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April 22, 2021

Open Farm Tours returns this weekend

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY—The annual Open Farm Tours will return this weekend—albeit in a different capacity. Pre-registration is now required for small, socially-distanced outdoor tours at the following farms: Thomas Farm and Luz Del Valle Farm in Aptos, and GroundSwell Farm in Santa Cruz. Additional participating...

Rivas named Assembly Ag Committee Chair

CALIFORNIA—Assemblymember Robert Rivas (D-Hollister) has been named Chair of the Assembly Agriculture Committee by Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood). Raised in farmworker housing, Rivas represents the 30th Assembly District, which includes the agriculture-rich Salinas and Pajaro valleys on the Central Coast.  “My district is known as...

CCOF offers grants to farmers affected by fires

The California Certified Organic Farmers Foundation is poised to help organic farmers recover from the unprecedented wildfires burning across the West Coast, including CCOF’s hometown of Santa Cruz.  The Bricmont Hardship Assistance Fund gives grants to organic business owners affected by hardships of all kinds,...

County agriculture copes with heat, fires

The worst wildfires in California’s history have burned more than 3 million acres, about 3 percent of the state’s total acreage, and included Santa Cruz County vineyards, orchards and tree farms. The fires scorched fields, destroyed barns, melted irrigation lines and disrupted power, water...

Conference probes climate change and farms

WATSONVILLE—Pajaro Valley’s agriculture businesses and the employees that keep them running are starting to feel the heat, literally. Rising temperatures and more frequent heat waves and wildfires are growing concerns for farmers in the typically cool, coastal stretch of land that overlaps Santa Cruz and...

Berry yields dip as harvest wraps up

Santa Cruz County
WATSONVILLE—California’s strawberry season is coming to a close. While sales remained strong throughout the summer, growers have seen production dip slightly. Carolyn O’Donnell, communications director for the California Strawberry Commission (CSC), said that after the season’s initial hardships, things eventually leveled off and demand actually...

Farmers markets bounce back

Grocery shopping is a different experience than what it was before the Covid-19 pandemic. Between long lines and being in close-quarters, navigating an indoor store can be a challenging and not altogether comfortable experience.  This is why many farmers markets across the Monterey Bay campaigned...

Ag industries buoyed by federal loans

CENTRAL COAST—The Paycheck Protection Program helped save at least 17,000 agricultural jobs throughout the tri-county area, according to data released by the Small Business Administration on July 6. The program, a part of the more than $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES)...

California ranches, farms take a hit

CENTRAL COAST—Pandemic-related losses to California farms, ranches and agricultural businesses will range between $5.9 billion and $8.6 billion this year, according to an economic study released June 23. The analysis says the state’s $50 billion agricultural sector has already suffered $2 billion in losses so...

Strawberry industry settles after hectic start to season

Strawberry season in the Pajaro Valley is in full swing, and experts are reporting that demand has steadily increased despite a difficult kickoff. As the Covid-19 pandemic hit the California region in mid-March, strawberry producers initially saw a spike in sales. But it was soon...
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O’Neill Sea Odyssey hosting Virtual Earth Day event Thursday

SANTA CRUZ—On Thursday, April 22, O’Neill Sea Odyssey and its partners will celebrate the 51st anniversary of Earth Day with a free virtual event...