HISTORY

{A few words about the McEwen Orchards from George McEwen.}

Paul McEwenPaul McEwen
1913-2005

 

 


 

My father, Paul McEwen, was born on September 28, 1913,
La Jolla, CA. Graduated in 1935 from USC with a business degree.
His father was a scientist, and was one of the first employees
of Scripps Institute at La Jolla.

Paul came to the Central Valley in 1936. He bought and planted his
first 10 acres with orange trees in 1937. In order to irrigate, his new
orchard needed a well, and he just happened to have a mule. The mule,
harnessed with a drill bit, was literally driven by the proverbial carrot
dangling in front of his eyes. Paul just loves his oranges, and has been
a lifetime Sunkist grower.

In order to eventually plant his remaining 30 acres, Paul started a
small citrus nursery for himself in 1953. Someone passing by took notice
of what had turned into a beautiful nursery, and offered to buy his trees.
He sold them, and then planted trees for himself a second time. Paul
found this to be quite profitable, so in 1955 he officially started his
commercial nursery. The remaining acreage, which he originally meant
to plant with those first nursery trees in 1955, was planted to oranges
in 1959 and 1960. During the '60s he acquired some additional acreage
and planted it, once again, to oranges.

In 1960, trying something new and different, Paul planted avocado seed
to see what might happen with an avocado nursery. The avocado orchard
concept was new for the valley. In fact, very few, if any, avocado
plantings existed in the area at the time. He planted a small amount
of acreage for himself in 1962. No need to explain how popular avocados
have become these days—so you can imagine that some of his fellow
growers were inclined to think Paul might be a visionary.

About the same time, in 1960, Paul propagated his first olive cuttings.
This was the beginning of another labor of love. We sold olive trees like
crazy, and continue to do so to this day. The neighbors were right, he
had once again been the innovator and made a prescient call—olives and
olive oil are now at the top of the gourmet ladder. By the way, we are
one of the few bottlers in the U.S. who makes sure that the oil you
receive from us is 100% pure olive oil.

I took over the nursery in 2004, when my father was no longer
physically able to work. On August 22, 2005, my father passed away at
age 91. But up until that time, he came to the nursery every day to take part,
with our employees, in the making of olive cuttings.

The olive tree is one of the world’s oldest known trees, and has
symbolized “peace” for centuries upon centuries. That’s enough for one
tree right there, but olive oil is also prized for its healthy nutritional
benefits, as well as its effectiveness as a beneficial and gentle beauty
product. And, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Manzanillo olive
trees are also beautiful.

Our family has loved its orchards well, and it shows.

George McEwen

 

 

© 2005 MCEWEN NURSERY
DESIGN | ART DIRECTION:© 2005 PIETRO ALFIERI
CONTENT EDITOR: ELIZABETH UNDERWOOD
PHOTOGRAPHY:© 2005 RORY EARNSHAW
WEB DEVELOPMENT: 2005 JELLOFISH STUDIO