California: The Land of Fruits, Nuts and Hemp?

Have you ever heard of California referred to as the “Land of Fruits and Nuts?”  According to urban dictionary, this is considered a derogatory term as “fruits” refers to the gay capital of San Francisco and “nuts” refers to Calfornia’s liberal leaning politics. I’m not sure if anyone who identifies with these groups finds it offensive, but when I first heard the term, I actually thought it was literal for California’s booming agriculture, so please forgive me for thinking  the term is kind of cute.

Did you know that California is one of the top agricultural producers in the world? How is it that California’s economy is hurting so badly when we are so resource rich?

I was prompted to research California’s agriculture and I found some pretty cool facts on the Agriculture In the Classroom website. Check this out:

  • California is the nation’s top agricultural state, and has been for more than 50 years. Agriculture generates approximately $37.5 billion a year, more than any other state.
  • More than 60% of the state’s farms are less than 50 acres in size, one indicator of the growing number of specialty crop operations.
  • More than 90% of California farms are family farms or partnerships.
  • The top 10 commodities include: milk and cream, all grapes, almonds, nursery products, cattle and calves, all lettuce, pistachios, walnuts, and flowers and foliage.

As you can see, California kicks butt in the agriculture arena (which does include fruits and nuts, by the way).

The big news last week for our farmers was that Governor Jerry Brown signed into to law SB 566, the California Industrial Hemp Farming Act. This allows California to grow hemp as soon as the Feds give us the green light.

Hmmm, with California in such dire straits, let’s hope the feds come to their senses soon. Then, maybe California can be known as the Land of Fruits, Nuts and HEMP!

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