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Persimmon Farmer May Have to Rip Out Trees in La Cañada

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A persimmon farmer in La Cañada named William Johnson may have to rip out his 475 trees before the first one bears fruit, if the current draft of the city's General Plan is approved later this month. The plan does not allow agricultural activity in the area where Johnson's farm is located along the Angeles Crest Highway. Johnson planted his persimmon grove, which also covers 11 acres owned by Southern California Edison (with their permission), seven years ago, and, in today's bitterest fruit irony, it takes seven years for persimmon trees to bear fruit. The La Cañada Valley Sun reports that "the Planning Commission could institute an overlay zone to accommodate Johnson after the fact, but that Johnson would have to submit an application first." Persimmons aren't the only agricultural activity Johnson has been engaging in on his property. He used to keep alpacas, cows, and horses on his property, and neighbors say he did not properly dispose of their waste, which for them was a bigger issue than the fruit trees. Johnson said of his fruit-growing operation, "I think it's a really good thing for society to have, to be able to grow your own fruit."
· Persimmon farm may never bear fruit [La Cañada Valley Sun, image via]