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This week on The Farm Report, Erin ushers in blueberry season! She welcomes Ed Flanagan, CEO of Wyman's of Maine to the program. Wyman's of Maine is a family owned company that specializes in the growing and marketing of wild blueberries. At the top of the show, Ed explains that Wyman's of Maine believes in the Japanese philosophy known as "kaizen," roughly translated as continuous improvement. Simply put: Wyman's has to do all they can to grow their business. Erin and Ed then delve in to discuss the details of the blueberry business, beginning with the distinctions between the wild and cultivated blueberry, Wyman's approach to the growing season, as well as the topic of honey bees and how vital they are to the business. With concerns such as colony collapse disorder, a strange phenomenon where worker bees abruptly disappear, Ed explains how Wyman's had to research, adapt and become invested in bee-keeping to further sustain their livelihood. Grab a smoothie and tune in for a great discussion on the super fruit! This program was sponsored by Fairway Market.

"A wild blueberry is much smaller, about three times smaller, than a cultivated blueberry. Generally, the flavor of a fruit is condensed around the skin, so in a handful of wild blueberries you're going to get more flavor." [7:14]

"We aspire to get to that point someday where we absolutely need no preventative chemicals." [12:50]

"What happened for us that was pretty good luck was right about the time that blueberries were being regarded as a healthy food was just about the same time that people started drinking smoothies." [19:45]

"We are out of business if there are no honey bees to put in our fields." [26:26]

--Ed Flanagan on The Farm Report


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This week on The Farm Report, host Erin Fairbanks speaks with Doug Fine, author of the book Hemp Bound: Dispatches From the Front Lines of the Next Agricultural Revolution. In an interesting discussion about the controversial substance that has been outlawed in its time among many states, Erin and Doug discuss the benefits of hemp and why hemp production should be something that is encouraged throughout the country. From the ground up, Doug walks us through the details of the hemp plant itself to his thoughts on the rebuilding of the hemp seed's biodiversity. With many uses that the average consumer might not recognize, such as material for clothing as well as houses, he goes on to share that with more production, hemp could help the country's farmers by offering a viable, profitable product to grow and sell. Tune in to find out more on why the stereotypes that surround hemp might need to be re-examined. This program has been brought to you by Cain Vineyard and Winery.

"Hemp is any variety of the cannabis plant that is 0.3% THC or less... Unless you get high smoking broccoli or corn, no, you can't feel psychoactive effects from hemp." [2:13]

"Hemp seed oil, which is extremely profitable, is an omega superfood. I put it in my morning shake every day. It basically does what flax oil or cod liver oil does, in terms of high proteins, in some cases better." [19:17]

-- Doug Fine on The Farm Report

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Tune in to a special episode of The Farm Report as Erin Fairbanks talks labor and workers rights with author and activist Margaret Gray. Margaret is the winner of the 2014 Association for the Study of Food and Agriculture Book of the Year Award as well as the author of Labor and the Locavore, which focuses on one of the most vibrant local food economies in the country, the Hudson Valley that supplies New York restaurants and farmers markets. Based on more than a decade’s in-depth interviews with workers, farmers, and others, Gray’s examination clearly shows how the currency of agrarian values serves to mask the labor concerns of an already hidden workforce. Margaret also explores the historical roots of farmworkers’ predicaments and examines the ethnic shift from Black to Latino workers. With an analysis that can be applied to local food concerns around the country, this book challenges the reader to consider how the mentality of the alternative food movements implies a comprehensive food ethic that addresses workers’ concerns. Tune in for an incredibly insightful conversation on the state of workers rights in the farming community. This program was brought to you by Heritage Foods USA.

"I never would have anticipated that my book would become a food studies book. It was a little more academically oriented around social movement issues but then I saw an amazing opportunity to have a conversation with people interested in food." [3:20]

"The farmers I talk to are very explicit [in saying] 'We don't want American workers and we don't want our Latino workers to be Americanized.' Some of the structural issues are around the way laws are designed and the power dynamics around the farms. " [21:00]

"The intimacy that we have from buying from small local farmers translates in a way into the relationships those farmers have with their workers." [22:00]

--Margaret Gray on The Farm Report


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