Walnut shells are turned into biochar at
Dixon Ridge Farms.

Soil Matters

Local farmers find a switch to carbon farming good for business — and the environment

Russ Lester’s property looks, at first glance, like that of many of his neighbors. He grows about 900 acres of walnut trees a few miles east of Winters. But at Dixon Ridge Farms, Lester never tills his land, and he keeps cover crops growing most of the time. He also laces the earth around his trees with biochar, charcoal-like leftovers from biomass energy production.

Apr 26, 2016 Alastair Bland
(Shutterstock)

An Interview with the ‘Gangsta Gardener’

Urban gardening superhero Ron Finley recently screened his documentary in Sacramento

Ron Finley deemed himself the “Gangsta Gardener” with pride.He recently paid a visit to Sacramento’s urban gardening community for a screening of his documentary film, “Can You Dig This” at the Guild Theater, an event hosted by the Yisrael Family Farms. He took a moment to chat with Comstock’s about how gardens can improve communities.

Apr 20, 2016 Amber Stott
Sacramento District 6 City Councilman Eric Guerra

The Long Game

Councilman Eric Guerra on homelessness, the marijuana industry and Latino representation in city government

After a decade as a key staffer in the California Legislature, last year the 36-year-old Sacramento District 6 City Councilman Eric became the first Latino to be elected to the Sacramento City Council since former Sacramento Mayor Joe Serna died in 1999. We sat down with him recently to discuss some of the city’s major challenges and opportunities.

Apr 18, 2016 Rich Ehisen
(Shutterstock)

California’s Next Great Energy Innovation: Use the Resources We Already Have

A series of technical, financial and regulatory innovations have spurred the Golden State’s solar revolution thus far, but it’s still in its infancy. If California truly wants to unlock solar’s potential for the economy and environment, electricity providers and regulators will have to work together to create a cleaner, more resilient grid.

Apr 18, 2016 Hayes Barnard
(Shutterstock)

Sonic Boon

There is another potential path for treating ischemic stroke

In mammals, the developmental pathway known as sonic hedgehog (named after the popular video game character) regulates the generation and survival of neurons and other brain cells. But a team of UC Davis scientists found that this pathway plays a critical role in neuroprotection, regeneration and functional recovery after a clot blocks blood flow in the brain.

Apr 14, 2016 Russell Nichols
Kate Towson of Women's Empowerment reacts to winning the $10,000 Judges Award at SVP's Fast Pitch, an event that rewards nonprofits with a plan.

More Than A Feeling

In the quest for funding, charitable organizations need more than a mission — they need a plan

For more and more investors and would-be funders, nonprofits need to have more than a worthy cause and a compelling mission: They need a plan. Specifically, they’re now being asked to showcase the same mindset that’s required of for-profit organizations, meaning that spreadsheets, metrics and core competencies can matter just as much as pulling the heartstrings.   

Apr 12, 2016 Jeff Wilser