How the Salinas Valley became “The Salad Bowl of the World”
Although the Salinas Valley is small in size, it has had a significant impact in the agricultural industry. Salinas Valley’s effect on agriculture has been so remarkable that it has gained the nickname “The Salad Bowl of the World”.
The Salinas Valley agricultural history dates back all the way to the mid 1800’s. The first agricultural production that had a remarkable effect in the Salinas Valley was Sugar Beets. In 1893 the Spreckels Sugar Beet Factory was built. The Monterey County Agricultural and Rural Life Museum is home to one of the original Spreckles' Sugar Factory homes which showcases where the sugar beet farmers and their families lived. The workers lived in these houses where they were equipped with the tools they needed to harvest the sugar beets. Sugar beets were a major producer of white sugar. The factory continued to be up and running until 1981.
Nowadays, some of the main commodities that the Salinas Valley produces are lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, and tomatoes. The Salinas Valley has ideal weather year-round to produce crops. Since it doesn’t get too hot in the summer or too cold in the winter, the crops are able to thrive in their environment. With a whopping 1.4 million acres being used for agricultural purposes in the Salinas Valley, an abundance amount of these crops are able to be produced yearly. Over half of the United States’ lettuce is produced here in Monterey county.
The Salinas Valley, The Salad Bowl of the World, has been put on the map and is known around the nation due to its agricultural contribution. Without the Salinas Valley, many of the crops that can be found in the local grocery store would not be on the shelves. The Salinas Valley has been and continues to be one of the nations largest agricultural producers.