California produces a wide diversity of crops, but as of 2012, grapes account for almost $4.5 billion of the $42.6 billion California farms and ranches receive for their produce annually. Other significant crops include almonds, producing $4.3 billion, and strawberries, producing $1.9 billion.Continue Reading
California produces over 99 percent of the commercially grown grapes in the United States. Los Angeles became home to the first California vineyard in 1839, and the newly constructed transcontinental railway allowed successful shipping of fresh California grapes to Chicago in 1869. As of 2014, the state produces over one million boxes of grapes annually and ships them to 65 different countries.
The Franciscan padres brought almonds with them from Spain in the 1700s; however, the moist, cool weather of the regions they settled took several years to develop a successful almond harvest. By the early 1900s, almond growers had established the nut as a cash crop for the state. By 2000, almond trees covered over 500,000 acres in the San Jacquie and Sacramento Valleys, making almonds a leading cash crop for the state.
Strawberries came to California in the 1900s. As of 2014, California farmers plant over 25,000 acres annually, producing more than 80 percent of the United States' strawberries. A single acre of ground in California produces about 21 tons of strawberries, with the state producing a billion pounds annually.Learn more about Agriculture
A diversity of plants thrives in the California coastal region, including pampasgrass, chaparral plant, sagebrush scrub, lobed sea rocket and sand strawberry. These plants grow near the ocean but thrive in areas where the spray of the saltwater cannot reach them. The plants are adapted to living in salty water and sandy soils, and many plant communities exist in dynamic conditions.Full Answer >
The Environmental Working Group's Dirty Dozen food lists is a collection of 12 produce items that experience the highest levels of exposure to pesticides, thus requiring special care and cleaning to make them safe for consumption. The guide does not warn readers against eating the foods all together, but instead seeks to educate them about the potential presence of chemicals prior to consumption.Full Answer >
Modern agriculture has vastly increased the amount of food that farms are capable of producing with great gains in efficiency, but it can also have a major negative impact on the environment. Large-scale farms are vital for keeping the world fed, but they can devastate local ecosystems through clearcutting and runoff, which often releases methane, ammonia and other toxic chemicals into the environment.Full Answer >
Agricultural supply and feed stores, nurseries, garden supply stores and some farms sell straw bales. Availability may depend on the season. Websites such as StrawBaleMarket.com also list classified ads for straw bales.Full Answer >