Be prepared for some aphorisms to get turned on their head: if you can’t stand the heat, go underground; and if life doesn’t give you lemons, keep digging till you get some.
Both sum up the approach by Baldassere Forestiere, whose dreams of a citrus empire in California seemed to be dashed by the hard Fresno soil, where he bought some land.
But the subway digger from the East Coast of the USA, who’d travelled to pursue his dream all the way from Sicily, wasn’t going to be put off so easily.
He also knew to avoid the Fresno heat, it was far more comfortable to go underground. So he did and in doing so he spent ’40 years creating his vast underground resort going as deep as 23 feet underground and spanning over 10 acres all dug by hand’.
It wasn’t easy going, sometimes have to cut through 3 to 5ft of sedimentary rock. But what he did achieve was somewhere where citrus fruit are grown below ground – with the garden home to more than 20 varieties for fruit trees.
Lyn Forestiere Koseswki now runs the Forestiere underground gardens with her sister, and remembers a time when she was a guide to her great uncle’s kingdom.
Watch the film to see the enchanting underground world. It’s part of a series for films of Visit California’s Dream 365TV, an ‘online network fuelled by big dreams and those who never stop chasing them’.
And the advice from Lyn, ‘if you’ve got a dream, go for it.’
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