The staff of the Mendocino College Agriculture Department are preparing for the fall semester, and as always, one of the most innovative agriculture departments in the community college system is providing students with many opportunities to “grow” their education, whether they are young people considering a career in agriculture or homeowners looking to increase the yield of their home garden.
This semester, Carolyn Brown is teaching Sustainable Vegetable and Fruit Production, offered Fridays from 9 to 1:20 p.m.
Brown studied plant science and nursery management at UC Davis, where she received her Bachelor of Science degree. During the ’80s, during the establishment of the organic movement, Brown and her former husband were farmers and commercial beekeepers in the Capay Valley, located in Yolo County.
“During that time, there were no regulations regarding the definition of organic. We worked through that time as the California Health and Safety codes became established. We were involved in the early days of the Davis Farmers Market. It was an exciting time, as people became more aware of organic food, curious about where their food was coming from and began to realize the importance of supporting local, sustainable food systems,” Brown explains.
“We grew a lot of things that people said you couldn’t grow in the Capay Valley, like broccoli. It was fun, working with other small farmers to try and find out what we were doing.”
During that time, Brown became acquainted with Johnny – a nurseryman in Brattleboro, Vermont. “He was a retired postman. It was a very low-tech operation: no…
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