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Bountiful Harvest

Articles: Bountiful Harvest

The Bixby family’s peach harvest, ca 1940. Photograph by Llewellyn Bixby

In 2000, Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site was awarded a local grant to restore the orchard designed by Ralph D Cornell in 1931. Once the historic varieties were tracked down and installed, the research on the orchard trees was filed away. So many intriguing stories had surfaced in the research process that it seemed a shame to relegate the files to stygian recesses once more. So, in 2005, the lecture Bountiful Harvest was presented to the public, complete with a tour and fruit tasting. The urge to share these stories with a wider audience persisted, and so the following excerpts are proffered for those who enjoy dipping into the past to see how we got where we are today.
Early European settlers in America found existing civilizations already cultivating food crops, including a number of fruit trees, without the technology applied in Europe or Asia. Those early adventurers, settlers, and pilgrims came prepared to plant the new world with seeds of grain and fruits that they had grown in their homelands.
Dreaming of vast riches, the Spa...

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