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Walnut orchard in Lockeford protected from development

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Posted: Wednesday, August 1, 2012 12:00 am

John Galeazzi of Modesto comes from a line of Italian immigrants who began farming in California in 1894. Thanks to an agricultural conservation easement protecting a 250-acre walnut orchard in Lockeford, that family line can continue indefinitely.

Galeazzi and his son-in-law grow three varieties of walnuts on the orchard he purchased in 2004. The orchard acts as a mile-long natural buffer against development in the area. The city of Lockeford is on one side, and the Mokelumne River runs along the other. The rich river soil has lent itself to a consistent walnut crop, said Galeazzi, but land near the river is often bought up to build riverfront ranchettes.

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