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San Joaquin County UCCE one of two sites in California for sustainable rose trials

San Joaquin County UC Cooperative Extension in Stockton maintains pesticide-free roses as one of two trial sites in California for the American Rose Trials for Sustainability, reported Angelina Dequina in the Daily Titan. The other California location is at California State University, Fullerton.

Since 2012, the American Rose Trials for Sustainability has conducted scientific research to determine the best rose cultivation techniques for gardeners in each region of the U.S. The roses in the trial plots are grown with minimal care; the only inputs are water and compost. The San Joaquin County roses are maintained by UC Master Gardeners in the UCCE Learning Landscape, which beautifies the Robert J. Cabral Agricultural Center and features a series of small, themed, climate-appropriate gardens. 

The Learning Landscape is used for educational Open Garden Days and to teach a variety of workshops for landscape professionals. The public is welcome to stroll the gardens seven days a week during daylight hours. The facility is at 2101 E. Earhart Ave. in Stockton.

The 'Learning Landscape' at the UCCE office in San Joaquin County is maintained by UC Master Gardeners.

Project lead Karrie Reid, UCCE San Joaquin County environmental horticulture advisor, said the rose trials are integral to the marketing of rose cultivars, according to the Daily Titan article.

Once the two-year trial ends, the trial gardens may keep the roses they planted.

Posted on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 at 10:29 AM
Tags: Karrie Reid (1)
Focus Area Tags: Yard & Garden

California's four seasons are fire, flood, mud and drought

Farmers and ranchers are typically the first to feel droughts, a condition that seems to be impacting California on an increasing basis, reported Dustin Klemann on KSBY News on California's Central Coast.

Klemann joined a UC Cooperative Extension drought meeting in Solvang titled “Weather, Grass, and Drought: Planning for Uncertainty.” Ironically, the meeting came at a time when California has been blessed by a series of wet and snowy storms.

“Leave it to a drought workshop to bring the rain,” said UCCE livestock and natural resources advisor Matthew Shapero.

Despite the rain, the National Drought Monitor still considers the Central Coast area to be in "moderate drought."

Shapero told about a local rancher who recently called him to question the status. 

“He said ‘I really don't think the drought monitor accurately reflects what I am seeing on the ground.'”

California's drought status is challenging to pin down because of vast precipitation variability. For example, Paso Robles received 2.78 inches of rain all of 2013. In 1941, the town recorded almost 30 inches of precipitation.

UCCE natural resources and watershed advisor Royce Larsen also spoke at he meeting.

“We Californians are constantly accused of not having seasons. We do,” Larsen said. “We have fire, flood, mud, and drought. That's what we live with. And it's getting more and more so every year.”

California's four seasons are fire, flood, mud and drought.
Posted on Thursday, February 7, 2019 at 2:22 PM
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture Environment

USDA in Parlier could lose a year of science

When ABC Action News could find no one at the USDA's San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Center in Parlier for comment on the federal government shutdown, reporter Brian Johnson turned to Jeff Dahlberg, director of the UC Kearney Research and Extension Center, which is located across the street.

USDA's ag research facility moved to the Parlier location from Fresno in 2000 to enable collaboration between the two organizations, which work together closely to improve California agricultural production and minimize its environmental impacts.

However, due to the shutdown, virtually all communication has stopped.

Dahlberg said he believes a few USDA employees are still allowed on site for some basic maintenance, such as keeping plants and insects alive. Other important tasks, like irrigation and pruning, have been delayed.

"I don't know what kind of impact this is going to have on them but I would have to venture to guess that it's going to set them back potentially for a year, because they could have lost some really important experiments right now," Dahlberg said.

The UC Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center, shown, is across the street from the USDA San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Research Center, allowing for close collaboration.

 

 

Posted on Friday, January 25, 2019 at 11:23 AM
Tags: Jeff Dahlberg (8)
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture

Youngsters learn cooking from 4-H teens in Imperial County

Two UC Cooperative Extension programs - 4-H Youth Development and UC CalFresh nutrition education - collaborate to give Imperial County elementary school students an introduction to the culinary arts, reported Vincent Osuna in the Imperial Valley Press.

The 4-H Teens-As-Teachers Cooking Academy runs seven sessions in which the high school students use evidence-based curriculum from 4-H to teach the elementary school students how to cook.

"I think this is a really good experience for the kids because it shows them the pathways that are here at the high school that could lead them into their future," said a Calexico High School senior Nelly Rodriguez, who serves as an academy teacher. "It gets them a start way ahead of what we got, because we started in ninth grade, and they get to start young in elementary."

A 4-H mini-grant funded equipment, aprons, skillets and other materials; UC CalFresh provides the food ingredients.

"It's to basically teach kids how to cook, but also just to empower them to help them feel like they have a little more control over their food," said Chris Wong, UCCE Imperal County community education specialist. "At the same time, it serves purpose to the high school culinary class because it professionally develops them for their food demos and their competitions at the end of the year."

4-H teen teacher Julio Ramirez said the young students were nervous at first, but by the fourth session, "They're anxious to do it. It's just a good thing to see."

Elementary school students learn from 4-H teens how to cook healthy meals. (Photo used with permission.)
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2019 at 9:04 AM
Tags: 4-H (53), Chris Wong (1), UC CalFresh (6)
Focus Area Tags: 4-H Food

Bigcone Douglas-firs are suffering the effects of wildfires and droughts

Bigcone Douglas-fir is an evergreen conifer native to the mountains of Southern California. Repeated wildfires and drought are threatening the species' existence in its native range, reported Bettina Boxall in the Los Angeles Times.

The reporter visited a Santa Barbara County site peppered with tall, dead trees where UC Cooperative Extension fire specialist Max Moritz is studying the species' fate. 

"You don't see anything," he said. "It has a fairly depressing quality to it, given the mortality and no regeneration."

The area was burned by the Zaca Fire 11 years ago, something the fire-resistant conifer can generally withstand. Moritz and research assistant Ryan Salladay found evidence that the trees survived the fire, but then died sometime later. They are trying to determine what did them in by recording the aspect of the slope, collecting tree core samples, measuring the water stress in living trees, looking for wildfire impacts, and checking for seedlings.

“The drought-following-fire issue is a total reshuffling of what might come back or survive,” Moritz said.

Bigcone Douglas-fir occurs from the San Rafael Mountains in central Santa Barbara County and the Tehachapi Mountains of southwestern Kern County, south through the Transverse Ranges, to the Cuyamaca Mountains in San Diego County. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
Posted on Friday, January 11, 2019 at 2:11 PM
Tags: climate change (42), drought (122), Max Moritz (23), wildfire (87)
Focus Area Tags: Environment

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