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FRUIT PICKERS WELCOME AT ORCUTT.

Byline: Troy Anderson Staff Writer

The public is invited to pick fruit for $2 a grocery bag full this Saturday at Orcutt Ranch.

``This is a very historic place in the west San Fernando Valley,'' said Tom Leveque, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks. ``It's the last working orchard in the Valley.''

The Orcutt Ranch fruit pick will take place from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the 14-acre orchard, located at 23600 Roscoe Blvd. in West Hills. The cost is $2 per grocery bag or $5 per medium fruit box.

Fruit picking devices can be rented for $1. Members of the public are asked to bring their own bags, boxes and A-frame ladders. All fruit is organically grown.

Only Valencia oranges and white grapefruit will be available for picking. Picking of other fruit or flowers is forbidden.

Various organizations gather the fruit that is not picked and distribute it to food banks and homeless shelters.

Orcutt Ranch was built in 1917 and was the vacation home of William and Mary Orcutt.

William Orcutt, who was the vice president of Union Oil Co., is known as the father of modern geology because he discovered the skeleton of an ancient giant ground sloth at the La Brea Tar Pits, according to a history of the ranch provided by the parks department.

The Orcutts' picturesque, tree-studded, 200-acre estate was known as Rancho Sombre del Roble, which means ``ranch shaded by the oak.'' In 1920, New York architect L.G. Knipe was hired to design the mission-style home on the property.

Some of the famous guests who stayed at Rancho Sombre del Roble included President Hoover.

In 1966, the Orcutt estate was purchased by the city's recreation department and designated as a historical monument. In 1969, the park was opened to the general public.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Aug 20, 1999
Words:308
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