farming

Angel M Russell

A fall heat wave is hitting California, with heat advisories in effect for San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties.

Doug McKnight/KAZU

Part 1 

Part 2  

Over the next three months, tens of thousands of migrant farmworkers will converge on the Central Coast to do something deemed essential in the time of COVID-19, harvest our food. The speciality crops farmed locally, like strawberries and leafy greens, require a lot of hand labor. But the dramatic increase in population could trigger a surge in COVID-19 cases.

On this agriculture-themed episode of Issues & Ideas, we hear the second half of a conversation with Brent Burchett of the SLO County Farm Bureau, about issues facing farmers on the Central Coast. Father Ian takes us on a journey to explore growing and enjoying Central Coast artichokes. We learn more about a new research project in a San Miguel vineyard involving vermiculture, and tag along on a tour of a vermicompost production facility. And we get the lowdown on a state grant program designed to encourage healthy soils. Finally, meet the newest baby giraffe at the Santa Barbara Zoo.

Fr. Ian Delinger

Agriculture plays a crucial role in the economy of both California and the Central Coast. KCBX's Greta Mart talks with Brent Burchett, executive director of the SLO County Farm Bureau, about a variety of local agricultural issues and challenges for the county's farmers.

Issues & Ideas: Cultivating a more diverse EcoFarm

Feb 22, 2020
Mark C. Anderson

Why aren’t there more people of color and women at agriculture conferences? One organization is actively working to change the demographics of both presenters and attendees—and workshop topics—at what's considered the oldest and largest organic farming conference in the West.

Issues & Ideas: Vaping, lavender and a farm-to-school lunch tray program

Sep 30, 2019

On this week’s Issues & Ideas: the state's public health agency has urged Californians to stop vaping immediately, days after Governor Newsom signed an executive order aimed at curbing vaping among youth. 

Jamie Lewis/KCBX

At just five feet tall and barely 30 years old, San Luis Obispo's Julie Simon may not be a shoo-in for your typical farmer. But then again, Simon hasn't done much of anything the prescribed way. 

Soil renewal effort takes root in California

Dec 23, 2016
EZRA DAVID ROMERO / VALLEY PUBLIC RADIO

Fifteen years ago tractors could be heard at Sano Farms near Firebaugh, in Central California's San Joaquin Valley, on any given day. Now the sound of tractors is rare. That’s because the 4,000-acre tomato and almond farm has almost stopped running tractors altogether. Farm Manager Jesse Sanchez says he once thought it was a good idea to disc soil often. 

tractor on display at Bayer Museum of Agriculture
Thomas Wilmer

The Bayer Museum of Agriculture in Lubbock, Texas is the Smithsonian of all things Ag from primitive McCormick Reapers to state of the art computer assisted John Deere Cotton Strippers.

U.S. Dept. of Agriculture

A ruling this week by a Superior Court judge in Sacramento calls for Central Coast farmers to change the way they deal with water runoff from their fields. It may take a while before any of those changes hit the local agricultural industry. 

Randol White - KCBX News

The organic farm at Cal Poly is being called one of the ten best university-based farms in the nation.

The organization Best College Reviews says the school's 11 acre farm in San Luis Obispo integrates well with the main campus and surrounding community, has good student interaction, and is sustainable.

Cal Poly's farm is certified organic by the California Certified Organic Farmers organization. It's managed by students, faculty and staff.