Thursday, Apr. 17, 2014

AGRICULTURE

Preserving farmland may have unforeseen consequences for Washington taxpayers

A proposed change to a law aimed at preserving farmland and open space could result in higher taxes for some Washington property owners. House Bill 2306 would expand a tax classification on land actively used for …

County officials and farm group criticize state’s new land acquisition proposal

Land acquisition by state agencies is draining county coffers, particularly in Okanogan County, said Washington Farm Bureau members and Okanogan County officials. Jon Wyss, the Okanogan County Farm Bureau president, presented …
Genetically engineered foods target of labeling initiative

Genetically engineered foods target of labeling initiative

By Marcy Stamper
A voter-proposed initiative requiring labeling of genetically engineered foods would be the first such labeling law in the country if voters approve it statewide in the Nov. 5 general election.
Spring freeze takes huge bite out of local apple crops

Spring freeze takes huge bite out of local apple crops

By Ann McCreary
At a time when Methow Valley apple and pear growers should be reaping the rewards of their labor, most are regrouping and hoping for a better crop next season.
New comp plan includes protections for Methow

New comp plan includes protections for Methow

The new draft comprehensive plan increases the amount of land designated for agriculture. File photo by Don Nelson   BY MARCY STAMPER Okanogan County released a new draft of its comprehensive plan last week that has more than doubled in length, primarily because it includes an updated version of special provisions for the Methow Valley....
Marijuana touted as sustainable local crop

Marijuana touted as sustainable local crop

Photo by Sue Misao   BY MARCY STAMPER A local organization and state Rep. Joel Kretz see marijuana as a crop that could be successfully – and sustainably – grown in the hot, dry climate of Eastern Washington, avoiding the intensive energy consumption of standard production techniques in completely enclosed warehouses under powerful artificial lights....
SPECIAL SECTION: GARDENING

SPECIAL SECTION: GARDENING

Get out in the dirt: Don’t wait to start your garden preparations BY MARCY STAMPER Despite the recent snow squalls, it really is time to get your garden ready for the growing season. To prepare your soil for a new year’s worth of vegetables, berries or flowers, you need to feed it, said Tess Hoke, owner...
Big crop of morels is expected to draw commercial harvesters

Big crop of morels is expected to draw commercial harvesters

BY ANN McCREARY Wildfires that devastated area forests last fall are expected to result in a bountiful crop of morel mushrooms this spring – and an onslaught of commercial pickers who will come to harvest the delectable fungi. Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest officials are preparing for large numbers of commercial mushroom pickers who flock to recently...