Old Roots, New Branches

Bariani Olive Oil — the elixir of the gods

Sebastian Bariani is in heaven, standing in his family’s olive grove in the Dunnigan Hills. The winter day is mild, a blue sky caps the rolling green terrain. He reaches down and gently bends the branch of a Manzanillo olive tree to demonstrate how the trees will soon be pruned, explaining that the blossoms for the next crop can come only from new growth.

Mar 16, 2015 Kevin McKenna
(Design by Zuza Hicks; Elements from Shutterstock)

The New World of Ag

Investment in agtech is growing, but will the Central Valley cash in?

Through certain entrepreneurial eyes, agricultural technology looks a lot more relevant than the latest iPhone app or social networking tool. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, by 2050 the world will need 70 percent more food to feed an additional 2.3 billion people.. And the Central Valley is poised to cash in — if we play our cards right.

Feb 10, 2015 Allison Joy
(Shutterstock)

Home on the Range

Amid housing boom, Placer County eyes a plan to preserve farmland

County officials appear close to approving a sweeping plan to preserve Placer’s agricultural character. If approved by the Board of Supervisors, a conservation plan would protect a large area of farms and open space in the western portion of Placer County, and keep them free of development for at least 50 years —possibly longer. 

Feb 6, 2015 Morris Newman
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Status Check: Stevia First

It’s full speed ahead for this sweet startup

In 2013 we reported on Capital Region startup Stevia First and its CEO Robert Brooke’s goal of making his company the first domestic distributor of stevia. Stevia First made significant progress last year, most notably by entering into a partnership with China-based stevia distributor Qualipride International Ltd.

Feb 5, 2015 Allison Joy
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How Much for the Right to Pollute?

Traveling this holiday? Consider your fuel...

California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB32) requires the state’s major industry sectors to return California’s emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. To pay for AB32’s associated Cap-and-Trade Program, the cost of gasoline and diesel fuels will increase approximately 12 cents per gallon beginning Jan. 1, 2015.

Nov 26, 2014 Zuza Hicks
(shutterstock)

Speed Isn’t Everything

Snail of Approval Awards celebrate local business and the slow food movement

Sacramento is America’s Farm-to Fork capital for many reasons: fresh, seasonal food available year-round, almost 8,000 acres of boutique farms, and the largest Certified Farmers’ Market in California. Last month, Slow Food Sacramento recognized seven local businesses for their commitment to providing products and services that use regionally grown seasonal produce, honoring them with the Snail of Approval award and decal.

Nov 19, 2014 Shannon Haslinger
Rick Schubert of Bee Happy Apiary uses a smoker to calm his bees, which will motivate them to eat nectar and slow down a bit, making them easier to transport.

As the Bees Go

Local beekeepers prepare for another uncertain winter

Rick Schubert is settling in to the part of bee season that didn’t exist when he opened Bee Happy Apiary with 300 hives in 1977. It’s mid-September, and at headquarters, tucked in the dusty hills off a private road in Vacaville, the faint humming of honey bees serves as background buzz to the voices of men.

Nov 11, 2014 Allison Joy