What's so great about San Diego farming?
Did you know:
San Diego County produces more avocados, flowers, and nursery plants than any other county in the nation!
Far from the stereotypical image of "big ag", the median size farm in San Diego County is just four acres, with 68% of all farms in the county less than nine acres. Though San Diego farms are small they pack a whole lot of value into the land, producing the highest dollar value per acre of any county in California.
Wondering about certified organic? San Diego County is home to the highest number of certified organic farms of any county in the United States, and has the largest number of small farms anywhere in the nation.
Ranked against every other county in the state, San Diego is a top five producer of nursery plants, flowers and foliage, tomatoes, lemons, avocados, eggs, mushrooms, and grapefruit.
What does farming do for our local economy? Farming is the fifth largest industry in San Diego County just behind defense, manufacturing, tourism, and biotechnology with a commercial value of over $1.8 billion. That number multiplies throughout the community to a $5 billion impact to the local economy. San Diego's small family-owned farms also employ roughly 12 thousand workers, and businesses that serve the ag industry - like machinery and irrigation companies - also have employees. Overall, farms and related businesses in San Diego create approximately 25,000 jobs.
Farming isn't just good for the economy and for providing us with healthy food and beautiful plants, it's good for the local environment too. Remember that San Diego is the nation's top producer of avocados, flowers, and nursery plants? All those acres of trees and plants (305,573 acres to be exact) are doing what plants do; absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen back into the atmosphere. Farms play an important role in creating the clean air we enjoy in San Diego County. All those groves and fields also act as valuable wildlife corridors and buffer zones creating open space between wild lands and urban areas.