Food & Farm News
» January 16, 2013 «
As the bulk of California begins to thaw out from a major freeze, the state's Agriculture Department will begin work assessing the damage to crops. Inspectors will meet with growers and county agricultural commissioners to determine the cold weather's impact on citrus fruit, artichokes, lettuce and other crops grown this time of year. According to the agriculture department, freeze damage does not appear on citrus fruit until 72 hours after the freeze event, and damage to avocados can take up to five days to appear, so some samples may be evaluated later this week.
Now is the time for young people to begin applying for jobs in forestry, according to the US Forest Service. Each year, the Forest Service and other conservation groups hire thousands of seasonal workers to do everything from improving trails to enhancing wildlife habitat. One program, the Youth Conservation Corp, employs more than 2,000 high school students in forests across the country, including in California.
There's a new trend in beverages that consumers are going nuts for. The American Farm Bureau Federation reports that drinks infused with nuts, seeds and grains are expected to gain popularity this year. One example is almond water, made by mixing water with a homemade sugary almond syrup. Makers of almond water describe the flavor as similar to marzipan, and not very nutty. The Farm Bureau says similar new beverages on the market include walnut shakes and hemp teas.
Tim Nilsen, a wakeboarder and turkey farmer from Sacramento County, is a finalist in the US Farmers and Ranchers' contest, “The Faces of Farming”. Over the past few months, visitors to the group's website have voted for their favorite farmer or rancher. Four winners of the contest will be announced next Tuesday, January 22. The winners will share their farming and ranching experience with consumers across the country through media and special event appearances.