Due to its mild winter temperatures and access to water, Desert REC is the primary site for developing and testing USDA carrot breeding stock. The work of Dr. Phillip Simon, who holds a joint position with USDA's Agriculture Research Service (ARS) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Horticulture Department, has contributed to today's carrot providing 50% more vitamin A to US consumers than in 1990.
While the orange carrot is a standard in carrot varieties, it is actually a more recent carrotvarietal. The purple and yellow carrots were the original carrot colors and these novel colored carrots (ie purple, yellow, and red) are becoming increasingly popular among consumers and chefs again. Each color has a different health benefit and nutritional value. Dr. Simon's research includes the development of novel colored carrot strains with increased nutritional values, such as carotenoids and anthocyanins.
Dr. Simon has partnered with the UC DREC Farm Smart program to offer outreach and educational program focused on expanded awareness of carrots and carrot diversity. Starting in 2016, the Farm Smart outreach has included presentations to teachers and classrooms, taste testing of the novel colored carrots, curriculum and seed distribution to educators, and carrot harvesting and tours for youth and adult participants.
For more information on DREC and its educational program, please contact our Center Director, Jairo Diaz at email@example.com or our Farm Smart Program Manager, Stacey Amparano, at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also reach us at (760)356-3060
For further reading:
For most of us, our work, social, and academic lives look much different this month in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Desert Research and Extension Center – DREC is committed to continuing to work and available to assist our partners and stakeholders in our desert region. Critical research projects are being maintained and program delivery is taking place online. Farm Smart is dedicated to teaching learners of all ages about where their food comes from, including the nutrition we get from that food. Since 2001, we have offered this outreach through community events and K-12 field trips. To continue our outreach to the community during this time of ‘social distancing' and ‘shelter at home', DREC and Farm Smart will be active on Facebook and Twitter and available by phone or email to answer any of your questions. While all face-to-face events/meetings are cancelled, we are still available to help! Please follow us on facebook and twitter for ideas on activities and lessons plans for your “home-schooling” and adventures with your children as well as wellness tips for those self-quarantining.
Take a moment to fill out this survey so we may hear about your concerns, resources, and needs you have during these unprecedented times: https://ucanr.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8uLur6jQjVRnvOl
UCANR DREC on Twitter: https://twitter.com/UCANRDREC
Farm Smart on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UCfarmsmart
Farm Smart on Twitter: https://twitter.com/UCFarmSmart
DREC contact: Jairo Diaz (760)791-0521 or email@example.com
Farm Smart Contact: Stacey Amparano (769)356-3067 or firstname.lastname@example.org
2018 California AG in the Classroom Conference
September 28-29 Palm Springs, CA
Have you been interested in finding new and exciting ways to bring food, fiber, flowers, and fuel into your learning environment? JOIN US for the 2018 California AG in the Classroom Conference. Through the generous donations of the Imperial County Farm Bureau, Imperial County Vegetable Growers Association, and Farm Credit Services Southwest there are a limited number of scholarships available to Imperial County Educators!
APPLICATIONS DUE: August 30, 2018 by 5:00PM
Conference scholarship is open to Pre-K -12th grade educators in Imperial County who want to find new and exciting ways to bring food, fiber, flowers, and fuel into the classroom.
SCHOLARSHIP WILL INCLUDE:
- The cost of registration for Sept 28-29, which includes meals, tours, and all presentations ($265).
- 1 night at the Renaissance Hotel– Marriot in Palm Springs, CA ($139 plus taxes and fees)
*Attendees are responsible for their own transportation*
Send all applications to email@example.com
- Pre-K -12th grade teachers; all subject areas
- Currently teaching in an Imperial County School in the 2018-19 school year
- Interest in increasing comfort level when teaching about agriculture
- Submit an application of interest by August 30th at 5PM
- Commitment to identifying resources to integrate agriculture into core content and instruction
- Willing to present to fellow educators and sponsoring organization on how you will integrate agriculture into your classroom
The Imperial Valley's beautiful winters have long attracted winter visitors to the area, and most come very curious about what's growing throughout this region. Since 2001, the UC Desert Research and Extension Center (DREC) has showcased Imperial County agriculture and the research conducted at DREC through their winter tours.
Farm Smart has seen over 139,000 visitors since it began. These participants come through our K-12 field trips to the farm and the winter tours. This year's tours began Monday, January 29, and run through February 23. Visitors to this year's tours will be treated to a program designed to educate the public about Imperial Valley and Yuma agriculture, water delivery and irrigation, and natural resources issues. In addition to our regular winter tours, Farm Smart will feature specialty tours this year. Sunrise on the Farm will be a breakfast tour taking place on February 7th and 22nd and Dinner on the Farm will be a date night themed tour with date appetizers and a tri-tip dinner taking place on February 14th. While many tour guests are winter visitors staying in the Imperial Valley, Yuma, and Indio the tours are open to the public at large and we encourage anyone wanting to learn more about valley agriculture to attend.
The tour will feature a recipe using local products. Stephanie Collins, Farm Smart Community Educator, will demonstrate a delicious raw cauliflower tabbouleh to highlight the valley's cauliflower production. After the tour of the 255-acre research farm, the wagons will stop at the 3-acre Farm Smart produce garden for harvesting. This year's visitors receive a large bag to harvest carrots, turnips, beets, daikon radishes, red radishes, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, romaine lettuce, spinach, iceberg lettuce, swiss chard and more. Seed for the crops was donated by Golden Valley Seed, and transplants were donated by Keithly-Williams.
Visitors end the tour with honey tasting of local honey and door prizes donated from local organizations, including Farm Credit Services Southwest, Jordan Implements, RDO, Glenna Sparks of Agriculture More Than Ever, El Centro Chamber of Commerce, Desert Trails RV, and more. The staff at Farm Smart is grateful for the generous community support it receives, including donation from Imperial Irrigation District, Farm Credit Services Southwest, and Imperial County Farm Bureau. Thank you to all the wonderful Farm Smart volunteers, who donated over 2,000 hours of time in 2017!
The UC Desert Research and Extension Center is a great resource for the Imperial Valley and the UC FARM SMART program welcomes winter visitors and the public. Regular tours are $25 per person, Sunrise on the Farm in $35, and Dinner on the Farm is $45/person or $75/couple.
Stacey Wills Amparano is the Farm Smart Manager at the UC Desert Research and Extension Center. She can be reached at 760-356-3067. Tours can be booked by phone/text at (760)791-0261 or online at http://drec.ucanr.edu