A drive across the Northwest quickly reveals things look really dry everywhere.

Matthew Hamm /

So you love your coffee, but do you know your beans? To help you get started on your way to becoming a coffee aficionado, here are some coffee basics.

Where The Beans Come From

Danny Didricksen / Earthfix

Flash floods this August swept mud, debris, and ash through north central Washington. All that gunk has created an unusual problem for farmers and migratory fish.

Farmers usually install screens on the end of irrigation pipes to prevent clogs. Those screens also keep fish from being sucked out of the water and into farmers’ fields. But fish screens do little good when they get inundated with debris and mud.

Danny Didricksen is with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. He said crews have been working non-stop to help unclog fish screens.

Hot Weather A Mixed Blessing For Farmers

Jul 31, 2014
Oregon Department of Agriculture

This summer's hot, dry weather has been a mixed blessing for Northwest farmers.

Perched on a farm along the Hudson River is Dan Barber's award-winning restaurant, Blue Hill at Stone Barns. The food that's harvested on the farm year-round is what is served to diners daily.

But this champion of the farm-to-table movement noticed that farming and consuming foods locally still wasn't all that sustainable.

Rae Ellen Bichell / KPLU

When you think organic you probably visualize crisp, sweet-smelling veggies and fruit. But it turns out that fresh food is often grown in some pretty foul fertilizer. In fact it’s so bad it’s been known to make farmworkers gag. Now, as correspondent Anna King found out, there’s one new sweeter-smelling organic option developed right here in the Northwest.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

Northwest sweet cherry growers say this season they'll likely pick their third-largest haul ever. That's 20 million boxes full. But there’s plenty that can happen to cherries even the day of harvest.

Peggy Greb / USDA

The number of farms in the Northwest is dropping. That's according to newly released federal farm data. But there's more to the story. The average size and value of Northwest farms are going up.

Anna King

Many Northwest alfalfa growers had a rough year with bad weather last summer. Rain can leach nutrients out of drying hay and rot away any profits. But this year, hay markets are primed if growers can duck the storm clouds.

Anna King

Northwest asparagus growers are just starting to harvest spears in the warmer sites around Pasco. The green points are the first crop harvested in spring. But this year farmers say they might not get the best prices.  That’s because Mexican and Californian spears have flooded the market.