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Early ripened apricots - May 31, 2023
, 21 June, 2023

Aravada Springs Fruit Trees: A Century of Delicious Harvests

Memories From the Past

Imagine a place called Aravada Springs, nestled in a picturesque landscape, where a small ranch became a paradise of mouth-watering fruits over a hundred years ago. Back in 1910, George Luke Whitney, accompanied by his wife, Julia Ann Wardell and young son George Fenton Whitney, embarked on a remarkable journey that would alter the fruit orchard landscape of this remote desert oasis. They purchased the ranch from Bert Nay, who was known for growing delightful strawberries and other delicious fruits. In this blog, we will explore the fascinating legacy of Aravada Springs’ fruit trees and hear stories passed down from George Fenton Whitney himself.

A Sweet Paradise

As George Fenton Whitney recalls, the day he and his father arrived at the ranch was a moment he would never forget. The air was filled with the sweet aroma of ripened strawberries, and a small patch of vibrant red berries lay before them. It felt like stepping into a paradise, a magical place where the senses were awakened by the tantalizing allure of the fruits. The beauty and deliciousness of the strawberries captured their hearts and sparked a vision for the future.

A Dream Takes Root

George Luke Whitney saw the potential in the ranch, envisioning a ranch and fruitful orchard that would flourish as Aravada Springs. With determination and a sense of adventure, he purchased the ranch for $1,500, a significant investment at the time. Fuelled by the desire to bring a variety of delectable fruits to the region, George Luke Whitney ordered a diverse selection of fruit trees all the way from California. The trees were carefully packed and transported by train, making their way across the country to their new home at Aravada Springs.

Fruit Tree Blossoms

Fruit Tree Blossoms

The Orchards Blossom

The arrival of the fruit trees marked the beginning of an exciting transformation for Aravada Springs. Peach trees, apricot trees, and others were planted with care and nurtured with love. The rich, fertile soil of the region, combined with the favorable climate, provided an ideal environment for the trees to grow and thrive. With each passing season, the orchard blossomed, producing abundant harvests of juicy and flavorful fruits.

A Bounty for Locals and Miners

News of the bountiful fruits of Aravada Springs spread, reaching nearby towns and attracting attention from local residents and miners alike. The towns of St. Thomas, Gold Butte Mines, and Grand Gulch Mines, populated by hardworking individuals seeking respite from their demanding lives, found solace and delight in the succulent fruits that adorned the remote desert oasis. The orchard at Aravada Springs became a sanctuary of flavors, providing a much-needed escape and a taste of nature’s sweetness for those who toiled in the nearby mines.

Peach cans with labels recovered during ranch restoration

Peach Cans With Labels Recovered During Ranch Restoration

Preserving the Memories and Flavors

While George Luke Whitney dedicated himself to tending and nurturing the orchard, the responsibility of preserving its abundant harvest fell upon the capable hands of his mother, Julia Ann Wardell. George Fenton Whitney vividly recalls his mother’s unwavering commitment to transforming the fruits into delicious jams, jellies, and preserves. Late into the night, or sometimes until the break of dawn, she would diligently peel the fruits, meticulously removing stems from strawberries and gooseberries. Her tireless efforts ensured that the flavors of Aravada Springs’ fruits would be savored long after the harvest season had passed.

Doe hiding in fig tree

Doe hiding in fig tree

The Enduring Fig Tree

Among the fruit trees that arrived on the train from California was a remarkable fig tree. Planted in the fertile soil of Aravada Springs, this fig tree has stood the test of time and continues to flourish, producing delicious figs for over a hundred and ten years. Its presence is a testament to the enduring legacy of the orchard and serves as a living connection to the past, bridging generations and preserving the flavors that have brought joy to countless palates.

Today it’s not uncommon to see fawns nestled in its undergrowth and tended by their caring doe.

Come and Savor

Aravada Springs warmly invites visitors to experience the vibrant heritage of its fruit trees. Step into a world where the air is perfumed with the scent of ripe peaches, apricots, and other luscious fruits. Take a leisurely stroll among the orchard’s branches, heavy with nature’s bounty, and savor the flavors that have delighted generations. Aravada Springs welcomes all to taste the fruits, experience the nostalgia, and carry a piece of this remarkable place back home.

Plan a stop at Aravada Springs campground in Gold Butte National Monument

In conclusion, the fruit trees of Aravada Springs have stood tall for over a century, bringing joy and deliciousness to the region. Through the stories shared by George Fenton Whitney, we gain a deeper appreciation for the hard work, dedication, and love that went into cultivating and preserving these fruits.

Aravada Springs invites everyone, young and old, to be a part of its rich tradition, to taste the fruits that have captivated hearts for generations, and to be transported to a time when nature’s bounty nourished both body and soul. So come, taste the fruits, and let the flavors of Aravada Springs ignite your senses and create lasting memories.

Book a stay at Aravada Springs campground for your next vacation. We would love to see you.


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