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» January 10, 2005 «
A cooperative effort among farmers, a charity and a landowner will result in a community garden to provide food for the poor and homeless. The Orange County Farm Bureau and Second Harvest Food Bank are developing the garden in Santa Ana. The landowner donated use of the three-acre plot, which once held an apartment complex. Ultimately, the land will be planted in crops that will be harvested to provide food for needy people in the region.
There's been enough rain in Southern California that wheat farmers have finished planting their dryland crops. Dryland wheat is grown without irrigation, and farmers often have to wait until this month to plant. This season, though, most of the wheat was planted well before that. The crop is up and looking good, but farmers remain cautious because weather-related problems could still develop. Southern California farmers continue to plant other grains, such as oats and barley, between rainstorms.
As they look forward to the new year, observers of the food business say they expect health benefits to be a key factor in market promotions. Trend-watchers predict increased popularity for blueberries. That's encouraging news for California farmers, who have planted more blueberries in the past couple of years. The experts also forecast enhanced consumer interest in exotic foods such as lemongrass, Meyer lemons and blood oranges.
In a partnership with an actress-turned-artist, the California Pistachio Commission will urge women to become more aware of heart health. The pistachio commission will promote and sell limited-edition note cards, featuring paintings by actress Jane Seymour. Proceeds will benefit women's heart-health initiatives. The commission says pistachios fit into heart-healthy diets, citing research suggesting that diets containing pistachios and other nuts may reduce risk of heart disease.Top