UC Small Farm Advisor works with grower to push the "Horticultural Envelope"
This article by Matt Kettman was published in the Santa Barbara Independent on October 6, 2015. UC Small Farm Advisor, Mark Gaskell, has been providing technical assistance to small-scale growers in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties for more than 20 years. Sandra Newman has established certified organic blueberries, gooseberries, mulberries, and other specialty crops on her 100 acres of sandy soil and been growing and marketing them successfully for more than a dozen years.
Blueberries, Pinot Noir, Mulberries, and More Thrive at Sandra Newman’s Forbidden Fruit Farms Near Lompoc Story by Matt Kettmann
The advisor, however, asked whether she had money and time to burn. As a widow approaching retirement age, lacking a fortune, and still paying bills through her Orange County–based digital SEC filing service, Newman had neither luxury. “I have a budget,” Newman told me during a visit this past summer to the property. “My daddy didn’t buy it for me; my husband didn’t buy it for me. I’m probably the only one out here who still has a mortgage.”
So the advisor suggested planting blueberries, which, if they ripened anytime other than when the blueberry market is typically flooded, would deliver nearly instant returns. In went two acres of the shrubs... ...read more
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Now Accepting Scholarship Applications for the 29th California Small Farm Conference in Sacramento, CA
The upcoming California Small Farm Conference in Sacramento, CA is scheduled for March 5 – 8, 2016.
Small-scale farmers and ranchers, beginning farmer/ranchers, farmer/rancher employees and certified farmers’ market managers are encouraged to apply. The deadline for applications is 5:00pm PST on December 4, 2015.
What the Scholarship Includes:
- For scholarship recipients, fees are significantly reduced to $100 (from $350) and just $25 (from $65) for a field course.
- Scholarship package meals, educational materials, workshops, networking opportunities, and a ticket to the Tasting Reception are included,
- Additionally, room sharing is available for scholarship recipients if hotel accommodations are needed.
Complete the online application before the December 4, 2015, deadline.