icky-Up Ranch, a California farm stay property, has been a navel orange ranch since c. 1899 when retired Illinois senator Fred E. Harding purchased several hundreds of acres and turned fields of golden wild grains into green citrus groves. Water to irrigate the produce was brought in from the nearby Kaweah River by a flume system. In later years, cement pipelines were buried in the ground and used to deliver water to the furrows. In 1995, Wicky-Up irrigation was changed from the original furrow irrigation to fan jet irrigation, a method which distributes water more evenly and deters wasteful runoff. You can read more about the history of Wicky Up Ranch here.
Wicky Up Ranch – Sunkist’s first organic workers
The delicious Washington navels from Wicky Up Ranch were grown using conventional farming methods until November 30, 2002, when the owners, Jack and Monica Pizura (Monica is Fred E. Harding’s great, great niece), decided to convert to sustainable (organic) farming. Owing to significant decreases in production, conventional farming resumed in January 2011.