UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA
University of California
UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA

Emma Prusch Farm Park Gardens

Emma Prusch Farm Park includes heritage, high density, and rare fruit orchards, a Plant Science Center, two community gardens, pollinator and butterfly gardens, as well as acres of lush green lawns for picnics and playing.

Address: 647 South King Road, San Jose 95116, near the intersections of Highways 101 and 280/680 (View Map)

Directions: The Master Gardeners have multiple presences see below.

Visiting hours: The Native Garden Wheel and Orchards are open to the public when the Park is open.

Native Garden Wheel

Native Garden Wheel
Native Garden Wheel
The Native Garden Wheel shows visitors to the park how they can include colorful, low-maintenance and drought-tolerant California native plants to their own gardens at home.  Signs placed throughout the 3 planting beds indicate which of these plants attract butterflies, birds, bees, or beneficial insects, and the garden also demonstrates what the plants may look like in various seasons of the year.  Since the garden is located directly in front of the Prusch Farm House--a common meeting and gathering place, children on field trips with their parents and teachers, as well as casual visitors to the park have an opportunity to ask questions or learn the names of plants which they might like to try at home.  They will also learn that these plants can be counted on to do well in our area without the use of much water or fertilizer, or the need to spray for pests and diseases.  The plot was designed and is regularly maintained about twice a month on Tuesdays by volunteers from the UC Master Gardeners of Santa Clara County.

 High Density Fruit Orchard

Apple blossoms
Apple blossoms
Originally planted in the mid-1990s the Prusch Farm High Density Fruit Orchard provides a public demonstration of fruit tree gardening, showing local gardeners how to maintain reasonably sized trees and how several varieties can be grown in a small garden space by planting several trees in one planting hole.

The orchard consists of 85 trees with over 50 known varieties (some trees are unmarked). Types of trees are primarily apple (almost 70%), pear and quince. The trees have purposely been maintained at a height that does not require a ladder for pruning or picking fruit. By selecting trees that bear fruit at different times, and planting two, three, and even four trees together, you can harvest fruit throughout the summer.

Volunteers are on-site for maintenance on the occasional Saturday morning, most regularly in Jan–Feb during winter pruning.

 International Rare Fruit Orchard

International Rare Fruit Orchard sign
International Rare Fruit Orchard sign
The California Rare Fruit Growers (CRFG) originally planted this eclectic variety of rare fruits and trees from around the world in the early 1980s.  The orchard includes over 125 rare and exotic fruit trees, including citrus and other sub-tropicals. The recent installation of signage, funded through a grant from the Elvenia J. Slosson Endowment Fund provides a detailed explanation of the orchard. The grant also funded new tree and pruning costs. Master Gardeners work with the Rare Fruit Growers to maintain the orchard and replant as needed. During even numbered months, CRFG meetings are held in the Park’s meeting room.

Pathway through the international fruit orchard
Pathway through the international fruit orchard

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