Saratoga and Los Gatos prune orchards – a piece of living history

Prune Orchard in Saratoga, CASilicon Valley living history

When you think of prunes, you probably don’t stop to think about Saratoga’s history. Yet you may well know that Santa Clara County was once the prune capital of the world.  And Santa Clara County’s prune epicenter was Saratoga.

My parents moved around a few times, and their last home, just off Sobey Road in Saratoga, was on 1.5 acres of prune and walnut land.  (I have a vivid recollection of the malathion spraying and trimming needed on all those trees with the medfly invasion.)  We loved the prunes and walnuts but never associated them with anything significant.  However, these orchards, which we all know are shrinking, are a piece of our collective “living history” in the Valley of Heart’s Delight…now known as Silicon Valley.

Hume Ranch - Los Gatos / Saratoga 1907