Transitioning from L.A. Times reporter to fruit picker
Hector Becerra set his reporting notebook aside, laced up his boots and strode out into the strawberry fields of Santa Maria, Calif. to see firsthand what it was like to be a fieldworker.
About an hour into the picking, my upper and lower back were beginning to tighten and my legs began to burn a little from the stooping.
As the other workers pulled ahead, Becerra gained a new appreciation for their daily struggle, and for the little things about the agricultural assembly line that often go unnoticed when you’re browsing through the aisles.
You might think strawberries are carefully sorted — possibly by a machine — into the clamshells you buy at the supermarket after being washed at some facility. They’re not. The strawberries are picked by fieldworkers and placed directly into those containers.
Read his compelling account in our latest Column One feature.
Photos: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times
While doing research for our cool new feature on heritage apples, we found this 100-year-old book—still the definitive resource for New England apple enthusiasts. It’s chock full of info and these gorgeous, gorgeous illustrations. We had to share! Especially after tracking down a physical copy in a small library tucked in a San Francisco warehouse.
An apple post a day keeps the Tumblr doctor away.
test reblogged from motherjones
"Honeybees aren’t all they’re cracked up to be."
Wild bees may be just the solution that farmers are looking for as they struggle to come with the continued die-offs among domestic reserves.
In fact, farmers may have been completely wrong about bees for years. Said Rachael Winfree, a pollination ecologist at Rutgers University:
"At 90% of farms studied in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, native wild bees are fully pollinating the watermelon crop. But farmers don’t realize this. "They’re thinking they need them but they don’t."
Read more about the possible bee fix, and why honeybees may be totally overrated, here.
Photo: Rufus Isaacs
Across the Bay Area, urban farming is in season. Cities are changing ordinances to permit sales of home-grown produce as residents demand access to high-quality food and greater connection to the source.
Photo: Brooke Budner, 30, co-founder of Little City Gardens, San Francisco’s first urban commercial farm, harvests chard for weekly customers. Credit: Lee Romney / Los Angeles Times