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BW's State of the Farm Report

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In past incarnations of our late-April "Green," "Growing" or "Gardening" issues, we've focused on you--your vegetables, your urban ranches, all the ways you could be eating better, having better movements and getting less toxic soil under your fingernails. But enough about you. This year, we're talking Idaho.

There probably hasn't been a more conflicted time in our state's history than right now--at least, agriculturally speaking. On one hand, everything from suburban development to the prevailing international trade winds to nascent immigration schemes threaten to turn the stereotypical export-dependent farmer into compost. But amidst the changes, there's also a sustenance-level renaissance afoot in Idaho. That's right, you actually have options if you want to find organic, local produce from people who name their individual vegetables. As such, it's an ideal time to undertake a State of the Farm report for 2006, with an examination of two notable embodiments of the old (or "Big Ag") and new (or "Not Big Ag") guards of Idaho agriculture. Enjoy it--or just ask us for a copy of last year's issue and go plant some flowers somewhere.

--Nicholas Collias