Many Californians swear by the "superior" flavor of home-grown, farmers market or roadside stand tomatoes. UC Cooperative Extension vegetable crops specialist Tim Hartz says consumers may wish to give grocery store fruit another chance, according to the Associated Press.
“For the life of me I don’t understand all the consternation that some people have about the quality of the tomatoes at the supermarket," Hartz was quoted. “What you can buy at the supermarket now is probably superior to the choices that you had 15 to 20 years ago."
A Tulare resident reported to the Visalia Times-Delta the appearance of a plant in his garden that is producing potatoes in the ground and tomatoes on the stems.
Reporter Hillary Meeks inquired with UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor Michelle LeStrange about a phenomenon the gardener said he has never seen before in 60 years of gardening. Le Strange said it could be a natural anomaly.
"Several types of mutations occur in nature and occasionally we can visually see the result," LeStrange wrote in an e-mail to the...
For automated, mechanical weed control to work, scientists must teach machines how to distinguish between unwanted vegetation and the crop being cultivated. A new, high-tech system using x-rays to detect tomato stems is under development by UC Davis Cooperative Extension agricultural engineer David Slaughter and USDA Agricultural Research Service researcher Ron Haff. The output from the x-ray detector is input to a microcontroller that controls a pair of pneumatically powered mechanical weed knife blades.
Slaughter and Haff's work was explained this week in an online newsletter produced by