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Thursday, May 1, 2014

WHEAT PRODUCTION IN THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY

BUILDING A GREAT MUSEUM FOR THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY

When English colonists arrived in the New World, they attempted to bend the farm lands they acquired into a "New England", complete with European crops and animals. It took generations for their descendants to adopt native American species such as potatoes and corn. The results of planting non-native plants still plague us today. Excessive demands for water, fertilizers, and pesticides are results.

The raising of European wheat was introduced into the San Fernando Valley by land investors lead by Isaac Lankershim in the 1870s. Initially, grain production was highly profitable for the Los Angeles Farming and Milling Company/

 Wheat production was romanticized in America as settlers pushed west. This illustration is from an 1890 elementary school reader.  (Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2014. - Click on images to enlarge them.)

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