April 27, 2013 |
Traditionally, working folk dreamed of retiring to California to grow citrus, or more recently wine grapes, but these days the second career crop of choice appears to be artisanal olive oil. Fresh, local oil is all the rage; universities and industry groups help guide aspiring growers, and once their groves start bearing, many sell at farmers markets, where they earn premium prices and enjoy schmoozing with shoppers. Mark Mooring of Buon Gusto Farms followed an unusual version of this path, from starting the Los Angeles Police Department K-9 Platoon to growing olives in Ventura, where he produces richly flavored, award-winning oils.
April 24, 2013 |
The Angels' training room is so crowded the team sent shortstop Erick Aybar and relievers Kevin Jepsen and Ryan Madson to its extended spring-training facility in Arizona on Wednesday to continue rehabbing the injuries that put them on the disabled list. The Angels have seven players on the DL and several active players, including Albert Pujols , who require daily treatment for nagging injuries. That has taxed the medical staff so much that the team decided some players might benefit from more focused attention in minor league camp.
April 21, 2013 |
Expand or die. This ominous motto of economic imperialism courses throughout the film "At Any Price," set against the imperiled world of modern-day family farming. Director Ramin Bahrani, who co-wrote the screenplay with Hallie Elizabeth Newton, spent six months in Iowa living among farmers as the duo spoke to people about the issues facing their lives and businesses. The film grapples with enduring issues of generational conflict and transition as well as the perennial drama of success and failure in America.
April 20, 2013 |
For many years, Maggie's Farm, based in Agoura Hills, has sold top-quality salad greens and herbs exclusively at farmers markets. Kenter Canyon Farms offers a wider range of similar produce, at a few farmers markets, but mostly wholesale and on a much larger scale. Many shoppers know that the two farms are owned by members of the same family, but few realize that they offer two versions, boutique and commercial, of production that now comes mostly from the same land. On a recent tour of Kenter's Ventura County grounds, the owner of Maggie's, Nate Peitso, who is the son and stepson of the owners of Kenter, showed off scores of immaculately tended hoop houses packed with rows of herbs such as thyme, tarragon and mint.
April 17, 2013 |
A bill that would require prisons, schools and other public institutions to give preference to California farm products handily cleared a committee Wednesday. The Choose California Act, sponsored by Assemblyman Chris Holden (D-Pasadena), cleared the Assembly Agriculture Committee on a 7-0 vote. The proposed law, AB 199 , would mandate public institutions to buy California agriculture products if the price is within 5% of the lowest out-of-state competitor. Quiz: How much do you know about California's economy?
April 13, 2013 |
For anyone who loves a leaner, more elegant style of Chardonnay, this is the one. Liquid Farm proprietors Nikki and Jeff Nelson are going for Chardonnay with less oak influence and lower alcohol. Bingo. That's a recipe for a food-friendly wine, and with the help of winemakers Brandon Sparks-Gillis and John Dragonette of Dragonette Cellars, they're making this terrific Chardonnay from Santa Rita Hills grapes. I love its minerality, the sharp, fresh scent of citrus and, well, grape that comes through loud and clear.