US farm and garden news, events, and related information, along with special farm-issues coverage in North Carolina and beyond.

“Train the Trainer” Ag Workshops Offered for Local Government and Nonprofit Staff (4/24/2018) - The North Carolina Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund will hold five workshops across the state for local government and nonprofit staff involved in protecting their communities’ agricultural lands and administering their local Voluntary [...]
Fresh-picked Strawberries. Photo: Vollmer Farm, Bunn NC. North Carolina Strawberry Picking Time Is Around The Corner (4/20/2018) - Strawberry growers in Eastern North Carolina are beginning to harvest this year’s crop, and growers in the rest of the state expect to begin in the next few weeks. North Carolina is the third-largest producer [...]
Young tomato plant. Source: The Whatleys. Spring Plant Sales Coming Up in Bunn, Clayton, Knightdale and Wilson (4/5/2018) - By Kay Whatley, Editor It’s garden time in North Carolina. Trees, shrubs, bulbs, plants, and seeds can go into the ground in April. Local garden clubs and gardens are holding plant sales, giving area residents [...]
Produce at a farmer's market. Source: Kay Whatley. Area Farmers Markets Prep for Opening Days (4/3/2018) - By Kay Whatley, Editor Eastern North Carolina is dotted with farmer’s markets, locations where customers may purchase locally-grown product, homemade goods, and handmade crafts. It gives farmers a place to meet customers and offer the [...]
Use caution when burning yard debris. Source: North Carolina Forest Service, Raleigh NC Spring Cleaning: Use Caution Burning Yard Debris (4/2/2018) - Wildfire Risk Typically Higher through May Burning Debris Is The No. 1 Cause of Wildfires The North Carolina Forest Service is urging residents across the state to think safety and exercise caution during the spring [...]
US Department of Agriculture and National Institute of Food and Agriculture logos. Two NC Nonprofits Receive Food Safety Modernization Act Awards (3/31/2018) - On March 28, 2018, the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced awards to provide food safety education for producers and processors affected by the Food Safety Modernization Act. Two North Carolina nonprofits [...]
Piedmont Farm Tour. Source: Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, Pittsboro NC. Carolina Farm Stewardship Association Merging Its Popular Farm Tours (3/16/2018) - The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association has held farm tours across North Carolina, covering different counties on each tour. This year, the tours are merging, under the name “Piedmont Farm Tour”. From the announcement: Previously, we’ve [...]
Farmers Markets give local producers a place to sell what they grow. Photo: Kay Whatley Funding Available for NC Farmers Market Advertising (3/2/2018) - North Carolina farmers markets can expand their advertising budgets through of a new cooperative grant being offered by the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. As part of the grant, the department will pay [...]
Source: NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Grant Funding Available for NC Agritourism Farms (2/27/2018) - Application Deadline is March 9, 2018 at 5pm North Carolina farms that welcome visitors can take advantage of the 2018 Agritourism Marketing Cost-Share Grant available through the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Said [...]
Farmer harvesting industrial hemp. Source: NC Industrial Hemp Association, NC Industrial Hemp Commission Next Public Meeting (Conference Call/Online) is Mar. 6 (2/23/2018) - North Carolina’s Industrial Hemp Commission has scheduled its next public meeting. As with previous meetings, the public may join via telephone conference call or online meeting link. The purpose of this Tuesday, March 6, 2018 [...]
Mobile Hemp Decorticator. Source: Cory Sharp, HempLogic Mobile Hemp Decorticator to Tour US (2/15/2018) - Washington-based HempLogic plans to tour the US this year, showcasing equipment that will help hemp farmers process their crops closer to the source. Schedule is being set for hemp-friendly locations and festivals where they can [...]
Volunteers at the January 2018 reforestation site. Source: Maggie Bailey, We Plant It Forward We Plant It Forward and Eno River Association Join Forces in Reforestation Project (2/9/2018) - 93 Volunteers Successfully Plant 215 Trees on A 2-acre Field in The Confluence Natural Area Near The Eno River By Maggie Bailey, We Plant it Forward On Monday, January 15, 2018, We Plant It Forward and the [...]
Farmers Markets give local producers a place to sell what they grow. Photo: Kay Whatley NC Ag Workshop for Farmers Market Managers is Mar. 8 (2/9/2018) - The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA&CS) will host a workshop for farmers market managers. Titled “A Successful Season 2018 – Growing Your Farmers Market,” the event is an excellent way for market [...]
Dig In! 2018 flyer Registration Open for Dig In! as Gardening/Health Event Returns Mar. 10 (2/7/2018) - Early Bird Registration Open for the annual Dig In! to Healthy Communities event by Advocates for Health in Action (AHA) and partner Marbles Kids Museum. Dig In! is scheduled for March 10, 2018, 8:15am-1:30pm, at Marbles, 201 E Hargett [...]
NC Governor Cooper Launches “Hometown Strong” to Support Rural Communities. Source: NC Office of the Governor YouTube. NC Governor Launches “Hometown Strong” to Support The State’s Rural Communities (2/2/2018) - On February 1, 2018, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced Hometown Strong, a new initiative “to partner with local governments to support local economies, improve infrastructure, and strengthen rural communities.” “Small communities like the one [...]
Groups to Congress, “Protect Endangered Species from Pesticides” (1/26/2018) - A broad coalition of more than 250 conservation, consumer, agricultural and other public interest groups sent a letter to Congress opposing all efforts to weaken or gut Endangered Species Act (ESA) requirements that address the effects of [...]
Farmer harvesting industrial hemp. Source: NC Industrial Hemp Association, NC Industrial Hemp Commission Next Public Meeting is Jan. 25 (1/17/2018) - The North Carolina Industrial Hemp Commission will hold a public meeting via telephone conference call to review and approve research pilot program applications. The meeting is Thursday, January 25, 2018, beginning at 9:30am. Access to [...]
Donated Christmas trees used to create fish habitat. Photo: courtesy photo, US Army Corps of Engineers, Arkansas Post-Christmas 2017 Tree Recycling in Eastern NC (12/22/2017) - By Kay Whatley, Editor Announcements from Eastern North Carolina counties, cities, and towns regarding where your “used” Christmas trees will be accepted. Listed locations are in the five-county area and beyond. In addition to landfill, [...]
How many birds will you spot and identify during the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count? Photo: Kay Whatley Grab Binoculars: 118th Audubon Christmas Bird Count Needs You (12/18/2017) - World’s Longest-running Wildlife Census Contributes Invaluable Data to Bird Population Research For the 118th year, the National Audubon Society is organizing its annual Christmas Bird Count. Between December 14, 2017 and January 5, 2018, tens of thousands [...]
Farmer harvesting industrial hemp. Source: NC Industrial Hemp Association, NC Industrial Hemp Commission Public Meeting by Conference Call is Dec. 14 (12/7/2017) - The next meeting of the North Carolina Industrial Hemp Commission has been announced.  The Industrial Hemp Commission will hold a public meeting via telephone conference call. On Thursday, December 14, 2017, the meeting will begin online [...]
Red imported fire ants. Source: US Dept of Agriculture NC Expanding Quarantine Area in Effort to Slow Fire Ant Expansion (12/1/2017) - By Kay Whatley, Editor When you hit the great outdoors in North Carolina, sometimes you feel a burning sensation. Immediately, you know that a fire ant has attacked. The ant sting — it’s actually not [...]
Source: Hemp Inc University, Spring Hope NC NC Industrial Hemp Economics Workshop is Dec. 2 (11/27/2017) - The Hemp Money event, presented by Hemp Inc. University, is holding a one-day workshop to educate on NC’s Young Industrial Hemp Industry. “The Hemp Money Event – Economics, Lessons and Planning for 2018″ is scheduled for [...]
North Carolina Agritourism Farms Offer Holiday Attractions (11/18/2017) - Annie Baggett, NCDA&CS Whether you are looking to cut your own Christmas tree, or take a sleigh ride with Santa, North Carolina farms offer an abundance of options for family fun this holiday season. “Agritourism farms [...]
Example Soil Sample Form. Source: NCDA&CS, Raleigh NC. Soil Testing Fees Go into Effect Dec. 1 (11/8/2017) - Sample and Submit Now to Avoid Fees By David Hardy, NCDA&CS Fall is not only a great time of year for football, pumpkin spice, and changing leaves, it is also an excellent time to take [...]
Source: Honeybee photo via NC Farmland Preservation and Beehive Grant Applications Due By Dec. 15 (10/23/2017) - By Dewitt Hardee, NCDA&CS Farmland Preservation North Carolina county governments, nonprofit groups, and certified beekeepers pursuing farmland preservation projects and beehive grants have until December 15, 2017 to apply for funding assistance from the North [...]
USDA Provides Support for Hurricane-Impacted Dairies in Puerto Rico (10/19/2017) -  In the wake of the 2017 hurricanes, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is providing emergency assistance to dairy operators in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. USDA is preparing for signup to begin October [...]
One section of the Family Farm Day 2017 at Kindred Spirits Farm. Photo: Kay Whatley Kindred Spirits Farm Brought People, Horses, Together at Family Farm Day (9/28/2017) - By Kay Whatley, Editor An open-barn “Family Farm Day” event was held at Kindred Spirits Farm in Zebulon, North Carolina on Saturday, September 23, 2017. Dozens of families came for fun and to watch horse-riding demonstrations. The [...]
Fun Planned at Agritourism Farms This Fall Across North Carolina (9/26/2017) - Annie Baggett, NCDA&CS Agritourism farms across the state are ready to open their doors to Fall visitors. There are more than 700 agritourism farms across North Carolina, and many are hosting fall activities ranging from [...]