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» October 24, 2008 «
California mango harvest is over. A small number of growers near the Salton Sea produce mangoes, and this year production was heavier than farmers thought it would be. The trees that recovered from freezing temperatures two years ago produced a record amount of fruit. Farmers are replacing trees that were killed by the frost, but it takes five years before they will harvest any fruit. There may still be a few California-grown mangoes in retail stores, but not for long.
California School Garden Week was kicked off with a ceremony in Sacramento Thursday. State Secretary of Food and Agriculture A.G. Kawamura, adult volunteers and a group of fourth-graders planted flowers, vegetables, herbs and seedlings with golden trowels. More than 6,000 of California's 9,000 schools now have gardens. The goal is to involve all schools in the program. Garden-based learning teaches students subjects including science and encourages them to eat the vegetables they plant and nurture.
An infestation of Asian longhorned beetles in Massachusetts has members of the state's Maple Syrup Association concerned. The beetle destroys trees and authorities are working to eradicate the insect. The concern is the insect could spread to the maple forests. An infestation of the beetle in California in 2005 came from wooden crates used to ship imports from China. California officials succeeded in eradicating the insect and have not detected additional insects since.
The California Strawberry Commission is suggesting strawberries as a healthy treat for Halloween trick-or-treaters. Fresh strawberries are a healthy food and readily available. The commission suggests giving the berries fresh or dipping them in melted chocolate to provide an even sweeter treat. It's even possible to draw spooky faces on the berries coated with white chocolate. The commission has recipes on its Web site.Top