV show called "Appalachian Outlaws" focuses on people poaching valuable ginseng root.  It was one of the most popular shows on cable channels, averaging over 2.7 million viewers per episode. There’s no word whether another season is in the works, but some conservationists are hoping the show will just go away.

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Community Gathers for a Seed Share

When spring finally arrives, many can't wait to plant that summer garden.  Some gardeners like starting seeds themselves, but at $2 or $3 per packet, the cost of trying different seeds adds up.  Seed sharing makes starting seeds affordable, and it's a great way to get some variety into the garden. 

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Climate Change Not So Sweet For Maple Syrup

Maple trees could be in trouble in the Northeast U.S. in the coming decades. Federal climate models have predicted the region will lose most of its maple trees by next century. But many producers and researchers aren't worried; they say times are sweet for maple syruping.

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Pittsburgh Supports Ban on Overuse of Farm Antibiotics

Pittsburgh is one of the first cities to pass a resolution trying to prevent antibiotic resistance in humans by banning factory farms from feeding antibiotics to livestock to promote growth and prevent disease.  Government agencies and nonprofits say the country is on the verge of a public health crisis because of the widespread use of these antibiotics in farming.

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Freezing Grapes Worry Politicians and Growers

The cold temperatures this winter have been killing off grape buds in the Finger Lakes region of New York. Matt Martin reports that Senator Charles Schumer visited the region to urge the federal government to prepare emergency funds for grape growers.

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New York Sponsors Hopeful of Advancing GMO Labeling Bill

Sponsors of a New York bill to require the labeling of genetically modified foods, or GMOs, say they hope they have better luck this year advancing the legislation, after it died in committee late last session.  The bill would require that all genetically engineered food sold in New York be clearly labeled.

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Farm Bill Cuts Conservation in Chesapeake Bay

UPDATE: 1/31/14 The U.S. House passed the Farm Bill this week, and sent it to the Senate. The almost $100 billion-a-year, compromise bill contains a small cut in food stamps and preserves most crop subsidies.  Environmentalists got one major victory: the bill links conservation compliance with federal crop insurance. However, it also cuts $6 billion for conservation over the next decade.

 

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Farmers Lobby For Food Safety Rule Changes

Small farm advocates are getting a second chance to influence food safety regulations in the United States. In response to public comments, the Food and Drug Administration recently announced it would reconsider sweeping changes to food safety policy.

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Shale To Solar: Farmers Use Gas Money to Build Solar Arrays

Dwayne Bauknight and Duane Miller have almost nothing in common—except for a row of gleaming new solar panels on their farms. For very different reasons, they're using gas money to invest in renewables.

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Pittsburgh Writer Shares Pawpaw Passion

In 2010, writer Andy Moore spent a couple of life-changing days in Ohio.  Moore was taken by a friend to a festival that celebrates a curious fruit called the pawpaw.  Now he's become the forgotten fruit's ambassador.

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