organic farming

10:20 am
Thu June 12, 2014

No Bees No Fruit: Why Bees Are Essential To Farmers

Ann Sharkey inspects her hive on WMUK correspondent Joan Donaldson's organic fruit farm
Credit Rebecca Thiele, WMUK

Despite the media’s out-pouring of articles about “colony collapse disorder” and about how pesticides are killing off bees, visitors to my organic blueberry farm often have not connected the dots between bees and fruit. 

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Arts & More
4:41 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Pressing fresh apple cider on a fall afternoon

Joan Donaldson makes sure the cider goes in the jug while her husband John turns the crank of the cider press
Rebecca Thiele, WMUK

The grinder whirs as it slashes apples into pomace, and the chopped apples fall into a nylon mesh bag that lines the barrel of our small cider press. I drop more fruit into the hopper and already, juice puddles on the wooden platform that holds the barrel.

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Arts & More
9:25 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Peaches: A long-term commitment

The Donaldson peach orchard
Joan Donaldson

Silver barked peach trees crown many of the lakeshore’s hills. In the spring, their blossoms create a gossamer pink cloud while in the summer, their leaves droop like mustaches, hiding the ripening peaches. During the late nineteenth century, peach orchards generated thousands of dollars for Michigan farmers who sent their harvests to Chicago, Milwaukee, and beyond.

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