With its mild, Mediterranean climate, long growing days of bright sunshine and a rich tradition of family farms, it's not surprising to learn that agriculture is San Diego's fourth largest industry. More than 200 different crops are raised in this county. San Diego's many sublimates allow for a diverse, year-round agricultural industry, and the county's horticultural industry generates more than $1 billion annually, accounting for more than one-third of California's production. As the "Avocado Capital of the Nation," San Diego's crop represents about 60 percent of all avocados produced in California. Some of the region's other crops are citrus fruits, apples, kumquats, grapes, macadamia nuts, olives, strawberries, persimmons, bunch vegetables, corn, cucumbers, mushrooms, potatoes, squash, peppers, tomatoes, hay, barley, oats, nursery and flower crops.
The public's growing interest in purchasing the unbelievably delicious, just-picked local produce has resulted in an increase in neighborhood farmers' markets, now found throughout the county. Agricultural tourism is also on the rise. The Carlsbad Flower Fields, festivals such as Julian Apple Days, U-pick-cut operations, wineries and agricultural tours are enjoyed by thousands of people yearly.