- Author: Cynthia Kintigh
The pomegranate has moved from a fruit once used primarily as a holiday table decoration to a sought after health food. Rich in antioxidants with a tangy flavor and a deep jewel like color, there's a lot to love about the pomegranate. Except, getting to the fruit. Extracting the edible arils is tricky enough; but take the next step of juicing and you'll quickly realize why commercially prepared pomegranate juice carries a dear price tag.
We have two pomegranate trees in our yard, and this year we have a bumper crop of the seedy beauties. Add to that the grocery bag of pomegranates that usually ends up on our porch from a friend and you've got more arils than most people would care to eat. So last weekend I donned an apron and...
- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
Fairs in California have come a long way from their agricultural roots. Originally created as a showplace for recently harvested crops and livestock raised by youth, fairs now are focused on entertainment, shopping and just about anything deep-fried or on a stick.
UC Cooperative Extension and the Fairs and Expositions branch of the California Department of Food and Agriculture teamed up this summer to host meetings at seven county fairs to see how to bring back the quaint agricultural flavor of decades past.
Penny Leff, UC Cooperative Extension agritourism coordinator, and Diana Paluszak of Fairs and Expositions brought together small-scale farmers, fair officials, tourism...
- Author: Diane Nelson
Edible landscapes are growing like zucchini in the sun as more people recognize the health and economic benefits of designing their yards with pretty plants that taste good, too.
“Sales of fruits and vegetables have remained strong, even during this recession when sales of other plants have lagged,” said Ron Hoffman, owner of Morris Nursery in Riverbank,Calif., echoing the sentiments of many in the state’s nursery industry. “People enjoy growing their own produce and they want plants that do double duty.”
And when they choose brightly colored edibles — like, say, Neon Lights swiss chard or Bronze lettuce — they can have their landscape and eat it, too. But designing and...
- Author: Ann King Filmer
While many of us cherish the mystique of popping a wine cork, screw caps are becoming more commonplace in the wine industry. Half a century ago, screw caps were associated with cheap rotgut wine, but now they have replaced corks in many premium wines and at many of the world’s best wineries.
Wine bottles are sealed primarily in three ways — natural corks, synthetic corks or screw caps. All have their advantages and disadvantages, and most certainly their proponents and opponents. While synthetic corks never gained much of a foothold in the wine industry, screw caps are being studied more frequently for their efficacy and quality.
While screw caps were originally thought to be airtight, resulting in the...
- Author: Alec Rosenberg
Everyone was dusty, tired and ready to relax. Pizza dinner had just ended on the third night of outdoor education in the Santa Cruz Mountains, but it wasn’t quite time to go.
A counselor brought out a bucket containing all of the food leftovers from the plates of the sixth graders, their teachers, naturalists and parent chaperones. It was empty. The crowd cheered: The group had met its goal of zero waste.
The camp made me think about how much food we throw away on a regular basis. Americans waste almost 27 percent of all the food produced in the United States each year. That’s the equivalent of around one pound of food a day for each American.
How can we do better? At the camp, they...