Agri-Stats: Salad Bowl


The Salinas Valley is the Salad Bowl of the World.

And with justification! It is a wild with a combination of factors that created it. Collective intelligence, hard work, immigration, grit, determination, ingenuity, luck, collaboration, innovation and the perfect growing conditions: all come together to create one of the most unique farming systems in the world: the cool season vegetable farming system of the Salinas Valley.

Production areas for all crops are in discrete pockets along the California Coast and the Sonoran desert. In spring/summer, production and distribution are in the Salinas Valley, and in fall/winter, production shifts to the Yuma and Imperial Valleys. Farming and harvest equipment, and whole packing facilities shuttle back and forth between the coast and the desert.  The semi-trucks are migratory as they haul mega-equipment south at Thanksgiving and return to the coast in March. 

This system goes full-tilt year-round. The goal is to produce the right amount of produce to meet consumer demand every day of the year.

Books and References

Anderson, Burton. The Salinas Valley, A History of America’s Salad Bowl. Monterey Historical Society. 2000.