Many things! With funding from Farrington Historical Foundation, Arm, and Northrop Grumman, we are working with our partners at UC Master Gardeners of Santa Clara County and the City of San Jose to further invest in the orchard. We have a lot of plans for the future of the orchard and setting it up to be a successful teaching orchard and park feature for years to come!
New irrigation system. We are refining plans for a new, above-ground irrigation system to deliver water within the orchard. The new system will feature bubbler lines and we will be better equipped to address breaks in the lines as we will not need to excavate the soil. We will also be centralizing the irrigation controls (of which there are currently five throughout the orchard) to make management much easier!
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan. With ground squirrel overpopulation and other environmental challenges, we need to set the orchard up for long-term success from the start. With IPM, we can manage these challenges in a systematic and environmentally-friendly manner.
New trees. Our climate is changing and we need to adapt to that change, as any agriculturalist would. We no longer have the cold climate necessary to grow cherries, which require too many “chill hours” to thrive in the orchard any longer. We are looking into types of trees that are naturally more disease-resistant and will thrive in a warmer climate, such as figs, persimmons, and other Mediterranean-type trees. These will provide new talking and teaching points centered on adaptation and climate change.