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Home > By DEPARTMENTS > Management > Social Responsibility

Food and Pests Go Together -- But do you know how?

Monterey County is the Salad Bowl of the World

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Do you know where your food comes from...or how it is integrated into California's economy? Many urban residents have no connection to rural areas and have no concept how saving water in the city affects their food costs...or availability.

Take a tour of California agricultural reality!

...but what does that have to do with pests?

Explore California's reputation as "Salad Bowl of the World" and learn how it got that title.

The Salinas Valley is called the "Salad Bowl of the World" because of its temperate climate and rich soils that make it an ideal growing area for cool season vegetables and wine grapes.

Among the vegetable crops grown in Monterey County are lettuce, broccoli, celery, artichokes, tomatoes, and peppers. Fruit crops include wine grapes, strawberries and citrus.

The first significant commercial planting of vineyards in the county was in the early 1970's. Monterey County is now home over 45,000 acres of vineyards, 55 wineries and is considered one of the premium grape growing regions in the United States.

Monterey County depends on national and international sales to support jobs and keep land in agriculture. California's top trading partners, Canada and Mexico are markets for $3.4 billion in farm production, mostly in fresh vegetables, strawberries and grapes.

...but what does that have to do with pests?

Light Brown Apple Moth The light brown apple moth (LBAM), Epiphyas postvittana (Tortricidae), is a native pest of Australia and is now widely distributed. A recent LBAM detection in California is the first on the US mainland. USDA confirmed the detection of LBAM in Alameda County, California on March 22, 2007.

The Canadian and Mexican quarantines affect a wide variety of local crops.

Canada is the number one foreign market for Monterey County farms and ranches, purchasing 340 million pounds of local commodities annually.

Strawberries, one of our leading farm exports to Canada and Mexico, are grown primarily in counties now affected by light brown apple moth quarantines.

Mexico purchases more than 41 million pounds of Monterey County farm products each year.

Light Brown Apple Moth Invasive Pest

Citing both environmental and economic dangers, agricultural pest eradication efforts for insects such as the "light brown apple moth" are mounted by California Department of agriculture and the U. S. Department of Agriculture.

Pest infestations result in restrictions that make it much more difficult for farmers to sell their fruits, vegetables, cut flowers and nursery plants to customers in the two nations that have been their biggest customers.

Invasive pests are sometimes brought into California in imported fresh foods -- that banana or pineapple you smuggle in your luggage. They can migrate with changing weather patterns...or on hiking boots or tire treads...or the feathers of migrating birds. All nature is connected and human behavior are powerful parts of that chain.

This is far more than a farm pest. The light brown apple moth will also harm home gardens and the Central Coast's pristine natural environment. It's understandable that other countries don't want this moth, and they will restrict our farm products to keep the moth out. This is a real difficulty for organic farmers and small-scale farmers.

Agricultural Tourism Subsidizes Local Agriculture and Connects Urbanites to Agri Reality

In addition to wine tasting tours, local tour operators and independent farmers offer a wide range of tours and events including
  • Agricultural education tours
  • Music and wine festivals
  • Winery dinners
  • Local sightseeing
  • Horseback riding
  • Culinary tours
  • Wine dinners

Tours specially designed to be "kid friendly" are also available. Foreign language interpreters can be arranged on request. Ag Ventures coordinates tours out of the county for special wine events in Napa, Sonoma and San Luis Obispo.

Ag Ventures Tours & Consulting

Enjoy spending a day in the country visiting the farms, vineyards and wineries of Monterey County. For larger groups, Ag Venture Tours & Consulting can provide guide service to groups with their own transportation or we can make arrangements for chartering larger vehicles.

AG VENTURE TOURS & CONSULTING
P.O. Box 2634
Monterey, CA 93942
831-761-8463
www.whps.com/agtours/salad.html

THAT's what we have to do with pests!



Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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