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May 21, 2022

Christmas tree sellers optimistic despite national shortage

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, tree farms across the nation are thrust into the spotlight and sellers start their busiest time of year. This year, the industry is holding steady, despite a nationwide shortage that is pushing up prices. Heatwaves and fires that...

Ag Commissioner releases annual Crop Report

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY—The 2020 Crop Report for the County of Santa Cruz has been released, detailing the region’s agricultural commodities during one of the most challenging years on record. The Crop Report is presented each year by Agricultural Commissioner Juan Hidalgo through the Department of...

Apple season in full swing at Pista Farmlands

Apple harvest is underway, and at Pista Farmlands in the Pajaro Valley, the season is shaping up to be a bountiful one. Pista Farmlands is a 75-acre plot of land about one parcel northwest of Watsonville, consisting mostly of apple orchards that supply fruit to...

Farm history gets new life

agricultural history project
WATSONVILLE—Heavy-duty earth-moving equipment rumbled into gear at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds over the past week, reshaping a chunk of land at the Agricultural History Project to make way for the expansion of the Living History Farm. Situated near the entrance of the fairgrounds, the...

Congressman Panetta announces farmworker aid

jimmy panetta farmworkers
ROYAL OAKS—Congressman Jimmy Panetta was on the Central Coast Thursday, touting two pandemic assistance programs he helped pass that will benefit agriculture workers and the industries that employ them. The Pandemic Response and Safety (PRS) Grant Program will provide $650 million in grants to food...

Open Farm Tours to return this weekend

Open Farm Tours
PAJARO VALLEY—Open Farm Tours returns this Saturday and Sunday to the greater Pajaro Valley, with eight local farms participating in two days of events.  Originally started in 2014 as the Corralitos Open Farm Tour, the event has continued to grow and add more farms from...

Lakeside Organic Gardens celebrates 25 years

When Dick Peixoto decided in 1996 to convert his 55-acre farm in Watsonville to an organic production, he wasn’t sure if he’d made the right decision.  Peixoto had been farming conventionally for years, and back then, organic produce was a specialty—something only smaller farms tended...

Santa Cruz’s Charlie Hong Kong serves lunch to local farmworkers

lakeside lunch
WATSONVILLE—About two dozen farmworkers settled in on picnic tables at a Lakeside Organic Gardens field Wednesday for a fresh, healthy lunch featuring the very crops they harvest.  The meal was prepared by Charlie Hong Kong, a Santa Cruz Asian fusion restaurant that was Lakeside’s first...

USDA announces increase to CalFresh benefits

WATSONVILLE—Starting on Oct. 1, anyone receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, known in California as CalFresh, will see a slight increase to the amount they receive each month. The changes to the federal Thrifty Food Plan comes thanks to the U.S. Department of Agriculture...

Organization aims to integrate beneficial songbirds on farms

WATSONVILLE—For more than 20 years, Watsonville-based organization Wild Farm Alliance (WFA) has aimed to find a sustainable balance between conservation and agriculture. Established by a like-minded group of wildland proponents and ecological farming advocates, WFA’s primary goal is to bring nature back into the industry. “As...
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‘Catz earn top seed in CCS D-II field | High school...

It wasn’t whether or not the Watsonville High softball team was going to qualify for the Central Coast Section playoffs. The big question was where...