Come and Enjoy Orcutt Ranch and Horticultural Center

Orcutt Ranch and Horticultural Center: Open daily from Sunrise to Sunset.

This property is a most wonderful respite quietly sequestered at 23600 Roscoe Blvd. in West Hills, California is a retreat from the teeming urban environment most of us find in our daily lives.

I am not an official recruiter for Orcutt Ranch, but I do recommend you spend some time there.  It is not a big investment of time for a huge return from nature and ancient fauna and flora.

Admission to this historic 25-acre Orcutt Ranch and residence is free and isn’t that a lovely courtesy?

Orcutt Ranch was formally called: Rancho Sombra del Roble, which means, “Ranch in the shade of the oak.” If you park your car in the parking area and begin your walk of the grounds, you will fill your senses with trees, some 600 – 900 years old; you will encounter community gardens, citrus orchards, an old Spanish style home, an old well maintained barn, beautiful rose gardens, and an especially wonderful moment is to stand in and amongst the bamboo forest. If the wind is up the sounds of the bamboo forest take on orchestral tones. Consider having your wedding or special event at Routt Ranch.

If you come to Orcutt Ranch in July you are encouraged to pick ripe Valencia oranges and white grapefruit. A slight charge will be incurred.  This is a secret. If you stand under an orange or grapefruit tree in the orchards, soon a ripe fruit will fall very close to you. No one is looking. Peel it and bite;  juice rolls down your chin and your eyes roll back with the sensations of such a pleasurable taste treat. How can you be charged for a gift the tree has dropped into your path?

There are plots of land to the side of the ranch that can and are rented for $120 per year. Many renters grow vegetables year round in the ranch’s community gardens.

Since I am in no way connected to Orcutt Ranch I am free to tell you the lessons I learned from my visits to this lovely hideaway.

First, there are lessons from the trees. If they could speak you say, what would they say?  If you listen you will hear six and nine hundred year old truths that sound as modern as today. They will tell you, “Let nature take its course.” They will tell you to become more and more adaptable and mutable. Figure out a way to survive. They will say, “Age breaks down structure.” It poses pulls of gravity and may need some holding up with braces and wires to hold parts into their places.

And then, you witness the gnarls of time, a sight you see in all walks of life on the planet. Our bodies as we age need lots of tweaks, touch ups, grips, clutches and embraces. The lessons include resilience of time. We do not have as much time to learn these lessons, as do the trees, so we must preserver and survive during the time we are permitted. Ancient plant life shows sustenance from the earth and the process, which keeps all living things alive for a prescribed parenthesis in time.  If you try and alter the time lapse, I think that would negate the lessons. Altering nature gets into Biotechnology, which takes more time to study and discuss.

Secondly, there are lessons in history on this ranch. Time has moved along and if we preserve the past we will more fully enjoy going back in time for whatever time we have allotted.  Historical visits rejuvenate and elevate our consciousness.

Visiting Orcutt Ranch and the lessons you learn will be different, from mine, but no less rewarding. They will enhance the time spent at the ranch and will make your day! Each time you visit you will learn new lessons and leave with a newly formed enlightenment.

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Pat Rieffanaugh
    May 12, 2012 @ 21:11:50

    Loved reading about this day trip! It’s amazing the treasures we can seek out in our surroundings if we just take time to find them. Keep up the great writing!


    • Sheila Clapkin
      May 13, 2012 @ 09:03:57

      I need to find a new one and am on the search. You are so right about the amazing treasures right in our near by surroundings. Let me know when you find one you love or a new one…


  2. Reene
    May 13, 2012 @ 19:12:54

    Damn your pics from Orcutt Ranch did not come thru–the words were lovely tho and the pics from Rankin Ranch were great. Haven’t seen you in a while–miss you–Reene


  3. Nuala Ryan
    Nov 13, 2012 @ 21:52:20

    Hi Sheila. Loved your writing on the Orcutt Ranch. Last week I visited (for the first time)The Guadalupe Center on Hart and Reddit in Canoga Park. Mrs. Orcutt founded it in the late 50’s. I find it a truly amazing story of what one woman can do with the help of money, of course. I suggest that you visit !
    I trust that we can connect soon. I don’t have your email address.


    • Sheila Clapkin
      Nov 14, 2012 @ 15:51:09

      Dear Nuala,
      Hello and it is so wonderful that you have learned about Orcutt Ranch and shared with us what Mrs. Orcutt has done with the Guadalupe Center. I will be checking out the facility and hopefully be able to lend a helping hand. I have sent you my email address under separate cover. If you do not receive my email, do let me know again. There is a place on this blog on the home page that says contact me. You can send an email to me through that contact and I will quickly respond. I hope to spend some time talking with you and would enjoy visiting.


  4. kelly Kardos
    Feb 23, 2014 @ 17:00:55

    I just went to visit this ranch but didn’t get a shot of the barn. It had too many cars and people. I’d like to ask your permission to use and edit your photo on my blog with a link back to your page and full credit to you. Thank you. Kelly


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