Page 2 — October 2019
Farming up close OPEN FARM TOURS HIGHLIGHTS SUSTAINABLE GROWERS By JOHANNA MILLER
Photo by Johanna Miller
At Blossom’s Farm in Corralitos, owners Delmar McComb and Carin Fortin are doing things differently. A “biodynamic” farm, Blossom’s attempts to be self-sustaining—utilizing land, plants and animals to create a single living organism, which is a concept introduced by Rudolf Steinfer in 1924. “We are trying to create a farm where we grow everything we use,” said McComb. “It can be difficult—how can we generate more for the animals, who in turn will help us? It can be challenging.” Blossom’s Farm, which specializes in herbal skincare products, was open to the public last weekend for the 2019 Open Farm Tours. The event had 14 farms from Corralitos to Royal Oaks open to the public for two days of tours, educational activities and sales. McComb said in addition to supporting them financially through farm store sales, the event helps spread the word about biodynamics. “I think it’s a great way
DOWN TO EARTH Delmar McComb explains the role of composting at Blossom's Farm in Corralitos during Open Farm Tours 2019. to get people interested in what we do,” he said. Just down the road, Blue Heron Farms was set up to sell its cut flowers and produce. The organic farm, established in 1985 by Dennis Tamura, also offered guests insight into its production. “I think [Open Farm
Tours] really brings attention to all the different microclimates in this area,” Tamura said. “You travel to a farm just two miles from here and you have a completely different situation.” The “hub” of Open Farm Tours was Alladin Nursery in Corralitos, where guests
could stop by for lunch from Fired Up Fresh, Cuevas Express, Efi’s DutchIndonesian Kitchen and Rogue Pye. Elkhorn Slough Brewing and Santa Cruz Cider Company offered drinks. Taki-Runa provided live music and a special photo booth sponsored by the Santa Cruz
Photo by Johanna Miller
Visitors pick out organic crops to take home at Blue Heron Farms on Sunday during Open Farm Tours.
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Community Farmers Market had families posing for free pictures. Open Farm Tours now includes locations south of Watsonville, but the event originally began in Corralitos—something that is not lost on McComb and Fortin. Blossom’s is currently opening a store, which
will feature its products as well as local produce and a coffeehouse, in the iconic, long-empty 5 Mile House building. “It’s a great little community we have here,” Fortin said. “I think [Open Farm Tours] really shows that.”
October 2019 — Page 3
Taylor Farms names new STEM Center for Dr. Willard Lewallen STAFF REPORT
On Oct. 8 Taylor Farms CEO and Chairman Bruce Taylor announced that Hartnell College’s STEM Center will be named after the school’s retired superintendent-president Dr. Willard Lewallen. Taylor recently donated $1.1 million to Hartnell College. During a ceremony in which the center’s new name was revealed, Taylor praised Lewallen for his accomplishments as the college’s top executive, a tenure he called “seven years of bliss.” “As honored as we are to put our name… we believe it’s more appropriate to put your name on the STEM building,” Taylor said. The 11 a.m. ceremony, held outside the
54,000-square-foot center for science, technology, engineering and math on Hartnell’s Main Campus in Salinas was planned to recognize and celebrate the donation by Taylor Farms, a Salinas-based fresh produce company. The $29 million building was completed in 2016 with bonds approved by district voters in 2002. Lewallen, who accepted the donation from Bruce Taylor soon after he announced his retirement in January, had intended for the STEM Center to carry the Taylor Farms name, symbolizing the growing importance of the STEM fields in the agricultural industry. Jackie Cruz, vice president for advancement and development and the Hartnell College Foundation, said the college will formally
recognize the Taylor Farms donation with a plaque on a rock to be placed outside the STEM Center. Hartnell’s new superintendent-president, Dr. Patricia Hsieh, expressed gratitude for the Taylor Farms donation, which she said will be used to establish new pathways to a four-year degree and career readiness for students pursuing engineering and engineering technology. Hsieh, who took the reins from Lewallen in September, pointed to the Salinas Valley agricultural industry’s demand for highlyskilled workers to achieve technological innovation and stay competitive in a rapidly changing market. “Hartnell College has bright, talented and ambitious graduates,” Hsieh said. “Taylor Farms and your
BIG MOMENT Workers reveal the name of Hartnell College’s STEM Center at a ceremony on Oct. 8 peers in the fresh fruits and vegetables industry have the need – and the opportunities. What a great partnership opportunity. There is so much we can do together.” Tay l o r m a d e s i m i l a r points during his remarks, citing his recent tour of AeroFarms in Newark, N.J., growing leafy greens indoors on a large scale using LED lighting instead of natural sunlight. Adapting emerging technology will make Taylor Farms more competitive by making its employees more productive, he said.
“We think the [Hartnell] STEM program is the way to do that,” he said. “We have great people, great resources right here.” In his praise of Lewallen, Taylor pointed to such successes as Hartnell’s steady increase in the number of students receiving degrees and certificates, which quadrupled over the past seven years. He also cited Hartnell’s many community partnerships, including degree pathways in computer science and teacher education with California State
University, Monterey Bay, and voter support for $167 million in bonds to fund a new Hartnell health sciences building, new college centers in Soledad and Castroville and expansion of the King City Education Center. Lewallen said he felt “overwhelmed by this incredible generosity and this honor.” “Never in my wildest imagination would I have imagined that my name would be on a building at Hartnell College,” he said.
Disadvantaged, veteran farmers and ranchers to recieve $16.2M from USDA STAFF REPORT
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced Oct. 7 that it will issue $16.2 million in grants to provide training, outreach and technical assistance to underserved and veteran farmers and ranchers. The funding is available through the USDA’s Outreach and Assistance for
Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program (also known as the 2501 Program), managed by the USDA Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement (OPPE). “All farmers and ranchers deserve equal access to USDA programs and services,” said Mike Beatty, director of the USDA Office
of Partnerships and Public Engagement. “[The] 2501 grants go a long way in fulfilling our mission to reach historically underserved communities and ensure their equitable participation in our programs.” The 2501 Program was created through the 1990 Farm Bill to help socially disadvantaged farmers, ranchers and foresters, who have historically experienced
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limited access to USDA loans, grants, training, and technical assistance. The 2014 Farm Bill expanded the program’s reach to veterans. Grants are awarded to higher education institutions and nonprofit and community-based organizations to extend USDA’s engagement efforts in these communities. Projects funded under the 2501 Program include — but are not
limited to — conferences, workshops and demonstrations on various farming techniques, and connecting underserved farmers and ranchers to USDA local officials to increase awareness of USDA’s programs and services while filling the needs for increased partnerships. Additionally, Alcorn State University will continue to administer the Socially Dis-
advantaged Policy Research Center with a $525,000 grant funded under this program. The center specializes in policy research impacting socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers to make policy recommendations that will improve their success. Since 2010, the 2501 Program has awarded 484 grants totaling $119.5 million.
Page 4 — October 2019
SANTA CLARA COUNTY
Mushroom boom leads ag in Santa Clara County CHERRY PRODUCTION FALLS IN 2018 CROP REPORT By ERIK CHALHOUB
Mushrooms became Santa Clara County’s top crop in 2018, capping off a successful year for the fleshy fungi, which has a local value exceeded $82 million. On the flip side, a rough year for cherries caused the county’s overall crop value to drop by 6.7 percent to just under $295.4 million, according to the 2018 Santa Clara County Crop Report released Sept. 24. The county’s nine mushroom growers brought in a total of $82.5 million in revenues, a 10.5 percent increase over 2017, giving mushrooms the top spot for the first time. The county’s other top producers for 2018 were nursery crops ($80.8 million), lettuce ($17.6 million), bell peppers ($14.6 million), wine grapes ($10.7 million) and fresh tomatoes ($10.6 million). “Mushroom production brought a strong price for producers in 2018,” said county Agricultural Commissioner Joe Deviney. “Our weather is ideal for so many crops, but there are still variables that can’t be controlled. Mushrooms aren’t reliant on weather and produce year-round.” Deviney said one grower in the county successfully grew organic mushrooms, which helped increase values. According to the report, while the total acreage and production dropped slight-
SOUTH COUNTY CROP Mushroom harvesters at Del Fresh Produce in Gilroy hand-pick all mushrooms. ly, the value increased from $4,129 per unit to $4,689. As the county’s No. 2 crop, nursery crops include flowers, foliage, grasses, boutique plants, shrubs and trees, sold in both retail and wholesale markets. In 2018, 21 agricultural commodities grown in the county exceeded $1 million in value, with hay and grain moving onto the list. Cherries, meanwhile, didn’t fare so well. According to Deviney,
the 2018 value dropped by 82 percent, with only 369 acres harvested, yielding 0.5 tons per acre. In 2017, 980 acres of cherry trees were harvested, resulting in more than $11 million in value. Deviney said a late rainy season in 2018 devastated cherry production. “Cherries had a really tough year,” he said. “The trees are looking healthy and good, but the weather didn’t cooperate and the
flowers and fruit didn’t blossom.” Cherries also struggled in 2016 and earlier years. “It’s very difficult to be a farmer because it fluctuates year by year depending on the weather and the chill hours,” Deviney said. Spinach production dropped by roughly 400 acres, and its value dipped by $10 million. Deviney said that was primarily due to growers choosing other greens such as romaine
and arugula to satisfy contracts. “A lot of leafy greens ebb and flow,” he said. The full report can be viewed at sccgov.org. Top Valued Crops in Santa Clara County, 2018 1. Mushrooms, $82,511,000 2. Nursery Crops, $80,776,000 3. Lettuce (All), $17,559,000 4. Peppers (Bell),
$14,610,000 5 . W i n e G ra p e s ( A l l ) , $10,658,000 6 . To m a t o e s ( Fr e s h ) , $10,573,000 7. A s i a n Ve g e t a b l e s , $8,822,000 8. Peppers (Wax and Chili), $7,610,000 9. Beans (All), $7,500,000 10. Corn, $6,943,000 Source: 2018 Santa Clara County Crop Report
South Monterey County road projects to improve agribusiness travel CONTRIBUTED ARTICLE
Monterey County Resource Management Agency Public Works has started two projects in South Monterey County that will improve roads heavily used by agribusiness and winery tourism. Work began on both Arroyo Seco and River roads on Sept. 30. Signage alerting users to the work is now in place. Beginning Oct. 7, those who use these roads will see traffic control and a pilot car during regular construction hours, which are Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. These hours may be extended as work progresses. Public Works is coordi-
nating with area growers to reduce impacts of the projects on harvesting activities. Pre-work studies on roadway viability were done last spring. In both locations, the roadway will undergo a complete transformation using an eco-friendly process. Crews will dig down 15 inches, bringing up materials that will be collected, recycled and reused with new material at the site to rebuild the roadway to last another 15 to 20 years. Another benefit from the project will be new, brighter striping that will be more visible at night in these areas, which have no streetlights. On Arroyo Seco Road, work will take place along an approximately one and
a half-mile stretch between Highway 101 (milepost 21.21) and Paraiso Springs Road (milepost 19.88). This project is expected to run through Nov. 27. On River Road, work will take place along a threemile stretch between Chualar River Road (milepost 9.07) and Limekiln Road (milepost 12.20). This project is expected to last through Dec. 20. Total cost for these projects is about $7.5 million, which is a savings of an estimated $1 million because the projects were put out to bid together and are being done simultaneously. Both projects are funded by SB1 and Measure X.
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October 2019 — Page 5
MONTEREY COUNTY 4-H
Monterey County 4-H celebrates member accomplishments SOLEDAD HIGH HOSTS COUNTYWIDE EVENT CONTRIBUTED ARTICLE
Gonzales 4-H plans year of activities By HOLLY BETTENCOURT
This year the Gonzales 4-H Club consists of 66 members and 25 volunteers and project leaders. Club officers are Leslie Zepeda, president; Jasmine Villasenor, vice president; Andrea Zepeda, corresponding secretary; Diandra Ybre, reporting secretary; and Diana Daniel, treasurer. The officers worked together over the summer and planned out the activities for the club year. The first event will be the
Annual BBQ Tri-Tip fundraiser, which will be Oct. 28, at the Gonzales Fire Department from 5 to 7 p.m. The club will also be adopting two community families for the holidays, providing them with food baskets and gifts. The service learning project the club will be working on this year is collecting coloring books and crayons as well as school supplies to donate to local school and hospitals. The officers thought this is a great need for some schools since students sometimes are low on
school supplies and the coloring books for the kids in the hospital will help those who tend to stay longer and can give them something to do while waiting to be discharged. Those are just a few things the 4-H members started doing at the beginning of the club year, which was in August. Holly Bettencourt is the chapter reporter for Gonzales 4-H.
Greenfield Harvest Festival to be held Saturday CONTRIBUTED ARTICLE
A community parade will kick off the 2019 Greenfield Harvest Festival activities beginning at the Greenfield Library at 11 a.m. on Saturday. The family-oriented arts event held in historic downtown Greenfield on El Camino Real, between Apple and Oak avenues, will feature music that showcases cumbia, banda, reggae and rock and roll bands on four stages. The event is presented by First Night Monterey, the Greenfield Cultural Arts Center and the City of Greenfield. The day will be filled with
live music, arts and crafts, traditional fare featuring local food vendors, special art camp exhibition and artisans selling their wares. Greenfield Rotary Club will have a Beer and Wine Garden, and young people can explore their creativity at the Kids’ Zone, ride a pony, pet a bunny and make a photo card. El Camino Real will also feature local community organizations that have planned a petting zoo, pony rides, street chalk art and science experiments. First Night has a variety of booths, including photos, scarecrow making and Day of the Dead skull making. A car show will feature lo-
cal hot rods, low riders and custom cars. Featured bands and performers include: Mariachi Juvenil Santa Cruz, Sensory Tribe, Kiki Wow and Fields of Eden, The Vic Silva Band, Blanc Bandera, Azomali Danza Azteca, Tradiciones Cultura Triqui, Monterey Bay Lion Dance Team and Arcoiris Cultural. Greenfield Harvest Festival is sponsored by the following organizations: City of Greenfield, Salinas Valley Recycles, Arts Council for Monterey County, South County Newspapers, La Plaza Bakery and the Greenfield Rotary Club. Visit greenfieldartscenter. org for more information.
TEAM UP Gonzales 4-H Club officers include ( from left) Leslie Zepeda, president; Andrea Zepeda, corresponding secretary; Diandra Ybre, reporting secretary; and Jasmine Villasenor, vice president.
Monterey County 4-H celebrated a variety of 4-H member accomplishments at the 74th annual 4-H Achievement Night on Sept. 14 at Soledad High School. Achievement Night is an annual countywide event in which all 4-H clubs come together for an evening of 4-H awards and recognitions. Families are encouraged to come watch, learn and cheer on their members. More than 70 star ranks were handed out to local 4-H members. The 4-H club star award ranking system is a voluntary advancement program utilizing the 4-H record book as a goal-setting tool, aimed at encouraging broad-based participation and achievement in the 4-H Program. Members record their participation in eight categories for the current 4-H program year on their Personal Development Report. Activities are totaled for all years in 4-H and star awards are given to those 4-H members meeting the requirements. Each star level takes an average of two years to complete. Star rank achievers receive a tangible star, which they can attach to their 4-H hat. The first star rank is the Bronze Star, followed by the Silver Star, Gold Star and Platinum Star. The Platinum Star is the highest achievement a 4-H member can earn in their 4-H Club. These 4-H members must have completed 12 4-H projects, served as a Junior or Teen Leader four times, and given 15 presentations, among other requirements. After receiving a plati-
num star, a 4-H member can strive for the California Diamond Clover, which is the highest achievement for which a 4-H youth member is recognized. Awardees receive the California Diamond Clover Pin or Necklace Charm, a certificate and a recognition letter from the Associate Director of 4-H Program and Policy. This year, Monterey County had one California Diamond Clover awardee, Alyssa Hurtado from the Hilltown 4-H Club. BRONZE STAR
Members who participated in a variety of 4-H activities and projects this year and who received their first star rank, a Bronze Star, are: Aromas 4-H — Ella Vandenbulke and Naia Vandenbulke Buena Vista 4-H — Madelyn Baggett, Cristofer Gage and RJ McPeek Chualar 4-H — Shane Aguilar, Garhet Atkins, Brayden McVay, Haylee McVay, Brooke Mullins, Maddison Mullins, Benjamin Owen, Sierra Short and Ryan White Gonzales 4-H — Holly Bettencourt Hilltown 4-H — Lauren Kaupp and Sadie Williams Mission 4-H — Andrew Espinoza King City Rural 4-H — Grace Hearne, James Hinkle, Carlie Johnson, Jake King, Hayden Munoz, Avery Munoz, Tommy Storelli and Jenna Vanoli San Benancio 4-H — Quinn Eastman, Evan Silacci and Iris Walker-Lee SILVER STAR
Members who received the next star rank, a Silver Star, are: Buena Vista 4-H — Abigail Hattrup Chualar 4-H — Indira Aguilar, Garhett Atkins, Wyatt Hedberg, Evan Lockard, Brayden McVay, Haylee McVay, Brooke
Mullins, Maddison Mullins and Samuel Owen Hilltown 4-H — Addy Cremers King City Blue Ribbon 4-H — Jesse Ledezma King City Rural 4-H — Breanna Dedini Lockwood 4-H — Morgan Hancock San Benancio 4-H — Elizabeth Fuqua, Charlie Lukasko and Nathan Wasson GOLD STAR
Those who received their third star, known as the Gold Star, are: Buena Vista 4-H — Henry Brown and Abigail Hattrup Chualar 4-H — Maya Giannini, Cadee Guzman, Wyatt Hedberg, Jack Lindley, Brooke Mullins and Maddison Mullins Hilltown 4-H — Madi Campbell Lockwood 4-H — Penny Riley and Josh Riley Natividad 4-H — Christopher Wohlgemuth San Benancio 4-H — Alexis Busch, Brooke Hibino, Wesley Hill, Aiden Lafferty, Lindy Lafferty, Audrey Rianda and Carly Vorwerk PLATINUM STAR
These members worked many years and very hard to achieve this highest club star ranking — the Platinum Star: Buena Vista 4-H — Krista Urquides Chualar 4-H — Maddison Mullins Hilltown 4-H — Melanie Carroll King City Blue Ribbon 4-H — Mary Pozzi King City Rural 4-H — Marti Ackerman San Benancio 4-H — Taylor Hibino
For more information on the Monterey County 4-H Program and the local Community Clubs, contact the office at 831-759-7386.
Tour guides needed for Salinas Farm Day CONTRIBUTED ARTICLE
Volunteer tour guides are needed for the upcoming Salinas Farm Day on Oct. 24, at the California Rodeo Salinas grounds.
This educational program exposes all thirdgrade classes in Salinas to the world of agriculture. Tour guides will escort classes through the event to their scheduled activity
areas. Volunteers will be treated to a catered barbecue lunch after the event. To sign up, visit the website at montereycountyageducation.org.
Page 6 — October 2019
SAN BENITO COUNTY FAIR
Photo by Robert Eliason
SHOW TIME Holly Sanchez of Aptos 4-H leads her cow during showing. Photo by Robert Eliason
Fair celebrates successful year
FIRST PLACE Phil Foster of San Juan Bautista earned top marks for his organic apples.
ATTENDANCE INCREASES STAFF REPORT
Photo by Robert Eliason
BEST FRIENDS Hollister FFA member Cielo Valencia brought her rabbit Butterscotch to the fair. With a focus on exhibits and entertainment for kids, the county fair was a “big hit,” from pig races and rides
to food and 4-H exhibits, families flocked to the fair, Oct. 3-6 at Bolado Park south of Hollister.
Photo by Robert Eliason
Perfect weather and the harvest season brought folks to the 2019 San Benito County Fair in record numbers, according to fair organizers, who reported significantly larger crowds compared to the last few years. “For Thursday our attendance was up over 60 percent compared to opening day in 2018,” said Dara Tobias, fair manager and CEO. “Friday was even better with almost 90 percent more adults and an amazing 330 percent increase in children compared to the same day last year.”
FAIR DUO Kyla Lambert of King City Rural 4-H and Mater were part of the San Benito County Fair.
October 2019 — Page 7
CALENDAR OCT. 19
UCMG Fall Fest & Plant Sale 1432 Freedom Blvd., Watsonville
Join the UC Master Gardeners of Monterey Bay for a day of educational activities for the entire family. The festival will include a plant sale offering an array of plants grown by Master Gardeners, food and merchandise booths, gardening demonstrations, orchid care, pruning, tool dare, succulent care, Fall/ Winter vegetable gardening, container gardening and more. View a complete list of demonstrations and activities at http://mbmg. ucanr.edu.
Harvest Festival: Pumpkin Patch & Apples Bash Live Earth Farm, 1275 Green Valley Rd., Watsonville
OCT. 19 & 26
Fall Fun Days Earthbound Farm, 7250 Carmel Valley Rd., Carmel
Harvest Festival at the BackStretch Horse Ranch 18500 Rea Ave., Aromas
Come to BackStretch Horse Ranch for a day full of pumpkin decorating, face painting, wagon rides, a scavenger hunt, games, crafts, prizes and more. A barbecue lunch will be available. Festival held 10 a.m.-4 p.m. BackStretch Horse Ranch is a rescue, rehabilitation and retirement ranch aiming to provide a haven for abused or neglected horses. For information visit backstretchrescue.org.
2nd Saturday on the Farm Agricultural History Project, 2601 East Lake Ave., Watsonville
Every month the Agricultural History Project produces a 2nd Saturday on the Farm event, focusing on one particular area of agriculture. This family-friendly event will include family-friendly
education activities such as wooden cow milking, a kid-driven tractor, a tractor simulator, puppet theater and more. November’s event is “Harvest on the Farm.” For information call (831) 724-5898 or (831) 566-2817.
Annual Harvest Dinner Agricultural History Project, 2601 East Lake Ave., Watsonville
The Agricultural History Project will celebrate 100 years of local lettuce growing at their annual Harvest Dinner on Nov. 16. This year’s event, dubbed “Lettuce Get Together,” will include both live and silent auctions, live music by Mr. Banjo and the Lonesome Wailers, and a dinner prepared by Monterey Bay Caterers. Reservations are $75 per person; a reserved table for 8 receives a $5 discount per person. Event to start at 5:30 p.m. For information visit aghistoryproject.org.
town. For information call 588-7366 or visit the market’s official Facebook page.
Crystal Bay Farm U-Pick 40 Zils Rd., Watsonville.
Come to Crystal Bay Farm for a U-Pick of various berries and more every Wednesday and weekends from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The farm’s Pumpkin Patch is now open as well. Seven days a week until Oct. 31, come by the farm from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (open until 8 p.m. on Fridays) to pick out the perfect pumpkin. For in-
formation visit crystalbayfarm.com.
Farmworker Reality Tour Various Pajaro Valley locations
The Center for Farmworker Families will host a series of tours of farms and homes to better understand the life and labors or California farmworkers. Beginning at an agroecological farm in Watsonville, the tour will then visit the state-run Buena Vista Migrant Camp, and lastly a single farmworker mother’s home for a traditional Mexican meal.
For information and to sign up for the tour visit farmworkerfamily.org/events.
Soledad Farmer’s Market 100 block of Soledad St., Soledad
Since 2006, the Soledad Certified Farmer’s Market has been providing the community with farm to table produce and prepared foods. It is open every Thursday 4-8 p.m. The market accepts WIC and EBT. For vendor information call Flora Ripley at (831) 674-2849.
Gonzales farmer wins national award
Stop by Live Earth Farm in Watsonville for a day of harvest-themed fun to support its Farm Discovery programs. From 10 a.m.-3 p.m. come enjoy tractor rides, apple picking, face painting, special workshops and live music. Food, ice cream, beer and cider will be sold on site. This a “zero waste” event; organizers ask guests to bring their reusable cups, plates and cutlery. For information visit farmdiscovery.org.
Carmel’s Earthbound Farm invites families to come experience its annual free Fall Fun Days from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Both days will feature the farm’s heirloom pumpkins on display, as well as organic food and beverages, a corn husk doll workshop, scavenger hunt, pumpkin and squash tasting, demonstrations, a bake sale, live music and pumpkin raffles. To learn more visit earthboundfarm.com.
Watsonville Farmers’ Market Watsonville City Plaza, at 328 Union St.
Every Friday from 2-7 p.m. stop by the Watsonville Certified Farmer’s Market in Watsonville for a wide selection of produce, cut flowers and other locally grown produce as well as prepared food and drinks. Market is held near Watsonville City Plaza in the heart of down-
*Front cover photograph by Tarmo Hannula
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IN THE SPOTLIGHT Israel Morales Sr. (right) poses with fellow award winners Nate Powell-Palm and Lynn Coody at the Organic Trade Association’s Leadership Awards in Baltimore, MD, after being named Organic Farmer of the Year. Morales, a resident of Gonzales with more than 40 years of farming experience, is the lead grower at JV Farms Organic in Soledad, specializing in maximizing soil cover and its biodiversity. The Sept. 11 event, held at the Belvedere Hotel, also recognized Coody of Organic Agsystems Consulting of Eugene, OR, with the Organic Community Award and Powell-Palm of Cold Spring Organics of Bozeman, Mont., with the Rising Star Award.
Page 8 â€” October 2019