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Santa Cruz County Agriculture & Gardening Digest

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Farm Bureau Conference to Host First-Ever ‘California Marketplace’

For the first time, members at the California Farm Bureau Annual Meeting will be able to sell goods from their farms and ranches. Called the California Marketplace, this interactive event will be held Dec. 4—one of several new features of the meeting, taking place Dec. 2-7 in Monterey.

(Sept. 22, 2022) → Read the full The Grapevine Independent report
How to Be an Eco-Conscious Wine Lover

It’s not always easy to know which wineries are practicing eco-conscious farming and operations. Edible Silicon Valley gathered various tips and things to look for when deciding which corks to pop.

(Sept. 3, 2022) → Read the full Edible Silicon Valley report
Nesh Dhillon Talks About the Future of Santa Cruz Farmers Markets

Nesh Dhillon has managed Santa Cruz Community Farmers’ Markets for more than 20 years. During that time there has been an expansion of markets from Felton to Live Oak and the inclusion of ready-to-eat food.

(Aug. 24, 2022) → Read the full Lookout Local report
Here’s What You Need to Know About ‘Clean Weed’

First, there were clean beauty products, then clean cleaning products—and now clean weed. It’s about to be everywhere in the Golden State. So what, exactly, is clean weed?

(Aug. 22, 2022) → Read the full Santa Cruz County Sentinel report
Pesticide Notification Pilot Program Launches in Watsonville

Santa Cruz County has announced the launch of a pesticide notification program in South County. Created by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, it is one of four pilot collaborations aimed at residents close to land where agricultural pesticides are used.

(July 12, 2022) → Read the full Good Times report
Saison Winery Opens Tasting Room in Los Gatos

Winemaker/restaurateur Mark Bright and his partners at Saison in San Francisco decided to create Saison Winery to showcase Santa Cruz Mountains wines. Now, the wines can be purchased at the new Saison Cellar tasting room in Los Gatos, located in the former home of Left Bend Cellars.

(July 1, 2022) → Read the full Edible Monterey Bay report
State Lawmakers Weigh Buying Out Farmers to Save Water

A proposal in the state Senate would spend up to $1.5 billion to buy “senior water rights” that allow farmers to take as much water as needed from the state’s rivers and streams.

(June 6, 2022) → Read the full Santa Cruz County Sentinel report
You Dress for Our Weather—Buy Plants for Our Climate

Too many coastal Californians are buying plants wrong for our climate and installing gardens more suitable for conditions east of the Mississippi, says Martin Quigley, director of UC Santa Cruz’s Arboretum & Botanic Gardens.

(May 29, 2022) → Read the full Lookout Local report
Tera Farm: Helping Women-Owned Small Farms Survive

Maria Ana Reyes began working in the fields when she was eight years old. Now, at 49, she cultivates 11 acres of her own in San Juan Bautista and Watsonville. She is a core contributor to Tera Farm—a produce box program with distribution points from Carmel to Menlo Park.

(May 2, 2022) → Read the full Edible Monterey Bay report
Watsonville Ranch Owner Gauges Interest in Proposed Development

While Watsonville voters decide whether to extend Measure U, which would limit development of farmland, Watsonville native Stephen Rocha is working with DeBernardo Realty to convert his family’s 150 acres into a multi-use compound.

(March 21, 2022) → Read the full Santa Cruz County Sentinel report
Santa Cruz Researchers Study Wildfire Effects on Wine

Winery owner and UC Santa Cruz chemistry professor Phil Crews teamed up with a group of researchers to conduct a study on how the taste of wine was affected by wildfire smoke.

(March 14, 2022) → Read the full KSBW NBC/ABC report
E-Commerce Startup FarmX Empowers Farmers

With her ag tech startup, FarmX, Maria Fernanda Reyes wants to empower growers. FarmX is a cloud-based e-commerce platform that lets farmers to sell their products directly to grocery chains, restaurants and other buyers.

(March 4, 2022) → Read the full Comstock's Magazine report
EcoFarm Keynote Mark Arax on ‘Water, Land and Power’

In a preview of the EcoFarm conference, taking place virtually March 9-18, food journalist Mark C. Anderson interviews Mark Arax, who will present a keynote speech on “Water, Land and Power in the Central Valley: Towards an Ecologically Sound and Just Agriculture.”

(March 1, 2022) → Read the full Edible Monterey Bay report
California Farmers Could Buffer Water Supplies by Using Fog Nets

For most people, fog is a nuisance. But Dr. Daniel Fernandez at Cal State Monterey Bay has been working with fog for nearly 20 years, using nets to collect tiny fog water droplets.

(Feb. 4, 2022) → Read the full KCRA NBC 3 report
Annual Crop Report Released

The Ag Commission has released Santa Cruz County’s 2020 crop report, showing the successes and failures of agriculture that struggled through fires, COVID, and more.

(Nov. 19, 2021) → Read the full Good Times report
Aromas Sports Park Receives Landscaping Help

Volunteers worked to landscape areas of Aromas Sports Park in a project supported by the local Rotary Club.

(Nov. 15, 2021) → Read the full Benito Link report
Group Hosts Discussion About Phasing Out Pesticides

About 50 people gathered Nov. 14 in Watsonville to explore ways to phase out toxic farming chemicals and convert Pajaro Valley farmlands to organic and regenerative farming. The forum was hosted by the Campaign for Organic and Regenerative Agriculture, a newly formed group.

(Nov. 14, 2021) → Read the full The Pajaronian report
Measure to Fund Youth Programs With Cannabis Tax Wins Voter Support

In the Nov. 2 election, voters in the city of Santa Cruz overwhelmingly supported Measure A, which will establish a permanent Children’s Fund and boost the percentage of revenues from the city’s cannabis business tax to 20 percent.

(Nov. 3, 2021) → Read the full Good Times report
New Law Will Idle Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers, Lawn Mowers

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill that will phase out the sale of gas-powered leaf blowers and other small off-road engines. According to the Air Resources Board, an hour’s use of a gas-powered leaf blower produces the same emissions as a drive from Los Angeles to Denver.

(Oct. 10, 2021) → Read the full The Sacramento Bee report
Refill ’Er Up! Newly Signed Bill Allows for Wine Bottle Reuse

A state bill was recently signed into law allowing consumers to bring their own wine bottles to be refilled at participating tasting rooms. “The new legislation allows wineries to reduce packaging waste and cost,” said Heather Brand, owner I. Brand & Family Winery in Monterey County.

(Oct. 6, 2021) → Read the full Monterey Herald report
Seymour Marine Discovery Center Prepares to Reopen to the Public

The Seymour Marine Discovery Center is fully reopening its exhibits to members and the general public this month, after a hiatus due to the pandemic.

(Oct. 4, 2021) → Read the full Good Times report
Newly Signed Bill Adds Wildfire Smoke Protections for California Farmworkers

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill Sept. 27 that is designed to decrease farmworkers’ exposure to wildfire smoke by giving them access to the state’s stockpile of N95 masks. Assembly Bill 73, authored by Robert Rivas (D-Hollister), designates agricultural laborers as “essential workers.”

(Sept. 28, 2021) → Read the full The Sacramento Bee report
Meet Local Farmers and Learn About the Land

Eight family-owned farms—seven in Santa Cruz County and one in San Benito County—are part of this year’s Open Farm Tours, which takes place Oct. 9-10.

(Sept. 28, 2021) → Read the full Santa Cruz County Sentinel report
County Supes Approve Moratorium on New Cannabis Cultivation

The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors is hitting the pause button on new cannabis cultivation licenses within 500 feet of residences—a move spurred by conflicts on such issues as odor, noise and security. The supervisors will look at the issue again on Nov. 9.

(Sept. 14, 2021) → Read the full The Pajaronian report
Heirloom Tomatoes Flourish at Love Apple Farms

Most tomato lovers find Love Apple Farms by word-of-mouth. Owner Cynthia Sandberg and son Zachary Geske founded Love Apple Farms in 2000. Their retail greenhouse is located at Ivy’s Porch in Scotts Valley.

(Sept. 10, 2021) → Read the full San Lorenzo Valley Post report
Bonny Doon Festival Returns Oct. 2

The upcoming Bonny Doon Art, Wine + Brew Festival is a quaint community event that helps support Bonny Doon’s elementary school art and science programs.

(Sept. 10, 2021) → Read the full Press Banner report
Department of Cannabis Takes Over Regulation Duties

Over the summer, California made big changes to how cannabis is regulated, with Gov. Gavin Newsom merging three agencies into one new Department of Cannabis.

(Aug. 31, 2021) → Read the full report
Farmworker Wildfire Smoke Protections Act Heading to Newsom’s Desk

The Farmworker Wildfire Smoke Protections Act seeks to build on the California Occupational Safety and Health program’s standard for protecting farm workers and address issues like unhealthy air conditions. The bill would also provide education on hazardous conditions.

(Aug. 24, 2021) → Read the full The Californian report
Organization Wants to Bring Beneficial Songbirds Back to Farmland

For more than 20 years, Watsonville-based organization Wild Farm Alliance has aimed to find a sustainable balance between conservation and agriculture. One of its biggest projects is to reintroduce songbirds onto farms.

(Aug. 23, 2021) → Read the full Good Times report
Gali Vineyards Opens Tasting Room in Los Gatos

This weekend marks the grand opening of Janice and Joseph Gali’s inaugural tasting room on Main Street in downtown Los Gatos, where they will pour wines produced from their 18-acre vineyard property in Corralitos.

(Aug. 20, 2021) → Read the full Edible Monterey Bay report
Local Fishermen Urge More Attention to Sustainability

Fishing industry analysts report bright spots in both the salmon and squid markets this season. But fisheries management is still undergoing its own pandemic comeback, and climate change fears remain.

(Aug. 3, 2021) → Read the full Good Times report
Faultline Brewing Company to Land at Scotts Valley Hangar

A Sunnyvale-based microbrewery is opening up at The Hangar at Skypark development. Faultline Brewing Company will take over about 5,000 square feet of the approximately 12,000-square-foot building.

(July 9, 2021) → Read the full Press Banner report
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