January 2003 – Current
Portola Valley, CA
The Chan Family Orchard
Twenty five years ago my grandparents planted first year whips and garden boxes in their backyard. They planted sixteen fruit trees: 1 fig tree, 1 fuyu persimmon tree, 1 jicama persimmon tree, 1 asain pear tree, 1 red delicious apple tree, 2 granny smith apple trees, 2 fuji apple trees, 2 golden delicious apple trees, 1 pomegranate bush, and 3 bartlett pear trees. In their one and half acre plot, the fruit trees are now approaching their twenty fifth year! The trees are trained in various forms: open center, central leader, modified open center, and modified central leader. My grandparents, in their infinite wisdom wisely choose dwarf root stocks for their whips to reduce injury, height of the tree, and liability on the orchard!
My Work in the Chan Family Orchard
My passion for farming, specifically fruit trees, is rooted in playing in my grandparent’s orchard growing up! Since I was eight years old I was hanging off the fig tree, picking asain pears and fuji apples in the fall, and climbing to the tippy top of the persimmon to beat the birds for the most ripe persimmon. At UCSC I have been given the invaluable experience to work with fruit trees and vegetables at the Chadwick gardens and UCSC farm in many capacities. I have been given the start of my formal training on proper sustainable biodiverse fruit tree training and pruning in the winer. I have learned the basic horticulturist jargon and fruit tree training skills. With the basic knowledge I know I now manage my grandparents orchard. I contact determine when harvest is for each fruit, prune a majority of the trees, and maintain the soil below the trees. Since I don’t know all the knowledge about orchard care and maintenance I use help from my mentor at Pie Ranch, Sam Lipschultz, and consult the resources that Orin Martin from Chadwick garden has provided me! With the help of the contact I have made the Chan Family Orchard is thriving!
Where ever I end up settling down, I plan on having an pome and stone fruit orchard in some capacity!