I took a drive up the hill to Paradise to see how my friends, Jim and Laurie Noble of Noble Orchards were doing. It was no surprise to find them doing what they do best, “Selling Apples”.
So far, they have survived the horrific Camp Fire of 2018, the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California’s history that set the Paradise area back on its heels. Now COVID restrictions have impact the way they operate. At their operation, all buildings were destroyed, but the orchard, 1941 Jeep, and a Ford Tractor survived, along with Jim and Laurie’s determination to continue the operation.
But no way was the Camp Fire going to knock them and other businesses in the area out. Currently they are operating a roadside stand at their farm featuring their apples and also navel oranges, Meyer lemons, ruby red grapefruit from their Oroville friends who produce sweet, delicious fruits. At certain times of the year you can also find them at the Saturday Chico Farmers’ Market.
As I drove through Paradise after visiting with them, the signs of recovery are all around. Though there are also still reminders of the deadly fire throughout the area.
I would recommend if you are available to take a ride to the Paradise area, to do so. You will see a shining example of the resilience as the community continues its comeback. Don’t forget to stop by 7050 Penz Road to pick up some apples and other produce. More information on available produce, hours, and the farm are on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/NobleOrchards.