Right Crops, Right Place
Californians are often able to buy fresh summer fruits and vegetables within a day or two of them being harvested. We’re fortunate that California has a Mediterranean climate, one of only five such places in the world and the only one in North America. What that means is that California can grow lots of things that simply don’t grow well in other parts of the country, or they don’t grow at all. Stone fruit, including peaches, nectarines, apricots and almonds, which are all related, need cold, wet winters and hot summers to grow. That’s why, for example, the entire U.S. supply of almonds and 80 percent of the world’s supply, comes from California.
Our soil, climate and water supply make California the right place to grow over 400 different crops. The investment farmers make here to install efficient irrigation systems and the long growing season allows California to produce food crops 12 months of the year. Efficiency includes using the fewest resources possible so it makes sense to grow crops where they grow well, such as California, and then ship them to consumers around the world. The alternative is to try and grow food crops in places that require more water, more pesticides, increased labor or clear-cutting of rain forests. In the end those practices could have a bigger impact on the environment than growing food in a place like California.