Agriculture

Earth Day and the treasure of Terra Madre

Earth Day, appropriately enough, was celebrated in the Earth Day way at Escondido’s Terra Madre Gardens. “This is the first time we’re doing it,” said Jessica Sanchez, who co-owns the farm with her spouse David Solomon. “The farm has a lot to offer and wants the community to be involved.” That meant following up its composting workshop at 9928 Protea Gardens Road by Old Highway…


Veteran serves Escondido ag community

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is celebrating National Volunteer Week April 10-16, 2016, by thanking and honoring its Earth Team volunteers for their service to conservation. One of those so honored was Commander Theresa Everest, an Escondido resident who knew farming was her next step after service in the U.S. Navy, that included deployment to Kuwait and Afghanistan. Two traumatic brain injuries ended Everest’s career with the…


Escondido avocados plentiful, wholesale prices not so much

California’s avocado season kicked off this month — it runs through September — but prices for growers continued to stay depressed. Sad, but true, this was the case despite a 50 percent rise in per capita U.S. consumption since 2010 from 4 pounds per person to 6 pounds, and decreasing production due to water-challenged groves going out of business. Many blame imports from Mexico, and…


Good news, bad news for Stone Brewing

Kind of a good news, bad news month for Stone Brewing, the company that recently changed it’s name, dropping the “Co.” Good news first? Time for Oakquinox on March 20. “For the seventh year, Stone Brewing will be celebrating the ‘delicious extravagance’ that happens when beer meets wood,” officials said. “As if one needed an excuse to spend a day at the World Bistro &…


Three Escondido projects awarded $7.5 million in state water grants

Escondido farmers, habitat and conservation lovers and San Diego Zoo Safari Park visitors got some good news this week as the San Diego County Water Authority announced that $7.5 million in state water grants were awarded locally. “The city of Escondido received a $2 million grant for recycled water,” San Diego County Farm Bureau executive director Eric Larson said at the group’s E Valley Parkway…


Escondido, San Diego County experience first drop in farm production since 2008 recession

Eric Larson director of the Escondido-based San Diego Farm Bureau said a “slight drop in production value comes as no surprise,” when he saw today’s county Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures annual crop report. “In light of the challenges faced by farmers from the drought and the rising cost of water,” Larson continued, “the change is small enough to be seen as a testament…


Where have you gone, Pete Verboom Dairy?

Wind kicks across the site of the old, abandoned Pete Verboom Dairy just off Highway 76, west of Pala. Once an iconic and important dairy farm among hundreds of San Diego County dairy operations, Pete Verboom Dairy No. 1 and No. 2 are no more, and left blowing in the Pala Valley wind. Verboom was president of the San Diego County Milk Producers Council. He…


Drought-tolerant plants bloom at Waterwise Botanicals mega-nursery

There’s a drought on don’t you know, and Tom Jesch, founder and general manager of Waterwise Botanicals on Old Highway 395 knows it all too well. Waterwise, as the name implies, specializes in drought-tolerant plants and succulents. And when you say specialize, it means one of the most amazing displays of such landscaping materials here, there or anywhere. “Being water wise doesn’t mean it has…


A good egg is a little harder to find due to new state chicken cage law

Egg-laying chickens at Armstrong Egg Farms off N. Lake Wohlford Road “have less friends in their cage,” said a wry Ryan Armstrong this week, and egg prices have doubled since California’s Proposition 2 went into effect on January 1. That proposition approved by state voters in 2008 calls for 25 percent more room in chicken cages, effectively cutting the number of hens per cage in…


Ag Day brings students to the land of spuds, nuts and bees

They came. They saw. They trekked like soldiers going off to war, according to recently retired San Diego County entomologist David Kellum. And they learned. Welcome to Ag Day 2015 hosted at the Martin Gang Agricultural Learning Center on Cole Grade Road. Some 1,700 local kids from the entire Valley Center-Pauma Unified School District elementary school community, and fellow travelers, swarmed like bees across the…