A group of 109 gathered for a casual lunch to celebrate the twenty-eight years of service that Dr. John Kabashima, Environmental Horticulture Advisor for Orange County, has dedicated to the UC ANR Cooperative Extension. Attendees included colleagues – researchers, advisors, staff, and business contacts; along with many of the UCCE Master Gardener - Orange County volunteers.
The festivities included a looping picture collage of his career, speeches, and a barbeque lunch hosted by Darren Haver, Center and County Director, and cooked by UC ANR South Coast REC staff.
In addition to many administrative and academic accomplishments, John's active career has included cutting edge research on invasive species such as the red imported fire ant, the glassy winged sharp shooter, and the polyphagus shot hole borer to new name a few, in the Southern California area and beyond.
Luckily for those of us who work with him, retirement will not last long for John who will retain emeritus status conducting further research on the invasive species that plague Southern California and beyond.
Bill Frost, UCANR Vice-President, along with Will Harrison, OCFB President, and Darren Haver, Center and County Director, shoveled the first granules of dirt. On hand to witness the momentous occasion were Charlie Peltzer, Peltzer Farms - OCFB Board; Kenny Watkins, California Farm Bureau Federation 1st Vice President; Terry Cook, Village Nursery - OCFB Board; Mark Lopez, OC Produce - OCFB Board; Rick Mack, Crop Protection Services - OCFB Board; Chris Greer, UCANR Vice-Provost; and invited guests.
Attendees enjoyed the beautiful evening feasting on the delicious steak barbecue which included roasted potatoes harvested from a OC Farm Bureau sponsored field day for local youth at South Coast REC.
Proceeds from the event will help fund educational programs sponsored in partnership with OC Farm Bureau at South Coast REC's new ag-urban center.
Since arriving here, Niamh has been very busy writing and forging partnerships with local pest management professionals forming the Southern California Urban Wildlife Management Council, along with providing numerous consultations regarding pests such as gophers, coyotes, rats, and moles to name a few.
Niamh's infectious personality and quick wit has made her a favorite among the local talk circuit and a lovable member of the Orange County UCCE family.
If you get a chance, and haven't already, stop by and give a warm welcome to the 'Rat Whacker'.
PITAHAYA SEMINAR AND FIELD DAY
This year's Pitahaya Seminar will be held on August 21, 2015
in San Marcos, 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
TOPICS COVERED (subject to change):
- Pest and Regulatory Updates for San Diego County
- Pitahaya Production and Research Update
- Pitahaya Orchard Establishment, Economics and Marketing Considerations
- Genetic Characterization of Pitahaya or Dragon Fruit
- Pitahaya or Dragon Fruit Post Harvest Management and Sensory Evaluation
- Nematode Management in pitahaya/Dragon Fruit
- Insect Pest Management for Pitahayas /Dragon Fruit
- Diseases and Disease Management of Pitahaya or Dragon Fruit
- Integrated Pest Management of Pitahaya/Dragon Fruit
- Understanding Soil, Water and Leaf Analysis to Optimize Crop Production
- Fertility Management in Pitahaya / Dragon Fruit
- Marketing and Market Development using the Internet
- Is Pitahaya Production Feasible? Does it Pay to Hand Pollinate? Review of Tools to Conduct this Analysis
The Pitahaya Field Day will be held on August 22, 2015 in Irvine
at the South Coast Research and Extension Center, 7:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Program (subject to change):
- Overview of Pitahaya Production and Review of Varieties for California
- Weed Identification and Weed Control Clinic
- Vertebrate Pest (Gophers, Ground Squirrels, Voles and Coyotes) Management and Control Demo
- Pitahaya Irrigation Research Trial and Irrigation System Design Considerations
- Pitahaya Diseases and Disease Management
- Integrated Pest Management for Pitahaya / Dragon Fruit Production
- Pitahaya Pruning and Trellis Demonstration
- Pitahaya Fruit Display, Pitahaya Fruit and Ice Cream Tasting and Sensory Evaluation
- Pitahaya Grafting and Pollination Demonstrations
- Hands on Computer Lab to Analyze the Feasibility of Pitahaya Production, the Cost/Benefit of Hand Pollination and Review of other tools to Analyze and manage Risks.
Registration Fee: Package Registration for both theSeminar & Festival/Field Day is $80.00 per person,if postmarked or submitted online by Friday August 14th. No package registration after this date.
Registration for the Seminar - $60.00 per person.
Registration for the Festival/Field Day - $40.00 per person.
The registration fee includes continental breakfast, refreshments, lunch, pitahaya fruit & ice cream
tasting, handout materials, and five pitahaya cuttings of your choice.
REGISTER EARLY, This event has sold out in the past!! Register online at
complete and mail the registration form
along with your check payable to UC Regents to the address below:
UCCE San Diego
Attn: Pitahaya Field Day
9335 Hazard Way, Suite 201
San Diego, CA 92123
PLEASE NOTE: If space allows for walk-ins, you must have exact change or checks.
Please contact Roland Hills at (858)822-7711 for more information about the program or to request any special accommodations you may need.
Yes, we are in a drought. No this isn't the first one, and based on prior history, it won't be our last. More than the last three years we have been significantly well below the average rainfall for Orange County which is between 10-14 inches. Regardless of the rainfall we receive this year, or even next year, our situation is not going to change. We live in a semi-arid climate and really need to change our day to day living practices to reflect the conditions of our environment. We really wouldn't need to do much - read 'The next drought: Water officials endorse a 'less is more' strategy for the future', an LA Times article by Pete King, for some ideas of what you can do.