One of the really great things that I love about the west coast is the completely blase nature of fruit trees and how incredibly available they are. So of course, John Muir National Historic Site has a historic orchard or two, and I just cant help myself from sharing all the really cool fruits that grow here.
One of the most prominent, but also weirder fruits at the park is the quince. A whitish orange, fuzzy fruit that supposedly leaves your mouth very dry and can only really be eaten as a jam. Supposedly the quince is a very old fruit, talked about in ancient Greece, eaten by Adam and Eve, and was used as the original marmalade.
Another peculiar plant that I hadn’t heard of until I arrived at this park is the loquat. It’s relatively small, slightly larger than a grape, and has a very interesting skin. While it isn’t my favorite to eat I’m glad that I got the chance to discover it.
A really cool and gorgeous plant at the park is the pomegranate. I really love the crazy amount of flowers that this shrub produces, unfortunately it rarely get any fruits, even so, everyone loves taking pictures of the flowers as they walk by. Though I am hopeful for at least one fruit considering the amount of rain this area got this year.
A group of trees that produce an incredible amount of fruit are the lemon trees. These were especially interesting because they look nothing like the perfect fruit that you find at the grocery store, yet they taste the same, even better! I especially had a great time trying to harvest a bunch of these, it was still amazing to see how many were left after I was done.
Another group of trees that I spent a lot of time admiring were the olive trees. They’re super gorgeous and have a spectacular form and flow to them. They were super fun to prune and I cant wait to see what they look like when they fruit and flower.
I had a lot of fun learning about the almond trees because I had never realized how almonds came to be. I had just always assumed that they appeared in cans and were sold from there. Getting to open up their little pods and see their origin was very interesting.
One plant at Eugene O’Neil that is very distinct in the cherry tree. It has these brilliant red leaves that you can see from afar, and the fruit almost blends in with them. This is another plant that produces a massive amount of delicious fruit.
Now on to a plant that I had already talked about before and slightly hate aesthetically, the grape. This neat little vine is basically invincible and super fun to prune. It fruits in late fall, though the fruit isn’t said to be the best tasting and is really only good for wine.
One fruit tree that I’m really excited to try is the fig tree. I’ve heard that it has a very unique and distinct taste and I’ve patiently waiting for them to ripen. Not only that, they have a very interesting leaf and from, and are super hardy.
The plums at John Muir and Eugene O’Neil are exceptionally good, and are, again, another big producer of fruit. The orchard at John Muir is impeccable in it’s form, shape, and fruit, and are is one of my favorite plants to admire. They barely need any pruning and I definitely want a grove of my own some day.
Apples at John Muir are definitely underwhelming. In general apple trees aren’t much to look at, and I’m very sure the majority of people don’t even know that they exist at the park. The one pictures here is quite older than some other trees that are tucked away and underappreciated. Even so, I love all the plants at the park including this one.
Peaches are also another fruit that you can find at the park, and they’re another fruit that looks totally different than what you would’ve imagined them to be like. They’re very similar to an almond with that fuzzy outside skin. One thing that unfortunately happens to these peaches though, is that they get this disease called peach leaf curl ,and while the tree still produces viable fruit, any kind of disease is bad.
The oranges at John Muir are another plant that I think doesn’t get as much attention as it deserves. It doesn’t look the prettiest, and doesn’t produce much fruit, but it’s still important and still has merit in it’s position at this national historic site.
Apricots are another awesome fruit tree that you can find at John Muir. I haven’t had much contact with these trees, but they do need a considerable amount of work done on them and I can’t wait to get up and started.
The pear trees at the park are pretty new, and need a bit of maintenance to keep them from going into decline. Of course, as with every other plant, I will be so thrilled when I’m finally able to try them. You can see the little baby fruits growing on them now and I swear I can notice the difference in size when I walk past them every morning.
Finally the strawberry tree. In all honesty I don’t know much about this tree. I happened upon it once, and was told that it does produce edible fruit, though they’re nothing like a strawberry and ripen in early winter. Despite that, it’s quite fascinating and I hope to learn more about it as the summer progresses.
Thanks so much for reading about me raving about all the plants you can find at John Muir and Eugene O’Neil National Historic Sites.