Throwback Thursday: the 1885 Riverside Citrus Fair

citrus displays at the 1885 Riverside Citrus Fair, Riverside, California, via Calisphere

Starting to think about what my next book might be, I’ve been reading about the history of citrus agriculture in the Southern California of my birth. My interest, in terms of the book, is the way the evolution of irrigation technology and governance maps onto the working landscape that was, for a time, the richest agricultural region in the country before evolving into one of the planet’s great megacities.

This whole marketing schtick – the citrus fairs, the romance of the orange crate labels – is a bit of a side road, but a fun one. Or maybe not? It’s impossible to separate the economics of citrus marketing from the change on the landscape that resulted.