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California Roots — State’s agricultural history reaches new locations, generations (VIDEO SERIES)

By Kelsey Williams | 1 Jun 2011

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Children can learn about agriculture at Homesteaders Ranch in Santa Clara. (Photo: Kelsey Willliams)

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California has a rich agricultural history, but many in the state remain disconnected from the land beyond a trip to the farmers market or a membership to a local Community Supported Agriculture group. Still there are some who are finding new ways to connect to the land. This video series examines three such stories.

The first video features Debbie Gualco, and 35 other artists who spent a week painting landscapes in the rural town of Winters, Calif., near Sacramento, last March. Throughout the week, Gualco said that the rural land helped her learn to capture the light and the feeling of the town and its surrounding farmlands.

The second video examines Homesteaders Ranch in Santa Clara. It stands on a small plot of land adjacent to a handful of portable school buildings and a concrete basketball court. However, inside the chain-link fence lined with roses, poppies and passion fruit flowers lies a community garden, a chicken coop and a barn that houses sheep and goats. At the ranch, elementary school children take tours to learn about farming and older children join 4-H at the ranch to learn the techniques for themselves.

Finally, in the third video, meet Chris and Danny Turkovich. These brothers grew up with agriculture, working every summer from a young age on their family’s farm in Yolo County near Sacramento. Now, the boys have come back home and are following their own paths in agriculture. Chris, 27, owns and runs a vineyard and winery, and Danny, 24, is the owner and cheesemaker of the Winters Cheese Company.

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