The Salinas Valley has witnessed some of the richest harvests in the nation: lettuce, artichokes, broccoli, strawberries, asparagus, squash, garlic, cauliflower, carrots, celery, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, and brussels sprouts. Now the valley is one of the major grape-growing regions in California. Lettuce is the king crop, providing 50 percent of all lettuce shipped around the U.S.
As cities and towns like Salinas and King City and Soledad and Greenfield push their boundaries outward, farmlands have given way to tract homes and strip malls. Drive or bike or walk out into the country to travel back through time more hundred years, because the landscape of the Salinas Valley, most of it still covered with earth rather than asphalt, is largely unchanged from the way it appeared late in the 19th Century.