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» March 13, 2008 «
To prevent invasive plants from taking over large swaths of the California landscape, a program called "PlantRight" has launched an educational campaign for home gardeners. The program urges Californians to avoid buying invasive plants and to choose what it calls "beautiful, non-invasive alternatives." It provides regional lists of invasive and alternative plants on its Web site at PlantRight.org. The program started yesterday (Wednesday) with a kickoff event in Southern California.
Family farmers urged government agencies to press for eradication of the light brown apple moth. The moth has infested nine California counties. The California Farm Bureau said farmers tend to be affected first by invading pests, but that the light brown apple moth will also hurt home gardens and the state's natural landscape. New restrictions from Canada and Mexico may make it almost impossible for farmers in infested areas to sell products to customers in the two nations.
Continued strong demand for nuts has led to an increase in California pecan acreage. Most pecans come from the Southeastern states, and California has had a few pecan orchards for many years. But demand exceeds supply, so prices have been strong. Farmers say pecan trees will grow in heavier soils than walnuts and almonds. Tulare County leads the state in pecan production, but the Sacramento Valley has seen much of the new planting.
Snack time will change today (Thursday) at two-dozen Oakland preschools. A program being inaugurated by nutrition educators aims to encourage young children to enjoy eating vegetables. Farm-fresh produce will be delivered to the Oakland preschools, with students being introduced to a new vegetable each month. Carrots will be the focus of the program's first day. The children will learn facts about carrots, make a simple recipe using carrots and, most importantly, taste the vegetable.Top