Aching joints? Feeling a bit arthritic when the weather changes? Down a big glass of apple juice. It has an alkalizing effect on your blood and prevents the formation of crystals in your joints. Carrot and cherry juice are also beneficial. Dissolving a tablespoonful of Certo gelatin powder in the juice also helps to reduce the swelling...nobody knows why.

Pumpkins are grown virtually in every county in California. To the Chinese, pumpkins were rulers to the garden.

Most organic vegetable farmers are between the ages of 36 and 55, have college degrees and do not work off the farm.

California leads the nation in the production of specialty and organic vegetables, according to Farm Bureau experts.

It takes 88 gallons of water to produce one cup of plain yogurt. It takes only 3 gallons of water to produce one cup of lettuce.

From the family of onions, garlic, leeks and lilies, asparagus has been a gastronomic treasure since ancient times.

California now leads the United States in asparagus production with more than 50,000 metric tons harvested annually.

California vegetable growers reportedly are hoping the new millennium will bring peas to the world and the dawning of the age of asparagus.

The carrot is a member of the parsley family from Afghanistan. It was originally used medicinally. Its juice was used to cure stomach ailments.

The white potato, the sweet potato and the yam are not at all related, reports Farm Bureau.

Mama mia! How many medium-size tomatoes are in one 25-ounce can of prepared spaghetti sauce? Farm Bureau experts say 20.

Horseradish, the traditional accompaniment for prime rib, has been around a long time...at least since the Exodus. It's one of the five bitter herbs eaten at Passover and was used by the early Greeks as a rub for back pain and rheumatism. The British discovered its many uses in the 1600s. It came to the U.S. about 1806, and today is grown in the Tulelake region of California.

The Golden State produces about 250 different crops, including seeds, flowers and ornamentals. Its favorable climate allows year-round production of lemons, artichokes, avocados, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, lettuce, mushrooms, spinach and squash.

Beans are one of man's earliest cultivated crops. Most varieties originated in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Imagine having 129 guests for dinner! And breakfast. And lunch. For one whole year. And you have to dress them, too. A tall order for anyone. Anyone, that is, except one California's farmers who produce food and fiber to feed and clothe 129 people around the world for a year

Amazing asparagus can grow 10 inches in 24 hours under ideal conditions, produce for nearly 15 years and generate spears for six to seven weeks of spring and summer.

Gone are the days of the "honeymoon salad" - lettuce alone with no dressing. Today's vast assortment of greens and year-round availability of fresh produce ensure unlimited combinations of ingredients for deliciously interesting salads.

Asparagus is a member of the lily family.

Although Pierce's disease has been plaguing growers for more than a century, the culprit currently wreaking havoc over eight California counties is the Glassy-winged Sharpshooter. This half-inch-long insect with a voracious appetite is not a picky eater and is believed to dine on the stems of more than 70 species of plants.

If all the strawberries produced in California this year were laid berry to berry, they'd wrap around the world 15 times.

According to Egyptian hieroglyphics, the pharaohs loved mushrooms so much that they decreed them food for royalty; commoners were not allowed to eat them. Mushrooms continued to be a royal treat until Louis XIV began to grow them in caves near Paris. Because they are easy to grow and require little labor, mushrooms became a popular crop in France and England. In the late 19th century, people in the United States began to grow them. Today, mushroom cultivation is a profitable segment of California agriculture with a yield per acre of 2.44 million pounds.

You know strawberries are a big deal in California, but did you know just how big? There are more than 26,000 acres producing an average of 10 million pint baskets of the delectable little berries.

What wine goes well with strawberries? Champagne, of course. Be careful when opening that bottle though...Farm Bureau sources report that cork can exit a bottle at speeds up to 62 mph.

California cauliflower is a powerhouse of nutrition. One half-cup serving has 100 percent of the daily requirement of vitamin C plus calcium, potassium, fiber and It's good raw and crunchy or fabulous steamed and served with a sauce made from one of California's great cheeses.

More than 5,000 farmers participate every year in California's 341 certified farmers' markets.

Biotechnology can help farmers feed more people by making plants more nutritious, resistant to pests and diseases, and by extending their shelf life.

Nights are cooler, days are shorter and bears are getting ready to hibernate. Fall is the time to enjoy those good-for-you California comfort foods like potatoes. One of nature's most versatile foods, potatoes provide an abundance of vitamins, minerals and fiber. And they're available in colors: red, white, blue, yellow and purple.

A recent study found that the yellow jelly around tomato seeds keeps platelets in the blood from clumping together and forming killer clots that can block blood vessels. Research continues in the hope this may be an alternative therapy to aspirin, which can cause stomach upsets.

We love salad! Americans eat about 30 pounds of lettuce every year, about five times more than in the early 1900s.

More than 1.7 billion pounds of it are grown on 254,500 California acres. It's eaten plain and stuffed with peanut butter or cream cheese. This crunchy, flavorful vegetable is used in soups, salads and stuffing. What is it? Celery. More of it is sold during the holiday season than any other time of year.