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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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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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Linda Pelaccio begins today's episode of A Taste of the Past by taking a moment to spread the word about Family-to-Family, a relief organization that allows a group of people to sponsor a family who has been affected by Hurricane Sandy. Thanksgiving has always been accompanied by charitable spirit; check out Family-to-Family, and get involved with the hurricane relief efforts. Today, Linda is speaking with food historian Sandy Oliver about the roots of Thanksgiving! Sandy is also the author of the book Saltwater Foodways, a history of Yankee cooking and New England eating traditions, and the recent Maine Home Cooking. Tune into this episode to learn about the religious considerations of Thanksgiving, and how it came to be a national holiday. What foods were most likely on the table during the first harvest feast? Sandy and Linda share some dishes that you may not recognize! Hear about the history of Thanksgiving commercialism! This program has been sponsored by Rolling Press.

"Most of us don't recognize mincemeat for the preserve that it is. It is a way of preserving meat along with apples and other kinds of fruits. It also was convenience food." [14:05]

-- Sandy Oliver on A Taste of the Past


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