Food & Farm News
August 5, 2015
Online marketplace opens
A newly launched website aims to connect California farmers directly with buyers from school districts, other institutions and individuals. Called the California Farmer Marketplace, the site was created by the California Department of Food and Agriculture. It says the website aims to open a new way for farmers and food-service directors to communicate directly, in order to improve food access for public schools and open markets for farmers.
Tomato harvest makes good progress
If the water holds out, California farmers say they should produce a large crop of tomatoes for use in salsa, ketchup, tomato paste and other products. Demand has been strong for processing tomatoes, and farmers in water-short areas have diverted water from other crops in order to maintain tomato production. Weather has been favorable for tomato crops so far. Harvest of processing tomatoes will continue into October.
Winery method shows water-saving promise
Work underway at the University of California, Davis, focuses on how to reduce water use during winemaking. Much of the water used in winemaking goes toward washing equipment. UC Davis viticulture specialists are experimenting with a method called clean-in-place technology, which features filtering and reuse of winery water. One researcher says the method has “huge potential” for saving both water and labor at wineries.
Farm grows burgundy lettuce
A new, burgundy-colored lettuce variety has begun reaching supermarket shelves, and a Central Coast farm says it is working to master the nuances of growing the crop. Developed by plant breeders at Rutgers University in New Jersey, the burgundy lettuce is being grown by a Salinas-based farm under the trade name Nutraleaf. The deeply colored lettuce reportedly contains higher levels of antioxidants and other beneficial nutrients.