san diego county farm bureau

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…


First survey of California’s bees in 50 years will look for effects of habitat destruction

When you think of California in the 1970s, maybe you think of hippies, Fleetwood Mac or skateboards. But if you’re an entomologist, you might think of all the natural spaces that have since been devoured by urbanization and wonder what happened to the native bees that lived in them. The question isn’t one of mere nostalgia or curiosity. Insect populations around the world are plunging…


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…


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,…


Del Rey Avocado Co. opens new Vista plant

Fallbrook-based Del Rey Avocado Co., expanded its operations this year by opening up a new facility in nearby Vista that added 43,000 square feet of cold storage and ripening room space to its existing footprint in San Diego County. Since 1969, Del Rey Avocado Co. has operated from the same facilities in Fallbrook, California (northern San Diego County). For the last several years, the company knew…