Orchardist Memorial

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Mar 19, 2023

11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Los Altos Library
13 S San Antonio Rd, 94022
Los Altos,, CA 94022

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Event Details

Orchardist Memorial

Join us to plant a memorial Blenheim apricot tree and share memories of Phil Doetsch, orchardist for the Los Altos Heritage Orchard. Phil cared for the landmark apricot orchard from 2014 through 2022. We will gather in the Orchard Room at the Los Altos Library at 11am and conclude with the tree planting in the adjacent orchard in the Los Altos Civic Center. All are welcome.

Phil tended the beloved, 120-year-old orchard as if it were a relative. Blending the old and the new, he continued the techniques of his predecessor and mentor, D. Speciale, while advocating the move to water-wise drip irrigation techniques. Together, their orchard stewardship fulfilled the vision of J. Gilbert Smith, who planted the orchard in 1901 and asked the city to maintain it in perpetuity as a productive remnant of early apricot orcharding for future generations.

Sharing childhood memories of his family farm in Cupertino, Phil delighted young and old during orchard walks. He was happiest when driving his tractor among the trees, and kept alive stories of our agricultural heritage in the Valley of Hearts Delight.

For more on Phil’s stewardship of the orchard, view Los Altos Town Crier article by Robin Chapman.

Video Tribute

Remembering Phil Doetsch, Orchardist, Los Altos Heritage Orchard