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» September 28, 2007 «
The California dry spell has prompted increased consumer interest in drought-tolerant landscaping and native plants. Nursery operators say they've seen steady improvements in demand for drought-tolerant landscaping, accelerating in the past year. One says he's seen particular interest from new construction sites. Nursery operators say they offer a wide variety of colorful, native plants that require relatively little water to thrive.
With chilly autumn weather on the way, potato farmers in the southern San Joaquin Valley are tending their crops in preparation for November harvest. Kern County potato farmers specialize in white and yellow potatoes that consumers prize for their rich flavor. In order to produce the fall potato crop, farmers say they must nurse their fields through late-summer heat and crop diseases that reduce yields. But they say demand and prices for fall potatoes have been solid and consistent.
California egg farmers sold 5-million more eggs in August than they did in July, according to a government report. Egg production also rose on a year-to-year basis. Farmers earned an average market price of 77 cents a dozen. Although prices declined during the month, they remained high enough to allow most egg farmers to earn a profit. That will help to erase some of the debt created during low prices last year.
If you can't sell your tomatoes, make tomato juice. That's what a farmer near Dixon will do in response to a fruit fly quarantine. Farmer Nigel Walker typically delivers his produce directly to customers in the Bay Area. But the Mediterranean fruit fly quarantine prohibits that. Processed produce can be moved, so about 250 of Walker's customers will come to the farm Sunday to cook tomatoes, roast peppers and make jam from ripe pluots.Top