The Valley of Heart's Delight

Bernal, Ygnacio, 1841-1906

transcribed from :Sunshine, Fruit and Flowers- 1896

Ygnacio Bernal owns, on the Monterey road, about nine miles southeast of San Jose, 395 acres of land.  The soil here is exceedingly fertile, as it consists largeley of silt washed down from the surrounding hills.  In this vicinity were located immense cattle and slaughtering pens, and the great pits where the refuse meat was thrown.  Here hundreds of tons of bones have been mouldering for more than half a century, and bone dust is one of the richest fertilizers known.  Here Ygnacio Bernal planted his orchard.  He could scarely have found a richer spot, and his trees show a remarkable growth.  The peach trees, now but three years old, are about ten feet in height, and bore this year a large crop, considering  their age.  The prune trees are much larger than ordinary trees of their age also, and bore a few prunes last years.  Mr. Bernal has about 400 prune trees, 100 peaches and 100 apricots.

Mr. Bernal utilizes the space between the rows of trees by planting  corn, peas, beans, melons and pumpkins.  The pumpkins produce on a an average ten tons to the acres.   The price received for them variies with the season.  The lowest price is $1.50 per ton in the field, the hightest $5 per ton delivered in San Jose, and the average price about $2.50 per ton.   The peas raised are the Spanish garvanzas, or soup peas.  The product ranges from ten to fifteen 100 pound sacks to the acre.  The price is usually low, but last season rose to $4.75 and $5 per hundred pounds.  Thr corn averages twenty sacks, or 2,000 pounds, per acre.  Lowest prices received  $1.50 per hundred , $2 per hundred.  Muskmelons sell for $3 to $5 per hundred.  The usual cop of hay upon  Mr. Bernal's valley land is two tons per acre; upon the hillsides, less.  The price of hay varies from $8 to $20 per ton, the average being about $12.

About 300 yards from Mr. Bernal's residence  a strong spring of water gushes out from beneath a ledge of slate.  It is about seventy-five feet higher than the house and the water has been piped to the house, barn and garden. At the spring a reservoir has been built in the rocks which holds 35,000 gallons  Mr. Bernal was born upon the farm which he now owns, as was his father.  The land was formerly owned by his grandfather, who came from Mexico.

SANTA CLARA HISTORY -The Valley of Heart's Delight

July 21, 2005