Which nutrients are added back into the ground every season?

HMC Farms works closely with our advisors to keep the soil in optimum tree fruit growing condition. During the spring and summer months the trees use the nutrients in the soil as fuel to grow the fruit. Every fall we take samples of the soil to evaluate which nutrients have been depleted. After careful evaluation […]

What are the white spots that appear inside a peach pit?

This whitish tissue may actually appear on the pit and/or in the pit cavity (area inside peach around pit) of a ripe peach. It is called callus tissue (undifferentiated cells). It is not a fungus, bacteria, mold or other type of disease. It is naturally occurring, and is not harmful. It can be safely eaten along with the rest of the peach

HMC Farms: Giving school gardens to Oakland

Article courtesy of Western Growers

On a rainy day in late March, Drew and Chelsea (McClarty) Ketelsen of HMC Farms and I made a whirlwind tour around Oakland, CA. The McClartys had donated $10,000 to the Foundation and, after a rigorous application process, Western Growers Foundation awarded several Oakland schools $1,000 each to grow and sustain their fruit and vegetable garden.

Why Oakland? “It’s tough all over for children to get their 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables. Drew and I know urban teachers and we have heard their stories. After visiting these schools and talking with the students and teachers,” said Chelsea, “we knew we made the right choice.”

Often a teacher or parent will lead the school garden efforts, but at Elmhurst Community Prep on the East Side of Oakland, HealthCorps Navigator Matthew Crimp has taken that role.

Giving us a tour of the lettuce, broccoli and tomato beds, Mr. Crimp explained. “Being on the medical side of things, I see the relationship of good nutrition to our children’s health,” he said. “We are out here twice a week and the students learn both where healthy food comes from and how to prepare it. Practically every meal we cook in our after- school groups has ingredients that students harvest directly from the garden.”

Serving in the school-based health clinic, Mr. Crimp provided some additional insight. He sees the intersection of health with nutrition every day and stated that the number one biggest complaint from students is a headache or stomachache. When asked if they’ve eaten a nutritious meal in the last 12 hours, the answer is usually no. “The lack of nutritious food in their diet makes students sleepy, cranky, and generally not able to perform academically to the level at which know they can. Our goal,” said Mr. Crimp, “with our garden and providing them access to nutritious fruits and vegetables is to do away with seeing that health condition in our clinic, and to give our students the ability and the opportunity to achieve the way we know they can.

On the other side of town, under the shade and rattling of BART was Ascend Elementary. Jayson Weldon, who has been heading up the edible garden for five years said, “The best way to teach students about their food and where it comes from is to get them out in our gardens with their hands in the dirt. It is an experience so important for our students as issues of healthy eating habits, access to quality food, and food sustainability become such relevant issues to their lives.”

Briceyda, a first grader, said, “I never liked vegetables until I grew my own.”

Mr. Weldon went on to say, “Being able to relate state standards to experiences students can physically grasp is a critical element to developing lasting knowledge. Most importantly, it brings the fun back to the classroom. It is incredible to see how much students learn by digging around in a garden and taking ownership of the fruits of their labor.”

Luis another first grader, after planting radishes and finding some insects to put in a terrarium said, “This was the best day ever.”

After visiting five more schools, each with dedicated teachers, adults and students sharing their excitement and commitment to their gardens, Drew, Chelsea and I agreed, too, that this was one of our best days ever!

More gardening statistics sourced:

Trending: Residential landscaping techniques from PGF Landscap

Trending:Residential landscaping techniques from PGF Landscaping Link to original article  http:/

Studies have shown that fresh grapes support a healthy cardiovascular system

Grapes contain a natural mix of antioxidants that help support a healthy heart and may offer an array of other health benefits. Studies have shown that grapes may help support a healthy cardiovascular system in the following ways: · by preventing platelet aggregation (which can lead to clot formation) · enhancing arterial flexibility and function […]

Pluots simply a branded plum

Flavorosa & Flavorich are commonly known as plums within the industry but are technically branded as pluots by the nursery. While some pluots like the Dapple Dandy and Flavor Grenade follow common characteristics of a pluot, many other plums are being thrown into the pluot category that do not have any special characteristics. If it looks like a plum and eats like a plum, it is a plum!

Lifespan of a peach tree

Fact or Fiction: The average lifespan of a peach and nectarine tree is 12 years.

Fact. Unlike permanent crops that last for 40 years, peach and nectarine trees only last for about 12 years.

Year 1 though 3 the tree is not producing any fruit but is concentrated on growing a good base for peach production years.

Year 4 through 8 are peak production times. Depending upon the variety these trees could produce over 2,500 boxes an acre. Starting about year 8 the tree starts producing less and less fruit.

By about year 12 the production amount has lowered so much that it is beneficial to the grower to replant a new variety.

Labor Issues

Our Industry’s largest issue today is Labor Labor Laws & Card Check–Card check, also called majority sign-up, is a method for American employees to organize into a labor union in which a majority of employees in a bargaining unit sign authorization forms, or “cards,” stating they wish to be represented by the union. […]

Read more »