This section is from the book "The Potato: A Compilation of Information from Every Available Source", by Eugene H. Grubb, W. S. Guilford. Also available from Amazon: The Potato: A Compilation Of Information From Every Available Source.
California occupies a similar position on the Pacific coast of the United States to that of the territory lying between Charleston and Boston on the Atlantic coast. There are 158,360 square miles or 101,350,400 acres within its borders. A large part of this is mountain or desert, but the territory is so great that the total acreage of the arable valleys would make a good-sized eastern state.
The great interior valley in which the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys lie is about 420 miles long and has an average width of forty-five miles.
California's greatest agricultural asset is its climate. Throughout southern California and the Great Central Valley the growing season is practically twelve months long. During the winter there is some cold weather, but the thermometer rarely registers lower than freezing. Pastures produce feed in the winter season, although less luxuriantly than in summer; oranges ripen, and all kinds of vegetables make satisfactory growth.
Potatoes will live over winter in the ground and make a volunteer crop the next season.
Even though fruit and vegetable growing, dairying, and other lines of agriculture are highly developed in some sections of the state, the resources and possibilities for agricultural pursuit are of such magnitude that they can be said to have been hardly touched.
The potato industry has been most largely developed in the vicinity of Stockton in the San Joaquin Valley, and in the Salinas and Lompoc valleys along the coast. The crop is grown everywhere in the state, but not in a large commercial way, except in the places mentioned.
There are splendid opportunities for developing an early potato proposition in the Sacramento Valley and elsewhere throughout the state.
In the following are brief descriptions of California conditions: