Wild Willow Farm is excited to welcome you to our self-guided tour! Follow the signs around the farm and learn about each landmark along the way. Thank you to local Chula Vista High School students for helping to create content for each QR code!
Benefits of orchards....
Orchards have played an important role in communities for many centuries, providing a focal point, a gathering space, and a place where people and the rest of nature successfully work together to create abundant harvests, providing fresh fruit.
Have you heard of Malus Domestica? There are thousands of variations of the well-known apple with a unique flavor, texture, and history. Unfortunately due to the world’s commercially grown apples, most people only know of four or five varieties. Diversity has greatly diminished, but luckily in recent years, community orchards have helped us to rediscover the benefits of growing fresh fruit of many varieties.
Orchards provide vital green spaces in our cities and towns, where people can interact with nature, enjoying their shade, beauty, and fruit. This is significant because as we urbanize, we are losing access to nature. Some areas of our cities have become ‘no grow zones’ or ‘food deserts’: where fresh, quality fruit and vegetables are hard to find. Sedate lifestyles and poor diets have led to rising rates of diabetes and obesity. Fresh, nutritious fruit and the activity involved in growing and harvesting has to be part of the solution. Orchards invite nature into the urban environment and provide a refuge in which it can flourish; in our schools, housing complexes, and parks improving human well-being and making our cities more pleasant places in which to live.
Another benefit is preventing the heat island effect. Cities experience much warmer temperatures than nearby rural areas. This is especially true in low-income neighborhoods that have fewer trees. Trees can lower surface and air temperatures by providing shade. One tree can provide welcome relief in a hot summer, but when that tree is part of an orchard it has a greater cooling effect. Some studies show that the right amount of tree cover can lower summer daytime temperatures by as much as 10 degrees Fahrenheit!
Trees in the Wild Willow Farm orchard...
Various citrus trees
Stone fruit like peaches and plums