The Festival is sold out!
Tips for the tours:
- Allow a minimum of one hour to travel between the different regions of the county when selecting which locations to visit. It may not be an issue during the FOF, but traffic can be a real problem, and the regions are quite spread out. You will want to avoid travel between regions within a morning or an afternoon.
- Each tour has a specific start time. Make sure you allow time to get to your destination.
Note on traffic: Freeway travel can be especially bad during commute times on weekdays. That means between 7 and 10 am, and then in the afternoons from about 3:00 to 7:30 pm. You will receive the addresses of the tour locations in your registration packet, and we recommend using a GPS, Google Maps, or Waze to determine the best route on the actual day.
On Saturday and Sunday, freeway traffic may be heavy between San Jose and Gilroy due to the annual Gilroy Garlic Festival. The majority of traffic will be heading south in the morning, and then north again in the afternoon around 4:00. Monterey Highway can be used as an alternative to Highway 101.
The Imbach, Lalikos, and Marini homes are 3 relatively small suburban lots very close to one another. Come and wander! The three households all practice intensive food production in their gardens with high density plantings and extensive grafting. They utilize a variety of strategies to take advantage of what is available and to improve yields. Included are chickens, greenhouses, and a self-dug well for irrigation. You will find a variety of fruiting plants from avocados and bananas to more common apples, figs and citrus.
Planting has moved out into street-side areas, and the median of the street, with guerrilla grafting.
|Imbach Home||Eudaimonia Ranch is a tiny, urban, somewhat chaotic, and utterly overfilled place, composed of an eclectic cottage filled with friendly beasts, hemmed in by postage stamp gardens, outdoor rooms, a workshop, and a greenhouse. |
The intensively planted vegetable garden, chickens lair, and thicket of fruit trees hide the house from the street. Wandering back through the neglected greenhouse is first an old Healey then a coffee roasting station, grafting benches, and finally fruiting bananas, a chaos of orchids, small pots of seedlings, and an ancient cedar soaking tub to heat it all. The greenhouse opens at the back to still more fruit trees, an outdoor kitchen with pizza oven, and awnings over outdoor sofas on which to while away the afternoons while watching the bees flit their ways through the flowers.
|North, Redwood City||Sunday 9–12, 1–5|
|Lalikos Home||Many fruit trees and grafted varieties as well as an intensively gardened bed system with a large chicken space under the trees in back.||North, Redwood City||Sunday 9–12, 1–5|
|Marini Home||This is a self-guided tour showcasing high density fruit tree plantings, use of urban micro-climates, etc. Total lot/garden size is 4200 sq ft.||North, Redwood City||Sunday 9–12, 1–5|
|Emma Prusch Park||The land was a dairy farm until the mid-1960s when Emma Prusch, born (1876) and raised on and eventually running the dairy farm, passed away and left the farm to the City of San Jose to be used as an agriculturally-themed park. To that end the City Parks Department has lived up to the terms and the very large 4-H barn houses farm animals belonging to the 4-H kids. An array of birds from chickens to peahens roam the Prusch Park grounds. Vegetables and fruits grow in various gardens and orchards. |
Along about the mid-1980s two members of the Santa Clara Valley Chapter (SCVC) of the CRFG worked with park staff to occupy some four acres and put in an orchard consisting of older varieties of fruit trees no longer commercially viable, but still very fine quality fruits not found in the local chain grocery stores. And thus was born the Heritage Orchard.
In the intervening years three more orchards have been planted—the Citrus, the International, and the High-Density—which are overseen by the Master Gardeners. Two Community Garden plots were already in operation by this time, so all that was needed was vegetables. And Veggielution was the last to be developed as a Community Project Resource in 2008.
The Heritage Orchard from the beginning consisted of grapes, figs, and stone fruits (apricots, European and Asian plums, plumcots (early versions of pluots), cherries, peaches, & nectarines) a small nursery area, and a shed in which to store tools. Over the years Pierce's Disease wiped out the grapes, and the shed and the irrigation systems have suffered at the hands of misuse and abuse. Over the years some of trees have had to be replaced, replanted, renewed in one form or another, though many still survive from the original planting and many more have homes throughout northern California by dint of being grafted in back yards. A couple of pomegranates can now be found, more trees grafted in multiple varieties, and some new modern varieties not usually found in a heritage orchard.
The Heritage Orchard has always been entirely open to the public and most of the fruits that are produced are utilized by the local visitors (even if they are not fully tree-ripe at the time), while the chickens clean up any fruits that hit the deck.
The SCVC has utilized the fruit tree varieties mainly as a source of scion wood material for the benefit of CRFG Members and the general public that attend one of the five CRFG Chapter Scion Exchanges in the Bay Area of northern California in January of each year. A Chapter-Communal scion-prep-work-party is held on the first Saturday in Jan. to cut, label, bag, and distribute the scion material collected from the Heritage Orchard, and many other locations throughout the Bay Area, and each of the five Chapters in the Bay Area take home four to five large, heavy bags of bagged scions ready for their own Scion Exchange.
While the Heritage Orchard and the CRFG involvement at Prusch Park has had its ups and downs over the years, overall it has proved a great resource to the public and CRFG grafters and has contributed to fulfilling the wishes of Emma Prusch and her very generous gift to the citizenry of San Jose.
|Central, San ose||647 King Rd.|
San Jose, CA 95116