Orange County in California today is probably most known for its famous ‘product’ Disneyland. Looking back into history, the orange fruit was its most famous product and gave the county its name.
The orange, other citrus crops and avocados were crucial to the early economy of the county. Although Orange County is now mainly suburban, many non-profit associations and cities preserve and honor its agricultural heritage.
Last weekend, the city of La Habra held its first Spring Citrus Fair. Chatting with an organizer of the festival, I learnt some interesting facts about the city which I later read at this website: (http://www.orangecounty.net/cities/LaHabra_history.html ):
“This area had a near perfect climate and soil for citrus production, and La Habra fruit became well known… In 1913-14 the large Sunkist packing houses were built. At one time, La Habra Citrus Association controlled more citrus acreage that any other in the state.”
Although the fair was lacking in a display of citrus trees, there were several interesting citrus displays in the garden area. The Master Gardeners Of Orange County, a group of trained volunteers who provide assistance and information about gardening in Orange County, were there to give advice on any aspect of growing citrus.
I spoke to Robert, a very knowledgeable gentleman who gave a lot of information. I grew a small navel orange tree in my backyard about three or four years ago, and I think it’s doing rather well. It produced two fruits last year, which I must say were very good, and it looks set to produce a bigger crop this year.
According to Robert, that is about right as an orange tree takes three to four years to bear fruits. His knowledge of feeding and watering orange trees was also very useful.
Like many people, I love the citrus for its taste and lovely colors. But equally, or maybe more, I love the fresh, uplifting scent that perfumes the air when I slice through a lemon or orange.