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 Click here for a list of Farms and Farms Tours and Museums

The Salinas Valley is best known as "the Salad Bowl of the Nation"and with good reason. This fertile valley, stretching almost 50 miles from Salinas to south of King City, produces a cornucopia of fresh fruits and veggies, including iceberg, romaine, and leaf lettuces, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, strawberries, artichokes, and Brussels sprouts, to name just a few. Agriculture is Monterey County's largest industry, employing more people than any other, and accounting for over $2 billion in annual revenue.

To see first-hand how row crops are grown, and to get an insider's view of the industry, visit The Farm in Salinasa visitor-friendly produce stand that lets you 'pick your own' of whatever's in season. In Carmel Valley, Earthbound Farm is owned by one of the largest organic farming operations in the nation; it also offers tours of the fields, sometimes led by local chefs.

The Agricultural and Rural Life Museum in King City is a walk back in time to a period of blacksmiths and one-room schoolhouses. The vintage farmhouse gives visitors a view into how people lived one hundred years ago, antique mining and farming equipment is on display, and a Southern Pacific caboose waits at the old railroad station. The main museum displays a tack shop, a country store, antique printing presses and clothing. The barn and outdoor displays are open daily from 10am-4pm all year. The other buildings are open weekends, April-October. Free guided tours help make this an enjoyable and educational experience.

Did You Know?
Iceberg lettuce is Monterey County's number one crop.

The Workers of the Fields

Monterey County's agriculture industry was once the setting for an intense civil rights struggle, as field workers, led by Cesar Chavez, lobbied for higher wages and better working and living conditions. The United Farm Workers Union (UFW) is an outgrowth of those turbulent times; today, the union represents thousands of farm workers in Monterey County.

In The Grapes of Wrath, Nobel Prize-winning author John Steinbeck detailed the plight of the "Okies"people from Oklahoma's "dust bowl" who moved to California during the Great Depression hoping for employment in the ag industry. The book was critical of the industry and its practices, and earned Steinbeck a one-way ticket out of Salinas. Eventually, this celebrated local author was welcomed back, and today, a festival is held each year in his honor.

News & Events
New Ag Exhibit
The National Steinbeck Center in Salinas is building an agriculture wing to celebrate the local industry. When completed, the new wing will display such diverse exhibits as veggie packing crate art, oral histories of Salinas Valley families, and artists' views of workers in the fields.

Farms & Farm Tours

Earthbound Farm
Carmel Valley Rd
Carmel Valley

Paris Valley Ranch
60604 Paris Valley Rd
San Ardo

The Farm
Hwy 68 & Spreckels Blvd

Ag Venture Tours
Wine tasting, agricultural and sightseeing tours.


Agricultural and Rural Life Museum
San Lorenzo Park
King City, CA 93930

National Steinbeck Center
One Main Street
Salinas, CA
831- 796-3833 Fax 831- 796-3828