Sustainable urban agriculture is the focus of a new project that brings The Huntington back to its historic roots
When Henry Huntington purchased the estate known as the San Marino Ranch in 1903, hundreds of acres were planted with citrus, stone fruits, walnuts, and other commercial crops. Pushing the boundaries of agriculture in the region, Henry Huntington used the ranch
to establish, among other things, what is believed to be the first commercial avocado grove in the state.
In November 2010, The Huntington returned to its agricultural roots with the unveiling of a new project, called—fittingly—the Huntington Ranch. Part outdoor classroom, part demonstration garden, and part research lab, the Ranch
is pushing new boundaries once again: this time on the frontier of sustainable urban agriculture.
is not accessible to daily visitors but will host a broad spectrum of public programs and educational activities. Please visit our Online Calendar
for upcoming Ranch events.
Located on 15 undeveloped acres northwest of the Botanical Center, the Ranch
features a sprawling outdoor station, complete with vegetable garden, that will serve as both an open-air classroom and a demonstration site for innovative ideas. The site also encompasses the surviving orange groves from Mr. Huntington’s day and a new heritage grove of avocados (planted by the California Avocado Society) representing the 32 most significant varieties in the state’s agricultural history.
Also gracing the Ranch
are dozens of fruit trees from the South Central Farm, an urban garden in Los Angeles that closed down in 2006.
Rescued by the Metabolic Studio, a charitable activity of the Annenberg Foundation, the trees were boxed up, trucked to San Marino, and transplanted at The Huntington. A $1.1 million grant from the Metabolic Studio provided the impetus to embark on the Ranch
Scott Kleinrock, project manager for the Ranch
, is a master’s student in landscape architecture at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, who has designed several urban agricultural gardens. He envisions the Ranch
as a community resource that will help bolster L.A.’s capacity to establish a sustainable and equitable food system. Many resources will be made available online.
Programs offered through the Education department will include adult and children’s gardening workshops, training classes for teachers, and symposia for professionals on sustainable urban agriculture.
Additional funding for the Huntington Ranch was provided by the Otis Booth Foundation.