Today we're introducing Homegrown, Valley Public Radio's book club about the Central Valley.

We will read books that shine a light on distinct issues, communities and experiences in the region. We'll air in-depth interviews with authors and panel discussions with local experts about the books. You can listen for the segments on Valley Edition and see online features at

We also want to hear your questions and comments about the book. You can connect with us through Facebook, Twitter or e-mail, and our website, Just search "Homegrown."

Heyday Books

Local photographer Joel Pickford's new book "Soul Calling: A Photographic Journey Through The Hmong Diaspora" is an intimate look into the world of the Hmong people.

This week on Valley Edition, we look at the changing demographics of California, which is now a net exporter of people to other states. How did the California dream turn out to be a nightmare for so many? We talk to some residents who've left, and also to experts who are using the newly revised population estimates to plan the state's future. We also talk about the role of kids on family farms, and learn about the California Reads program taking place in Kern County.

Valley Edition for May 1, 2012:

This week on Valley Edition, we hear from the Central California SPCA and hear why they are walking away from a decades old contract to provide animal control services to the City and County of Fresno. We'll also talk about how some residents of rural Valley communities live in "third-world" conditions and what some people are trying to do to change that situation. And we close the program with a discussion of world book night, a new event that is coming to Fresno. 

This week on Valley Edition we talk about the problem of pet overpopulation in the Valley, and learn what groups are doing to help spay and neuter more cats and dogs. We'll also learn more about the future of Fresno County's public library system which will be placing an extension of the sales tax known as Measure B before voters on the November ballot. 

Valley Edition for February 14, 2012

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

For some, the closing of Borders bookstores seemed to signal another nail in the coffin for book lovers. Another reminder of the fragile state of an industry being taken over by technology, e-readers and But in Fresno and other San Joaquin Valley towns, some independent bookstores are not only doing okay, some are actually thriving. Valley Public Radio's Juanita Stevenson reports.