University of California

Posts Tagged: Agritourism

Monthly news round up: February 2018

Flash bloom: Warm weather has all almond varieties blooming at the same time

(Chico Enterprise-Record) Steve Schoonover, Feb. 9

The warm weather we've been enjoying has produced what's called a “flash bloom” in almonds, with all the varieties blooming at once.

…The idea is to get what Butte County UC Cooperative Extension Farm Advisor Luke Milliron called “bloom overlap.”

…Glenn County Farm Advisor Dani Lightle said the weather has been good for bee flight, with warm temperatures and little wind.

“But with the crush of flowers all at the same time, can they get to them all?” she asked.


Farmers Can Put Themselves On The Map If They Complete The U.S. Agriculture Census By February 5

(Capital Public Radio) Julia Mitric, Feb. 5

…The once-every-five-year census also paints a picture that can help the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, which leads beginning farmer and rancher training programs. 

Jennifer Sowerwine works on these programs through the UC Cooperative Extension at UC Berkeley.

"The Ag Census data is helpful in my work because we can see changes over time in the demographic profile of farmers [race, gender and size] that can help inform the type of training we offer," explains Sowerwine.

New frontiers await groundwater recharge projects

(Capital Press) Tim Hearden, Feb. 2

While California's groundwater reserves have been systematically depleted since the 1920s, the notion of recharge really took hold with the passage of the 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, which includes intentional recharge of farm fields as an available option, said Helen Dahlke, a UC-Davis hydrologist who has led some of the research.

UC scientists have been working with growers throughout the valley to find fields with soils conducive to recharge and set up pilot projects, as have groups such as the Almond Board.

The project is one of numerous efforts in various crop fields throughout crop fields being done with the help of UC Cooperative Extension advisers. In the Scott Valley in far northern California, for example, rancher Jim Morris obtained permission to take winter stormwater from a local water district's irrigation canal and apply different amounts of water to different sections of a field to test the tolerance of his alfalfa to the practice.

UC launches drought video series

Red Bluff Daily News, Feb. 3

Because periodic droughts will always be a part of life in California, the UC California Institute for Water Resources produced a series of videos to maintain drought awareness and planning, even in years when water is more abundant.

Shasta County wants to grow agritourism

(Redding Record Searchlight) Damon Arthur, Feb. 1

Penny Leff, agritourism coordinator for the UC Cooperative Extension, said agritourism has been going on for many years throughout the state.

“Agritourism is a supplemental business for a working rancher or farmer,” she said.

The California Agritourism Directory online listed eight destinations in Shasta County. However, one of them could not be reached because its phone service and website were no longer active. Another had quit the agritourism business.

Dixon Siblings Win Solano Co. 4-H Chili Cook-Off

(Dixon Patch) Susan C. Schena, Feb. 1

"The Chili Cook Off is a great hands-on opportunity for youth to build confidence and spark their creativity," said Valerie Williams, Solano County 4-H Program representative. " Chili team members build food preparation skills, learn food and kitchen safety, and use math and science concepts, as they develop their chili recipes."




Posted on Saturday, February 10, 2018 at 1:19 PM
Tags: Agritourism (22), drought (1)

Agritourism an option in the San Joaquin Valley

Even though the typical San Joaquin Valley farm is focused exclusively on food production, local growers can profit from increasing interest in agritourism, reported Helen Tracey-Noren in the Fresno Bee. The concept was touted at a recent forum in Fresno where CDFA secretary Karen Ross and the CEO of Visit California, Caroline Beteta, spoke about the agritourism trend.

UC offers a publication on agritourism and nature tourism. To order, follow the link below:
"It's about, 'here's what farmers and ranchers are doing as your neighbors,' their environmental stewardship," said Ross. "It's about the pride of what we produce here, and it's about this wonderful lifestyle and supporting the economy at the same time."

Penny Leff, the agritourism coordinator with the UC small farm program, also participated in the event. She said that from 2007 to 2012, agritourism has picked up in California.

"Most families don't have anyone on the farm anymore to go visit," Leff said. "Farmers are interested in educating the public in what's going on, what goes into making the food. They really want to share with the public and make them understand."

The story gave the example of Debbie and Jim Van Haun, a Sanger couple who opened Sequoia View Bed and Breakfast about 15 years ago, and fixed up an adjoining vineyard in 2003. They said that during the summer season, the area could use more businesses to handle all the tourists.

Agritourism and Nature Tourism in California - Second Edition
By Holly George and Ellie Rilla
151 pages, $25

Posted on Monday, July 7, 2014 at 3:49 PM
Tags: agritourism (22), Penny Leff (6)

Creativity helps small-scale farmers survive

To survive as a small-scale farmer, it may not be enough to merely grow food. With most people eating food grown by very large commercial agricultural enterprises, small farmers can attract sales with some creativity and a personal touch, reported Gosia Wozniacka of the Associated Press.

Farm operators generated $10 billion in 2007 from farm-related activities other than crop or livestock wholesale, an increase of nearly 80 percent from 2002, the article said.

For perspective on what is known as value-added agriculture, Wozniacka spoke to Shermain Hardesty, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at UC Davis. Hardesty said value-added products are "a way to have a product to sell year-round, even during winter months."

Examples of value-added products are jams and jellies, farm stays, workshops and U-pick operations.

"It reinforces farmers' connection to consumers," Hardesty said. "And by getting involved in marketing their identities, they can expand their profitability."

Posted on Monday, June 24, 2013 at 9:41 AM

Forget five-star hotels, book a farm

Sunset Magazine ran an article this month encouraging readers to consider a farm stay for their next vacation. Beside a tranquil and scenic break from the office, farm visits help small-scale farmers sustain their operations, the article said.

“Farmers are recognizing that people are willing to pay for this experience,” said Penny Leff, agritourism coordinator for the University of California small farm program, whose researchers have seen a boost in the number of farms catering to visitors in recent years.

The small farm program maintains an online list of farms at that offer a wide range of agritourism opportunities to the public, from farm stays to U-pick operations, petting zoos, corn mazes, hay rides and farm stores.

The Sunset article details what it calls the "Top 8 Agritourism Experiences," including cattle herding, chicken butchery, wine making and goat cheese making.

Posted on Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at 8:51 AM
Tags: agritourism (22), Penny Leff (6)

Riverside supervisors to include UC Riverside on new ag trail map

Temucula wineries will be featured on Riverside County's Ag Trail map.
The Riverside County Board of Supervisors approved development of a local "Ag Trail" to promote California's 12th largest agricultural industry, according to a report in Valley News.

The online and printed Ag Trail map will locate many of the county's 1,700 dairies, farms, ranches, wineries, farmers markets, historical and cultural points of interest and UC Riverside agricultural research facilities.

"The idea is to promote agriculture, to promote the purchase of our products," said Tom Freeman, spokesman for the county Economic Development Agency. "We would target international visitors, domestic guests and our own residents."

Officials are aiming to complete the map by February 2013.

Posted on Thursday, July 12, 2012 at 10:21 AM
Tags: agritourism (22)

Next 5 stories | Last story

Webmaster Email: