I'm just sayin'

What’s There Not to Love About California?

on January 14, 2013
Our orange trees are coming to fruition a little late this year. Why? Not sure. Global changes? The trees were given as much attention as any other year which has yielded oranges sweet as a woman's heart! As we get closer to the harvesting of the 2013 crop the oranges are better and better.

Orange trees were introduced to California in 1873 and have rivaled the Florida Orange market ever since. There are two orange trees in my backyard.  This year’s orange crops are coming to fruition a little later than usual this year. Why? Not sure. Global changes? Who knows? The trees were given as much attention as any other year which in the past has yielded oranges as big and as sweet as a woman’s heart! They are taking a little longer this year to ripen. As we get closer to the harvesting of the 2013 crop the oranges are tasting sweeter and sweeter! Take that Anita Bryant!

There’s an old saying about Californians, ” What ain’t fruit and nuts are flakes.”  I’m not going to defend us ‘prune pickers’ ’cause I know ignorance is bliss. However, I will help educate all of you with some facts you just might not know about California and our fruit and nuts. Hold on to your teeth ’cause y’all might loose them when you take a bite of these California facts.

You cheese-heads in Wisconsin, which is called ‘The Dairy State’, it says it right on their license plates, let it be known you are not number one in cheese production. What? you say.  Well, think again, California is the number one dairy state. Its leading commodity is milk and cream! And if you love a little wine with dinner, well, thank a Californian. Grapes are the second leading commodity. There are some crops that are exclusively( 99%) grown in California. For one, almonds ( our number one export ). Eighty percent of the worlds almond productions is from California. Ninety-nine percent of pistachios, figs, prunes, raisins, artichokes, olives, persimmons and dates are grown in California. Most of this fertile agricultural land in the ‘fruit and nut’ state is in the Central Valley, which includes the San Joaquin Valley and the Sacramento Valley. The Central Valley runs about 450 miles, from north to south, starting a little south of  Bakersfield area ( north of Los Angeles) to the city of Redding, not too far from the Oregon border. It has been said that the Central Valley has the richest soil in the world. With that kind of results who’s going to argue with that?

Those strawberries you put on your cereal in the morning? You got it, probably came from California. Eighty-three percent of this nation’s strawberry production comes from, you guessed it, California. One crop California grows but is NOT number one in, but surprises most, is cotton. It’s pretty cool to see it growing along the highway in the Central Valley. I think most people associate cotton growing down south. It is actually grown from sea to shining sea, with Texas yielding the most cotton crops in the U S . This one might surprise you also. California is the leading producer of short and medium grain rice in the United States; exporting it to Asia and the middle east. Who knew?

I thought I’d start off the new year with a little knowledge, get the brain going again after the holiday dormancy. There is so much more to us in the Golden State – like mining for one. Well, that will be another lesson! Now you can only hope these agricultural factoids will come up in your Jeopardy try-out!  Or you can up your image and sprinkle your conversation around the water cooler with your newly acquired trivia. Oh by the way, You can believe what you want about the flakes! I’m just saying…


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