Sunday, September 27, 2009
Vermont's dairies are struggling. Wholesale milk prices are the lowest they've been in 30 years -- low enough that the price doesn't even cover operating costs. An article in the Brattleboro Reformer talks about the dire plight of Vermont dairies, which are trying crop diversification and agritourism to remain solvent. Reporter Chris Garofolo highlights the Guilford, VT Gaines Farm which started a corn maze, and other farms that have turned to online sales, farm stands, and summer farm camps. Garofolo ends the article with this: "The Green Mountain State was home to 11,206 dairy farms in 1947, but that number has dropped steadily the last half century. There are now fewer than 1,500 dairy operations in Vermont." -------------------------------- Apple orchards in New York seem to be in a better situation, as all the rain has made for larger-than-normal and high-quality apples. U-pick sales, additionally, are up. Though the Poughkeepsie Journal article "Pick-your-own season looks promising for local orchards," by Sarah Bradshaw, still mentions the steady decline in the state's apple orchard acerage: "[in 2007] the state had 1,350 apple farms and about 50,000 acres, down from 53,000 acres in 2002 and 66,000 acres in 1997," it is, on the whole, very optimistic. Blue Heron Organic Farm in Lincoln, MA is holding a festival and fundraiser in order to stay afloat and to fund a new greenhouse. The fundraiser will feature music, hayrides, and workshops.