Orchard Day ‘leafs’ an impression on the community


Kadelyn Tsuboi

Guests admire the mesmerizing orchard, while drinking freshly made cider.

The crisp smell of apple cider and the humble, vibrant scenery of autumn welcome families to the orchards of FiloliVisitors enjoy the beautiful surroundings around them while having the chance to learn about the history of Filoli’s orchards.

As fall rolls around, Filoli hosts Gentleman’s Orchard Day, which is open to visitors to explore the road land of Filoli, admire the growth of fruit orchards, and visit various vendors who display their artwork.

Filoli, an establishment located in Woodside, California, was built in 1915 by William Bowers Bourn. This prominent place is known for its diverse garden and orchard filled with edible plants, fruits, and vegetables. 

“I wanted to see and walk around the orchard that I’d never been to before. It’s like my first time to see all the fruits in their natural state,” Suzanne Notario, a frequent visitor at Filoli, said. 

I liked walking around the orchard, and seeing all the fruit in its natural environment. ”

— Suzanne Notario

The fruit trees are labeled so the visitors can see the names of each distinctive plant. The orchard walk also leads visitors to traverse the trees and learn about each unique fruit grown yearly.  

“It’s really fun to explore. It’s kind of unique in this area to have an orchard with so many different varieties of apples,” Willa Brock, a manager of interpretation and learning experiences at Filoli, said.

Today, the orchard holds around 500 unique fruit trees that all bear fruits yearly. After the harvest, Filoli donates 2000-5000 lbs of different fruits and vegetables to local food banks. 

“We have some scarce trees. There was actually at one point the only one surviving in North America; that type of peach tree is called Lake Crawford Peach,” Brock said. 

While admiring the newly ripened fruits, visitors have the chance to check out the various vendors on display. These vendors come to Orchard Day to promote their business, selling what they fabricate. 

Amy Schmidt, an exhibitor, has promoted her small business, Carry On Designs, at Filoli several times. Her business sells hand-sewn pillows, bags, cards, all made of fabric. 

Schmidt enjoys the Filoli environment and being outside where she can sell all of her original work. Filoli gives the local artists revenue during the event as well as exposure for their business. 

“I like to support Filoli, and the last few [events] that I’ve done have always been a really good market and good sales for me,” Schmidt said. 

This family-friendly event brings the community together to get into the fall spirit. 

“People might come here thinking it’s going to be like a pumpkin patch, and you can go do a bunch of fall things like that. But here we try to make it more like you’re learning some history as well,” Brock said.