Readers' Poll

AGrICuLTurE are some 350 vineyards, dozens of tasting rooms pouring around 60 different wine varietals. With this comes demand for both full-time and seasonal workers, the need for marketing to gain ground on those snooty wine regions to the north and more. MCVGA takes on a lot, but they are good at what they do. BEST FARMERS MARKET VENDOR Everyone's Harvest 31 Upper Ragsdale Drive, Monterey (831) 384-6961, There are no grapes of wrath at Everyone’s Harvest. Founded in 2002, the local nonprofit operates a half-dozen certified farmers markets at a variety of accessible locations in its mission to provide access to healthy, affordable fruits and vegetables to eaters all over the Central Coast. These markets are as much a place to shop as to gather, with music and food trucks and more. Partnering with dozens of local farmers and vendors, Everyone’s Harvest serves thousands of families per week through programs and collaborations intended to provide food for low-income and working families, helping CalFresh dollars go further, for example. BEST SPECIALTY CROP Artichokes With age comes wisdom and a taste for artichokes—an appreciation for the subtleties and complexities of flavor offered by a vegetable one would have spurned in younger, more naive days. Whether steamed, grilled, fried, stuffed; whether gnawing on seasoned, fleshy leaves or delving into a savory heart; whether enjoying on a pizza or in a pasta or stew—the possibilities are nearly endless. The artichoke holds special significance to cooler, northern Salinas Valley communities like Castroville—our very own “Artichoke Center of the World,” where Marilyn Monroe arguably got her big break as Artichoke Queen in 1948. Rightly cherished in these parts, the artichoke stands alone in all its versatile, idiosyncratic glory. BEST CASH CROP Strawberries It’s kinda obvious, when strawberries were a $958.8 million crop in 2022, topping lettuce by more than $100 million. Which means that if Adam Trask got the notion that he could ship strawberries to New York, the outcome of East of Eden would have been much more fruitful (get it?) for the family. Leave it to Steinbeck to wallow in despair. Leave it to Monterey County strawberries to give the world a little juicy cheer, to bring a pop of color to the Salad Bowl of the World— and to have a huge local economic impact. 46 BEST OF MONTEREY COUNTY® 2023 Th Thank you! We are honored to be named Best Organic Grower and Best Organic Produce Market. It's particularly gratifying to be recognized in our own community, where Earthbound Farm was born and raised. What we do would not be possible without the hard work of many hands. We thank them - and we thank you for your trust and support through the years.