Since the late 1700s, grazing has been the best use for the rolling hills and valleys of California's Central Coast, reported Louis Sahagun in the Los Angeles Times. However, because of the state's four-year drought, three-quarters of the cattle in San Luis Obispo County have been sold or taken out of state. The sell-off brought in a record $129 million last year.
Galvanized horse troughs arranged on the top of a Los Angeles skyscraper have become a productive high-rise herb and vegetable garden, providing ultra-fresh produce to an on-site restaurant, reported Robert Holguin on KABC TV.
"Chefs are using what's produced (in the garden) in their kitchens because they know their customers appreciate fresh, local food," said Rachel Surls, the sustainable food systems advisor for UC Cooperative Extension in Los Angeles County.
Surls was part of a recent tour of urban agriculture in downtown Los Angeles, a story that was also covered by the
Reporter Cary Blake of Western Farm Press visited with UC Cooperative Extension advisor Mark Battany during a California road trip being chronicled in the magazine's new Farm Press Blog. Battany is a viticulture expert serving San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties.
The topic of his conversation with Blake was water, or more specifically, the lack thereof.
Battany said local groundwater levels in the Paso Robles area continue to decline. He is conducting research as part of a two-state project (California and Washington) to improve water efficiency in wine-grape production.