July 24, 2010 |
South Jersey farmers in the Vineland area spotted the fungus about two weeks ago. Sweet basil plants were yellowing, and brown spores appeared on the underside of the herb's leaves. Though seen on other crops, downy mildew is relatively new to basil in the United States. It wiped out much of the crop on East Coast farms, including those in New Jersey, last summer. The aggressive disease was carried on the wind from the south, and, if it spreads as before, it will again discolor and disfigure the region's crop, reducing availability and likely driving up prices.
June 10, 2010 |
MINNEAPOLIS - The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released the final draft of a new crop insurance plan it says will save the federal government an estimated $6 billion over 10 years. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told reporters during a conference call from Washington on Thursday that $4 billion of the savings will go toward deficit reduction. He says $2 billion will be used to expand farm risk management programs and the Conservation Reserve Program, which pays landowners to take environmentally sensitive land out of production.
April 23, 2010 |
BEAUFORT, Mo. - Spring arrived at Sam Wiseman's little farm with a huge to-do list. The fences were collapsing after a long winter; the chickens running amok, laying eggs everywhere. The weeds popped up in every possible spot, and trays of seedlings sat in the greenhouses, waiting for someone to plant them. Until the "crop mob" rolled in. On a recent weekend, a group of about 30 people flooded the 22-acre property, with shovels, wheelbarrows and goodwill, to help Wiseman as she tries to whip the farm into shape.
April 1, 2010 |
With these lengthening days of spring, I long for the first fresh green foods from the garden and the ephemeral early gifts from streams and forests. I've already been able to harvest a bit of hardy lettuce, mache, spinach, arugula and scallions - plants started last fall and kept cozy in a simple wood box with windows on top, called a cold frame. Every week since early March, I've sowed a few rows of lettuces, escarole, kales, beets, carrots, peas and radishes outside. The result is a garden full of seedlings in various states of maturity.
March 21, 2010 |
Lenape senior guard Christina Foggie joins player of the year Genevieve Okoro of Eastern as repeat selections on this season's Inquirer first-team all-South Jersey girls' basketball team. Besides Okoro, here is a look at the other four first-team members: Christina Foggie, senior, guard, Lenape. She led South Jersey in scoring, averaging 26.8 points. Foggie also averaged 5.7 rebounds, 3.3 steals, and 4.5 assists for the Indians, who finished as The Inquirer's No. 2-ranked South Jersey team.
March 2, 2010 |
A federal lawsuit filed yesterday seeks to stop the Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Delaware from allowing farmers to plant genetically engineered crops at the major waterfowl sanctuary. The groups that filed the suit contend that the use of such crops on refuges is a national problem. As many as 80 others, including the Cape May National Wildlife Refuge in New Jersey, also have allowed genetically-engineered crops, they said. The groups, which include Delaware Audubon Society and the nonprofit Center for Food Safety, said the crops can harm wildlife, in part by killing beneficial insects.
February 27, 2010 |
At first it was just one or two. But within weeks they were everywhere: outside the supermarket, the tire store, the park. When Joe Orman left his Cherry Hill tobacco shop last week, the parking lot was empty. When he arrived Monday, a 5-by-3-foot solar panel had been attached to the utility pole at the corner of his property. "I don't know what the hell is going on," he said. "I saw one go up across the street and wondered how they got permission to put a solar panel on a utility pole.
February 4, 2010 |
Temple, Villanova and Penn fared well in landing some of the area's top high school football recruits. Signing yesterday with Temple were five players from Southeastern Pennsylvania schools: Haverford School linebacker Wyatt Benson, Upper Darby linebacker Olaniyi Adewole, Garnet Valley offensive lineman Joe Cenatiempo, Wissahickon running back Myron Ross, and Norristown defensive back Anthony Robey. Also headed to North Broad Street, as preferred walk-ons, are Downingtown West quarterback Bret Gillespie and Garnet Valley defensive back Ryan Woods.
December 10, 2009 |
This year's harvest of holiday-season wine books favors the smaller (and less expensive) over the massive and photo-festooned. If there is a common theme, it is back to basics. Following are some of the more noteworthy efforts. Wine Secrets, by Marnie Old (Quirk, $19.95) Among the more sprightly and practical books is this one from Philadelphia-based sommelier and educator Marnie Old. For this stout little primer, Old solicited short essays from a roster of vinous heavyweights and arranged them under the headings Wine Basics, Wine Tasting, Wine Shopping, Wine and Food Pairing, Wine in Restaurants, and Wine at Home.
December 3, 2009 |
Like the farms that survive in Burlington County, the machines that work the land are sturdy but not indestructible. There are combines that break during harvest season, tractors that need tires, bale squeezes that quit with hay still in the fields. Mark Engle of Springfield has made a life's work out of keeping those machines going. The only son of a farm-equipment dealer, Engle began tinkering with machinery when he was barely old enough to go to school. By age 6, he operated forklifts and combines and helped wait on his father's customers.