Gold Ridge Farm Tour: The Present

This is the beginning of the tour. These pages cover Spots 1-8.
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Walnut Trees

Here we are at Spots 1 and 2 on the official tour. #1 is on the left, an enormous Black Walnut. On the right, and a bit hard to distinguish, is a Paradox Walnut. In creating the Paradox( the name means "a puzzle"), Luther Burbank was trying to create a hardwood tree that grew rapidly. Hardwood is used for high quality furniture, but hardwood trees grow slowly. Alas, although the Paradox grew quickly, and its wood was prized, it had a tendency to eventually dry out and crack. The Paradox walnut does not produce many nuts, but its leaves can be up to 3 feet long!

Shady Picnic Area

Moving past these trees a bit, if you look carefully, you can see a shady picnic spot under these two trees. The cottage is to the left of the trees.

Chinese Chestnut Hybrid

To the direct right of the Paradox walnut is another very large tree, a Chinese Chestnut hybrid. This is Spot #4. Mr. Burbank worked for many years with chestnut trees, trying to create a disease-free species. A terrible chestnut fungus had destroyed chestnut trees in the East and Midwest. Mr. Burbank thought chestnuts were a good food and hoped that this work would eventually lead to chestnut orchards everywhere. This didn't happen, but this particular tree produces an enormous amount of chestnuts each season.


Okay, okay, a slight bending of the virtual tour "rules;" this photo was taken in the Fall. It shows a chestnut bur opening to reveal the flat nuts inside.

Grape Arbor

Continuing to the right, we pass the three large trees, heading away from the cottage and arrive at Spot #4. This is a grape arbor, with white seedless table grapes. Mr. Burbank did several experiments trying to improve table(for eating only) grapes. He did some of his work with his neighbor in Glen Ellen, Jack London!

The Barn

This barn isn't an official stop on the tour, but it is still worth checking out. It was completed very recently and is modeled after the original barn that was on the farm. It was built by members of the Western Sonoma County Historical Society. At this point, it is used for storage.

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To see a list of some of Mr. Burbank's Famous Plant creations, click here.