Field Guide to California Agriculture (California Natural History Guides #98) (Paperback)
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Anyone who travels California's byways sees the many faces of agriculture. A huge entwined business, farming and ranching are the state's dominant land use. Yet few Californians understand what animals and crops are raised or how agriculture reflects our relationship with nature. This fascinating and gorgeously illustrated field guide gathers essential information about agriculture and its environmental context, and answers the perennial question posed by California travelers: “What is that, and why is it growing here?” Paul F. Starrs's lively text explores the full range of the state's agriculture, deftly balancing agribusiness triumphalism with the pride of boutique producers, sketching meanwhile the darker shadows that can envelop California farming. Documented with diverse maps and Peter Goin's insightful photographs, A Field Guide to California Agriculture captures the industry's energy and ingenuity and its wildly diverse iconography, from the mysteries of forbidden crops (like marijuana) to the majesties of scale in food production.
About the Author
Paul F. Starrs is Professor of Geography at the University of Nevada at Reno. He is the author of Let the Cowboy Ride: Cattle Ranching in the American West and (with Peter Goin) Black Rock. Peter Goin is Professor of Art the University of Nevada at Reno. His many books include Humanature, Changing Mines in America, and Nuclear Landscapes.
“Required reading for every serious foodie, gardener and farmer’s market junkie . . . The summer beach read of academic writing. “
— Los Angeles Times Book Review
“Designed for portability, this stout little tome easily fits into a glove box, ready for retrieval when a passing agricultural landscape baffles. But being such an engaging companion, the Field Guide to California Agriculture will more than likely migrate to your bedside reading table.”
— Julie Foster
“Full of useful and interesting information about the crops and livestock you might encounter while driving around California.”
“A book that brings to life the vast panorama of the state's farming industry and its fascinating historical, ecological and ethnocultural overtones. . . . Reading its richly informative commentary out loud while admiring almonds and citrus in blossom on a drive down Interstate 5 is a refreshing alternative to video game stupor.”
— Laura Thomas