Califonia Bountiful

Farm-fresh tips

May/June 2022 California Bountiful magazine

What are good ways to …

Californians are curious, always scouring the internet for a new or better way to do something. But why go to Google when you can ask the experts directly? With that in mind, we reached out to California Farm Bureau members for their insight into topics you might be curious about this time of year. Have a question for a farmer or rancher? Email us at

Will Pidduck, avocado and citrus farmer, Finch Farms, Ventura County. Photo: © 2020 Silas Fallstich

… put together a salad and a drink?

Will Pidduck has some quick and easy ways to enjoy the fruits of his labor, starting with avocados and oranges. "That's two things I grow going into a salad," he says. "Especially the Cara Cara oranges—the pink flesh oranges with the avocado and some romaine. That's a nice salad." Pidduck also grows lemons and puts those to use as well: "I like to use lemon juice with an evening cocktail, with some whiskey and ginger beer," he says. "That'd be my other go-to."

Tessa Henry, manager Clif Family Farm, St. Helena. Photo: © 2021 Lori Eanes

… enjoy the late-spring bounty?

This time of year, Tessa Henry looks forward to blueberry harvest in Napa County. It will be short and sweet—late May to Independence Day at the longest. "They go into our blueberry preserves," Henry says. At home, she favors blueberry pancakes as well as arugula blueberry salad with feta cheese. Also being harvested are squash blossoms and the first of the cherry tomatoes and zucchini, which along with farm-fresh eggs make for a good breakfast—cheese optional. "You can just put all of that in a pan and scramble it up," she says. "It's hard to beat."

Cannon Michael, president, Bowles Farming Co., Los Banos. Photo by Christine Souza

… attract pollinators to the yard?

Bees and other pollinators are a gardener's friend, but they need a reason to show up. "My advice would be to plant native pollinator species that are the proper local eco type," says Cannon Michael, who grows a wide range of crops in Merced County. "We do this on the farm with great results." The ideal is a diverse mix of plants that keep your habitat going all season, as some plants won't produce food without pollination. Three good ones: common yarrow, California poppies and milkweed—that last one being crucial for monarch butterflies.

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