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Santa Cruz County Agriculture & Gardening Articles

Image caption: DWR’s report on groundwater sustainability plans was illustrated with this photograph of a wheat field irrigated by groundwater in the southern San Joaquin Valley.
DWR Flushes Six Groundwater Plans

The San Joaquin Valley plans, serving low-income Latino communities, were deemed inadequate for preventing dry wells and sinking land.

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Community Garden Grows a Following

City of Scotts Valley seems to have something for everyone. From dining to theater to shopping, locals are able to enjoy a variety of options and opportunities, but there’s one hidden gem that few people know about: the Annette Marcum …

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Group seeks removal of Santa Cruz County Fair Board president

WATSONVILLE—In the latest chapter in the drawn-out saga at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds, a local group has created an online petition to remove Board President Don Dietrich. The petitioners say that Dietrich has shown a lack of leadership, and …

Image caption: Fresh and dried fruit, wine, nuts and more can be found at Casa De Fruta, a venerable stop for drivers traversing Pacheco Pass.
Roadside Attractions

California is the top agricultural producer in the U.S., and a top beneficiary of visitor spending. So naturally, we’ve got fun, food-driven tourist magnets.

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PV Water approves contracts for College Lake work

The Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency (PV Water) Board of Directors approved contracts to construct the College Lake Integrated Resources Management Project during a special meeting on Feb. 1. The College Lake Pipeline Project will construct a six-mile, 30-inch water …

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On the frontlines of pesticide exposure

Editor’s note:  This story is the first of “Adrift,” a three-part series by Environmental Health News, and palabra, a multimedia platform of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, on pesticide use in California that finds rural communities of color and …

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Rainwater Capture

By Josh Reilly It might be an odd time to talk about rain barrels and rooftop rainwater capture. As of late January, we have already picked up about 40” of rainfall in the SLV. Our gardens and landscapes are now …

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Public Scrutinizes Firing of Santa Cruz Fairgrounds CEO

Nearly 100 people filled the Fine Arts Building at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds Tuesday to attend the Fair’s Board of Directors meeting. While Fair Board meetings don’t normally draw a large audience—former CEO Dave Kegebein says some days saw …

Image caption: Dairy products are California’s top agricultural commodity, but the industry is often criticized for its impact on the environment.
Sustainable Sustenance

California is a leading producer of agricultural crops. So it’s not surprising to find cutting-edge ideas taking root here.

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The Mountain Gardener | Get Your Bare-Root Edibles Now

The other day I visited three local nurseries to see what’s new in their bare root edible selection. In addition to the classics, I found a ton of new varieties for containers and smaller home gardens. Now is the time …

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Ag industry reeling from floods

PAJARO VALLEY—As the intense series of atmospheric river storms wane, many farmers and agriculture workers across the state of California are left reeling from flood impacts. Many streams, creeks and major rivers in Northern and Central California overflowed their banks …

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January in the Garden

By Josh Reilly We had a strange Fall season in my little “holler” in Ben Lomond in 2022. Routine heavy frosts started in late October, a little ahead of schedule, along with other autumnal anomalies. Maybe it’s the 50 F …

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The Mountain Gardener | Rx for Sad Houseplants

It’s been a tough couple weeks for my houseplants. Power outages from recent storms made me move my African violet, which was just starting to bloom over to a window for more light. Others are staged on tabletops. I know …

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Year in Review: Higher Education

How two UC professors dove into the weed world of Santa Cruz and beyond to explore the future of legal cannabis

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County Supervisors approve controversial farmworker housing project in Pajaro.

Barring a lawsuit, a controversial farmworker housing project in Pajaro officially has the green light to move forward: In a Dec. 13 hearing, the Monterey County Board of Supervisors approved the three-building, 46-unit project in a 3-1 vote (Mary Adams…

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The Warm Colors of Winter

By Josh Reilly December is upon us and with it, the hot-colored Holiday blooms of Amaryllis. These bulbs are often stashed in a cool, dark spot and potted in October or November. Those from in the Southern Hemisphere will flower …

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Pilot program launches to recycle agricultural plastic

A new program launched by the California Marine Sanctuary Foundation (CMSF), ReGen Monterey and Flipping Iron, Inc. is joining a growing effort to recycle more plastic from local farms and ranches. CMSF, an organization aiming to protect California’s coastal ecosystems …

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The Legacy of Outstanding in the Field

Distinguished chef Jim Deneven is behind one of Santa Cruz’s loftiest food events of the year

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Watsonville’s urban growth is a key issue before voters

WATSONVILLE—This fall, Watsonville voters face a decision that has been 20 years in the making. Should the city’s urban growth restrictions put in place in 2002 be extended through 2040, or should residents and their elected leaders have an opportunity …

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The Fights Against Pesticides in the Pajaro Valley

A quarter of Santa Cruz County ag is organically grown, so what’s preventing other growers from abandoning noxious chemicals?