Urban Agriculture
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Urban Agriculture

UC Food and Agriculture Blogs

Invasive Spotlight: Red Imported Fire Ant

Red imported fire ant. (Credit: Bugwood.org)

The red imported fire ant, or RIFA for short, is no ordinary red ant. This invasive pest lives up to its name, delivering a sting that causes a burning sensation when its venom is injected into the skin. People sometimes confuse RIFA with the native...

Posted on Friday, June 8, 2018 at 10:00 PM

Invasive Spotlight: Shot Hole Borers and the Diseases They Carry

Discolored patches on bark from polyphagous shot hole borer adults boring into a tree trunk. (Credit: Akif Eskalen Lab, UC Riverside)

Shot hole borers are tiny insects the size of a sesame seed that don't look particularly harmful, but don't let their diminutive size fool you. Two of these borers are invasive—the polyphagous shot hole borer and the Kuroshio shot hole borer. They...

Posted on Thursday, June 7, 2018 at 10:00 PM

Invasive Spotlight: Japanese Dodder

Spaghettilike stems of Japanese dodder growing on a tree. (Credit: Vince Guise)

When people think of parasites, often what comes to mind are blood-sucking insects like bed bugs, head lice, and fleas or other bodily invaders on or in humans and other animals. But plants can have parasites too. Most of us are familiar with mistletoe...

Posted on Wednesday, June 6, 2018 at 10:00 PM

Invasive Spotlight: Invasive Plants

The flowers of French broom are attractive, but this invasive plant is not a good choice for landscapes. (Credit: Jack Kelly Clark)

People in urban and suburban areas often use the term “invasive” to describe plants or weeds that appear to take over a garden or landscape. However, true invasive plants are weeds that infest ecosystems, rangelands, and pasture—places...

Posted on Tuesday, June 5, 2018 at 10:00 PM

UC Master Food Preserver volunteers in tribal communities

Throughout Humboldt and Del Norte counties, the UC Master Food Preserver Program is actively engaging with tribal members. In fact, the UC Master Food Preserver volunteers have been “jamming it up” since 2017 with over 15 workshops for tribal community members.

UC Master Food Preserver Lena McCovey prepares candied orange peels. (Photo Barbara Goldberg)

Kella Roberts, of United Indian Health Services, has helped more than 280 community members improve their health and wellness - one jar, one dehydrator, one freezer bag at a time. Their workshops support existing efforts in the tribal communities to empower individuals, families, tribes, and the community to make healthy choices.

Roberts, along with her fellow UC Master Food Preserver volunteers, deserve recognition for coordinating and delivering food preservation classes to new audiences. They've adopted methods to help those with diabetes by limiting the sugar in recipes, and taught four workshops on ginger zucchini orange marmalade and strawberry jam using pectin. 

Adults and youth learn how to make strawberry jam. (Photo: Barbara Goldberg)

Over 130 youth and adults across four workshops went through the hands-on process of mashing and drying berries to make strawberry and beet fruit leather. 

Community members learn how to make strawberry jam. (Photo: Barbara Goldberg)

Roberts kept the crunch going by teaching workshops on kosher dills, pickled green beans and pickled beets. Kale chips were another crunchy treat with healthful benefits that were highlighted at a Hands on Health Conference workshop. Other healthy food preservation workshops included smooth applesauce and fruit dehydration. 

Making kale chips (Photo: UC Master Food Preserver Program)

To increase participation, these workshops were held at sites where tribal members already meet and live, including the Bear River Band of Rohnerville Rancheria, Big Lagoon Rancheria, Blue Lake Rancheria, Cher-Ae Heights Indian Community of the Trinidad Rancheria, Elk Valley Rancheria, Resighini Rancheria, Wiyot Tribe, Tolowa Dee-Ni' Nation, and the Yurok Reservation. 

UC Master Food Preserver volunteers perform outreach at tribal communities. (Photo: Barbara Goldberg)

Find a UC Master Food Preserver Program near you to get involved in sharing home food preservation techniques with your community. The program uses research-based methods to deliver home food preservation methods to Californians.

Posted on Tuesday, June 5, 2018 at 8:44 AM

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