Orange Groves on the Eastside Lines

March 7, 2008

All Photos Copyright 2008 by James E. Lancaster

These photos show two different orange groves near Richgrove, CA along the former Southern Pacific Exeter and Richgrove Branches (now a part of the San Joaquin Valley Railroad). 

Photo 1. An orange grove along the Famoso-Porterville Highway, south of Jasmin and a little north of Elmo Highway. The tracks of the SP Exeter Branch once ran where these oranges trees are planted but the rails were removed several years ago. Note how the trees grow very close to the ground.

Photos 2-8 show an orange grove on the south side side of the former Richgrove Branch near Trocha. (The Richgrove Branch, as well as the former Exeter Branch from Richgrove north to Lindsay, CA, are currently posted for abandonment.)

Photo 2. This grove was being picked on the day of the photos. Note the modern ladder and fieldbox.

Photo 3. Fieldboxes are placed along a wider area between rows of trees.

Photo 4. Loaded fieldboxes wait for pickup.
Note the furrows for irrigation.

Photo 5. A worker picks oranges. 

Photo 6. The worker brings a full sack of oranges to a partially filled fieldbox. Note the wind machines.

Photo 7. The full sack is hoisted over the fieldbox.

Photo 8. The bottom of the sack is opened and the oranges fall into the fieldbox. Note the forklift used to place empty fieldboxes and move loaded fieldboxes onto a flatbed trailer. The trees are pruned flat along the side of this road so the forklift can maneuver through the grove.

Last update: 4/5/08