Amid fires, young volunteers team up to rescue horses from evacuated ranches

On Thursday around midday, Sacramento large-animal veterinarian Emily Putt and Petaluma horse hauler Hilary Hansen drove past the police barricade to a ranch in Calistoga. Putt, 27, and Hansen, 29, had been strangers before the Wine Country fires struck, but since meeting at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds on Tuesday they have become fast friends by […]

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Wine Country fires destroy 5 farms in Glen Ellen, Santa Rosa

Several small vegetable farms in Sonoma County have fallen victim to the North Bay fires, including several that were founded in the past six years by young farmers taking part in the local organic farm movement. While properties are still partly intact, many farmers have lost homes and essential infrastructure, and they said that getting […]

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Sonoma County farmers and livestock flee from Wine Country fires

The Wine Country fires are hitting the heart of Sonoma County farm and dairy land, and many ranchers and farmers had either evacuated or were preparing to evacuate their properties on Monday. The impact on the local agricultural economy could be devastating. Sonoma County farms house 30,000 dairy cows and 35,000 sheep and goats, according […]

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Blueprint for produce: How fruits & vegetables are designed for the market

Take a deep sniff of a standard cantaloupe at your local supermarket and you might not be able to tell whether it’s ripe or not. That’s because the Harper melon has taken over the produce bin. Previously, the cantaloupe variety you would see in the store was likely the Western Shipper, a breed that, despite […]

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Ag-tech: The automated farm

In Salinas Valley, the future of farming is already here. In the field, self-propelling harvesters lop off the heads of cabbages, then funnel the 8-pound goliaths to workers who trim and sort them. Inside a nearby Taylor Farms packing plant, a three-armed robot pivots and turns to maneuver bagged salads squarely into packing boxes. [read […]

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Veganism’s next goal: animal-free farming

When veganism is central to your life, you don’t just avoid meat, fish and dairy. You also: Fill your Instagram feed with vegan mottos. Get involved in a pig rescue. Feed your pooch “plant-powered” dog chews. Launch a cruelty-free skin care line. Go to law school to defend animals. Tell guys who ask you out […]

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Nearly 1 in 4 San Franciscans struggle with hunger

According to the SF-Marin Food Bank, 23 percent of San Francisco residents struggle with hunger. The number is a striking amount, and much higher than the city’s homeless population, which the city said was 6,686 in 2015 (though others estimate it to be much higher), making it less than 1 percent of the population. Food […]

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Immigrants’ fear cited in declining food stamp use in SF

Since the election, fewer eligible San Franciscans are taking advantage of food stamp benefits because of fears about immigration crackdowns under the Trump administration, said Trent Rhorer, executive director of San Francisco’s Human Services Agency. The city is concerned by a recent spike of withdrawals from CalFresh, or food stamps, among eligible households with at […]

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The Bay Area becomes the global hub for faux meat innovation

When Michael Selden and Brian Wyrwas, two biochemists who met at the University of Massachusetts, arrived in San Francisco last month, they not surprisingly found the search for an apartment to be quite difficult. However, they found it much easier to find their new lab bench in a basement in the SoMa district. The two […]

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Special multimedia report: Seafood’s new normal

In the shallow waters off Elk, in Mendocino County, a crew from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife dived recently to survey the area’s urchin and abalone populations. Instead of slipping beneath a canopy of leafy bull kelp, which normally darkens the ocean floor like a forest, they found a barren landscape like something […]

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