Agri-Stats: Strawberries



  • Strawberries were grown in Santa Cruz gardens as early as the 1850s. 
  • The first sizable, commercial strawberry production arrived in the Pajaro Valley in the late 1870s/early 1880s and was farmed using subcontracted Chinese labor. 
  • In 1886, an arrangement was made in which Pajaro business furnished land, plants, water and boxes; while, Chinese laborers farmed the crop. Proceeds were evenly split. 
  • 1911: The first strawberries were grown by Japanese growers in the Romie Lane area of Soledad area in the Salinas Valley 


  • Production Stats : 
    • Fragaria ananassa, is a widely grown hybrid species of the genus Fragaria (collectively known as the strawberries).
    • Is cultivated worldwide.
    • Fruit is not a botanical berry, but an aggregate accessory fruit meaning that the fleshy part is derived not from the plant’s ovaries but from the receptacle that holds the ovaries.
    • Each apparent “seed” (achene) on the outside of the fruit is actually one of the ovaries of the flower, with a seed inside it.
    • In California, strawberries are transplanted.
    • Transplants are grown in isolated nurseries in Northern California.
    • California nurseries use mother plants which produce 7 daughter plants from above ground stems or stolons.
    • Usually, in the August timeframe, it is time to ship the strawberry daughter plants.
    • Daughter plants
      • Are mown and a potato digger type of machine digs them. The daughter plant tops and roots are trimmed.
      • Each is wrapped and put in a box with hundreds of other daughters.
      • Are shipped in refrigerated trucks south to the strawberry fields that have already been prepped.
      • Each costs about $0.12/plant. 
      • The number of daughter plants per acre varies. About 25,000 are planted per acre in the South (Ventura/Santa Barbara)Fewer plants are planted per acre in Monterey/Santa Cruz areas.
    • The mother plants are discarded. 
    • In Santa Barbara, ground prep begins in July/August. The first berry is harvested in March. Between the first cultivation until harvest, a grower will invest as much as $12-15,000 per acre (2014 stats). At the final harvest, the grower will have invested as much as $40,000-$50,000/acre. 

Reposted from October 9, 2014 Facebook Post



Books and References

Anderson, Burton. The Salinas Valley: A History of Amreica’s Salad Bowl. Monterey County History Society. 2000.

Source: Wikipedia