Highland resident Bruce Herwig’s photo essay on the Redlands Foothill Groves packinghouse has been juried into the National Orange Show Photo Contest.
The 20-by-30 metal print titled “Packinghouse Promenade” will be on display at the NOS Citrus Fair, May 2-6.
According to Herwig, thanks to exclusive access he was able to photograph the path of an orange from stem to store.
Once surrounded by groves and competition, the Foothill Groves cooperative in Redlands is the last remaining packinghouse in the Inland Empire. Founded in 1924, the cooperative washes, sorts, waxes, packs and ships oranges and grapefruit throughout the world.
“I’ve wanted to photograph Foothill Groves for a while. After a year of trying, I was able to arrange permission and a tour from one of their past employees, John Nash,” Herwig said. “I received an education and inside view of the history and challenges of the citrus industry.”
“I was surprised at the mix of low- and high-tech that is used. The same place that still uses a water-based hydraulic lift that was installed in 1948 uses a sophisticated software-controlled assembly line and electronic grading system.”
“I’m hoping to win something in my category. But win or lose, this has been a fun project.”
According to NOS Marketing Manager Gabriela Rubio, judging will be April 26-30 and winners will be posted by noon on May 1.