“It has often been said that if the Gravenstein could be had throughout the year, no other apple need be grown.” – Luther Burbank
Born in 1849 and inspired by Charles Darwin, Luther Burbank introduced over 800 new varieties of fruits, flowers, vegetables, and grains over his 55-year career. He is responsible for developing many of the plums and prunes still grown today in California, the ancestor of the Idaho Potato, the Shasta Daisy, Plumcot, Thornless Blackberry, the Spineless Cactus, and, of course, ten different varietals of apples.
What was his goal? Burbank wanted to increase the world’s food supply by manipulating the biological characteristics of plants. He believed that better plants could be developed through natural selection, as well as new varietals through crossbreeding and hybridization.
As a young adult, Burbank moved to Santa Rosa, California to be near his brothers. In 1885, he purchased a 15-acre tract of land in Sebastopol, called the Gold Ridge Experiment Farm, only five miles from North Coast Organic. His nursery garden, greenhouse, and experimental farms soon became famous throughout the world. We see the results of his work every day in the bountiful apple orchards surrounding our processing facility.
How Burbank worked his magic
Burbank produced new varietals of apples and other fruits by crossing different foreign and native plant strains. He grafted seedlings onto fully developed plants to create his desired hybrid characteristics. Burbank carried out his plant hybridization on a huge scale. At any point in time, he maintained as many as 3,000 experiments involving millions of plants.
Honoring his legacy
When Burbank died in 1926, he was buried under the Cedar of Lebanon in his front yard. The Luther Burbank Home & Gardens, located in downtown Santa Rosa, has been named as a Registered National, State, City and Horticultural Historic Landmark.
In California, Arbor Day is celebrated on March 7th, in honor of Luther Burbank’s birthday. Santa Rosa’s annual Rose Parade celebrates Burbank’s memory and showcases the people and talents of the community. If you are in town on Saturday, May 20th, 2017, please stop by the North Coast Organic booth to say hi and learn more about what we have to offer.
Where to learn more
If you want to learn more about the life and work of Luther Burbank, we recommend two wonderful locations:
The Luther Burbank Home & Gardens, located in Santa Rosa, CA is where Luther Burbank, lived and experimented with plants for most of his career.
The Luther Burbank Gold Ridge Experiment Farm in Sebastopol, CA is where Luther Burbank introduced over 800 varieties of fruits, flowers, vegetables, and grains.
North Coast Organic apple products are made in Sebastopol, CA from U.S. grown certified organic apples. They contain no added sugars, preservatives, colorings or flavorings.