The Fields of Green:
Central California Agriculture

Central California agriculture has been a key to this region since the Spaniards first settled here.

In addition to the cattle and sheep that the mission system raised, there was a need to produce wheat, grapes and other produce to support the population.


Salinas Valley broccoli However, it wasn't until California joined the Union in 1850 that full advantage was taken of the rich soil and clement weather here.

And not until the railroads connected the country could the abundant California harvest begin to grace the tables of the nation.

So? What does this have to do
with my vacation?

Good question... There is no reason why you need to know about central California agriculture to enjoy your weekend getaway here.

But the fact is that agriculture is one of the main things that shapes the "culture" of the Central Coast. It's part of why so many people from all over the world enjoy visiting here.


Agriculture is literally "tied to the earth" and that has to be respected if there is to be lasting fertility.

It cannot be hurried beyond a certain limit. The farmer has to be patient.

Agriculture has its seasons, even here in California. Everything in its proper time.

The farmer has to know what the particular plant needs and how to supply that need and at the proper time.


I don't mean to imply that Central California is paradise and that everyone living here is a "saint", BUT...

...almost everyone that lives here whether they are directly involved in agriculture or not is subtly, but strongly influenced by the natural pace of agriculture.

And that fact is one of the main things that makes Central California such a great place to visit.

The fields of Watsonville from the air



Now, if you've read this far and you're really not interested in learning more about Central Coast agriculture, that's OK. You can head back to the beach or plan your tour of the wineries or the missions.



However, if you'd like to learn where your salad, strawberries, artichokes, garlic and vegetables come from, it can actually be as interesting as touring a vineyard to learn where your wine comes from.

Here is a list of interesting topics:

Central California Agriculture
  • How to identify what's growing in the fields
  • Agriculture tours and museums
  • What grows where
  • Farmer's Markets and Specialty Stores
  • Agricultural Festivals and Events
  • The infamous Tumbleweed

Artichokes


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