Monterey County, which likes to call itself America's Salad Bowl because of the prodigious amount of produce grown there, spent much of last spring under water.
As many as 40,000 acres of agricultural land were lost, with an estimated crop loss valued at almost $150 million. That made it the state's hardest-hit county in last spring's floods by a margin of almost 3 to 1.
But a year later, only traces of the damage remain. County Agricultural Commissioner Richard Nutter says only 2% or 3% of the land is still out of production.
Even the artichoke fields--so hard-hit by floods that the crop was 40% less than normal--are ready to go.
"We're down a little because we haven't been able to transplant everything we need," says Mary Comfort of the California Artichoke Advisory Board. "It is probably going to be a two-year process before we get back to where we were. But we've been fortunate in having a mild fall, so the plants didn't have to stress too much. Now, it looks like they're starting to go gangbusters."