Food & Farm News
» June 12, 2013 «
The peak harvest season in California remains weeks away, but farmers from a number of regions already report challenges hiring enough employees for harvest jobs. In some cases, farmers have abandoned fields because not enough people were available to harvest the crop. As a result of the shortage, some farmers report increasing wages, delaying farm activities or pooling work crews with other farms. Harvest season in California typically peaks in late summer.
The increasing number of farmers markets around the country helps build links between rural and urban residents, according to the U.S. Agriculture Department. It says farmers markets have increased by more than 300 percent nationwide during the past two decades. The USDA says farmers markets not only increase sales for local growers, but also build a sense of community and connection between farmers and their urban customers.
Honey has diverse flavor notes, just like wine. To help consumers identify honey flavors, the Robert Mondavi Institute Honey and Pollination Center in Davis says it will develop a honey tasting and aroma wheel. The tool will describe factors that influence honey. For example, if a bee pulls nectar from a citrus blossom, the honey will have a fruity flavor. The California Bountiful Foundation and the University of California, Davis, have made donations to the project.
In some gardens, flowers are more than decoration. The University of California Cooperative Extension master gardener program shares advice on growing and consuming edible flowers. From day lilies to begonias, and lavender to sage, gardeners have many options for both flavor and beauty on their plates. The experts stress that not all plants are edible, so if gardeners have questions about a plant, they should contact the local master gardener office.Top