If you've been eagerly awaiting a chance to explore the Ranch, The Huntington's new sustainable urban agriculture site, wait no more. Starting Saturday, May 28, we'll be offering a monthly open house to allow visitors an opportunity to tour the Ranch, see examples of ecological gardening methods, and talk to the staff who run the project. You can even take home some great ideas for your own garden.
Located on 15 acres northwest of the Botanical Center, the Ranch is part outdoor classroom, part demonstration garden, and part research lab—complete with row crops and fruit orchards. It's not typically accessible to daily visitors but hosts a wide range of programs for adults, children, teachers, students, horticulturists, and other professionals.
"The Ranch is the foundation for a new, exciting era at The Huntington," said Kitty Connolly, associate director of education. "Monthly visits to the site will allow people to keep tabs on our progress, ask questions, and learn about upcoming programs."
In a nod to the institution's agricultural roots, the site encompasses the surviving orange groves from Mr. Huntington's day and a new heritage grove of avocados representing the 33 most significant varieties in the state's agricultural history. Also gracing the Ranch are dozens of fruit trees from the South Central Farm, an urban garden in Los Angeles that was closed in 2006. Learn more about the project's back-story in the spring/summer 2009 issue of Huntington Frontiers.
Open houses on the Ranch will be offered on the fourth Saturday of every month from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. If you can't make this weekend's event, mark your calendar for June 25, July 23, or Aug. 27. Entry is included with Huntington admission. No reservations are required. To find the site: From the Teaching Greenhouse (next to the Children's Garden), follow the signs along a paved path. Be sure to also visit the Huntington Ranch Blog.
Lisa Blackburn is communications coordinator at The Huntington.