I have been away from my little backyard garden for several weeks. My able helpers, Farmer Kathy and Surrogate Farmer Lisa, have done an admirable job in my absence. I have been spoiled by the vistas, the farms and the Sierra Nevada Mountains in my recent travels. It all started with my niece’s wedding in Livermore California. The area has become a superb wine growing area boasting many wineries with great reputations. The link lists a number of good wineries in the area; http://sf.cityvoter.com/best/livermore-winery/wineries/the-bay-area

After the wedding and a little consulting work in Concord, CA, I was off to my home town of Bakersfield. Growing up in this area you take for granted to amazing variety of farming activities in the surrounding area. There are ten’s thousands of acres planted in citrus, 100’s of thousands of acres in cotton and hay. Latest reports have over 800,000 acres of almond orchards and over 100,000 acres of pistachios. In addition to the big crops carrots have emerged as a dominate crop with Kern County supplying the lion’s share around the world through two big operations, Grimway Farms and William H. Bolthouse…..look at the next package of baby carrots to see where they came from.

We spent a couple of days up in the Sierra’s at Huntington Lake  – the drive takes you through an amazing variety of crops. Expansive tracts of grapes, table grapes, wine grapes and grapes grown for raisins. Peaches and nectarines in huge orchards. Watermelon, cantaloupes, processing tomatoes, garlic, onions, beans, beets, potatoes, strawberries and in Wasco the rose growers there supply over 50% of the US supply of plants. What I want to share with you is the wonderful natural garden that is not planted in neat rows or in expansive irrigated fields, but scattered in diverse patterns creating stunning vistas accented with streams, waterfalls and lakes. The slideshow below is just a sample. Enjoy – TTFN

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