Have you noticed the beauty that surrounds us right here in Fresno County? Yes, Fresno! Foothills covered with vivid orange, yellow, and purple wildflowers, ribbons of color on the freeways, blossoms that blanket row after row of orchards, and grape vines meticulously tied as they await the Valley sunshine.
We tend to think of agriculture as environmentally neutral; a lot of it grows on trees, after all. But overproduction has a major negative environmental impact, consuming precious resources, such as water and fertilizer, and producing staggering amounts of carbon emissions and poisoned water runoff. Considering these impacts, National Geographic’s report that over a third of all the food produced in the world is lost or wasted is all the more surprising.
You can eat healthy food in the Fresno/Clovis area and it is easier than you think.
If you want to go to the bottom line of healthy eating, get down to earth. I mean real earth, dirt. Compost organic material and cultivate your own soil. Buy good seeds, plant and grow your own organic garden. If you have a yard, you can have a mini-farm. If you have a patio, you can have some plants.
Whenever someone from out of state comes to the Valley, they always ask what a packing shed (or house) is, and many even check into touring one. Even some natives of the Central Valley are a little sketchy on what a packing house is. Whenever you are driving down a road there always seems to be a truck hauling some fruit somewhere.
As a west Texas farm boy, where five families shared a communal garden to the “Victory” garden at Pantex Ordinance Plant to the backyard garden at our new home in California, I have been around organic produce for a long time. In fact, organic farming has been around since the Revolutionary War and could be considered the primary farming method until World War II. Around that time, farming became a lot more technical and there was an explosion of new chemical products, many based on German patents that resulted in potent insecticides, fungicides, and herbicides used by farmers to control pests and increase yields.
In honor of the Belmont Stakes, the third leg of the Triple Crown, being run this Saturday, we decided to post a historical article that involved a horse!
Let’s step back into fantasy land, to the hypothetical Farm Show of 1910, when farmers traveled from Bakersfield, Fresno, Coaling Station A, Stone Corral, and Reedley. Back then, just as it is today, there is the threat of rain in the air. That is not going to stop the contingent from Reedley though; they have some of the newest farm and commercial equipment, plus skills, to exhibit.
Born in San Jose, California and growing up on his parents' farm near Reedley, Paul Buxman is considered to be a hometown product. He has spent over 40 years painting the San Joaquin Valley in his unique, impressionistic style.
In an area of Kingsburg where one might not expect to find anything extraordinary, there is a wine tasting room that is exactly that. At 1665 Simpson, on the west side of the street, some award-winning wines can be found, not from Napa or the Central Coast, but from the California Central Valley. Kingsburg High and 2005 Fresno State graduate, Oscar F. Ramos, is producing premium wines at the winery that he founded: Ramos Torres Winery.
One of the beauties of living in California is the rich bounty our soil produces. California generates over 350 crops, several of which are grown only in California! So how is it that we convince ourselves to settle for the quality of produce typical of a grocery store?