Luther Burbank’s 55-year plant-breeding legacy is preserved at the Luther Burbank Experiment Farm in Sebastopol. Burbank bought this 15-acre Gold Ridge farm in 1885, where he experimented with new and cross breeds, developing many of California’s plums and prunes, the ancestor of the Idaho Potato, the Shasta Daisy and novelties such as Plumcots, Thornless Blackberry and Spineless Cactus.
After Luther died in 1926, his widow established an apple orchard on a portion of the farm and leased the rest to a nursery. Local historians, intent on preserving the Burbank legacy in Sebastopol, formed the Western Sonoma County Historical Society in 1974. The cottage was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.
The City of Sebastopol worked with the Society in its efforts to obtain three acres of the original farm and to restore the Cottage. Restoration began in 1983. Since then the Society’s Farm Committee with the aid of volunteers continues to maintain the cottage and Burbank plant varieties, provide a self-guiding plant walk and train Docents for guided tours. Stop by for a self-guided tour (it’s free!) any time Thursday through Sunday from 1pm to 4pm. You will find a free trail map on the kiosk and barn. Or call for a Docent Led tour and get all the fascinating background information. You will also enjoy the Luther Burbank Home and Gardens in Santa Rosa.
7777 Bodega Ave., Sebastopol | 707.829.6711 | wschsgrf.org