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» March 17, 2006 «
Many Northern California residents hope for a break in the rain this weekend ... and none more than the region's nursery operators. Weekend rains have kept gardeners indoors for the past several weekends in much of the state. As a result, many California nursery operators report their sales are lower than last year. It is still early in the season, though, and nursery owners say they hope for better weather on weekends soon.
Demand for California-grown kiwifruit has picked up, and marketers say their stores of fruit harvested last fall will be sold out by the end of April. That's earlier than they had originally expected. The California Kiwifruit Commission says vines have escaped damage from late-winter rain and frost, so far. Kiwifruit vines usually bloom about the end of March, but recent cold spells may delay that.
Young farmers and ranchers hope their children will follow them into family farming, according to a survey by the American Farm Bureau. More than 95 percent of those who responded to the survey expressed that desire. Most said they are better off today than last year and 94 percent said they expect to be lifetime farmers. The survey involved farmers aged 35 and younger. The poll showed their top concern is the future availability of farmland.
They call it "edu-tainment" ... trying to make learning fun ... and government nutrition specialists are using that strategy to teach kids about healthy eating habits and physical activity. One of the latest efforts involves an interactive, online computer program aimed at African-American girls aged 8 to 10. The game tries to show girls the importance of engaging in physical exercise and consuming fruit, vegetables, juices and water.Top