Berry Yessa

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Weeding and harvesting the berries that are beginning to ripen in our garden is a delicious, nutritious, and tedious chore.  I willingly suffer through the task because the payoff is sublime.  According to the California Strawberry Commission, the state leads our nation and the world in strawberry production.   In 2013, more than 2.3 billion pounds of strawberries were harvested, and the estimated value of the California strawberry crop is approximately $2.6 billion.  

Did you know that eight strawberries has more vitamin C than an orange, and these tasty little super-fruits are packed with beneficial antioxidants and nutrients including potassium, folate and fiber?  Of all the strawberry varieties available, freshly picked from the garden are the kind I like the best. 

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~T.
© 2014 Theresa Funk, all rights reserved. 

 

Vermont’s Connection to a Green California: The Clean Energy States Alliance

California and Vermont seem to be blessed with the largest per-capita population of creative, experienced policy makers and green practitioners in the nation.  A good friend from Vermont coordinated this year’s Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) National Membership Meeting in Sacramento earlier this week, so I was able to connect with her between the events hosted by the California Energy Commission and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District.  

 CESA’s mission supports state and local leadership to promote the use of existing and emerging clean energy technologies. The Alliance’s analysis and studies are designed to accelerate clean energy deployment.  They are a nationwide network of leaders at the state and local level working together to catalyze a low-carbon energy economy, and I feel privileged for having the opportunity to be in the presence of such good intended thought leaders. State policies and programs will determine the progress of renewable energy implementation and standards in America.  Did you know that since 1998, $3.4 billion of state clean energy funds support has driven the construction of over 130,000 renewable energy projects representing a total investment of nearly $16 billion? 

 

I’m interested to see these projects continue to succeed and expand in the coming years, and will continue to do my part in supporting the initiatives.

~T.

Sacramento County: A Passing Shot

Passing Shot

This photo was taken with my mobile device while travelling through Sacramento County California at sixty miles per hour from the passenger seat of a car.  I like to take Passing shots between site locations for my Conservation Art series to help inform color, composition, and brush selection. Rain is in the forecast for the next two days, so I am prepared for strokes of burnt umbra between each downpour.

© 2014 Theresa Funk, all rights reserved.

Olly Olly Toxin Free

toxin free

In the game hide and seek, calling out “Olly Olly Oxen Free” is used to let the best hidden players know that the seeker is giving you a pass.   In our garden, insects get a free pass from pesticides.  I’d much rather deal with holes in my spinach than having toxins in my body.

© 2014 Theresa Funk, all rights reserved.

Rain Reigns and the Garden Rejoices

Feb garden

California has been in dire need for more rain and snowfall to help avert a crisis drought situation, so you can imagine how happy we’ve been to receive rain in the course of this past week.   With a 90 percent chance of more rain this weekend, we and our garden have been rejoicing.  I still intend to chant and shake my rain stick until the first of March.

Dry farming is used among a growing number of Californian farmers and vintners, and I’m inclined to put the practice into action. The Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems at UC Santa Cruz teaches dry farming techniques to students and dry farms tomatoes, winter squash, dry beans, apples, and apricots.    Allowing generous spacing and moderate irrigation after transplantation is recommended to encourage the roots of the plant to drive its roots down into the soil and is key to the success of the technique.

Still, the sound of a light and steady rain falling is music to my ears.  And the garden rejoices.

~T.