Growing Returns

Selected tag(s): pest control

Farmers and environmentalists want the same thing

Farmers and environmentalists want the same thing

I’m spending time on this year’s National Ag Day thinking back gratefully to a recent meeting I had with farmers.

I was attending the annual farm exchange program offered through the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation, which facilitates learning opportunities on California farms. This year’s program brought together state environmental policy professionals and growers from the Central Coast, an epicenter for growing the nation’s specialty crops, such as lettuce, broccoli, and strawberries. My aim was “to see sustainability through the eyes of farmers.” We toured various agricultural operations, had thoughtful discussions, and stayed with host families in the local farm community.

My host was Erin Amaral, who manages 1,170 acres of vineyards near San Luis Obispo. Erin and I got along immediately – and our conversations kept coming back to one central tenet: farmers and environmentalists want the same things. Read More »

Posted in Carbon Market, Partnerships, Sustainable Agriculture / Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments are closed

California’s salad bowl tosses up new ideas in sustainability

EDF’s Robert Parkhurst participated in the 2014 California Educational Fellowship, organized by the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation and its alumni.

EDF’s Robert Parkhurst participated in the 2014 California Educational Fellowship, organized by the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation and its alumni.

I recently had the unique opportunity to learn firsthand how central California farmers are constantly changing the way specialty crops are grown, squeezing more from fewer resources and reducing their impacts on the environment.

I joined a handful of other ag policy experts in a visit to the Salinas Valley, considered “the salad bowl of the world,” where we learned about the current issues and complex challenges facing the state’s farmers and ranchers. The trip was organized by the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation.

Running about 90 miles from Monterey to San Luis Obispo, the Salinas Valley alone grows more than 85 percent of the nation’s artichokes, 55 percent of the nation’s lettuce and 30 percent of the nation’s strawberries. It also leads the state of California in the production of broccoli, celery, mushrooms and cabbage.

Read More »

Posted in ecosystems, Sustainable Agriculture, western water / Also tagged , , , | Read 1 Response