Today’s Agriculture Moment: A Tangerine

Okay, I have to get back to work momentarily here – I’m working on an analysis this evening – but wanted to share today’s Agriculture Moment.

After a meeting today, I was chatting with a grower. We had been talking about raisins and started talking about tangerines, which are rapidly gaining acreage in the San Joaquin Valley. I hadn’t known it until today, but it turns out the guy I was talking to has 20 acres of tangerines.

“Speaking of raisins,” I said, “I had the most incredible tangerine this week – it had a beautiful pink-tinged pith, a really floral smell and a dried fruit note in its flavor that was sort of raisin-like. It was a Murcott, I think – is that right?”

“Yep, that’s right. That’s a really nice one. Unfortunately, it’ll make seeds if there’s other citrus anywhere near it.”

“This one did have a couple seeds. I found them at Whole Foods – they were labeled as being from the Schellenbergs’.”

“Oh yeah, Rick has some of those,” he nodded. He raised a hand, gesturing to the northwest. “They’re over behind the gym.”

Two blocks from our office, there is a gym.

Behind the gym’s parking lot, there is a chain-link fence.

On the other side of the chain-link fence, there is a citrus orchard.

That is where my snack was grown, though it had to travel to Fresno to be sold and then back to where it grew – in my lunchbag, in my car – before it got eaten.

Having grown up Not In California, I still usually think of the food I buy as coming from Somewhere Else, and am always momentarily surprised when I’m reminded that much of what I eat comes from Pretty Nearby or Right Smack Dab Down The Street.

The first year we lived here, I saw an orange sitting by the side of the road and thought to myself Who threw a perfectly good orange out the car window? What a waste. The next day I drove by again, saw the same orange, but looked up and realized Oh my goodness, it fell off that orange tree that’s growing right there by the side of the road!

Agriculture! Bizarre!

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