- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
Whether farmers are growing carrots destined to be baby-sized for school lunches, cut into small pieces in frozen pot pie or the classic length sold with their green feathery tops intact, they rely on a collaborative breeding program that has been in the works at UC’s Desert Research and Extension Center near El Centro for nearly 50 years.
The scientists working in USDA’s carrot breeding program, embedded at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, realized long ago that the Southern California desert agriculture research facility has the ideal climate and soil to grow their experimental hybrids through the winter months.
Each spring, the scientists gather for...
- Author: Jim Coats
"Some hae meat, and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it . . ."
The words are old and a little hard to understand, but they tell a story that's as true today as when the poet Robert Burns spoke them back in the 1790s. They were old words even then. Always, it seems, there are those of us who are fortunate enough to eat well and those of us who go hungry, even in a country as rich as ours.
One morning last May, I got to meet some folks who help ease that hunger in the community where I live. That morning I drove with my wife to an industrial area on the northeast side of Woodland, California, where the Food Bank of Yolo County...
- Author: Cynthia Kintigh
A few weeks ago, I attended the California Childhood Obesity Conference, where I heard Bryan Reese, Chief Marketing Officer, of Bolthouse Farms speak about the brilliant marketing campaign launched by "A bunch of carrot farmers."
Baby carrots were "invented" in the 1990s and became an instant hit. Not only did it transform the industry, but American consumers doubled their consumption of carrots in the ensuing decade. Then, a couple of years ago, after this remarkable growth, consumption began to fall.
Reese credits the decline to a number of factors, the economy being a primary one. Consumers were trying to save money, so they were buying regular carrots. Since those carrots need peeling, washing and cutting at home, a...