Strawberry fields are not forever

Out & About

I taught chess yesterday, but it wasn’t at an after-school enrichment program. Instead, a overly wealthy couple hired me to teach chess to their four children, the oldest a girl of 8, and the youngest a 2-boy-1-girl set of triplets of age 6½. The couple live in Rancho Santa Fe which regularly ranks as one of the richest zip codes in the entire United States. The house I went to had 11,300 square feet, eight bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, and eight garages in two sets of four.

But that’s not what this blog post is about. This post is about strawberry fields, so I’ll provide you with some music for your reading pleasure:

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

When I first came to San Diego in April 1993, I quickly learned where all the 1% neighborhoods were, and I succeeded in visiting them, determined to see things for myself. Who needs pictures in a magazine when you can simply drive over there?

On my way to Rancho Santa Fe back in 1993, I had to pass through hundreds of acres of strawberry fields. I even stopped to pick my own strawberries, and man were they scrumptious.

Well, on the way to Rancho Santa Fe yesterday, I passed through those hundreds of acres again. Sadly, here is what they looked like yesterday:

Former strawberry fields

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I haven’t tried to find what kind of subdivision is being built, but I’m pretty sure the homes will be on the larger side and cost several million dollars each.

I suppose it just became too much for the owners of the strawberry fields:

“Let’s see. Do I want to sell ten million strawberries at 5¢ each, net, or do I just want to sell 500 acres at $10,000 per acre, be done with it, and retire? Hmmm. This is a tough one……….NOT!”

I did get one extraordinarily beautiful picture, though:

Former strawberry fields

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Which I promptly turned into Photographic Art:

Former strawberry fields

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I’m guessing you do want to see the house, though, right? Well, here’s the driveway:

Driveway

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The house is way back there around the bend to the left. Here’s half of the house:

House and pool

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

What does one do in a house with 11,300 square feet? Play hide and seek?

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13 thoughts on “Strawberry fields are not forever

  1. Gallivanta

    Well, I wish you could make those strawberry fields look good again. Where do the strawberries grow now? Or perhaps they don’t. Perhaps the big mansions could use their indoor spare space to grow them hydroponically.

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    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      I think the Carlsbad Strawberry Company might be the last of the big boy strawberry growers here in San Diego County. After that one has to go to Temecula, Murrieta, and Watsonville.

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  2. stregajewellry

    LOL, Russel, I had to do a double take when I saw that album cover. Shame about those strawberries. It sounded as though it was such a vivid memory, you could almost still taste them. What the heck DOES one do in a house that size?

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  3. Crooked Tracks

    I think its sad when a big plot of land is taken for houses (mansions in this case), we need to keep some open space, just my opinion.

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    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      We do have regulations here in San Diego that developers have to leave a certain amount of open space. Unfortunately, there’s an out for them: Instead of leaving open space, they can pay a fine, and many of them actually choose to pay the fine since land is so valuable.

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