Author Archive | Kathryn McKenzie

EcoFarm 2018 Digs Deep Into the Soil

December 12, 2017 – As any farmer can tell you, it all begins with the soil. And that’s the focus of EcoFarm Conference 2018, coming up in the last week of January: renewing and regenerating the ground beneath our feet.

The 38th annual conference at Asilomar, Jan. 24-27, will focus on what is called regenerative agriculture, a recent and growing movement that combines time-honored practices of caring for the soil with new science that proposes to rebalance the global carbon cycle and slow climate change. And the theme, “Sow Good,” nods to the impact that farmers can make in aiding the environment.

This year, workshops on the elements of healthy soil, how to create it, and how to put carbon back into soils are an essential part of … Read More

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ON THE FARM: GOING ORGANIC

Decades after the Monterey Bay area established itself at the vanguard of the organic movement, consumer demand is spreading organic growing practices throughout the region


John Jeavons of Grow Biointensive, from the new film, Evolution of Organic, which tracks the history of the movement. Photo from the film Evolution of Organic courtesy of the filmmaker.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY PATRICK TREGENZA

The exhibit halls at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel were full to bursting—so packed that it was hard to move, so noisy that you had to shout to be heard. And what lured these excited crowds from every part of the country? Organic produce! Room after room rolled out colorful displays featuring lettuce, zucchini, potatoes and mushrooms, herbs and tree fruit, ready-made salads and shredded veggies, as people swirled around the … Read More

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New TA Lettuce Developed From Chef to Field

August 8, 2017 – It seems only natural that growers and produce folks would want to attend Tanimura & Antle’s first-ever Field Days—after all, looking at innovations in planting and field packing is essential to their work—but what’s the attraction for retail and food service customers?

It’s all because of collaboration, according to Samantha Cabaluna, vice president of brand marketing and communications for the ag giant headquartered in Spreckels.

“Today, collaboration among seed breeders, farmers and their retail and food service customers is essential to address the challenges of meeting the evolving needs of a variety of customers,” says Cabaluna. “Partnering early on makes for a more satisfying experience for everyone.” 

In other words, chefs, food service and retail have particular desires and needs, and Field Days are a great way for them … Read More

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Summit Spotlights Boom in Organics Sector

July 18, 2017 – Enthusiasm for organic products was palpable at last week’s sold-out Organic Produce Summit 2017 in Monterey. A vendors’ exhibition, speakers and farm tours all demonstrated how organic is the wave of the future, and a challenge for the present.

More than 900 attendees and 200 exhibitors crowded buildings at the Monterey Regency Hyatt last Thursday to see the latest and greatest in organic produce and related products. Those who attended taste-tested organic fare ranging from coconuts to fast-food chicken sandwiches and chocolate-drizzled popcorn, exclaimed over living herbs and mushroom logs, and examined a cornucopia of lettuces, peppers, potatoes and more, both naked and in retail packaging, along with products that included everything from dried fruit to juices.

Organic is by far the fastest-growing food category in the United States; … Read More

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Solar Technologies: A Local Pioneer in Solar Energy

With so many solar companies around, customers might wonder how in the world they’re supposed to choose among them when searching for a way to reduce home or business electricity costs. There’s so much to consider—everything from commitment to customer service to how the panels themselves are manufactured.

One of the original solar companies in the Monterey Bay area has been refining its approach for almost 20 years. And that’s why Solar Technologies Inc. has been able to provide its customers with superior service, high-quality U.S.-made solar panels and equipment, and experienced personnel—all at a reasonable price.

“We’ve been helping customers save money on their electric bills since 1998,” says Jeff Parr, president of Solar Technologies. “We figure that over the life of the systems we’ve installed, we’ve helped customers save … Read More

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