Solstice Inspirations and Climate Smart Farming
Last week, I marked the summer solstice dining under a beautiful twilight sky at Glide Ranch in Davis at the "Celebrate the Solstice" dinner. The evening was notable not just for the food – which was outstanding – or for the company – which was very entertaining – but also for the opportunity to show support for an amazing organization: Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF).
PCFMA is a longtime fan and partner of CAFF and their work to support and sustain our state’s family farmers. CAFF’s work extends into many areas including farm-to-school, food safety, and now, climate-smart farming. As the ongoing drought demonstrates, the ability of California farmers to continue to produce high quality and nutritious food is limited by a multitude of factors outside of their direct control. The impacts of climate change are equally serious – reduced chilling hours has the potential to decrease production of popular stone fruits and apples, extreme heat threatens the health and safety of farm workers, and climate changes have the potential to increase plant stresses which farmers may try to treat with increasing uses of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
To help address the challenges of climate change on California agriculture, CAFF is co-sponsoring SB 367, the Agriculture Climate Benefits Act. The bill is authored by Senator Lois Wolk and is co-sponsored by California Climate and Agriculture Network (CalCAN). SB 367 promotes climate-friendly agricultural practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and store carbon, such as increased composting and additional application of compost to rangeland, planting hedgerows and riparian habitats alongside production acres, and a shift to no-till crop production. California’s cap and trade funds are identified within SB 367 as the potential funding, not the state’s general fund, ensuring that these costs are not borne by California taxpayers.
Recognizing the urgency of this issue and the opportunities that SB 367 presents to support California’s farmers in their efforts to not just mitigate the impacts of climate change but to also begin removing carbon from the atmosphere, PCFMA has signed on as a supporter of SB 367. I encourage you to visit CAFF.org and CalClimateAg.org to learn more about this important legislation.
PCFMA will continue to monitor this legislation and other efforts in Sacramento to help our state’s farmers address the challenges of climate change and the drought. Closer to home, PCFMA is continuing its work to better educate farmers’ market customers about the impacts of the drought and how they can be a part of the solution to better management of our state’s precious water resources. A recent online survey of PCFMA’s farmers’ market customers about the California drought has resulted in over 1,200 responses to date. We are in the process of analyzing the responses and will have information to share in the coming weeks.
Thanks for all of your support of PCFMA and our markets. I look forward to seeing you in the market soon.
Allen J. Moy