I talk a lot about knowing where your food comes from…I have visited many farms near and far, watched animals being slaughtered, I know many of the people that grow the food I eat and I grow as much as I can in my urban yard…but, when I arrived at a friends beach house it made me realize that there is lots that I am eating that I know nothing about!
I had never seen large scale strawberry production… The house we were so fortunate to visit looked out over the ocean in one direction where sea otters played just yards from the shore. However, I was just as intrigued by the view out the kitchen window which was of strawberry fields as far as the eye could see. Sitting at the kitchen table you could watch the fields being watered, tended to by man and machine and observe the systematic picking of strawberries.
The agriculture in the entire region is intense. We were one stop north of Gilroy the garlic capital, and very close to Castroville, the artichoke capital, small and large farms carpeted the area. Although seduced by the fertility of the area I also know that year round food production on this magnitude requires pesticides. In any case I will never look at a strawberry exactly the same way again. Next time you are in the supermarket check it out– much of the year the strawberries being sold are very likely from Watsonville, California.
I am happy to of witnessed this large scale agriculture production up close.