Food & Farm News
December 18, 2013
Inspections aim to detail freeze damage
Inspectors have been cutting open citrus fruit in California groves, to determine how much of the fruit may have been damaged by a string of freezing nights earlier this month. Farmers say they expect damage to vary based on farm location, crop maturity and other factors. Mandarins appear to have suffered worse than navel oranges did. Packers and inspectors have put controls in place to make sure only top-quality citrus fruit reaches market.
Daily glass of wine could help immune system
New evidence has been added to reinforce the health benefits of moderate wine consumption. A study published Tuesday found that moderate alcohol consumption could bolster the human immune system and help people fight infections. A researcher at the University of California, Riverside, says the study adds the immune system to the list of health benefits for moderate alcohol use, along with improvements to cardiovascular function.
Christmas tree farms expand sales of wreaths
Handmade wreaths have become a key offering for more California Christmas tree farms. Farmers point out that some people who may not have room in their homes for a Christmas tree still can enjoy a fresh wreath. Selling wreaths also gives tree growers another way to compete with artificial trees. One Santa Clara County Christmas tree grower describes wreaths as the fastest-growing part of his business.
Official offers ‘ag plates’ as a gift idea
If you’re looking for a last-minute holiday gift, the state secretary of food and agriculture has a suggestion: Why not give that special someone a set of “California Agriculture” license plates? The specialty plates features a design that honors the “food, fiber, fuel and flora” grown on California farms. State agriculture secretary Karen Ross notes that a portion of the license plate fees benefits agricultural education programs.