san diego agriculture

Tough row to hoe for COVID-19 farm relief

Farmers who grow San Diego County’s most valuable crops may miss out on federal cash for coronavirus-related losses because some of their agriculture products — primarily flowers, nursery plants and exotic fruits — are not included in the relief program. The growers are pushing to get their specialty crops added to the government’s eligible list, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture appears willing to hear…


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…


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…


From San Marcos ‘Dressing’ to Thanksgiving

California supplies the nation’s Thanksgiving tables California ranks #8 in turkey production in the United States (2016), and we supply most of the western states from our poultry farms located in several areas in the state. The famous Mrs. Cubbison’s Stuffing or “Dressing” originated from a ç, born in 1890 in the San Marcos area of San Diego County. In short, Cubbison graduated from California Polytechnical University in May 1920 with…


Herbs and spices thrive at Pearson’s Gardens

A few others grow herbs and spices in Southern California, but none grow as many as Cindy and Mark Pearson, whose Pearson’s Gardens & Herb Farm features close to 700 varieties. “They have the largest, and most diverse, selection of herbs in San Diego County,” said Nina Fox, president of the San Diego County Herb Society. “Cindy Pearson is extremely knowledgeable about the herbs botanically,…


SD County ag output dipped slightly in 2018

Three of San Diego County’s Top 10 Crops reached their highest total values in the past decade in the annual Crop Report released by the County this week, while total agriculture values dipped slightly after two straight years of increase. The total value of all agricultural crops and commodities slipped by one-quarter of 1% in the new report, which covers the 2018 growing season, decreasing…


Yes, we still have avocados, for now

Ah, Avocados;  it’s been a tough month, but Henry Avocado Corp. is back from a listeria recall and so far, no Trump border closure. His threatened U.S.-Mexico border closure would mean no avocados on store shelves within three week, according to experts. With all the controversy, however, avocado prices jumped higher than an NBA all-star at the dunking competition. Prices have remained higher than usual…


Milk, cow manure, and beer trucks

Lessons from the Last Surviving San Diego Dairy “My family has always been in the dairy business. It’s a…different sort of business,” laughs Frank Konyn of Frank Konyn Dairy. Established in 1962 by his father, Konyn’s 250-acre dairy farm is nestled on the San Pasqual Valley floor 35 miles northeast of downtown San Diego. With over 800 cows, he estimates his monthly feed bill to…