Skip to main content

Aunt Elaine's Chinese Chicken Salad

It's spring and that means the weather is finally nice enough to enjoy being outside. We have even been eating dinner outside on the patio. I love spring and getting to enjoy outside. When summer comes, let's face it, it is WAY too hot to really enjoy being outside. Those 100 plus degree California days aren't ideal for backyard barbeques.


Spring always brings back memories for me. Spring is a happy time. It is a time for potlucks, family dinners and backyard barbeques. One thing I enjoy during spring is my husband barbequing in the backyard and all I have to do is fix the sides. I really enjoy side dishes I can make ahead. This way I can be outside playing and relaxing with the family while the barbeque is going. No one likes having to be stuck in the kitchen inside while everyone else is outside.


Well, I have a perfect side dish for your spring time dinners. My husband's Aunt Elaine makes the best Chinese Chicken Salad. When I first moved to the Central Valley, Ela…

Modern Agriculture

What is Modern Agriculture?
Modern agriculture could be a scientist in a lab creating the newest impossible non-meat hamburger. Modern agriculture could mean the development of GMO seeds to decrease pesticide use. Modern agriculture could be turning on your irrigation system from an app on your computer. Modern agriculture could just mean the use of GPS in tractors, or maybe just the use of a tractor on a farm. Modern agriculture could mean something different to you depending on how you look at agriculture.






Modern agriculture is essentially developing practices that help farmers increase efficiency and reduce the amount of resources to meet the world's needs. But depending on your interpretation of the term you could already have created your opinion of modern agriculture. 2% of the population is involved in agriculture but 100% of the population has opinions.
That's the situation we face today, consumers tend to develop their own opinions of modern agriculture without understanding the full definition.




"Modern agriculture is necessary, just not necessarily for me" Adrian Percy, the Global head of Research and Development of Bayer Crop Science hit the nail on the head as he opened the Bayer Agvocacy Forum at the end of February. According to recent studies and surveys the average American agrees with this statement. They see the need for modern agriculture, dare I say GMO's even, but they don't think they are for them.




You may disagree with farmers spraying pesticides on their farm but you will buy organic because it's "pesticide free". Sorry to burst your bubble, but organic farmers spray pesticides too. Or you may just buy a bottle of weed killer for your back yard but not realize the chemicals you are using or even the ones under your kitchen sink are worse than the chemicals farmers use.


Society has to decide what innovation they want to accept, to allow agriculture to succeed. Raw. But true. Innovation isn't evil. Modern agriculture isn't evil. Do you give your child Tylenol when they are sick? Do you take aspirin for a head ache? These medicines are around today because of research and science. Let's understand the mound of research that is done in modern agriculture before we cast judgment on it.


Did you know that before a new chemical or product can enter the market place there is 10-12 years worth of research and millions of dollars invested in it? That's a lot of research and a big investment! Now, why do we look down upon science in agriculture but not on the research that is being done in medicine and health?
Modern agriculture is what enables farmers to be productive, profitable and efficient. If we still farmed like they did in the 1940's then we wouldn't be the best stewards to our land. Today, we are able to farm on less land and with less inputs than the generations before us. This is due to modern agriculture. Efficiencies in our irrigation systems helped us develop drip irrigation as opposed to flooding our fields. Efficiencies in our inputs help us use less fertilizers, herbicides or nutrients than we used to. Efficiencies help farmers to learn how to farm on tighter spacing, inter plantings or to get more cuttings on a crop than we used to. It is because of modern agriculture that we are able to farm today.




Give it some thought, maybe modern agriculture isn't all that bad.


Until Next Time,
Almond Girl Jenny




Disclaimer: The idea behind this post came from attending the Bayer AgVocacy Forum where all my expenses were paid for by Bayer CropScience, but my comments and opinions are all my own!





Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Almond by-products

When people think of almond uses they tend to just think of using the almond meat. Almonds have multiple by-products actually. When almonds are processed at the huller the almond meat is separated from the hull and shell. The hulls, shells and hash are also sold and used.

Almond hulls are the green out most layer of the almond while on the tree. The hull is what splits and starts the countdown to harvest. Once the almond has dried in the field, the hull also dries and begins to separate from the almond. At the huller, they remove the hulls and stock pile them until sold. Almond hulls are sold for animal feed, most commonly dairy feed. The hulls actually add nutrition to the animals diet and aid in healthy milk production. Growing up on my family's farm, we used the hulls to feed our breeding sheep. It was cheaper than grain, helped to add nutrition to the animal diet and while filled them up faster.

Almond shells are the hard layer between the hull and the almond meat. …

Bloom and freezing temperatures

It's the most beautiful time of year to be an almond farmer. The buds are blooming and flowers are open everywhere. But as Mother Nature presents herself, no beauty comes without a challenge.



The first full week of February came and it brought with it almond blossoms. Bees were brought in about a week before that. We want the bees to arrive before bloom starts so they can get acclimated with their surroundings. This way when the buds finally open and flowers pop out, the bees know exactly where to go and what to do.

When the bees arrived it was sunny with high 60 degree weather. It was perfect conditions for them to get to work, but the flowers weren't quite ready to pop yet.


Now as full bloom approaches, we have returned to cold weather where the bees don't want to work much during the days. Bees prefer warmer temperatures, so when it's too cold they stay in the hives most of the time. We have had multiple nights of mid to high 20s. Freezing temperatures at night will…