- Author: Penny Leff
Twenty minutes of hail on Easter Sunday means no melons for July 4th at Pacific Star Garden's farmers' market stall.
Hail comes sometimes, suddenly and randomly, in February or March or April. It can hit one farm but not the one down the road. This time the sudden hail hit Woodland farmers Robert and Debbie Ramming, owners of 40-acre Pacific Star Gardens, on March 31, almost as if Mother Nature couldn't wait for April Fool's day.
Mid-April, in most years, is a good time to visit strawberry farms in the Sacramento Valley for the earliest fresh juicy berries, but 20 minutes of hail put off the start of U-pick strawberry season at Pacific Star Gardens until May. The plants will survive, but damage to the berries and other...
- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
“My jar of honey went bad so I threw it away.”
How many times have you heard that?
It did not go “bad” but it did granulate, as honeys do. Granulation is the formation of sugar (glucose) crystals. Reheat the honey and it’s good to go — and eat.
“Most honeys granulate during storage after extended periods of time in containers,” says honey bee specialist/bee wrangler/six-decade beekeeper Norman Gary, emeritus professor in the Department of Entomology at UC Davis and author of the best-selling beginning beekeeping book, Honey Bee Hobbyist: The Care and Keeping of Bees.
“Sometimes honey granulates...
- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
Whether farmers are growing carrots destined to be baby-sized for school lunches, cut into small pieces in frozen pot pie or the classic length sold with their green feathery tops intact, they rely on a collaborative breeding program that has been in the works at UC’s Desert Research and Extension Center near El Centro for nearly 50 years.
The scientists working in USDA’s carrot breeding program, embedded at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, realized long ago that the Southern California desert agriculture research facility has the ideal climate and soil to grow their experimental hybrids through the winter months.
Each spring, the scientists gather for...
- Author: Brenda Dawson
From broccoli to watermelon, California farmers grow more than 400 agricultural commodities. In 2011, California was the primary producer of almonds, artichokes, dates, figs, raisins, kiwi, olives, cling peaches, pistachios, dried plums, pomegranates and walnuts— accounting for nearly 100 percent of each of these crops grown in the United States.
When Americans think of “agriculture,” California may not be the first state to come to mind. But the Golden State — just this one state — produced nearly half of all fruits, nuts and vegetables grown in the U.S. in 2011 (source).
In this land of abundance, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources is...
- Author: Marissa Palin
Some of us spent our weekend in the garden or at the farmers market, obsessing over our fresh produce that will get us through the week. Some of us went to bed last night dreaming about a Frostie from Wendy’s and fries from McDonald’s. Still, others of us spent the weekend trying to make ends meet and scraping together barely enough food to feed our families. Bottom line – food is something we all have in common. It’s a universal language. Whether we pride ourselves on eating local and organic, constantly find ourselves in the fast food lines, or stress about how to feed our families each day, food joins us all together.
All 6, almost 7, billion of us.
But what happens when there are 8 billion of...