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Like loquats? Thank the Mexican orchard workers who saved them

Santa Ana Register

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At one time, some people thought the lonely loquat might rival oranges in Orange County.

According to a new article in the OC Weekly by Christopher Toland, it didn't work out that way.

Unfortunately for Taft and local farmers, the loquat trend died almost immediately after that Register headline. As the costs of labor, land and water rose, many loquat farmers had to sell their land or stick with oranges. "There was no market for them in commercial quantities and they did not pay," said B.A. Crawford, manager of the Tustin Hill Orange Packing House, to the Register in late 1924. "Without exception, almost all the loquat trees have been taken out and oranges set instead." -- OC Weekly

Toland joined me for a conversation about botanist Charles Parker Taft, the pros and cons of loquats and how orchard workers may have been the salvation for the delicious but delicate fruit. Listen to the audio for much more.