san diego county agriculture

Flower Fields blooming big-time through May

El Nino rain in February should mean magnificent Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch blooms beginning March 1 through May 12. Mellano & Company of San Luis Rey is the production arm and onsite grower. The Ecke family owns the land. Over 50 acres are devoted to raising the ranunculus bulb crop; approximately five acres are used for other specialty flowers. Rains that have pummeled San Diego…


Urban farming comes to the Bay Area

During the partial federal shutdown in December 2018 and January 2019, news reports showed furloughed government workers standing in line for donated meals. These images were reminders that for an estimated one out of eight Americans, food insecurity is a near-term risk. In California, where I teach, 80 percent of the population lives in cities. Feeding the cities of the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area,…


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…


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…


Family fun: kids museum, farm-nursery expo

Family fun for everyone on Sunday, Nov. 5 Looking for something fun to do with the entire family? Think of it as a kind of community barn building with the museum being the barn and the community doing the building. San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum (SDCDM) is hosting a full day of the good stuff, otherwise known as the Seventh Annual Fall Family Festival. For…


Local farms hurt by lack of workers

Across San Diego County and California, farmers and ranchers face chronic problems in finding and hiring qualified and willing people to work in agriculture, according to a survey conducted by the California Farm Bureau Federation. The informal survey of Farm Bureau members showed that more than half of responding farmers had experienced employee shortages during the past year. The figure was higher among farmers who…


SD County ag reverses two years of decline

Agriculture values in San Diego County returned to their growing ways in the latest annual County Crop Report, increasing by 2.63 percent to nearly $1.75 billion after two years of decline. The report was released Monday, Oct. 2. Total production values were led, as they have been for the last decade, by ornamental trees and shrubs like crepe myrtles and bottle brushes, indoor plants like…


Organic avocados all the rage today

Looks like the organic avocado aisle is the place to be these days for consumers and retailers alike. Demand is high and prices rising as a result. California is the nation’s avocado basket growing 90 percent of the nation’s crop. The swath of North County and Southwest Riverside County from Escondido and Vista through Temecula accounts for 40 percent of avocados grown in the U.S….


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…