Solano’s Gold

 

solanosgoldFrom The Public Historian in 1999:

Originally designed to accompany an exhibit in the Vacaville Museum, Solano’s Gold: The People and Their Orchards chronicles the history of the orchard crop production in Solano County, a rich agricultural region located halfway between San Francisco and Sacramento, California. Aiming to document a way of life now threatened by suburban sprawl, Kristin Delaplane has skillfully woven together an engaging and informative narrative based upon the collected testimonies of over fifty local farm residents.

…Professionally trained historians will find much is valuable in Solano’s Gold. Covering virtually every aspect of basic farm practice, Delaplane’s informants provide a wealth of detailed information on the plating, nurturing, harvesting, and marketing of many different deciduous fruit and nut crops.

…Perhaps the best of Delaplane’s twenty chapters are the two dealing with pests and pesticides. Here the strengths of good oral history are well-demonstrated as Delaplane coaxes some remarkably candid and revealing statements from growers regarding their freewheeling but poorly informed use of toxic chemicals between 1920 and 1970.

…Because it is loaded with many excellent first-hand accounts, especially of the port-World War II era where stronger memories make for better oral history, Solano’s Gold certainly merits serious attention.

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