Gettin’ Figgy With It

The peculiar world of fig traders and their trees

California fig farmers, who grow nearly all the figs produced in the U.S., harvested about 30,000 tons of fruit worth $22 million in 2015, according to the latest crop report from the California Department of Food and Agriculture. But of all those figs, there were just a handful of genetically distinct varieties. Meanwhile, almost uncountable heirloom varieties have fallen to the wayside or even disappeared.

May 30, 2017 Alastair Bland

From Vine to Glass

Sitting on the deck of his family’s tasting room, Warren Bogle looks out over the vineyard his grandfather planted in 1968 in the low-lying land of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. That first planting of 20 acres of vines in Clarksburg transformed the Bogle family from row crop farmers to one of the region’s most successful winemakers.

Apr 17, 2017 Samantha Young

More Bang for Your Duck

After a rough few years, Sacramento Valley rice farmers are supplementing crop profits with environmental stewardship

Having a robust agricultural industry has meant accommodating crops and livestock by forcing out wildlife. Before farming came to the region 150 years ago, waterbird habitat was primarily provided by wetlands. Now managed wetlands make up only about one-third of their habitat in California and rice fields comprise nearly 60 percent.

Apr 4, 2017 Sena Christian

Farm-to-School Programs Make for Healthier Children

Federally-funded programs translate to sustainable farms and healthier children. Yet, despite improved efforts, funding remains lower than demand. In a state that produces half of the nation’s fruits and veggies, California stands to benefit by funding these programs.

Mar 29, 2017 Amber Stott

Infrastructure Issues Demand Attention

Infrastructure — roads, bridges and dams — is the backbone of any economy.  Business can’t function without it. The Association of Civil Engineers estimates that nationally, defective or failing infrastructure will cost the average family $3,400 a year over the next decade.

Mar 27, 2017 Winnie Comstock-Carlson

Challenges on Every Front

California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon on the critical issues facing Californians

California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon is one of the most powerful political figures in our state. With term limits now allowing folks like him to serve longer in one chamber, he is likely to stay that way for years to come. We sat down with Rendon to talk about some of the critical issues facing lawmakers and Californians in what is expected to be one of the most turbulent years in modern history.

Mar 13, 2017 Rich Ehisen

Buzzwords: Ecosystem

Generally speaking, an ecosystem describes how different, complex organisms work together. How could a deeply biological term have invaded the usually-technical jargon of business? According to Google Trends, searches for “business ecosystem” and “innovation ecosystem” first entered the lexicon in the late ’90s and hit a peak within the last year.

Feb 28, 2017 Robin Epley

Cannabis Can Go From Conundrum to Catalyst

Elections matter. The people have spoken. And marijuana — more appropriately known by the less pejorative label, cannabis — is now legal for adults in eight states, including California, and for those with medical needs in 28 states. That means the majority of Americans now live in states where cannabis is legal in some form.

Feb 27, 2017 Daniel Conway