Food & Farm News
August 20, 2014
Water bond backers work to build support
With the November election now less than 11 weeks away, supporters of a water bond on the California ballot say they will need to move quickly to solidify support for the measure. If passed, the bond would authorize investment in new water storage, recycling, water quality programs and more. The bond’s backers say the vote couldn’t come at a more critical time, as drought worsens water shortages around the state.
Demand grows for native, drought-tolerant plants
Nursery owners who grow drought-tolerant and native plants say they’re seeing increased demand, as Californians re-evaluate their landscaping in the wake of water shortages. Native-plant nurseries say they’re gearing up for the autumn shipping season and expect strong demand due to the drought. Native and drought-tolerant plants are also being incorporated into freeway landscaping, erosion control and other large-scale projects.
Weather problems reduce olive crop
They expected a smaller crop to begin with, because of their trees’ production cycle, but California olive growers say a combination of weather problems will reduce their harvests by nearly half this year. Freezing temperatures, windstorms and now drought have all hit olive groves during the growing season. The problems have been most severe for table olives. Farmers who grow olives for oil say their crops have fared better.
Early Brussels sprouts win more customers
In fields of Brussels sprouts along the Central Coast, farmers have begun hand-harvesting the early crop, while preparing for the peak of the harvest in the fall. Growers say demand for the early-season crop has improved in the last few years, as more people incorporate Brussels sprouts into their diets year-round. At the height of harvest, farmers use machines to harvest the sprouts. Demand typically rises after Labor Day and peaks during the holiday season.