farming

A wind machine on a Fennville farm
Rebecca Thiele, WMUK

The west shoreline of Lake Michigan is known as a windy location, because as air masses travel across the Lake’s open water, there are no structures or forests to create friction that would slow its movement. Yet, like the ancient symbols for theater showing smiling or weeping faces, wind can either work in a farmer’s favor or cause financial losses. 


John Van Voorhees picks chestnuts off of the taller branches
Rebecca Thiele, WMUK

Even though I grew up in a mid-size town, on Sunday afternoons my family often drove into the surrounding countryside, where we would buy a gallon of cider from a fruit stand, and then troll the back roads for hickory nut trees. 


Robbie Feinberg

On September 20th, Tillers International in Scotts will hold its annual Harvest Fest. Most years, the event is a celebration of local food and local farming. And a lot of that – the food, the music, the blacksmithing and wood working – that’s still there. But this year’s event is different. For the first time, Tillers is emphasizing its own efforts to teach old-fashioned farming techniques, both in the states and internationally.


Rob Collins, President of the Midwest Ox Drovers Association, secures the yoke before untying the oxen from the post.
Rebecca Thiele, WMUK

For many Americans, the ox is a symbol of the pioneer era—an animal that became unnecessary with the invention of mechanical farm equipment. But oxen are still being used today, especially in developing countries where tractors are too expensive for most farmers.


Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

Many fruit and vegetable farms follow strict food safety standards. But the law doesn’t require them to. Right now the government has almost no say in how produce is produced.

That’s set to change, as the nation’s first rules on safer fruit and veggie growing could be approved this fall. The law exempts some very small farms. But the state says it wants to help all interested growers meet the standards.


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