The Last of the Prune Pickers: A Pre-Silicon Valley Story
by Tim Stanley
Not long before silicon reigned in the Santa Clara Valley of California, the valley was largely covered with orchards. There were orchards of pears, apricots, cherries, walnuts, and the king of them all: prunes. Most of the orchards were part of small family farms, and there were thousands of them. This is the story of what preceded those farms, how they came into being, and how they thrived. It is also the story of one of the last of those farms, of the farmer, and of some of the young boys and girls who had the privilege of working for him.
The book is written in two parts. Part One is a well researched, yet engaging, general history of the area. The emphasis is on agriculture, particularly on the rise and decline of the orchard farms. Incorporated in it are many important pieces of the historical picture that are lacking in most historical accounts. I have tried to present the “how” and “why” behind the events that took place.
Part Two narrows the story down to one farm that was typical of many of the farms. It gives something of the history of that farm and of the people who lived on it and worked it.
In both parts, I have endeavored to present many lesser known matters of importance: the applied physics, chemistry, and life science behind the early industries and farm work, some of the key elements involved in farm practice, and a look into the mindset of a farmer.
Throughout the book, I have also attempted to point out some things of lasting value. I hope you find this refreshing.
239 Pages with 50 photographs, soft cover. Book size is 6 x 9"