Food & Farm News
» July 4, 2012 «
You can expect high-quality watermelon at the grocery store this summer, according to farmers. They say that even though fewer acres were planted with watermelons this year, the crop has been excellent as a result of good weather during the growing season. The harvest began in mid-June and will run through the summer. Grocery stores typically promote watermelon around the Fourth of July and Labor Day, so consumers should see good deals when shopping for barbecue supplies.
Families looking to spend time outdoors this summer can enjoy a number of U-pick farms and tours across the state. As the popularity of agri-tourism increases, the University of California has developed a calendar of events as well as a county-by-county listing of farms and ranches open to the public. Families planning a longer trip can download farm trail maps that include multiple stops within a region and provide travelers a chance to learn about an area's farming heritage.
California farms are on track to produce more than 2.1 billion pounds of almonds this year, according to a U.S. Agriculture Department forecast. Hail impacted some orchards in the Merced area earlier this year, but overall good weather during the bloom and growing seasons has farmers optimistic about the future of the more than 780,000 acres of almonds. Nearly 80 percent of the world's almonds are grown in California, and the harvest takes place mid-August through October.
If you break out the rod and reel in search of catfish in a stocked pond this summer, you may catch the product of a California fish farm.The state's farm-raised catfish are sold to restaurants and markets, and they are also brought into recreational fishing ponds to provide a fun outlet for families. Catfish, as well as trout, are brought into urban areas as part of the Department of Fish and Game's Fishing in the City program. The program stocks ponds in the Sacramento, San Francisco and Los Angeles areas and organizes fishing lessons and events.Top