Salinas Valley

Courtesy Viridian

Located at the southern end of the Salinas Valley, King City in Monterey County is the first California city to outfit all of its police officers with cameras—on their guns. That's despite the city of just over 14,000 residents having no officer-involved shootings in recent memory.

Doug McKnight/KAZU

Part 1 

Part 2  

Over the next three months, tens of thousands of migrant farmworkers will converge on the Central Coast to do something deemed essential in the time of COVID-19, harvest our food. The speciality crops farmed locally, like strawberries and leafy greens, require a lot of hand labor. But the dramatic increase in population could trigger a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Jerry Jimenez

An estimated 44,000 Central Coast households get their tap water from wells, and many of those wells— particularly in the Salinas Valley—are contaminated with nitrates and other pollutants, so residents often drink and cook with bottled water.

But due to panic shopping prompted by the pandemic shutdown, many of those families are now struggling to find bottled water at grocery and other stores.

Flickr/Paul Hudson

4/2/20 UPDATE: On Thursday, California's governor signed an executive order directing a statewide moratorium on water shutoffs. 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is warning the public not to eat, and to throw out, certain salad kits from Salinas Valley produce company Fresh Express after another E. coli outbreak has sickened more than 20 people in the United States and Canada.

Flickr/Clint Gardner

In an instance of déjà vu, there’s a new E.coli outbreak in late November linked to romaine lettuce. The outbreak was quickly traced to romaine lettuce grown near Salinas

Erika Mahoney/KAZU

As the Food and Drug Administration continues investigating the E.coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce from California, literally tons of lettuce are ending up in landfills. Now, some agriculture companies are using a voluntary labeling system to help consumers stay informed and hopefully avoid food waste in the future.

Pesticide that harms children’s brains could soon be listed as toxic in California

Aug 1, 2018
Jeff Vanuga

A group of nine scientists on California's Scientific Review Panel agreed that a pesticide used on more than 60 crops, grown in the Salinas Valley and around the state, should be listed as a toxic air contaminant.

Jessica Potts, Executive Director of the Agricultural & Rural Life Museum at San Lorenzo County Park in King City, California in front of the old (circa-1903) King City train station--that was relocated to the park
Thomas Wilmer

The San Lorenzo County Park in King City, California showcases the agrarian roots of Monterey County’s Salinas Valley. 

New study shows severe overcrowding in farmworkers’ homes

Apr 26, 2018
Doug McKnight/KAZU

Monterey County's multi-billion dollar farming industry depends on thousands of farmworkers. But a new study finds there’s a tremendous lack of housing for them. 

Greenfield banks its future on cannabis

Apr 16, 2018
Erika Mahoney/KAZU

Located in the heart of the Salinas Valley, Greenfield used to be known as the Broccoli Capital of the World. Now the small town is banking its future on cannabis. Greenfield has 11 marijuana grow facilities going up over the next two years. 

Paul Towers

Salinas Valley farmworkers and advocacy groups made a trip to Sacramento this week to rally for a ban on a pesticide called chlorpyrifos. 

ICE arrests 19 in Monterey County

Jun 12, 2017
Greta Mart/KCBX

54 people were arrested last week in a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) operation targeting areas in Central California. ICE officials said over a third of the arrests took place in Monterey County, specifically in communities in the Salinas Valley.

Several Central Coast groundwater basins are on a California Department of Water Resources (DWR) draft list of water supplies that are tagged as being in critical overdraft. 

Flickr user: dianejp

Farmers and ranchers throughout the Central Coast and around the nation are being asked to take part in a first-of-its-kind government survey on organic food production.

It's part of the US Department of Agriculture's regular census, but marks the first time questions involving organics have been included.

Congressman Sam Farr is the ranking member on the House Agricultural Appropriations Committee and represents much of the Salinas Valley. He also helped legitimize the organic industry in California when he was a state assemblyman. 

Issues & Ideas: air date 11-13-2013

Nov 13, 2013
Tom Wilmer

Hear a conversation about John Steinbeck's life in the Salinas Valley with correspondent Tom Wilmer, as he visits the Steinbeck Center.

Then head with Tom over to Elkhorn Slough to learn about the birds and sea life there, and to discover the kayaking and whale watching opportunities in the area.