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» May 27, 2008 «
Wildfire in the Santa Cruz Mountains has caused damage to agriculture. Farmers near Corralitos in Santa Cruz County grow winegrapes, apples and various organic crops. It will be several days before the extent of damage is known. Farmers some distance from the fire have also had ash from the fire fall onto their fields. The strong winds that fanned the flames also blew ash many miles to cover farm fields in the Watsonville area. Growers have the added expense of cleaning that up.
Farmers markets in California are increasing in popularity. Coordinators say there has been a big jump in consumer numbers in the last 18 months, as more people decide to buy food locally. In addition more people would like to know who grows the food they eat, and they want it as fresh as it can be. Farmers like the markets as it provides them the cash flow to keep their businesses operating. The problem now is finding new locations with space for new markets.
Consumers will find California navel oranges in retail stores through June. California Citrus Mutual says farmers report good supplies of fruit still on trees. Harvest of later varieties will start soon and extend the season. Fruit quality remains excellent. The bloom for next season's crop is over and weather was good during bloom time. However it is too early to tell what size crop may develop for fall harvesting.
Fruits and vegetables are a key to good health in older men and women, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture study. Their research shows the nutrients in fruits and vegetables helps preserve muscle mass in older adults. Researchers say that with aging increasing metabolic "acidosis" develops, triggering a muscle wasting response. Fruits and vegetables in the diet reduces "acidosis". The study included nearly 400 male and female volunteers over age 65 for a three-year period.Top