April 26, 2012 |
Organic agriculture generally comes at a cost of smaller harvests compared with conventional agriculture, but that gap can be narrowed with careful selection of crop type, growing conditions and management techniques, according a new study. Organic farming has been touted by supporters as a more environmentally sustainable method of farming that's better for consumers because crops contain fewer man-made chemicals. But without the high-nitrogen fertilizers and pesticides often employed in conventional agriculture, it's also less efficient.
April 13, 2012 |
Of the many Southern Californians starting urban farms these days, few have stories more colorful than Brett and Tanya Wyatt of B&T Farm . Brett, 53, was an observant Jew studying geography at UC Davis, then a Buddhist monk in Myanmar, where he managed to flee just before the regime raided his monastery. He then earned a doctorate analyzing organic farming concepts in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where he met Tanya, 44, who supervised a farm group and grew mushrooms. A year ago he returned to California to teach computer skills at a public high school in Watts, and they promptly decided to establish an urban farm.
March 1, 2012 |
- Morning fog weaves its way through colorful rows of vegetables, herbs and flowers as staff and apprentices gather at the center of the garden at Esalen Institute. It's 7 a.m. The freshly awakened faces sit calmly in a circle for a morning meditation, listening to the Pacific Ocean until the sound of chimes lets meandering minds know it's time to tend to the day's harvest. Bins of chard, arugula, parsley, radishes and carrots are picked, washed and delivered to the back door of the kitchen, roughly 1,250 feet from the field.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 25, 2011 |
Kelly Bayer took a vacation from her job in a sleep laboratory by toiling in a vegetable patch in Santa Barbara. The sun beat down on her back as she worked a garden hose over a collection of tomatoes, peppers, carrots and onions that would eventually be consumed on the organic farm. "I'm kind of interested in farming and sustainable living," Bayer said, before giving away a bit of her real motivation for working on the farm: a quick and cheap way to visit the West Coast. Bayer, 26, was part of an itinerant crew passing through the one-acre property that included a nursing student from Korea, an engineering student from France and a free-spirited 18-year-old fleeing the East Coast before starting college.
November 29, 2010 |
Terry Eski had been itching to grow her own food for years, but living in a Chicago condominium, she lacked the space to garden. Until 2009, that is, when Eski, her husband and two children moved north to Prairie Crossing, a master-planned farm community in the suburb of Grayslake, Ill. There, she lives across the street from a 100-acre organic farm, has access to a community garden and spends Saturdays collecting fresh-laid eggs. FOR THE RECORD: Farm communities: In an article in the Nov. 29 Section A on new home developments built around organic farms, the first name of Daron Joffe, who has helped design farm developments, was incorrectly given as Devon.
July 29, 2010 |
Saying he didn't want to damage California's agricultural economy, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Wednesday vetoed a first-in-the-nation bill that would have given farmworkers the same rights to overtime pay enjoyed by all other hourly workers in California. Applying the eight-hour day to agriculture would be burdensome to business and reverse longstanding labor practices, Schwarzenegger wrote in a veto message. As recently as 1999, state lawmakers approved a bill that specifically exempted farmworkers from the eight-hour day, he said, "recognizing that agricultural work is different from other industries: it is seasonal, subject to unpredictability of Mother Nature and requires the harvesting of perishable goods."