O.C.’s earliest orange groves started here

Photo courtesy of the Irvine Historical Society.

Did you know that James Irvine II dug 44 deep-water wells and laid 30 miles of concrete pipe to irrigate the arid Irvine Ranch for agricultural production? The first orange groves took root in what is now the Village of Northwood more than 100 years ago. The San Joaquin Fruit and Investment Company planted 600 acres of walnuts and apricots, as well as 400 acres of lemons and a new hybrid fruit that the Irvine Ranch would soon popularize – the Valencia orange.