Food & Farm News
2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009
2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005
» April 9, 2007 «
With one peak demand period passed and their biggest day of the year approaching, California strawberry farmers say their production is catching up from a slow start. The January freeze slowed the strawberry harvest, but farmers say the cold wave toughened the plants that now produce abundant supplies of fruit. Strawberry demand typically rises for Easter and, now that that holiday has passed, farmers prepare for their top sales day of the year: Mother's Day.
A delayed sweet-corn harvest will start about a week from now in the California desert. Sweet corn was among the crops hurt by the January freeze, which nipped early plantings. The crop had to be reseeded, and farmers say growing conditions in the desert have been favorable since. Florida sweet corn also suffered from bad weather. Consumers will find fresh sweet corn at retail stores, but what is available now comes from Mexican farms.
Some have moved out of state. Others have shut down altogether, hurt by a combination of low milk prices and high costs for feed and fuel. The number of dairy farms in California dropped by 68 last year, according to the latest report from state agriculture officials. California, the nation's top milk-producing state, now houses about 2,000 dairies. Those remaining dairies boosted the state's overall milk production by about 3 percent last year.
Don't let their pale coloring fool you: Artichokes contain levels of antioxidants that meet or exceed those of more richly colored foods. A study by university researchers found artichokes with the highest antioxidant level of any vegetable. Nutritionists encourage people to eat foods that are rich in antioxidants. Those compounds protect healthy cells and appear to reduce risk of cancer, heart disease and other ailments.Top