Summer’s bounty, on land and in water

by on August 06, 2012

 
David Little of Little Organic Farm in Petaluma is reviving the technique of dry farming to save water. Photo by CUESA.
 

 

If you went to the farmer’s market this weekend, as I did, you probably saw the summer bounty in full swing. Lots of peppers and melons, peaches and zucchini. And of course, tomatoes piled in heaps.

The rest of the country doesn’t seem to be faring quite as well under the worst drought in 50 years. Still, some California farmers are preparing for less rainfall.

David Little of Little Organic Farm in Petaluma is reviving the lost art of dry farming. Some of the tastiest tomatoes are dry farmed, but Little is doing it with potatoes and squash as well. The technique, used for ages in the Mediterranean, is all about holding moisture in the soil for long periods of time. The crops are usually smaller, but make up for size in better taste and nutrition. By the way, Little sells his produce in lots of local markets and stores.  [Grist].

Also in Sonoma, the community gardens just hosted their very own version of a state fair, pitting one person’s zucchini against their neighbors in a friendly match-up. [Santa Rosa Press Democrat]

And more on the topic of farming of a different sort. “Crawfish are like cattle,” said the owner of Tahoe Lobster Co., a business that’s started commercially harvesting crawfish out of the Sierra’s largest lake. He says the invasive crustaceans pollute Tahoe’s beloved, clear blue water with their excrement, one reason the state has approved crawfish fishing this year. [Tahoe Daily Tribune]

Speaking of seafood, have you ever gotten lost in the debate about whether it’s healthier to stock up on your Omega-3’s when that frier may also be loaded with PCBs or mercury? Apparently buying sustainable seafood is also the healthiest option. They’re often the smaller fish, lower on the food chain. [Treehugger]

In other news:

  • Gear up for election season with this primer on the ballot initiative to restore Hetch Hetchy [Santa Rosa Press Democrat]
  • State Sen. Noreen Evans is trying to give a nearly defunct citizens commission the power to oversee California state parks, in the wake of the recently discovered surplus. [Bay Citizen]
  • Check out this cool subway map depiction of all the national parks. Surely there’s some you haven’t heard of. [Treehugger]

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