The all-year growing season in California makes it the top producer, producing over half of the fruit, vegetable and nut supply for the entire United States each year. With over 400 commodities, this results in an annual revenue for the state of $45 billion. Iowa, Illinois and Texas round out the pack.
As California battles raging wildfires in the foothills of Los Angeles County and ash rains down, the entire state is also facing its worst drought on record (since record keeping began nearly 100 years ago). Governor Jerry Brown has just declared a state of drought emergency, asking all residents to cut their water consumption by 20%. In fact, the drought is so expansive and widespread that it can even be seen from space.
The gorgeous local produce and milk we enjoyed as a snack today seem to belie the harshness of this situation – namely the very elevated threat of fire in urban and rural areas and the scarcity of agricultural and livestock production, which in turn, will affect the nation as a whole. But the signs around Santa Barbara brought me down to reality, as “Fire Alert: Extreme Danger Today” is all my eyes seemed to catch.
Praying for rain! Praying for rain!