Agriculture

COVID-19: SD County Farm Bureau acts

The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting shelter-in-place protocols and safety concerns disrupted rural communities and markets for agricultural products, according to California Farm Bureau’s AgAlert. . Around California, county Farm Bureaus responded with innovative solutions intended to help their members ensure safety of themselves, their families and their employees, and to promote and sell crops and commodities in new and rapidly changing conditions. Here are three…


Small farms struggle amidst justice protests

Following peaceful protests over the weekend that sometimes turned violent, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department instated a curfew on Monday, June 1, 2020 and protests have still continued. According to Martha Montoya, who sits on the State Board of Food and Agriculture, the protests have been disrupting access to markets for small farmers, who are already struggling to adapt during the pandemic. “It’s a tough situation,” said Montoya…


Grower donates plants to first responders

Olive Hill Greenhouses, which farms in Fallbrook, is continuing a long history of supporting local organizations by donating thousands of plants to first responders and those on the front line of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. The multi-generation family-owned company decided to team up with one of its customers in Southern California — Plantscapers Inc. in Irvine and Palm Desert, CA — to provide beautiful flowering…


San Diego ag all the rage in coronavirus age

Loss of business due to mass closures of restaurants, schools and corporate cafeterias in response to COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders has small farms looking to collaborate as they try to adapt to the crisis by finding new markets and changing sales strategies, according to Ching Lee, an assistant editor of Ag Alert, published by the California Farm Bureau. During a webinar last week aimed at helping…


Some farmers markets allowed to re-open

Now that the state of California has defined certified farmers markets as an essential service for food supplies, a number of markets that had been shut a week earlier by local governments and property owners are back up and running. Market operators continue efforts to reopen other markets. “The state Office of Emergency Services has made it clear: People involved in agriculture, food production, distribution…


Coronavirus fears close local farmers markets

Due to fears of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, some local governments and property owners in California have temporarily ceased farmers market operations, while other markets remain open after bolstering safety measures to prevent spread of the virus. Abruptly closing markets, affected organizers say, hurts farmers and market customers, especially when access to fresh fruits and vegetables is a must to boost…


Sunlet Nursery shamrocks are evergreens

(Editor’s Note: Last weekend, roughly 70,000 shamrock plants filled some of Sunlet’s many greenhouses, but by Wednesday, almost all had been shipped out to garden centers and supermarkets, locally and throughout the western United States, according to Harry Jones of the San Diego Union Tribune. “They’ll be on their way to their forever home,” said Janet Kister, owner of Fallbrook’s 26-acre Sunlet Nursery. All of Sunlet’s business is…


Young Cal ranchers find new ways to thrive

As California contends with drought, wildfires and other impacts of climate change, a small yet passionate group of residents are attempting to lessen these effects and reduce the state’s carbon emissions. They are ranchers – but not the kind that most people picture when they hear that term. These first-generation ranchers are young, often female and ethnically diverse. Rather than raising beef cattle destined for…


No sour notes for UC Riverside Citrus Day

The message at UC Riverside’s Citrus Day for the Industry event was clear: Huanglongbing poses an existential threat to California citrus growers but the defenses are holding and scientists will find better weapons. Over 200 people from the citrus industry and UC Riverside gathered on a windy January day to hear experts talk about the current status of the citrus disease Huanglongbing and the tiny…


Coal-fired plant shutdowns saves lives, improves crop yields, UCSD study says

The decommissioning of coal-fired power plants in the continental United States has reduced nearby pollution and its negative impacts on human health and crop yields, according to a new University of California San Diego study. The findings published this week in Nature Sustainability use the U.S. transition in recent years from coal towards natural gas for electric power generation to study the local impacts of…