About 100 people are expected Thursday, May 1, when two of the oldest ranches in the Winters area are open for a Winters History Project event.
Beginning at 10 a.m. at the historic Wolfskill Ranch — now the Wolfskill Experimental Orchards of UC Davis — at 4334 Putah Creek Road, director Ted DeJong will lead a tour and introduce plant breeders. Katherine Pope, the new tree fruit farm adviser for Yolo, Solano and Sacramento counties, will talk about nitrogen budget research in walnut orchards and concerns about excess-nitrogen applications going into ground water.
Sarah Castro will describe the prune-breeding program and show various advanced prune selections including some of them dried to taste. Carolyn DeBuse, field curator of the USDA National Clonal Germplasm Repository plantings at Wolfskill, will discuss her activities.
After an olive oil and table olive tasting at the Wolfskill Orchards, those attending will enjoy lunch by the Anderson Family Caterers in a restored barn at the W.J.Pleasant/Hoskins ranch, 8212 Pleasant Valley Road.
The 1885 Victorian home of Ethel Hoskins, the granddaughter of W.J. Pleasants — the woman who has created a foundation to preserve her grandfather’s ranch — will be open. Hoskins will tell her family’s story, joined by Gloria Lopez, local author of “An American Paella,” who will describe the early Spanish fruit growers of the Upper Vaca Valley.
Joann Larkey, a Winters historian and chair of the Winters History Project, will introduce the speakers. Reservations are $50 and may be made by check to WHPC/YCHS, 415 First St., Winters CA 95694, or online at https://wintersagtour.eventbrite.com.