Hearst Castle donates oranges to poor

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Hearst Castle, San Simeon, California. (AP Photo)

Hearst Castle, San Simeon, California. (AP Photo)

SAN SIMEON, Calif. (AP) – Oranges harvested at Hearst Castle are being donated to needy families across San Luis Obispo County.

The Tribune reports landscapers at Hearst Castle are plucking two tons of fruit from the sprawling state park’s 120 trees.

The fruit will be donated to the GleanSLO program, which collects fruit and vegetables from backyard gardens, commercial farms and other food producers.

In William Randolph Hearst’s heyday, most fruit on trees near the hilltop Castle were left on the branch, because he considered those orchards to be decorative.

That tradition remains, and the donated fruit is being harvested from orchards farther down the hill.

The trees now being harvested of mandarins, navel oranges and other citrus were planted about eight years ago to replace misshapen and dying trees.

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