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September 27, 2021

Local water agency works toward long-term drought solutions

  In 1983, a group of local farmers looking for ways to manage the Pajaro Valley’s groundwater basin formed the Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency (PVWMA). A year later, the agency was officially recognized by the state legislature, who tasked them to stop groundwater overdraft...

Orchard offers u-pick roses, outdoor fun

There is now a new way to assemble your own bouquet of roses, thanks to a pick-your-own rose venue at Birdsong Orchards in Watsonville. Owner Nadine Schaeffer said she is growing dozens of varieties of roses on her 8-acre parcel where she also tends to...

Sambrailo sees major growth in sustainable packaging line

WATSONVILLE—When Santa Cruz-based natural foods store Staff of Life opened its second location in Watsonville in March, employees from Sambrailo were pleased to see their products featured front and center. Fresh, organic vegetables and fruit in the store’s produce aisle were nestled inside Sambrailo’s sustainable...

Aptos farm wins Best of Show at regional olive oil competition

Patrick and Teresa Royan were living in Los Gatos when they first discovered Pleasant Valley, a rural area in Aptos permeated with rolling hills, orchards, vineyards and pastures. The couple had been looking for a place to settle relatively close to the beach yet...

Organic produce sales up 9%, tops $2B for the quarter

Total organic fresh produce sales for the first quarter of 2021 saw a continuation of last year’s growth, increasing by 9.3% from the same period in 2020 and topping $2.2 billion for the quarter, according to the Q1 2021 Organic Produce Performance Report released...

Bill bolstering wildfire protections for farmworkers advances

SACRAMENTO—A bill that would increase protections for California’s farmworkers during hazardous smoky conditions created by seasonal wildfires is making its way through the state legislature. Assembly Bill 73, also known as the Farmworker Wildfire Smoke Protections Act, recently passed the Assembly Committee on Labor and...

New bill would provide $500M to agricultural fairs

CZU Complex fires animals
SACRAMENTO—Earlier this month, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley), Representatives Billy Long (R-MO), Mike Levin (D-CA), and Dan Newhouse (R-WA) introduced bipartisan legislation aiming to help preserve agricultural fairs across the country and offset the devastating financial losses they have experienced due to Covid-19. The Agricultural...

Watsonville farm, biotech company receives major grant from USDA

Since 2009, Blume Industries (BI) and Whiskey Hill Farms (WHF) have jointly operated a research and development incubator in Watsonville, aiming to find regenerative solutions for food, fuel and waste management. And now they will have the opportunity to expand their reach, sharing what they...

National Agriculture Day to be observed March 23

pvwma water rate increases
Agriculture, like most industries across the U.S., has faced numerous challenges during the Covid-19 pandemic this past year. From worker safety to supply chain shortages, everyone from large corporations to small family farms have felt the effects.  Which is why this year’s National Agriculture Day...

Local nursery buzzing amidst pandemic, winter months

With most people staying close to home during the pandemic, looking for things to do and ways to stay safe, local nurseries have seen an uptick in customers. Stay-at-home orders have prompted many to find new hobbies—and gardening has been a popular choice. Sierra Azul...
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letter to the editor pajaronian

Letters to the Editor, Sept. 24

Ethic studies bill is discriminatory  On Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk is the ethnic studies bill. I must note that he doesn’t need to sign it....