At this time of year many Ventura County 4-H youth participate in the TOTSOCE (Trick or Treat so Others Can Eat) community service project. Instead of going door to door for candy, these kids go door to door for canned and other non-perishable food items. The food is then passed on to FOOD Share, Ventura County’s food bank. They in turn distribute the food to a network of certified charitable agencies in our county.
Last year 4,170 pounds of food was collected. The official collection period for this project is October 19th through November 8th, and the goal is 5,000 pounds. Please do what you can to support this effort.
While the project is organized by Ventura County 4-H and FOOD Share, the project is open to other youth groups and organizations. If interested, contact email@example.com.
Falling trees, or even a single fallen limb, can cause property damage, personal injury, and even death. These types of problems can happen at any time, but are more likely to happen during or right after a storm.
It is wise to take the time to evaluate trees on your property. The University of California has a publication, “Inspect Your Landscape Trees for Hazards”. It is available for free online in English and Spanish. The publication points out specific signs that may indicate that trees, or pieces of them, are at risk for falling. All evaluations are done from the ground.
As we head into our region’s stormy time of year, it is a good time to evaluate your trees for safety. You might want to share this information with your neighbors too!
Broken branch recently examined by Ventura County UCCE Environmental Horticulture Advisor, Jim Downer
The USDA has just launched a website, “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food”. The main goal of the site is to create new economic opportunities by connecting local food producers and consumers. In addition the USDA wants to help people be more connected and aware of the importance of understanding where our food comes from and how it gets onto our plates.
How does the USDA hope to accomplish these goals?
- By building the infrastructure to support the growth and viability of small and mid-sized farms and ranches new opportunities will in turn strengthen local and regional food systems and the communities they serve.
- They want people to make smart decisions about what they eat. Communities filled with people making healthy decisions will further support and strengthen local communities.
- The USDA will work with interested food producers to lower their energy costs and improve their resource management as well as assisting to preserve farm and ranch lands.
- These goals will be met using programs and people to support this effort. An assortment of programs and grant funds are available to help make this vision a reality.
To find out more, please visit www.usda.gov/knowyourfarmer.
Preliminary results from the first statewide survey of California agritourism operators show revenue is generated by participating farmers and ranchers.
Agricultural tourism allows visitors (tourists) to experience a taste of agricultural lifestyles. According to the survey, California farmers and ranchers hosted more than 2.4 million agricultural tourists in 2008. Tourism offerings are varied throughout the state. Local, Ventura County agritourism ventures offer: farm and nursery tours; farm stands; petting zoos; picnic and play areas; u-pick produce; lectures and presentations; agriculture-related gifts and crafts; value-added food products; horseback riding and trail rides; camping; nature walks; special events; plants; and cut flowers.
Please see UC Small Farm Program's California Agritourism Database for places to visit. Farmers and ranchers offering agritourism venues can add themselves to the data base. Clicking on “Agritorism resources for operators” on the left-hand side of the screen will take you to a site to view the survey results and much more.
Our Ventura County UCCE Master Gardeners work hard delivering science-based gardening information to the public. One of the ways they accomplish this is through their MG Speaker Bureau. The speakers are very knowledgeable in their subjects and are available for group meetings.
The current topics offered are:
- Container Gardening
- Container Vegetable Gardening
- Fruit Gardening
- Garden Design/Plant Selection
- Gifts from the Garden
- Introductory Horticulture
- Pest Management
- Water-Wise Gardening
- Low Cost/No Cost Gardening
- Low Maintenance Gardening
- Tomato Culture
- What About Soils?
- Succulents and Cacti
- Vegetable Gardening
- What is a Master Gardener?
- Peppers, Onions and Tomato Facts
- Fertilizer Use
- Weed Killers
Additional information and instructions on how to request a speaker can be found by clicking here. Please contact our office if you need additional information.