Friday, October 20, 2017

Baked Pear Recipe

Ingredients:
  • 2 large ripe pears
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1/4 cup crushed walnuts
  • (optional) yogurt, frozen yogurt

Directions
  • preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • cut the pears in half and place on the baking sheet (it is useful to cut a bit off the other end so they stand upright)
  • using a measuring spoon or melon baller, scoop out the seeds
  • sprinkle cinnamon, top with walnuts, and drizzle honey over the pears
  • put in oven and let bake for 30 minutes
  • add yogurt or frozen yogurt
  • Enjoy!
For the original recipe, click here
Collected for you by the Education Team of the UCLA Farmers Market

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Seasonal Produce in October


Want to know what’s in season this October in Southern California? We’ve got you covered!



Get them before they’re gone! October is the last month these are in season:



Asian Pears
Bell Peppers
Eggplant
Grapes
Berries (Blueberry, Blackberry, Raspberry)
Okra
Tomatoes




Perfectly Ripe! October is right in the middle of this produce’s seasons, so they are at great now:




Apples
Artichokes
Pomegranates





They’re finally back! October is the start of the season for this produce:




Herbs (rosemary, thyme, oregano)
Lima Beans
Winter Squash






Click here to keep up on seasonal produce in Southern California !

Compiled by Breanne Brown

Friday, October 13, 2017

Increasing Access to Soil Information



The misuse of land is a major contributor to inefficient and unsustainable food production.  Creating an easily-accessible platform to gain information on soil properties has the potential to improve land management, and therefore increase agricultural productivity and prosperity, while lowering our ecological footprint.


Inspired with this idea, Africa Soil Information System (AfSIS) is working to develop a continent-wide soil map of Africa that will allow farmers across the continent to learn about the the quality of their soil and how to best utilize it.  Through four major innovations, AfSIS is producing an alternate to the area’s last soil map, left incomplete and unupdated since the 70s:


  1. Digital Soil Map: Using Both field and lab data, AfSIS determines soil properties such as sand/silt/clay information, pH, organic carbon, and nutrient levels, and then digitally maps these qualities to provide visual information on how best to manage land and what fertilizers will be most effective. (see photo)
  2. Remote-Sensing: With satellites, imagery of terrain and coverage are used to determine soil properties in a cheap and efficient way that can continually update data every two weeks in order to insure information remains accurate as ecosystems change.
  3. Soil Spectral Analysis: Through infrared spectroscopy, AfSIS detects the soil’s mineral composition, water content, and organic matter.  Information gained through this method provides insight into which types of crops the soil can support and how water moves through an ecosystem.
  4. Mobile Data Collection: AfSIS is collecting over 19,000 soil samples from the most remote areas of sub-Saharan Africa in order to provide data in areas that have never been available before.


The purpose of this project is to allow farmers to look up digital maps on their smartphones, see the condition of their soil, and determine how to most productively use their land.  Currently, the project faces the major dilemma that many farmers do not have a computer or internet access.  However, as technology becomes more readily available, the digital soil map promises to increase its outreach and usefulness.


AfSIS invests in the idea that “knowledge is power”, creating a solution to problems within the agricultural industry while leaving full autonomy to the farmers.  While this project does not guarantee to solve all major issues, it creates hope that access to information can lead to a more productive and sustainable agricultural industry across Africa.


For more information on AfSIS, please access http://africasoils.net/

By Breanne Brown

Monday, April 17, 2017

The Promising Effects of Afforestation


Yatir Forest in Israel

Desertification is a burgeoning issue challenging several regions across the world; this is especially true in the global south, where poverty and a lack of economic diversification and adaptability are more prevalent. Consequently, food security is jeopardized for the people most vulnerable to the ramifications of climate change and years of bad agricultural practices. In order to combat the soil aridity and other consequences of desertification, many countries, including Israel, are currently carrying out extensive research in order to reverse the effects of the expanding deserts. Israel is pushing back against their own Negev desert, which comprises about 60% of their landmass, through water reuse systems and afforestation. 

Afforestation is an increasingly popular tool that consists of planting and growing of forests where historically there have not been any, or where no forests have grown for a considerable period of time. The Jewish National Fund, an Israeli organization, began the movement for planting a forest in the northern part of the Negev in the 1960’s, and this campaign resulted in what is now known as the Yatir Forest. What began as a small batch of trees has now flourished into a modern forest where there was only desert, and the results have been truly motivating. The arid land where nothing could grow became arable land, and there is agricultural activity around the forest such as vineyards and fruit orchards.  This process has the potential for application in many different areas around the world—China already has its own success stories with afforestation in its dry northern region, as has Vietnam and even Egypt. In the Sahel region of Africa, there are already plans for the creation of a Great Green Wall, which would cross through more than 10 different countries in order to stop the expansion of the Sahara Desert. The project would require a considerable sum of money and international cooperation, but the United Nations has already expressed their support for the campaign. 

Afforestation is not necessarily the silver bullet for solving desertification, but when it’s paired with other innovative tactics like water effluent irrigation and strategic cattle grazing rotation (as put forth by researcher Allan Savory in this TED talk), it can be a potent force for greening the earth and restoring food security.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Introductions

Hello readers!

Welcome to the blog of the UCLA Farmers' Market! This will be a place for spreading information about events, field trips, market dates, and other logistical items; more than that, however, it will be a place for fruitful (!) discussions about food production, food systems, and anything related to these. Urban agriculture and community gardens, drip technology, and similar conversational topics can all be found here. If you have any vested interest in any of these subjects or a related avenue we have not covered here or explored, please consider contributing a blog post for us! Our contact information is on the link in the sidebar.

Again, thanks for joining us--we are looking forward to spreading knowledge and making this space come alive with ideas!