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Wet winter ends drought and floods farmers with healthy crops

The recent rains may have turned lawns green, but for local growers, it has created another kind of “green” they like to see.

Many stressed crops are making a comeback and the income from market sales is going up after the wettest winter in years.

At the Santa Barbara Certified Farmers Market on Coast Village Road this morning, growers said they have enjoyed the rain water over their well water because of the uniform distribution across their land. They were concerned about any crop that would be hit too hard by flooding, mud or damaging rain.

This week, leafy vegetables, strawberries, and citrus varietals have all been popular.

Greg Mitchell with Blue Ridge Honey in Ventura says bees have been busy around the area blossoms at a time when their numbers have been dwindling. He sees the rain benefits, healthy trees and crops, and quality products on the return as a breakthrough from the dismal past five years.

On San Marcos Pass, Genevive Herrick says her family’s land, Roots Organic Farm, is looking forward to a big haul of leaf lettuces, sugar snap peas, corn, and strawberries in the weeks ahead.

Earlier today, Governor Edmund G. (Jerry) Brown Jr. declared an end to the drought emergency in most California counties. He said the state will still prohibit wasteful practices such as watering during and after rainfall, hosing off sidewalks and irrigating ornamental turf on public street medians.

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