Agriculture

Escondido fish poop helping feed the world

Today, surrounded by freezing temperatures, thousands of heads of lettuce grow, nestled in a cozy greenhouse fed by nutrient-rich nitrates. Or you could call it what it is: fish poop. The process, called aquaponics, allows farmers to grow local, organic produce anywhere at any time of year. Aquaponics is a sustainable method of farming that combines aquaculture (raising fish) and hydroponics (cultivating plants in water)….


Water, water everywhere; it’s a good thing

John Van Doorn, former business editor of the North County Times, managing editor of the New York Post and a New York Times editor, among other avocations, had this thing about rain. “Wet stuff,” Van Doorn would say. “If anybody around here uses the cliche of ‘wet stuff,’ for any reason, under any circumstances, they’re fired.” With that in mind, Escondido, North County and the…



Cal Farm Bureau celebrates convention

As the California Farm Bureau Federation begins its centennial celebration, CFBF President Jamie Johansson called farmers and ranchers to action, reminding them that Farm Bureau is an organization “that wants to go beyond making a statement by being determined to make a difference.” He made his remarks during the 100th CFBF Annual Meeting in San Diego last week, where he outlined the organization’s priorities in…


Climate change challenges San Diego farms

Facing the heat of global warming, farmers in San Diego are trying to survive and build resilience through practice—and are pushing policymakers to keep up. At Pauma Valley, a flat stretch of crop- and rangelands at the base of the Palomar Mountains in North San Diego County, July is usually a month of hot weather and raucous growth—with lemons, avocados, blackberries, and peppers all flourishing….


Henry Avocado on the road again, not that far

Henry Avocado Corp. has moved its headquarters, packing and distribution center in Escondido, CA, to a new building in a nearby industrial center. The 50,000-square-foot two-story facility in Escondido is 20 percent larger than the previous site and features the latest processing, refrigeration and forced-air ripening elements in the industry. The new Henry operation consolidates under one roof the administrative and processing machinery and personnel…


New China tariffs pressure state farm exports

In the escalating trade conflict between the U.S. and China, more California agricultural products now face new retaliatory tariffs in one of their export markets. On Monday, Sept. 24, China implemented a new round of tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods, including a wide range of foods and agricultural products. The tariffs came in response to new U.S. duties on $200 billion in…


When county crop report gives you lemons

Agriculture values sprouted for a second straight year in the annual County Crop Report, helped by 20-plus percent increases in the value of lemons, miscellaneous vegetables and tomatoes, and a continued renaissance for oranges. Overall, total agriculture values in San Diego County rose about 1.6 percent to more than $1.77 billion in the 2017 Crop Report released this week. Last year, crop values increased 2.63…


Golden State’s crazy, cheezy dreams

It’s World Cheese Day, don’t you know… Gold rush opportunists, hippie goat ladies, Latino newcomers: California entrepreneurs dream of cheese: The idea for Humboldt Fog goat’s milk cheese first came to Mary Keehn in a dream. She fell asleep on an airplane and awoke with a vivid picture in her mind of how the cheese looked. And then she set out to realize her vision –…


UC program aids in citrus disease fight

At war with the Asian citrus psyllid since it was found in North San Diego County in 2008, California citrus growers and packers have had unprecedented success in slowing the spread of the tree-killing bacteria the psyllid can carry. People in the citrus business say part of that success relates to the testing and distribution of clean citrus plant material through the University of California,…