Greenfield (formerly, Clarke Colony) is a city in Monterey County, California, United States.Greenfield is located 33 miles (53 km) southeast of Salinas, at an elevation of 289 feet (88 m). The population was 12,583 in 2000. The California Department of Finance estimated a population of 17,316 in 2008. Its most well-known public event is the annual Harvest Festival. Greenfield is a member of the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments.
John S. Clarke and other promoters laid out the town from 1902 to 1905. The original name of Clarke City was rejected by the post office which established Greenfield post office in 1905.Greenfield incorporated in 1947.
Greenfield traces its roots to 1905 and the creation of Clark Colony Water Company, which built a network of irrigation canals and filled them with water from the nearby Arroyo Seco AVA. Greenfield's central location makes it a "springboard" to a number of Southern Monterey County attractions. There are plans on building a museum on Greenfield's history. Construction is said to start in 2008 or 2009.
The city of Greenfield is located between the Gabilan mountain range to the east and the Santa Luica mountain range to the west.Greenfield is located in the heart of the Salinas Valley, approximately 135 miles south of San Francisco, 95 miles south of San Jose and 60 miles north of Paso Robles
Greenfield is located in one of the developing wine grape growing regions of California with over twenty vineyards and wineries within a thirty mile radius, several of which have tasting rooms and offer a wide selection of wines for sale. Some of the Vineyards and Wineries located nearby are Chalone, Scheid, Paraiso Vineyards, Pisoni Vineyards, Hahn Estates Smith & Hook, San Saba, J.Lohr, Kendall-Jackson, Ventana, Hess Select, Estancia, The Michaud Vineyard, and Graff Family Vineyard.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.7 square miles (4.4 km2), all of it land.
The climate for Greenfield is moderate with average temperatures around 50 degrees in winter and about 70 degrees in summer. High temperatures may reach the low 90's during mid-summer. Most rain falls between October and March, though even then, rainfall amounts are low.
Greenfield is the second most populous city in the Salinas Valley and is the fifth most populous city in Monterey County. In 2006, Greenfield was the fourth fastest growing city in California growing 15.6%, from 13,270 in 2005, to 15,335 in 2006. As of the 2007 California Department of Finance estimate, there were 16,629 people, 2,643 households, and 2,360 families residing in the city. The population density was 9,781.76 people per square mile (3,779.32/km²). There were 2,726 housing units at an average density of 1,606.5/sq mi (619.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 39.65% White, 1.18% Black or African American, 1.19% Native American, 0.77% Asian, 0.15% Pacific Islander, 51.95% from other races, and 5.11% from two or more races. 87.86% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 2,643 households out of which 65.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 70.5% were married couples living together, 13.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 10.7% were non-families. 7.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 4.75 and the average family size was 4.83. In the city the population was spread out with 38.3% under the age of 18, 13.4% from 18 to 24, 30.7% from 25 to 44, 12.5% from 45 to 64, and 5.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 24 years. For every 100 females there were 108.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 112.5 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $37,602, and the median income for a family was $35,520. Males had a median income of $25,759 versus $23,848 for females. The per capita income for the city was $9,226. About 17.1% of families and 21.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.2% of those under age 18 and 11.8% of those age 65 or over.
In recent years, the town has seen a massive influx of immigrants from the Mexican state of Oaxaca. Many Oaxacans speak indigenous languages not related to English or Spanish and as a result, find communication with the large Spanish-speaking and smaller English-speaking population impossible. Probably the largest single block of such immigrants are speakers of the Copala Triqui language, who are fleeing from poverty and an armed conflict in their native region that has been going on for over 20 years. It is estimated that around 3,500 indigenous people live in Greenfield, or about 20% of the population.
The city of Greenfield is centered in once the most productive agricultural areas in the world. 80% of the lettuce grown in the United States is grown in the Salinas Valley. The area has often been coined as the "Salad Bowl of the World". Over $2 billion(US) worth of fruits and vegetables are produced and shipped annually across the U.S. and abroad. As a result many major vegetable producers are headquartered in the nearby city of Salinas. Local tourism is increasing as more people are attracted to the area, which is also known as the center of "Steinbeck Country" because of famed author John Steinbeck. The area is also known as a premier wine grape growing region due to the rich soil and desirable climate. Vineyards, wineries and wine tasting rooms continue to expand throughout the region.