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Green news from the UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
by John Schoustra
on November 26, 2018 at 10:36 AM
Unfortunately, food safety auditors prefer clean looking industrial type operations and mark down or fail "cluttered" farms that follow the practices suggested here. Our organic certifier appreciates that we provide habitat and even keep a census of California native plants and animals on the ranch, but I'm concerned about having to pass a food safety audit next year. My neighbor was marked down severely for one bunny sighting in his orchard! As currently applied to tree fruits, the Food Safety Act is anti-pollinator and ant-environment.
by eliot freutel
on November 27, 2018 at 4:44 PM
Our backyard crop yield this year was much healthier having planted native and environmentally beneficial plants. Our tomatoes and basil especially seem emboldened by the recent edition of our milkweed plants.
by Adina M. Merenlender
on November 28, 2018 at 10:15 AM
John, You bring up an important issue that farmers and researchers need to continue to work together to solve. There has been some work done by Daniel Karp, Sasha Gannet and others.I have five published papers by this team related to the problem you raise. If you email me at I will email you the papers. I sure hope that farmers, researchers, and conservation interest groups can work together to advance necessary revisions to existing policies to allow for wildlife friendly farming.
by Adina M. Merenlender
on November 28, 2018 at 12:47 PM
Eliot, Great to hear about your milkweed plantings and that you see evidence of the benefits of a more diverse garden for your tomato and basil crops. You might be interested to follow Gordon Frankie's work on bees as much of it takes places in backyards such as yours. If you are interested see the link below and I hope your garden will get just the right amount of rain this winter. Cheers, Adina
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