- Author: Pamela S Kan-Rice
UC Cooperative Extension advisor who promotes school gardens, urban agriculture to retire after 35-year career
A stroll through a leafy, green garden can give one temporary relief from life's harshness. During her career, Rachel Surls has used gardens to cultivate healthier communities, whether they are growing nutritious food or providing science lessons for students.
Over the past 35 years, Surls, University of California Cooperative Extension sustainable food systems advisor in Los Angeles County, has witnessed many changes – such as promoting public events on Instagram rather than typing and...
- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
Even as Californians shelter in place to contain the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, nutritious food remains vital to the health and well-being of our communities.
“Eating fruits and vegetables is known to benefit our overall health and help our immune system,” said Lorrene Ritchie, director of the UC Nutrition Policy Institute. “At a time when we need to be especially vigilant about staying healthy, eating healthy is essential.”
Farms, farm stands and farmers markets are listed as “essential businesses” in the state shelter-in-place order because they are important parts of the food supply. Urban...
- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
Southern California's mild Mediterranean climate makes it ideal for growing fruit trees in backyards, community gardens and school gardens. The trees provide wholesome fruit along with shade, beauty and enrichment for families and communities.
“With fresh fruit close at hand, it's easier to follow dietary guidelines that encourage filling half our plates with fruits and vegetables for good health,” said Rachel Surls, UC Cooperative Extension sustainable food systems advisor. “Besides, gardening is a great activity. Tending fruit trees teaches natural science, responsibility and appreciation for fresh food. And a garden gets people outside and engaged in physical...
- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
We know that eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is key to a healthful diet, but not everyone has ready access to a grocery store or can afford to buy fresh produce. One approach to the problem is to bring the farm closer to people's homes by making it easier to grow food in backyards and on vacant urban land.
To find out how to help people who want to grow food in their communities in California, Rachel Surls, a UC Agriculture and Natural Resources Cooperative Extension advisor, and several UC ANR colleagues interviewed urban farmers as part of a statewide study of urban agriculture...