Forestiere Underground Gardens re-opens from COVID-19 closure

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FRESNO, California (KSEE/KGPE) — A historical Fresno landmark that was created as a result of adapting under adversity, is adapting once again after being hit hard by the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Forestiere Underground Gardens kicks off its 2021 season on March 19 with tours available by reservation.

Reservations can be made on its website up to two weeks in advance. Masks will be required while on the tour.

In the early 1900’s, Sicilian immigrant, citrus grower and visionary Baldassare Forestiere began turning what was useless farmland into a vast network of rooms, tunnels and courtyards as a subterranean escape from the sweltering Central Valley summer heat.

Using only shovels, picks and other hand tools, Baldassare was inspired to excavate for forty years, going as deep as 25 feet underground and spanning over 10 acres. He grew fruit trees and grapevines underground — many of which are still alive and thriving today.

Today, the gardens consist of two and a half acres along Shaw Avenue, near Highway 99.

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April 29 2021 12:00 am

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