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California Orchards
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 California Orchards

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California Orchards

California's orchards are widely scattered, diverse ventures which stretch across the length of the state. From Mendocino and Sonoma in the north down through Tehachapi and into Julian (east of San Diego) in the south, California produces more apple varieties than does any region west of the Rocky Mountains.

 Mariposa apple crate label
The apple growing industry in the state, once booming from the Pajaro Valley near Watsonville up the coast to Sonoma and Mendocino, has been under terrific pressure from development and many of the orchards are now gone. Pockets of growers catering to the retail trade are clustered around the towns of Julian, Oak Glen and Tehachapi in the southern part of the state, and in the Apple Hill region near Placerville in northern California. There are also survivors scattered around the state like Gowan's in Philo, and Noble Orchards in Paradise.

 Paradise apple crate label

More Information

You can read about the challenges for growers in Sonoma in an excellent article by Tim Tesconi, Buying and Developing a Farm

Planning a trip from the Los Angeles area to the beautiful and historic apple orchards around Oak Glen? Read about one family's visits to the area, A Family Outing Suggestion from the Cheyenne.

The story of apple growing in California is as telling and variegated as the modern regional settlement of the state itself.
Read a brief history here

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