Farmer suicide is a public health threat and could hurt our food supply
August 14, 2018
The Farm-to-Table movement of the last decade has celebrated local farmers and their rural lifestyle. Sustainable farming is a wholesome and noble occupation that provides nutritious whole foods to an often urban clientele hungry for authenticity and health. Farming is a demanding and difficult...
How to help save the endangered Gravenstein apple
July 27, 2016
Around the small Northern California town of Sebastopol, you see bumper stickers of all kinds. From the political to the apolitical to cosmic questions such as “What if the hokeypokey is what it’s all about?” But most popular among the tailgate calls to action is “Save the Gravenstein.” Townsfolk...
Reflections from Lagier Ranches, 2014 Community Fund grantee
June 29, 2016
Embracing the dry June heat of San Joaquin County is a small price to pay when exploring the grounds of Lagier Ranches. This 120-acre family-run farm in Escalon, CA, is rich in trees and small fruits: almond trees, grapes, table grapes, citrus, and cherries. Keep your eyes peeled for their Bronx...
Exploring the diverse universe of apples
December 16, 2015
To satisfy the sharp desire I had / Of tasting those fair apples, I resolved / Not to defer; hunger and thirst at once / Powerful persuaders, quicken'd at the scent / Of that alluring fruit, urged me so keen. —John Milton, Paradise Lost Like most things of value in this world, apples seem simple on...
The (not so) dormant season brings a to-do list to the farm
November 9, 2015
In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy. —William Blake Winter is finally here in drought-stricken California, and we’ve gotten a break from all that balmy, summerlike weather we’ve been experiencing. Hello, rain! Hello, frost! Hello, fog! Although we welcome all precipitation, most...
How farming became a second career for the owners of Bear Track Farm
September 18, 2015
“Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you’re a thousand miles from a corn field.” —Dwight D. Eisenhower Dick Blair and Betty Hui are second-career farmers. Blair spent 35 years as a Bay Area litigation attorney, and Hui is Key Account Manager at The FruitGuys in South San...
Save Sonoma County’s special apple, the Gravenstein
July 13, 2015
Apples get a lot of love—passion even. Favorite varieties are defended with vigor as if snack time were the Ninth Circuit Court. Some apples get lavished with adjectives that rival those of a sommelier at Le Cirque. Even so, there aren’t many apple varieties that have a whole town in love with them...
Chocolates and Tomatoes Farm—The FruitGuys Community Fund 2015 grant recipient
May 26, 2015
Chocolates and Tomatoes Farm in Poolesville, MD, is a four-acre farm that strives to be sustainable, colorful, and delicious. And while we didn’t choose Chocolates and Tomatoes for a 2015 The FruitGuys Community Fund grant just because the farm happens to produce many of our favorite things—artisan...
The FruitGuys C...
At Full Belly Farm, plastic mulch has helped save water, energy, and soil
April 24, 2015
One of the things we’ve been committed to experimenting with in the past few years is reducing tillage on our farm—in other words, fewer tractor passes through our fields and less turnover of the soil. We normally use tractors to cull weeds, turn under our cover crops, and make beds ready for...
Warm winters could mean less fruit harvested in California
April 23, 2015
Cherries are finicky trees. They don’t like it when it gets too hot, when there’s not enough rain, and when it doesn’t stay cold enough during the winter. For the last few winters, California’s cherries have had all three of these environmental stresses and responded by producing fewer cherries. “...