If you’re eating a salad for lunch today, there’s a good chance it came from California’s Salinas Valley, the rich agricultural area an hour’s drive south of Silicon Valley where more than two-thirds nation’s leafy greens are produced. There’s also a decent chance it got to your plate with the help of a robot.
Farming fresh produce has always been a high-precision, labor-intensive operation compared to crops like corn and wheat. But faced with the declining availability of farm labor and a growing demand for sustainable and healthier fresh produce, agricultural producers in the Salinas Valley are working to rely less on people and more on technology. And, perhaps counterintuitively, the city of Salinas is doing its best to help them.Read more