Posted: 19 Mar 2014 05:00 AM PDT
Before the Irvine Ranch was a land development company, it had a long history in which the land was used for grazing and farming. In fact, at one time, the Irvine Ranch covered about a third of Orange County, not just Irvine. James Irvine, who immigrated from Ireland to the U.S. in 1846 and made his money as a merchant in the San Francisco area during the California Gold Rush, bought land with partners from three southern California rancheros and became the sole owner by 1878. By 1910, the Irvine Ranch was considered California’s most productive farm and was its largest producer of beans and barley. By 1930, the ranch's crops included beans, oranges, cauliflower, grapes, barley, and papayas as well as other crops. In the 1940’s, the Irvine Ranch started making its transition from a mostly agricultural endeavor to a mostly land development company.
In honor of Irvine’s rich agricultural past and the upcoming National Ag Week (March 23-29), following is some information on a bit of Irvine land that helps us maintain a connection to our agricultural past. This is Tanaka Farms, which is located in Irvine at 5380 3/4 University Drive 92612.
Here is the description of Tanaka Farm as provide on their webpage:
And here are some ways to enjoy Tanaka Farm and celebrate our agricultural past:
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