Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Forestiere Underground Gardens

Sunday morning we visited the Forestiere Underground Gardens in Fresno, CA. It is largely the work of one man, probably demented at that, who built the vast network of caves from 1906 until his death (possibly from boredom) in 1946. There are lots of skylights so he was able to grow several trees and plants underground. Several of the trees are hybrids or grafted; one bore as many as seven types of fruit. The current area covers about 10 acres, but the original was around 80.

All pics here.

A rose from above ground.

Yours truly & friends Rob & Ros. Saturday night they took us to a Brazilian grill called Rio, where we stuffed our faces till we nearly burst and Sunday they showed us a place called Yukon Jacks (I think?) where I had the most sinfully delicious pudding ever. The others were happy about their meals too, so either these two guys know where the good stuff's at, or Fresno is a hitherto unsung Mecca for food lovers.

Huge pomegranades.

The underground gardens were built by a Sicillian immigrant, who furnished the sparse surroundings with all the amenities available in the first half of the 20th century, including a bathtub. In the shallow areas on the sides of the bridge he kept fish he'd caught in the river, until such time as he saw fit to eat them.

He also had a proper aquarium, here rendered somewhat cartoonishly.

A well. He also gathered up water in several spots around the caves.

Bed & fireplace.

He had a freezer, oven, radio, etc.

Fruit growing out of the floor.

Man of darkness.

This is from the joint where we had lunch Sunday. Bread pudding, mmmmm.

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