Historic orchard aims for growth with inaugural market event

It’s safe to say that after 100 years of successful harvesting in Rialto Adam’s Acres is deeply rooted in the community. In fact, it’s the last remaining orange grove in the city.

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The historic orchard has been sprouting seeds since 1907 and on Sunday, the century-old grove finally held it’s opening celebration with a first-ever market day and grounds tour.

“It’s a grand opening of sorts,” said John Adams, the grove’s third generation citrus farmer.

“It’s about time, don’t you think?”

The inaugural French Market Day was open to the public and offered guests a tour of the 10-acre grove and a chance to sample and pick from a variety of fruits and vegetables growing on the grounds.

“This is probably the best orange I’ve ever tasted,” said Gregory Shelby, who visited the grove with a group of classmates from a nearby college. “This is the sweetest and ultimate farm-to-table experience you can get.”

While the orchard has been planted on the same acreage where Adams’ grandfather first harvested from in the 1900’s, the lot seems to be one of the area’s best kept secrets.

John Adams, owner and operator of Adam's Acres, Rialto's last orange grove.

John Adams, owner and operator of Adam’s Acres, Rialto’s last orange grove.

A secret Adams and those like Linda Redsar, one of a handful of people who help maintain the grove, hope to unveil.

“Sure, I have some people honking outside at 5:30 a.m.,” Adams said. “But there are still plenty out there that have no idea this place exists,” Redsar added.

Redsar, who spent most of Sunday afternoon walking through the orchard picking ripe fruits with volunteer, Autumn Vonhundley, helps Adams run booths at area farmers markets where certified produce from Adam’s Acres is available, including those in Rialto, Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton, the Mission Inn and Highland.

“It’s amazing how much is growing here,” said Autumn, a student at Eisenhower High School. She said she chooses to volunteer at the orchard because she’s constantly learning about sustainability and healthier eating habits.

“I think more younger people should come out here to get away from technology and learn more about agriculture and the city’s history.”
The open house-type event, Adam’s says, will hopefully mark a new beginning for Adam’s Acres.

“It’s only right we continuing growing,” he said.

More than 200 varieties of plants including collard greens, asparagus, various types of squash and rare breeds of vegetables and unique fruits are available at the grove. A produce stand offering picks of the day is also available on the lot, which is between Merrill and Randall along Cactus Avenue.

For more information, call Adams at 909-875-3776 or visit the orachard at 652 S. Cactus Avenue.

 

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