Califonia Bountiful

From the editors: Capturing California

July/August 2014 California Bountiful magazine

Gaze upon a blossoming orchard, grape-filled vineyard or colorful display of farm-fresh produce. There is much beauty to be admired in California's bounty. And in various communities throughout the state, artists are making their way to the farm to put brush on canvas in capturing and conserving our rural landscape and agricultural heritage in the form of plein air, or open air, painting.

Plein air paintings are artistic, creative and inspiring. Similarly, farmscape splendor can be captured behind the lens of a camera, and we invite you to share your best shots in this year's photo contest. It's for all ages, with categories that encompass nearly every aspect of agriculture—from farm to fork. We're also using Instagram, Pinterest and other new ways to share the stunning visuals of farmland. Like plein air, photography celebrates California's rich and diverse agricultural surroundings and its many aesthetic benefits.

But the value of our rural landscape goes far beyond scenic beauty. Farmers and ranchers serve as stewards who care for not only their geographic space, but the interwoven ecosystem within and surrounding it. Wildlife habitat, connected green corridors, beneficial plants and insects, erosion control and outdoor recreational opportunities all result from the farmland we're fortunate to have throughout the Golden State.

It equates to quality of life. It's California bountiful, beautiful and beneficial. And in this case, a picture—or plein air painting—merely starts the story. 

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