Best of LA, August 2005
Before all the tract houses, there were oranges, millions of oranges. At the end of the 19th century, the San Gabriel Valley was booming with agriculture. Citrus fields stretched from the Los Angeles River to Riverside and beyond. The tiny foothill town of Sierra Madre always charms us with its historic village atmosphere and annual Wisteria Festival, but it’s that last remaining orange grove, the one E. Waldo Ward planted in 1891, that really warms our hearts and makes history come alive. Jeff Ward cultivates the nearly three acres left of his great-grandfather’s groves, producing a line of gourmet jams, jellies, and preserves. He also offers tasty relishes, marinades, and olives. Sample some marmalade, take a tour, and pine for a carriage ride home.