January 19, 2013 |
THE DROUGHT that struck the United States in 2012 affected about 80 percent of agricultural land, making it the most extensive such weather event since the 1950s, according to the Agriculture Department (USDA). Consumers will feel the impact of last year's smaller harvests in the form of higher grocery prices this year. Yet the increases will be relatively modest — a half-percentage-point increase in food price inflation, according to USDA economic projections. This is a tribute to the American farm sector's productivity.
January 9, 2013 |
To a garlic lover, the more the better. But not all garlic is created equal. Garlic powder in a jar can't compare with fat, white garlic cloves — whole, chopped or pressed. Better still are cloves from garlic bulbs just harvested. They're pungent, but with a fresh, almost sweet flavor along with the heat. Could anything beat that? Maybe garlic scapes, the succulent flower stems that hardneck garlic sends up in midsummer, a feast in their own right. And then there's green garlic.
November 14, 2012 |
Keen gardeners and enterprising local farmers have another month of harvesting oddball veggies such as parsnips, leeks and Brussels sprouts, but for Kenny Harris, the last great popular crop of the year is the sweet potato. This tender root crop swells just as the first frosts arrive. It is the perfect dish for the Thanksgiving table, valued as much today as in early America for its storage qualities, culinary versatility and ability to warm our hearts when the chill sets in. But for Harris , who farms in three...
October 4, 2012 |
As the season changes and the school year gets into full swing, retail habits change, too. That ceiling fan you needed in July isn't that necessary in October, and prices go down when demand is low. That's why planning your purchases with the consumer calendar can save you big. We've written about what to buy in the summer months and how you can save on paint, gym memberships and jewelry in June and July. But with cooler weather and holidays approaching, there's a new crop of goods you can save on. We looked at Consumer...
August 13, 2012 |
This year's historic drought is turning the spotlight on an obscure form of aid for America's farmers: federal crop insurance. With crop losses soaring, farmers are headed toward some $18 billion in losses, and taxpayers might foot up to $10 billion of that, according to Vincent H. Smith, an economist at Montana State University who has studied crop insurance for nearly two decades. That is on top of the $9 billion this year that the federal government provided farmers to help them afford crop insurance...
August 8, 2012 |
As a drought spreads across the country, Prince William County, most of Fairfax County and a sliver of Loudoun County are under a moderate drought designation, National Weather Service meteorologist Carrie Suffern said. For most residents, the drought means brown lawns and wilting plants. For farmers, a drought means decreased production and increased expenses. Although neighborhoods have replaced much of the county's farmland, agriculture is still a way of life for many, especially in the...