If you really want to understand Ventura County agriculture, remember this: When we grow is just as important as what we grow. Our county’s number one crop is the strawberry. Is that because nobody else grow them? Of course not. But what other part of the country has them for Valentine’s Day? Or Mother’s Day? Want a lemon in January? It’s coming from Ventura County. In fact most of our citrus peaks in late winter and spring. Want an Ojai Pixie? They’re best that time of year too. And the list goes on from avocados to celery to leafy greens.
Yes, Ventura County can grow just about anything. But a huge part of our success as a farm economy (One of the top counties in the country) is that we can produce a wide variety of crops AND we can do it when the Midwest is still under a couple feet of snow.
Right now, we’re getting into Fall, the traditional time for harvest celebrations. And there are some great ones coming up. We’re particularly excited about Ventura County Farm Day, with 20 participating farms and a BBQ at McGrath Family Farm. But as you drive around the county on the 27th (and I hope you will), notice that a lot of ground is between crops. You won’t see many berries or peppers. The citrus and avocado trees will be there, but will have only immature fruit. You won’t see a lot of bounty. So enjoy the festivities, but remember… what really makes this area great is what’s being harvested when nobody’s paying attention.
We’ll have figs though. See you on the 27th.