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Our mission: "To preserve, acquire, restore and manage the Old Orange Orchard located in Santa Ana, California, as an historic, cultural, agricultural, and educational resource for all."
The Sexlinger orange orchard and family farm house, located at 1584 E. Santa Clara Avenue in Santa Ana, California, is the last intact example of our city's and county's rich agricultural tradition extending from the 1870's through the 1960's. There are 230 Valencia orange trees and a modest Craftsman bungalow located on this five-acre parcel that had been owned, occupied, operated by the Sexlinger family from 1913 until the last family member died in 2006. In addition, since George Sexlinger's death in 1929, this family orchard was operated by the women of the family, Sophia, Esther and Martha for the next 75 years.
We are working on several fronts to preserve the Sexlinger orchard. The Santa Ana City Council placed this unique property on our City's Register of Historical Properties. We are now pursuing efforts to purchase the property from the current owners. Once purchased, we envision this hisotric site as a rare example of a small-scale citrus operation that was once so common in Orange County. This site will preserve and promote the important role of the small-scale citrus grower (and large growers as well, as there is so little of this piece of our history that remains) in the industry that was once so vital to Orange County's ecomony. In addition to a productive citrus orchard where the community can engage in its operation, we plan to create educational exhibits about the area's agricultural history and teach and encourage sustainable food practices through exhibition and community gardens. This working farm, within the urban setting of Santa Ana, will be available for ALL to participate in and enjoy.
We look forward to working with others who are interested in preserving history, promoting sustainability, creating healthy lifestyles, and building communty. Join us today!
- Jeannie Gillett
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