In The Garden Of Eden
The bright sun in the Central Valley
The heat that makes everything grow
Also traps in and burns some bad pollutants
Out of a mixed brew
Its topography is such mountains rim the Valley in three ways
The odd weather patterns that surprise us with extremes
And test our rugged individualism
The faces of the people who never give up
The places we have come to love
The San Joaquin Valley is much more than all of that!
Oh, verdant Central Valley!
Your 240-mile-long stretch of farmland
From Stockton to Bakersfield
Helps make California the top farm-producing state in the nation
Each of your fertile counties gives us the top ten crops
Among them are the beloved stone fruit and vegetables
Vistas of green alfalfa, corn fields, neatly painted barns and grazing grounds
Set against the backdrop of the Diablo range, Santa Lucia range
And Sierra Madre mountains
Large varieties of commercial crops and commodities are grown all over the Valley
Peaches, nectarines, kiwifruit, apples, almonds, apricots, avocados, artichokes, asparagus,
Barley, dry beans, snap beans, blueberries, boysenberries, broccoli, cabbage, carrots,
Cauliflower, celery, sweet cherries, chickens, cattle and calves, cotton, lint, fresh market corn,
Cucumbers, eggs, eggplant, figs, garlic, grapefruit, grapes, hogs and pigs, honey, lettuce,
Lemons, lemon grass, melons, cantaloupe, melons, honeydew, melons, watermelon,
Milk and cream, mushrooms, nursery produces, oats, olives, onions, oranges, pears, pecans,
Peppers, persimmons, pistachios, plums, pomegranates, potatoes, prunes, rice, safflower,
Spinach, strawberries, sugar beets, sweet potatoes, tangerines, tomatoes, turkeys, walnuts,
Wheat, wool etc.
How much longer will they be around for us and future generations to enjoy?
Are the soot and the darkness of the smog hanging over our Valley
Going to transform our Eden for ever?
Will we be forced to stay indoors more instead of going out to the dunes?
Instances of big-time farmers as well as small farmers selling out
To developers are telling signs of the capital loss
The loss of the prime farmland that we once were so proud of
May such a day never come!
© CA Specialty Produce Marketer 2002. All Rights Reserved. Permission for publication of poems and images is required!
Read this poem while reminiscing about the Valley of a few years ago
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