UCCE Shasta helps consumers grow their own strawberries
UC farm advisor Dan Marcum encourages grow your own strawberry in Shasta County.
What Has ANR Done?Happy Valley, a community in south Shasta County, holds a “Strawberry Festival” school fundraiser each May. Thousands of local residents attend to enjoy strawberry shortcake and purchase crafts from local vendors. In 2009, UCCE attended the festival and gave away 6,000 Albion plants (donated by local nursery producers) in lots of ten to 600 members of the community. Accompanying instructions covered plant care, food safety, preservation and consumption. UCCE followed up with a mailed questionnaire and site visits to evaluate the success of the project.
Shasta County residents produce healthy food in their backyardsThis activity is part of a movement in Shasta County to return to grass roots production and consumption of food. Those who cared for the plants properly consumed and enjoyed strawberries from their own yards. Eighty-nine percent of the people planted the strawberries. Eight percent reported that they planted the strawberries but lost the plants because of pests or pets. Three percent reported they didn't have time to plant them. In 2010, those who had cared for their plants enjoyed a second year of production. The participants discovered that growing your own food is not simple, but is a good way to eat right in difficult economic times. All the participants had the resources to produce food: a small amount of land, water, some simple tools to plant, weed, harvest, and prepare fruit for consumption. What was most often lacking was time to tend the garden – preparing soil, weeding and watering.
Supporting Unit:Shasta County Concepcion Mendoza and Daniel B. Marcum
Concepcion Mendoza, (530) 224-4900, firstname.lastname@example.org
Daniel Marcum, (530) 336-5784, email@example.com