From the Sacramento Bee:
John Anderson quantifies success by a covey of California quail, an encounter with a native snake or a sighting of a bobcat or mountain lion.
There isn't much to gauge and measure, especially within the gridded blocks of farmland making up half the country's open space.
"My interest has always been wildlife," said Anderson, 68, who grows native plants and seeds on 500 acres at Hedgerow Farms, just north of Winters. "I'm a restorationist first, and the seed business just came along."
Anderson and Yolo County are at the center of a movement to incorporate wildlife habitat into cultivated farms – two interests seemingly at odds. But growers and ranchers are increasingly recognizing that water and air quality, and the prevalence of native plants and animals, are just as vital to their yields as soil health.