Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Where Your Food Comes From

I just took a drive out to Lindsay, to once again check out the facility for the upcoming Best of the Valley quilt show. As I was driving along, I passed acre after acre after acre of agriculture in action. I was so glad I had my camera with me. As I drove home, I stopped to snap a few pictures to show you a little corner of this place whose goal it is to feed the world.

Some of the citrus has been picked, much of it is still on the trees. These are some sort of orange trees. In Tulare County we grow oranges, lemons, grapefruit and every variation thereof. (In our backyard, we have both a navel and a mandarin orange tree.)

Next I came across some stone fruit. I could be wrong, maybe they are almonds. Or they could be nectarines or peaches or plums...I don't have much official horticultural knowledge, but I do know that if they're throwing out leaves right now, they're probably something that could be part of the blossom trail. (Remind me to post pictures when that's in full bloom!)

And then there are the olive trees. You've seen the Lindsay Olive brand? They come from Lindsay, which is where I was this morning.

I couldn't show you Tulare County agriculture without including a picture of a dairy. I would guess that the crop in front of them is wheat, but I'm probably wrong. Pete would know, but he's not here to ask...

These are walnut trees...

I don't know what this field will eventually be planted with, but I like the mountains in the background. I especially like the low clouds that portend more snow and an increasing snowpack. The snowpack is KEY to supplying water to keep the valley in production through the rest of the year.

These grapevines are in the process of being pruned. Do you see the worker in the bottom left quadrant? He's directly above the yellow marker. He's working on his second row of vines. If you click on the photo, you should be able to enlarge it and see the difference between the pruned and unpruned vines.

As I drove back into the city limits, I passed this little strawberry field. It may not look like much, but this field is one of an ever-shrinking number that produces THE most tasty, juicy strawberries in all of CA. Better than Watsonville, better than Oxnard. Yep. They're the best, and if you've ever tasted them, you know I speak the truth.

Finally, I know that I already posted this block for the Valley Oak Quilt Guild. But I thought it would be fun to also post a picture of a Valley Oak tree...

Obviously the block was drafted in the summer, not in the winter when the tree has shed its leaves...

Finally, here is yesterday's project, shown completed. This measures 12" x 24" and is (hopefully) going to be a satisfactory background for the guild website. Time will tell on that one.

And there you go. A bit of a scenic trip through our productive valley. Hopefully you have a new or renewed appreciation for the effort that goes into putting quality food on your table.

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