- Author: Chris M. Webb
Agritourism has been gaining momentum as a way to increase revenue on farms and ranches. It is anticipated that agritourism will continue to grow as people continue to search for ways to connect with nature and learn more about our food systems.
The University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Division (UC ANR) has some great resources to help navigate the process – and two of the three are free!
Read below for a description of the free publications:
Agritourism can be a great boon to the California grower, but you have to be aware of your legal responsibilities, get your permits, and follow the rules regarding land use, zoning, public health, and other areas. This gives you a brief overview. (8 pages)
This publication gives you a game plan for navigating the maze of permits, plans, and approvals you will need to get in order before you launch a potentially profitable agritourism enterprise on your California farm or ranch. (6 pages)
If after reviewing the free publications you are interested in finding out more, UC ANR has a priced publication, Agritourism and Nature Tourism in California, which provides more in depth information.
The chapters include:
- Evaluating Your Resources: Is Tourism for You?
- Creating Your Business Plan
- Navigating Legal Constraints
- Developing Your Risk-Management Plan
- Forming Your Marketing Strategy
- Resources for Success
- Planning Farm Visits for Children
To find out more about the book, please visit http://anrcatalog.ucdavis.edu/SmallFarms/3484.aspx. By clicking on the “search in this book link”, provided by Google, you can get a feel if the publication is right for you and your operation before purchasing. The book can also be viewed and studied for free at your local University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) office. To be safe, call first and make sure it is available before driving to the office.
If you decide to purchase this great resource, purchase online and save 10%. Use promotion code PRVEN56 at check out to receive the discount. In addition to saving you money, a portion of the proceeds will benefit local programs!
- Author: Chris M. Webb
Every wonder what 4-Her’s do? They are busy for sure! Read the following Featured Club Happening, submitted by Ventura County Loma Vista 4-H member, Kimberly Coverly.
Ask anyone who you encounter for the definition of 4-H and you are bound to get a description of “some club that raises livestock and goes to the fair.” Although this may describe part of what some 4-H Clubs do, this is pretty far from what Loma Vista 4-H Club is like. With projects ranging from archery to easy meals and rabbits to beading, Loma Vista is so much more!
In our club we focus on being well-rounded individuals. We give our members lots of variety to choose from and there is a project for everyone. We try to make our club welcoming.
While everyone fits into a project we focus on unity as well. At every monthly meeting we have a program that is sure to capture every member’s attention. We also recognize monthly birthdays by leading members up to the front of the group and sing happy birthday to them. This really makes the younger members feel very welcomed and special by the other older kids that they look up to. In these ways our club is very different from some other 4-H clubs in VenturaCounty and the state of California.
Now, when someone gives you the definition of 4-H as “some club that raises livestock and goes to the fair”, you can correct them and say, “Not Loma Vista!”
The 4-H Featured Club Happenings began in February of this year. More Featured Club Happenings can be found in our Clover Lines newsletters.
- Author: Chris M. Webb
Dr. Sabrina Drill, of the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE), is a Natural Resources Advisor covering both Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. One of the issues she is currently studying is the New Zealand mudsnail (NZMS), Potamopyrgus antipodarum.
NZMS is an aquatic invasive species that was first found in the United States in Idaho in 1987. It has since spread to every Western state except New Mexico. They were found in California’s Owens River in the late 1990’s. In 2006 it was found in the Santa Clara Watershed, which straddles the two counties Dr. Drill covers in her UCCE work.
New Zealand mudsnails are tiny, with adults only reaching 3-5 mm and juveniles even smaller, about the size of a grain of sand. They are usually light to dark brown, and may appear black when wet. They have conical shells that have five or sometimes six whorls.
New Zealand mudsnails reproduce clonally and bear live young. A single female and her offspring are capable of yielding 40 million individuals in a year! As is typical with invasive species, they compete with native invertebrates for food and habitat, and as they provide little in the way of food value, may have detrimental effects on fish and wildlife. They have a wide ranging temperature and salinity tolerance, and can survive for several days out of water under moist conditions.
Taken together, their small size, dark coloration, and ability to stick to things makes them excellent at invading new systems. They can hitch a ride on fishing gear, sampling equipment, shoes (hiding in the treads and under the laces), and clothes, as well as on the fur of dogs and horses. We know of no way to get rid of them once they invade a river system, other than drastic dewatering or poisoning. Researchers are investigating options for biological control.
The best way to manage New Zealand mudsnails and other invasive species is to try and prevent them from spreading.
Please help contain the spread of NZMS by doing the following:
- Stay out of infected streams and do NOT go from one stream to another in wet gear.
- If you need to go into an infected stream, consider having dedicated clothes and gear that you don’t wear anywhere else.
- Scrub all gear with a stiff brush before you leave an infected site; mudsnails are experts at hiding, so you can’t trust a visual inspection.
- Let all gear dry completely between visits, or freeze for a minimum of six hours between uses.
As Dr. Drill continues to monitor the distribution and impacts of NZMS in the Santa Clara River she will be adding her findings to the NZMS website. You can find the site at http://groups.ucanr.org/NZMS/. She will also be doing outreach for fisherfolk in the fall. Check back for dates and locations!
- Author: Chris M. Webb
Ventura has a new pest, the cherry vinegar fly, Drosophila suzukii. This pest goes after not just cherries, but raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries. It has been in the Central Valley and along the coast for over a year now and is a serious pest. Background information and an outline for likely management practices can be found on UC ANR's Strawberry and Caneberry blog. Color photos of the pest and damage caused along with lifecycle information can be found here.
Rose Hayden-Smith, our UCCE County Director, learned about the pest from Agricultural Commissioner Henry Gonzalez at a recent Farm Bureau meeting. She told Jim Downer, a Farm Advisor in our office, who grows berries at his home. Jim commented that he had seen a possible suspect on his fruit. Jim submitted the infested blackberry fruit into the County of Ventura Ag Commissioner and his suspicions were confirmed. In addition our Farm Advisors have been hearing reports from raspberry and blueberry growers about the effect of the flies on fruit.
Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.
- Author: Chris M. Webb
See below for great news recently sent to the Ventura County UCCE office! For anyone who is interested we have copies of California Agriculture going back to 1950 in our library. Feel free to come by and take a look. To avoid disappointment, please call first to make sure the library is not being used for a meeting.
Sixty-three years of California Agriculture journal now online
This week, California Agriculture capped off a two-year effort with a keystroke, posting the full text of 63 years -- close to 6,000 articles -- to the World Wide Web. This rich store of peer-reviewed science dating back to 1946 is now freely accessible and searchable at the journal's redesigned Web site: http://californiaagriculture.ucanr.org/.
The previous California Agriculture Web site included articles back to 2000. Until now, however, most of the journal's long history of research has been in the shadows, accessible only as bound volumes in the stacks of a few UC libraries and others scattered around the world.
"This highly valuable research is now widely available online for the benefit of authors, readers and scientists worldwide," said Janet White, executive editor of California Agriculture journal. "Our old, well-worn hard copies have been transformed into high-quality, reusable XML-based content and full-text PDFs, with the highest levels of data integrity and readability."
Published by the University of California, California Agriculture began as a four-page broadsheet in December 1946. Today both print and Web versions are known for presenting new, peer-reviewed research in a meaningful context with technical terms defined -- making it accessible to a diverse audience of people who can use it, taking the final step in the research and delivery process.
California Agriculture is one of the oldest, continuously published, land-grant university research publications in the country, with one of the largest circulations among journals of its kind. Print subscribers include 17,000 growers, faculty members, environmental and health professionals, government researchers, public officials and others.
The California Agriculture archive includes landmark research that knits together our understanding of food and fiber production, forestry, fisheries, human health and nutrition, and how those endeavors have interacted with the natural environment and its ecosystems at every scale.
Aptara of Falls Church, Va., was hired to process over 550 back-dated journal issues, using the University's custom editorial specifications, converting them into XML files with cross-referencing for immediate posting online. The Web site redevelopment team included Janet White, Andrea Laue, Michael Talman, Davis Krauter, Karl Krist, Dave Krause and Janet Byron.
California Agriculture is still fine-tuning the Web site, and welcomes comments and feedback. Please take the online survey on the home page, or write to us at email@example.com .
California Agriculture is the University of Californias peer-reviewed journal of research in agricultural, human and natural resources. For a free subscription, go to: http://californiaagriculture.ucanr.org write to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (510) 642-2431 x33.
EDITORS: To request a hard copy of the journal, e-mail email@example.com.
For more ANR news, visit