Backyard Orchard News
Christian Nansen, the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology's new agricultural...
Decoding reflectance signals to biotic stress in crops. Christian Nansen is at right. (Photos courtesy of Christian Nansen)
Want to know more about social wasps? Evolutionary ecologist Amy Toth of Iowa State University,...
European paper wasp, Polistes dominula. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
This year, Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center participated in both the Kings County Farm Day and the Fresno County Farm and Nutrition Day. KARE's mini workshop discusses what it takes to be a healthy plant and what it takes to be a healthy person. The students plant leaf lettuce to take home so that it can grow and they can eat it. The Kings County event attracted over 2700 students and the Fresno County event attracted over 3500 students. Left over lettuce transplants were used by different FFA programs. These events were made possible by generous donations from Greenheart Farms, The Plant People, and Valley Soil & Forest Products. Our ability to deliver these workshops are in great part due to the wonderful volunteers who come and work hard at the events. Fresno's lettuce planting was featured on the KMPH Channel 26 Great Day morning show. We also thank the respective fair staff and Farm Bureau staff.
Julie Sievert discussing what it takes to be a healthy plant and a healthy person with Kings County students.
Kings County student planting lettuce with a volunteer.
Fresno county students enjoying being on the Great Day morning show.
In their capacity as California Agriculture Systems Innovation members, Jeff Mitchell, Cooperative Extension cropping systems specialist at the UC ANR Kearney Agricultural Research & Extension Center and in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis specializing in vegetable cropping systems, irrigation management, soil quality, organic soil amendments, extension models, and postharvest physiology and innovative conservation agriculture farmer John Diener of Red Rock Ranch in Five Points, CA were part of a panel organized by the Berkeley Food Institute that discussed "farming practices to reduce risks tied to drought." Read more.
See the video of the panel discussion.
Jeff Mitchell and John Diener discussing farming practices to reduce risks tied to drought.
This year, Kearney had the pleasure of watching four great horned owls mature. We considered this to be a nice addition to the Kearney family. Themis Michailides indicated that owls in ancient Greece represented the bird of wisdom! In fact, when he attended high school in Greece, it was mandatory that all the students wear a hat with an owl-embroidered on the front of the hat.
Kearney staff noticed that a great horned owl was nesting in one of the trees in our north gravel parking lot. When the tree did not have very many leaves, the female parent remained vigilant in the nest with the nestlings. After the young owls became fledglings, the female parent would fly to a nearby tree to watch them. At first, we thought that there were two fledglings, and in the end, we discovered that there were four. All of them became branchers, moving out to the branches at about 6 weeks old. They started to fly about a week later and survived to be independent. Luckily, when one branchling fell out of the nest on a Friday, Gwen Conville, Tayoko Handa and Matthew Fidelibus came by to look at the owls before going home. They captured the fallen young owl and took it to a Critter Creek animal rescue volunteer, who indicated that the bird would probably be flying in a week. The three juveniles that did not fall can still be seen in different areas of Kearney. Please enjoy the following pictures that were taken by many different Kearney personnel, including but not limited to Dan Felts, Matthew Fidelibus, Larry Schwankl, and Laura Van der Staay.
A great horned owl nesting in one of Kearney's parking lot trees.
Female great horned owl at Kearney with one of her 4 nestlings.
Mother great horned owl with fledglings in a nest at Kearney.
Young great horned owl fledglings at Kearney.
Three great horned owls at Kearney on a branch about 1 week before becoming independent.
Branchling great horned owl looking at what is beyond its nest at Kearney.
Young great horned owls at Kearney getting ready to fly.
Juvenile and independent great horned owl remaining at Kearney.
One great horned owl brancher at Kearney fell.
Great horned owl at Kearney trying to resist being rescued.
The great horned owl at Kearney that fell.
Great horned owl at Kearney resisting a rescue attempt.
Great horned owl that fell at Kearney is secure and ready for transport to Critter Creek.