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npsparkclp: Restoring California’s Legacy: The Orchards of...
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Levi Tower displays a branch laden with peaches, n.d. (NPS/Whiskeytown NRA, from the IOMP).

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Historic apple tree in the Tenant House Orchard at the Tower House Historic District (NPS).

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The same historic fruit tree after careful pruning by NPS orchardist Laurie Thompson (NPS).

npsparkclp:

Restoring California’s Legacy: The Orchards of Tower HouseHistoric District

Shasta County, California

Theorchards of Tower House Historic District (THHD), part of the WhiskeytownNational Recreation Area, contain a variety of fruits and nuts which includeapple, cherry, cherry plum, crabapple, grape, pear, persimmon, quince, andwalnut. The assortment of fruit and nut trees planted throughout the orchardsrepresent the surviving cultural landscape of Whiskeytown’s pioneer past.

The orchards’ wide spacing and geometry of treelayout illustrates the nation’s transition from the “golden age of pomology”(1880-1880) to the “industrial revolution” of agriculture (1880-1945).Surviving orchards offer a repository of historic varieties planted by Levi Tower and Charles Camden.


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Open bowl pruning style in the French Gulch Field (1880-1945) (NPS/Whiskeytown NRA).


By the mid-1800s, American pioneers on the West Coast were cultivating fruit, both in family farm orchards and at a commercial level. Often, California orchards during this period were established using stock from early Missions, scionwood carried from the East Coast, and from trees provided by Pacific Northwest nurseries.

The orchards, first developed by Levi Tower and later by Charles Camden, illustrate a transitional period in fruit culture in the West.  Located within four orchard areas at the THHD, including the Back Field, French Gulch Field, Tenant House, and Camden House Yard, these orchards represent California’s long and continuing agricultural tradition.


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Historic drawing of the Tower House with surrounding orchards (NPS/Whiskeytown NRA). 


A Plan for Orchard Management

Admiredfor their beauty and historic significance as the showplace of the TowerHotel during the mid-1800s, many of the fruit trees have recently been assessed as in poor condition. In light of this, the National Park Service has published a new2016 interim orchard management plan that seeks to stabilize and preserve the four remainingorchards within THHD.  

 The Tower House Historic District Interim Orchard Management Plan was developed by a project team with members from the Park Cultural Landscapes Program, Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, and other consultants.



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Pruning techniques used to rehabilitate historic fruit trees (NPS/Interim Orchard Management Plan). 


Recommended treatment of the orchards and associated fruit trees includes enhancedirrigation, fertilizing, and pruning, among other interventions. The park is striving to maintain existing historic trees associatedwith the district and rehabilitate representative areas, supportingthe park’s effort to depict the character of the cultural landscape as isappeared during the period of significance. 

Visitors to the park also may have theopportunity to participate in public events, such as Whiskeytown’s Annual Harvest Festival, which was most recently held September 17, 2016.

  • Plan your own visit at the Whiskeytown National Recreation Area park website


Learn more about the Tower House Historic District and the Orchard Management Plan:


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Grace Richards, daughter of Charles Camden, among apple trees, ca. 1902. She assumed ownership of the property after his death in 1912 (NPS/Whiskeytown NRA, from the IOMP). 


So, where’s the Camden House Historic District?

Identified as the Camden House Historic District in the Cultural Landscape Inventory, the area is listed as the Tower House Historic District in the National Register of Historic Places. After Levi Tower’s death in 1865, the fruit and nut trees on the property were maintained by Charles Camden and his family. 

You can discover more about the orchards and landscape history in the Camden House Historic District Cultural Landscape Inventory above.


pbsdigitalstudios: goodstuffshow: Craig tests his beer...
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pbsdigitalstudios:

goodstuffshow:

Craig tests his beer drinking chops with the guy who LITERALLY wrote the book on expert beer tasting.

Wanna know more about being an expert beer drinker? Check out the Cicerone Certification Program!

Just wanna drink some good beer? Check out Revolution Brewery!

Our Summer season begins!

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It’s National Drink Beer Day. I mean, just so you know.

Both Hillary Clinton & Donald Trump have spent decades in...
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Both Hillary Clinton & Donald Trump have spent decades in the public eye, fighting battles and undergoing personal and political transformations. Hillary Clinton has gone from an idealistic college student to a battle-hardened politician. Donald Trump was born into wealth and became a flamboyant businessman and reality television celebrity.

Explore some of the moments that helped shape Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in THE CHOICE, tonight at 9/8c on FRONTLINE

npr: skunkbear: Creepy or adorable? Researchers at Harvard...
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Video Credit: Harvard SEAS

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Video Credit: Harvard SEAS

npr:

skunkbear:

Creepy or adorable? Researchers at Harvard University have demonstrated the first autonomous, untethered, entirely soft robot: the octobot.

Instead of being controlled by electronics, the robot’s logic board is powered by chemical reactions and fluid passing along tiny channels. Scientist have struggled to create completely soft robots because rigid components like circuit boards, power sources and electronic controls are difficult to replace.  

Learn more about the octobot and soft robotics here and see the full study published in Nature here.

Videos Credit: Harvard SEAS/Image Credit Lori Sanders

I’d say this octobot is creepily adorable or adorably creepy. -Emily

smithsoniantranscriptioncenter: Join us tomorrow for a...
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smithsoniantranscriptioncenter:

Join us tomorrow for a Facebook Live event with Smithsonian Institution Archives as we learn from historian Pam Henson about the gems of the Smithsonian’s Curators Reports!

Join us Wednesday, September 28 for this Facebook Live event reflecting on 80 years of the Smithsonian’s history! The Annual Curators Reports document the major developments at the Smithsonian and include such fascinating moments as the acquisition of the Hope Diamond, the start of the National Air and Space Museum, and the beginning pieces of the Smithsonian’s art collection!

Tune in at 2:30 p.m. (UTC-4) to hear from the Smithsonian’s historian, Pam Henson, then you can join us to help transcribe more reports!

This company raised minimum wage to $70,000 — and it helped business
In 2015, Gravity Payments CEO Dan Price announced he would raise the company’s minimum wage to $70,000 a year by 2017 and slash his own compensation by more than 90 percent. More than a year later, Price reports the company's revenue and clientele has grown substantially, despite critics' predictions that the move would be bad for business. NewsHour Weekend Special Correspondent John Larson reports.
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