The Small Farm Center would like to share an update with you about a variety of program projects including:
Pesticide Safety Education Project
This project is designed to help non-English speaking, limited resource farmers become aware of safe pesticide handling practices. To reach this goal, teaching and outreach methods have been developed, including a farmer survey and a pesticide video produced in English, Hmong, and Spanish. Project collaborators include the Small Farm Program, the UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Project; and the California Latino Agricultural Association.
Agriculture and Ethics Project
Small Farm Center staff and the Davis Humanities Instate are planning a one-day agriculture and ethics symposium in 1998. the symposium's purpose is to bring together parties with different values and interests to discuss agricultural and food system decisions and practices. Specific applications will include animal husbandry and food safety, and land use.
Exploring Land Use Conflicts And Solutions.
Like other rapidly growing California counties, Lake County has begun to feel the pressure of an increasing non-agricultural population. To educate both agriculturists and non-agriculturists about potential conflicts and encourage meaningful discussion, a committee was formed that included staff from the Small Farm Program: UC Cooperative Extension, Lake County; the UC Davis Department of Human and Community Development; and the UC Division of Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, North Region. The group also included local government officials and staff, farmers, realtors, farming neighbors, and environmental groups.
The committee undertook three projects to raise agricultural awareness including a one-day forum, the development of the Lake County Factbook, and the creation of a series of leaflets on agriculture that address the realities of being a farmer's neighbor. The leaflets will be distributed at several locations including Cooperative Extension outlets, the Chamber of Commerce, and local realtor offices. The committee also has agreed to fulfill a request by the State Department of Conservation Farmland Mapping Program to serve as the farmland mapping advisory committee for Lake County.
Irrigation Education Project
Valley Harvest Holiday Gift Boxes
Valley Harvest is group of small, organic farmers in Yolo and Solano counties who have united to further strengthen the community and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). The Small Farm Center is sponsoring a pilot project to promote Valley Harvest Holiday Gift Boxes produced by these farmers. In the leaner times of winter, the farmers rely on value-added products to provide needed income and to keep valuable employees and CSA shareholders year round. The gift boxes contain a variety of selected value added products (farm grown and enhanced goodies such as nut butters, herbal teas, dried fruit, and shelled nuts). This highly successful project has surpassed goals, and work has begun to design the experimental project's future form for these growers.
Photo: Irrigation Specialist Blaine Hanson demonstrates a low-volume irrigation system.