Orvel J. Walter Heritage Grape Arbor - .- William Davis & Duane Hall

When the U. of Florida Research Station, which preceeded PEAR Park, was consolidated with the Apopka Station, all but one of the existing grape arbors or vineyards were moved. Breeding larger grapes for commercial use had been as important mission of this Station, as was the development of the seedless watermelons. The "left behind" vineyard contains the Alachua muscadine variety, the last developed here. For three years volunteers have pruned this vineyard in February, killed competing grasses with herbicide, and fertilized in early March. This has resulted in robust grapes for an August harvest by volunteers and the public. We have planted three other varieties of
muscadine grapes for visitors who are interested in backyard grape
plants to compare (especially in the harvest season): besides the original Alachua Muscadine will include Noble, Fry and Carlos, the latter two from a group of larger Scuppernong (Muscadine) grapes widely used in the S.E. US.

Orvel J Walter was a charter member of the PEAR Association. He assisted as much as his declining health would permit at PEAR Park. He was very much into the gardening effort at PEAR. As a tribute to his work at the park, the grape arbor was named in his honor.

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