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» October 16, 2008 «
Olive harvest in California is about half completed. Growers are reporting generally light tonnage as weather has taken its toll on this year's crop. Some groves have no olives, or so few that they won't be harvested. Yields are varying from less than one ton per acre to three tons or more per acre. Thus far more than 17,000 tons have been sent to processors. Fortunately there is some carryover from last season, which should keep retail stores supplied with olives all year.
There is a slow trend of increasing consumption of goat meat in California. It is part of the Slow Food movement to expand the food variety in the American diet. The number of farmers raising goats in California is increasing to satisfy the demand. Most of the goat meat now goes to the restaurant trade, but retail customers are also growing in number. Goat meat is considered a healthy food. It is widely popular in Europe and seems to be gaining popularity in California.
California-based scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Western Regional Research Center in Albany have developed a process for making all-fruit bars from fresh apples, pears and other fruit. The bars weigh in at just under an ounce and provide the equivalent of about one serving of fruit. The technology allows the bars to be made from purees and concentrates without the need for preservatives or fillers. They have a two-year shelf life and come in a variety of flavors.
Frost damage to winegrapes in Lake and Mendocino counties over the weekend appears now to be light. Farm advisors say most grapes were close to ideal sugar content and the present warm weather should aid development. There are a few isolated places where frost damaged leaves so grape sugar content won't increase. Growers are picking grapes now for what already was a short crop because of a late spring freeze. The ag commissioner's office says this was the worst growing season in memory.Top