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» October 9, 2007 «
Concerns about rainfall and water availability may drive farmers' plans for new orchards this coming winter. Nursery owners who sell orchard rootstock say it's still a little early to map any trends. But nurseries that sell drought-resistant rootstock report strong demand for new almond varieties. Pistachios are also in demand as a tree that can withstand drought. Pistachio trees left with little or no water for a season will come back if fully watered the following season.
California pumpkin farmers say their crops have avoided the problems that have reduced supplies in other parts of the country. Too much rain in some regions, and not enough in others, has reduced pumpkin production in parts of the Midwest and Southeast. Farmers in those areas have been trying to buy pumpkins from elsewhere, so they have enough available for pumpkin-patch sales. But California farmers don't have large surpluses to offer those growers, and shipping costs would make the price prohibitive.
For people who like their pumpkins really, really big, Half Moon Bay was the place to be yesterday (Monday). The community's annual pumpkin weigh-off produced a record-sized pumpkin that weighed in at 1,524 pounds. A grower named Thad Star of Pleasant Hill, Oregon, won the prize. The record-setter and other winning pumpkins will be on display through this weekend, when Half Moon Bay's annual Pumpkin Festival concludes.
What's the best way to gain the heart health benefits from garlic? Many researchers say raw garlic provides the best source of heart-healthy compounds called thiosulfinates. But most people cook garlic before eating it. A new study determined that preparing garlic by crushing it, then baking it slightly, retains most of the health benefits offered by raw garlic. Most domestically produced garlic comes from California farms.Top