agriculture

Foothill Agrarian
Wearing out my Raingear

Sep 25, 2014

The work of a shepherd is hard on work clothes, I've decided.  Most of my hats are sweat- and dust-stained.  The collars of my workshirts are generally stained (if not worn through).  My jeans feature holes where the 12-volt fence batter...

Foothill Agrarian
Planting Trial

Sep 22, 2014
Planting Trial

Beginning on July 11, we started irrigating about 2-1/2 acres of hillside pasture in anticipation of having green grass in September (now!) for flushing the ewes (flushing is the process of putting ewes on an improving plane of nutrition just prior to ...

The Sacramento Bee
Tomato growers’ lawsuit against feds fails to bear fruit

Tomato growers’ lawsuit against feds fails to bear fruit

A federal court has rejected the potentially far-reaching claims of Florida tomato growers who say they lost business because of Food and Drug Administration warnings. Vine ripe tomatoes, Dec. 7, 2013. Tomatoes (Glenn Koenig/Los Angeles Ti...

Foothill Agrarian
A Different Feeling this Fall

Sep 19, 2014
A Different Feeling this Fall

As we approach this year's autumnal equinox (next Monday), the weather is finally starting to turn a bit.  The shorter days, and the location of the sun when it clears the horizon, give the mornings a different feel.  I always look forward to...

Foothill Agrarian
King Fire Farmer/Rancher Fundraiser

Sep 18, 2014

As you probably know if you live in Northern California, the King Fire (which started near Pollock Pines) blew up yesterday.  The fire grew from around 18,000 acres on Tuesday night to over 70,000 acres as of this morning.  Yesterday afternoo...

The Sacramento Bee
Valley elderberry beetle to remain a protected species

Federal officials have changed their minds about the Valley elderberry longhorn beetle: It will remain protected by the Endangered Species Act. The decision is a disappointment to developers and flood-control agencies, which had hoped to avoid the expe...

Foothill Agrarian
Using Livestock Guardian Dogs in a Small-Scale Commercial Sheep Operation: One Ranch’s Approach

Sep 9, 2014
Using Livestock Guardian Dogs in a Small-Scale Commercial Sheep Operation: One Ranch’s Approach

Reno, an Anatolian Shepherd.IntroductionWe operate a small scale (approximately 150 ewe) commercial sheep operation in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada.  We've used livestock guardian dogs (LGDs) in our operation as part of our predator protecti...

The Sacramento Bee
The front line in the olive oil war has been drawn in California

There's a war over your salad dressing, and the front line has been drawn in California.

Foothill Agrarian
The Subtlety of Summer Drought on California Rangelands

Sep 8, 2014

With Labor Day and our local Gold Country Fair behind us, I find my thoughts turning to autumn.  This morning, I went through all of our mature ewes, checking them for udder problems and teeth problems, and de-worming any that seemed to have internal parasites.  We call this process "bagging and mouthing" - we...

The Sacramento Bee
City Beat: Sacramento pursuing plan to allow urban farms

City Beat: Sacramento pursuing plan to allow urban farms

From Valley View Acres, it all seems so peaceful, even the sprawl. This neighborhood is a thumb-shaped plot of ranches and small farms at the northern reaches of the city. It’s also the only place in this city of nearly a half-million people where you can keep livestock and run a farm.

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