Soil & Sea: reports from our producers

This article was originally published in July 2011

man on tractor

Plowing fields at Full Circle.

This month we’ll enjoy the first local, organic Lapin cherries, blueberries and leaf lettuce of the season. Local strawberries and raspberries are later than usual but arriving this month! Here’s other news from our farmers, ranchers and fishermen.

It could be a banner year for grapes, especially fruit from California’s central valley in July and August.

The Bing cherry crop had extra days to hang on the trees in June, resulting in cherries that are good-sized, full-colored, and full of sugar.

The quality of summer fruits is good or better than any year in the past, as growers have learned not to send any tiny peaches or under-ripe melons.

Almond growers are expecting a record-breaking crop this summer in California. They had braced for a smaller crop because cool, windy spring weather during bloom caused bees to stay in their hives, hindering pollination.

Sheep and lamb prices are up significantly over last year. The strong market is a combination of a declining U.S. flock, decreased imports, and a growing ethnic market.

The brown shrimp fishery in the Gulf of Mexico is off to a good start this year, as some inshore fisheries opened in late May, a few weeks earlier than normal. Shrimpers reported strong shrimp prices.

Soaring cotton prices have led many farmers in the south to plant cotton where they once grew corn, soybeans or wheat. Southern farmers planted an estimated 12.8 million acres of cotton this year — a 19 percent increase over last year.

Also in this issue

PCC Board of Trustees report, July 2011

Welcome the new board of trustees, PCC election results; Hofford retires from board; Board meeting report

Yogurt — delicious, light, versatile

Summer calls for light foods that are easy to prepare and eat — and yogurt‘s just right. Rich in protein and calcium, and topped with fruit and nuts, it makes for a nutritious breakfast or snack.

PCC Farmland Trust saves ninth farm

PCC Farmland Trust is saving another farm. But this latest project is different than some of our past work. This is a tale of continuity, on a larger scale, and with timely regional and political relevance.