Saturday, December 29, 2007

Loss of Golden Gate CRFGer

Jack Tucker, husband of Gail Morrison, died on December 27th after a massive stroke. He was a writer, actor and theater critic who spent years encouraging local theater productions. He was also an artist who made beautiful Chinese brush paintings which sold as Christmas cards this holiday season.

He retired from reviewing community theater productions two years ago at the age of 91. Jack is in the Guinness Book of Records as oldest known newspaper columnist in the world. After he retired, he continued to attend local productions and post his reviews on his website

It was always hard to catch up with Jack and Gail, since they were attending plays almost every weekend and somehow still managed their edible landscape of over 100 vegetables and fruits in their Richmond garden. I enjoyed hearing them plan meals following the seasons in their garden rather than relying on the grocery store. They were one step up even from the new locovores! However, friendship has it price. When they were flooded with early pears in the fall, I would return from a visit with a large care package. They had the advantage - their pears produced first so I could not pawn off my pears in exchange! In this coming year Gail will have twice as many vegetables and fruit to eat so will not take so kindly to having excess fruit snuck onto her doorstep.

Jack and Gail always came to CRFG meetings and conferences together. He was fully behind Gail when she wanted to produce our newsletter (which she did for many years) and proofread most of the copy. He was also in her corner when she worked with our website for the annual CRFG conference held in Northern California.

He was truly an unusual, talented, and caring person who will be missed. Here are two obituaries:
Contra Costa Times (If asked for registration, username:, password: 4joemail)

- Idell Weydemeyer

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Golden Gate Chapter 2008 Newsletter Editor Needed

Hi, this is Alice Tang 2007 newsletter editor. I've been real busy with work, kids, etc and need to be replaced for 2008. I can help the new editor do the Jan 2008 edition. With netpost (hard copies mailed by the post office using a word document) it's a lot easier than when I was printing them on my own laser printer, duplexing by hand. Please step up! Members email me their articles and I edit them in word to fit our template and then email them out (I can send you the email list as well). The ones who don't have an email get a hard copy through netpost. I hope more members would move to email because it would save money and TREES. Please email me at if you can help. I also posts other chapters info on this blog, not sure if that's the editor's duty but since I get all the emails I do it. Thanks Alice

Monterey Bay Chapter Scion and Stone Fruit Trees

CRFG Monterey Bay Chapter AnnouncementsHOLIDAY POT LUCK AND ELECTION: Sunday, December 9 from 12:00 to 4:00 (buildingopens at 11:30 for set-up) at the Arboretum at UCSC off High St. just pastWestern Dr. Bring a dish to share and any fruits from your gardens to tasteor give away. The Chapter will provide drinks, paper plates, cups, andutensils. The election will be to vote on Chapter Operating Rules andProcedures and to select the Chapter officers for the upcoming year.Nominations for officers will be accepted after the vote on chapter operatingrules. Chapter Operating Rules and Procedures are attached for your review.CRFG Inc has created a set of default Chapter Operating Rules and Proceduresthat Chapters will be held to unless they adopt their own. Our BylawsCommittee has created an alternative set of rules and procedures that you willbe voting on. If they fail to pass, we adopt CRFG Inc's version by default.Both versions are attached. If you would like to suggest changes, please doso ASAP so chapter members will have a little time to consider any proposedchanges, however, modifications can be made up until the time of the election. Please renew your memberships at this meeting.
RARE FRUIT GARDEN WORK DAY: Sunday, December 9 from 10:00 to 11:30 (precedingthe pot luck and election) in the Rare Fruit Garden at the Arboretum at UCSC.
DORMANT WOOD SCION EXCHANGE: Sunday, January 13 from 12:00 to 3:00 (buildingopens at 11:00 for set-up) at the Santa Cruz Live Oak Grange 1900 17th AveSanta Cruz. Cost is $5 for the general public, free for CRFG members. Pleasebring dormant scion wood, cut a day or two in advance, sealed in a plasticbag, and refrigerated. Please make sure material is well labeled on bag (andpositively identified), and disease-free. If you are interested in helpinggather scion material from some of our very generous member orchards, pleasecall Ellen and Freddy at 831-662-2216 for information.
HYBRID TREES FOR SALE (this from the Santa Clara Valley Chapter):Most of you may know that the Santa Clara Valley Chapter has a subgroup calledthey Hybridization Group. We are a small but zealous group of members thathave been hybridizing for new stone fruit varieties that will be interestingfor the Home Gardener. Most new varieties are hybridized with the commercialgrower in mind, e.g. fruit that colors up when still "green", fruit that staysfirm for packing and not juicy and melting and fruit that ripens all at onetime. These characteristics are opposite of what a home grower wants in hisyard. He/she wants fruit that stays on the tree until ripe; juicy, tasty fruitand fruit that can be picked over a longer length of time.Last year we evaluated some of our new crosses and have propagated them forsale at the 2008 Scion Exchange on January 12, 2008. We will have dormantbareroot trees for sale. We are offering these sturdy trees for $15 plus a $5donation to our group for growing expenses. So the total value of each treewill be $20 each. I will take orders for the trees in advance of the sale atPrusch so that you will be ensured to get these rare new trees. All advancesale and regular sale trees will be distributed at the Scion Exchange atPrusch Park. This is according to our agreement with the Santa Clara County Agdept. We can conduct this sale once only during the 2008 season according toour permit. So if you don't reserve and prepay for your trees in advance, onScion Exchange day it will be on a first come first served basis. We willconduct the sale of these trees only once this year.Please inform your Chapter members of these trees and if any of your Membersare interested in purchasing these trees and unable to attend the Saturday,January 12 Santa Clara Valley Chapter Scion Exchange, perhaps one person canbe designated to handle the collection of names, amount of trees, varietiesand money for your Chapter. These trees will be sold at the Scion Exchange only.Below are the description of the trees we will have available. They are all onLovell rootstock. At the 2009 Scion Exchange we will have our wonderful newapricot varieties which we evaluated this summer and will be propagating thiswinter. One is a very floral fragrant white apricot which is delicious and alate apricot which fruits in August. Both are excellent tasting. They will beon the new Torinel rootstock which is virus free.For more information and to preorder: contact Sini at: sinif@sbcglobal.net1: KIT DONNELL peach: A peach of unknown parentage, but it's believed to have'Baby Crawford' as one of its parents. Relatively large yellow freestoneripening in early August. Consistently high quality since it was firstevaluated several years ago. Skin thick, sometimes slightly astringent likeElberta, but flesh is juicy, melting, sweet and luscious. One of the besttasting mid-season yellow peaches named in honor of Kit Donnell, highlyrespected past chair of the Santa Clara Valley chapter of the CRFG.2: SILK ROAD nectarine: A Tashkent-type nectarine that is all gold with noblush on the skin nor red near the stone. Much larger and more productivethan the original Tashkent seedlings. Very juicy with much less bitterness atthe skin than the original. Rich apricot-like flavor.3: MARIA'S GOLD nectarine: Another Tashkent-type, all yellow nectarine.A bit smaller than 'Silk Road' but more productive, and perhaps a littlericher in flavor. It should make an outstanding backyard variety; namedin honor of the late Maria Plekanova, horticulturist and guide to theCRFG-NAFEX members who toured the Soviet Union in 1991. She wasinstrumental in helping the group find and bring the Tashkent nectarinestrain to the US.4: ATHENA peach: Likely a seedling of 'Pallas' peach, an old heirloomand flavor like a honeydew melon. Unlike its parent, however, this is notsusceptible to pre-harvest drop as its parent.5: LONGEVITY peach: 'Longevity' is a honey-type peach--a small, whitepeach long famous in China where the God of Longevity is depicted holdinga small, oval, beaked peach in his hand. The peach is a symbol of longlife in China, and the honey group is known for its juicy texture andsweet, honey-like flavor. 'Longevity' is very similar to the more commonhoney peach variety, the 'Eagle Beak,' but it has less of the almond- likeastringency associated withh 'Eagle Beak.'6: KALEIDOSCOPE nectarine: One of the rare donut-type nectarines withyellow flesh. 'Kaleidoscope' is a rather large and meaty donut-typenectarine with multi-colored, speckled skin with reds, golds and orangespredominating. There is a tendency for the fruit to crack at the blossomend, but the quality is otherwise excellent. It is hoped thatcontrolling the vigor of the tree may help minimize fruit cracking.7: BLIZZARD nectarine: A late-maturing fruit, usually late July or earlyAugust, with white flesh and flavor that has an excellent balance of sugarand acid, similar to 'Snowqueen.' Juicy and highly flavored.8: AUGUST SNOW nectarine: Maturing in early to mid August,'August Snow' is a very tasty white-fleshed nectarine. It is bestdescribed as similar to 'Snowqueen' or 'Heavenly White' in flavor;however, unlike these varieties, which often crack badly and have tough,leathery skin, 'August Snow' has good to excellent skin finish. It isalso very productive.
POMEGRANATE DISCUSSION GROUP (this came over the CRFG email lines):Here is a link to a yahoo group devoted to providing information aboutpomegranates some of you may be interested in joining. An international group dedicated to the exchangeof information on varieties of pomegranates grown, cultural practices,local customs, and related topics. Sharing of seeds or propagationmaterial through legal methods is also encouraged.EMAIL DISCUSSION FORUM: We also have a Yahoo Groups discussion forum forMonterey Bay Chapter members of the CRFG. If you'd like to join the list, allyou have to do is send a blank e-mail to from the address you wantsubscribed to the list and follow the instructions you get back by returnmail. In the message you receive, you will be sent a link to a confirmationpage at If you do not have a yahoo e-mail address you canstill join the mailing list by clicking the link on the bottom of the pagewhere it says, "As an alternate option, you may join the mailing listinstead." If you have, or are willing to get, a free yahoo mail account, youhave options for selecting whether you want to receive each messageindividually, each day's worth of messages in one digest of the day's traffic,or not receive messages at all so you just read them from the yahoo groups website. You need not read your mail on your yahoo account -- you can read itfrom any account you choose. We hope you'll join in the free-flow of ideasfor upcoming chapter events or submit your rare fruit questions to your fellowmembers.RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP: Please renew your membership in the chapter if youhaven't already by writing a check for five dollars, made out to Monterey BayChapter CRFG, and mailing it to:Nancy MoonTreasurer, Monterey Bay Chapter CRFGP.O. Box 525Santa Cruz, CA 95061

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Yuzu Essence as Weed Killer?

While looking up information about yuzu, I came across this scientific paper from the Fourth Congress on Allelopathy. It's crammed full of scientific jargon, as you would expect, but the gist of it is that it's possible that essence of yuzu might be useful as a weed killer. The idea to investigate uses for yuzu waste came about because the large yuzu industry on Shikoku is starting to experience some environmental problems due to the concentration of waste products from yuzu production. The experimenters discovered that essences derived from yuzu peel waste could inhibit production of roots in cress, crabgrass, alfalfa, lettuce, and ryegrass. Of course, I'm waiting to see what the results on field bindweed are!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Ancient Figs

This is a picture of some figs found at an 11,400 year-old house near the ancient city of Jericho! Read more here.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Cherimoya Talk in Irvine, Nov. 27

Special CCA Field Trip
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
11:00 am to 2:00 pm
7601 Irvine Boulevard, Irvine
Dr. Farré is a Director of La Mayora, a very important experimental research station in Malaga, Spain.
He is an expert in Cherimoyas, Avocados, Lychees, Longans, Mangos and other subtropicals. La Mayora
is home to an Annona collection of over 360 varieties from around the world. CCA is in the process of
receiving 40 new varieties from this collection through a bud wood exchange. Dr. Farré will speak on:
�� Cherimoya origin, distribution, propagation and varieties.
�� New cherimoya pruning techniques in Spain.
�� Q & A session about other subtropicals such as avocados, mangos, lychees and longans.
A light lunch (sandwiches) will be provided.
Space Limit: 80, by RSVP received. Admission: $10 per person, Payable to CCA.
RSVP �� Ken Burton �� Email: �� Tel: 661-297-3090 (Please leave
your name and phone # clearly.) Confirmations will be emailed to you upon receipt of your check.
Mail checks (payable to CCA) to: Lynn Maxson, Treasurer, 1261 Ahart St., Simi Valley, CA 93065
�� Southbound I-5 or I-405 -- or -- Northbound I-5
�� Exit Sand Canyon Av and proceed North on Sand Canyon Av
�� Turn Right onto Irvine Blvd. Go about 1 mile to SCR&EC on Left. (100 yards past Lambert Rd)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

White Sapote Fruit at Last??

Somehow I missed the flowers, but our white sapote (Suebelle seedling) **finally** has fruit on it, lots of them! Very tiny ones, but fruit just the same. I am going to be dancing with impatience to see if they ripen; we've only been waiting about 17 years.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Pruning & Care of Landscape Fruit & Nut Trees

A UC Davis Extension course coming up January 25, 2008. From the brochure:

"Learn how to prune all major types of fruit trees for aesthetic beauty, maximum fruit production, good fruit size and optimal annual production. Look at the bearing habit and proper pruning methods used to maintain productive fruit and nut trees. While the program is primarily designed for professional landscapers and arborists, it is an excellent course for home landscapers as well, because of the focus on trees in the home landscape.

"The instructors give specific pruning instructions in lecture format for apple, pear, quince, peach, plum, cherry, apricot, almond, walnut, citrus, persimmon, fig, pistachio and olive trees. The lecture is followed by actual field pruning demonstrations on several of these species in the campus orchards. The curriculum also covers basic irrigation, fertility, weed control, fruit and nut thinning, and pest control of these trees, with an emphasis on organic and minimal pesticide use for fruit and nut trees around homes."

Click here for the brochure.

The Extension website says the course is not yet scheduled, but the brochure is out. It's probably best to call if you want to enroll before they get caught up with themselves.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Açaí in Berkeley

If you're going to our November 10 meeting and don't normally shop at Berkeley Bowl, you might want to consider a detour there on the way. The frozen food section in BB has Açaí mash for use in smoothies.

Lucky Those Who Grow Avocados in Their Backyards

A third of state's avocado crop lost to fire, more threatened

Congratulations to you GG chapter members who have a tree in your yard. Mine hasn't borne a thing ever, sad to say.

Let's all keep the San Diego chapter in our thoughts.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Dates book

University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources has a new book about dates.
"Based on the pioneering work of Roy W. Nixon, the leading American date scientist of the 20th century, and supplemented by the up-to-date research of UC and industry experts, this is the first comprehensive account of all of the varieties of dates and the date palm industry in the United States. While written with the California and Arizona commercial grower in mind, growers and palm enthusiasts worldwide will find this an invaluable reference."

Click here for more info.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Monterey Chapter Apple Tasting needs volunteers

October 11, 2007CRFG Monterey Bay Chapter AnnouncementsAPPLE TASTING REMINDER: Please, we need volunteers for the tasting! Currentlywe don't have nearly enough people signed up in order to pull off this event. Again, if you come in western dress and volunteer for at least 3 hours, youget a free parking pass to the park and some type of free food offered byWilder. We need help setting up the tasting from 10:00 to 11:00 and thetasting tables need to be staffed from 11:00 to 4:00. Please contact Ellenand Freddy at 831-662-2216 by noon on Saturday, October 13 in order to get thefree parking pass.The event is Saturday, October 27 from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm at Wilder RanchState Park as part of their annual Harvest Festival. Admission to WilderRanch is free, parking within the park is $6 (but free in the big turnoutalong the highway). The Apple Tasting costs $4 per individual, $7 per couple,or $10 per family. Call Ellen and Freddy at 831-662-2216 to volunteer, or formore details. Wilder Ranch is located on Hwy 1, about 1 mile north of WesternDrive as you head out of Santa Cruz. Other Harvest Festival activitiesinclude wagon rides behind draft horses, cider press, small engines &tractors, cow pie bingo, lunch and snacks available for sale, live music,historic house tours, kid activities, and more! See the Wilder Ranch HarvestFestival page: <>

Friday, October 5, 2007

Guavas high in antioxidants

For years, there’s been a common notion that you get the best nutritional punch from a few well-publicized foods, such as blueberries, black beans, and broccoli. Well, they can move over now and make room for a surprising new addition: guava.

Click here for more.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Richmond Greenhouses from Highway 80

Ever wonder what they were? It was the Sakai Brothers Rose Company and Oishi Carnations nurseries.

Here are some photos of them, so you don't have to try to take it all in while whizzing by at 65 mph. The site has lots of photos, and links to other sites with information about history - even an old harvest list!

And here is an article about plans to replace them with housing.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

CRFG Central's newsletter is at the following link


Los Angeles Chapter Sep & Oct meetings

September 2007 Volume X Issue 5
September Meeting
Date: Saturday, September 22, 2007
Time: 10:00 A.M.
Place: Sepulveda Garden Center
16633 Magnolia Blvd., Encino, CA 91316
Program: Alfredo Chiri will speak to us about tropical and subtropical fruit. He will emphasize the importance of choosing the right one for YOUR area and tips on sustaining its growth. You surely recognize Alfredo窶冱 name, since many articles written by him have appeared in our newsletters over the last couple of years. Alfredo has also volunteered much of his time to the care and upkeep of the CRFG garden in the Fullerton Arboretum. Currently he is busy working on a book about tropical and subtropical fruit. Alfredo is bringing some lucuma plants for the raffle. Look forward to an informative and interesting presentation.
***There will be a short meeting of our Chapter Officers after the meeting***
October Meeting
Date: Saturday, October 27, 2007
Time: 10:00 A.M.
Place: Limoneira, Ranch Tour, 1141 Cummings Road, Santa Paula, CA 93060, 805-525-5541
Cost: $2.50 per person
The customary price for this tour is $15 each. However, our Chapter Board has decided to offer this special price of $2.50/person to our members with the remainder coming from our treasury. Isn窶冲 it wonderful to be a part of CRFG窶冱 LA Chapter? Please pre-register at our September meeting or email Lynn at The Citrus Ranch Tour is approximately a 1 hour event. This event is provided by either courtesy van or trolley. The Limoneira Company, which is one of the largest working lemon ranches, was founded in 1893. We will learn about growing cycles, global farming challenges, citrus trends and the colorful row crops. It窶冱 an informative tour which takes you to the mule barns, historic buildings, and housing camps to let you in on how the company was founded and where they are today. Take advantage of this offer and attend this historic tour!
DIRECTIONS: from the San Fernando Valley take the 101N to CAMARILLO Take Central Avenue exit in Camarillo. Turn right onto Central. At end, turn right onto Vineyard. Continue to stop light. Turn left onto Hwy. 118/Wells Road. Continue over bridge, turn right onto 126 East. Take Briggs Rd. Exit, turning left onto Briggs. At first stop sign, turn left onto Telegraph Rd. Take first right onto Cummings Rd. After 1 mile, turn left at the Limoneira Company sign. Continue on ranch road until you see flags and the brown main ranch building on your right side. Use Visitor窶冱 parking. Enter center building.

Friday, August 31, 2007

La Fête du Citron--Lemon Festival

Here are some photos incroyables from the Lemon Festival in Menton, on the French Riviera. These creations are all made out of lemons and oranges! Click here and scroll down a little to find links to more photos.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Some Festival of Fruit tours

Maddock Ranch Nursery

The first nursery we stopped at was Maddock Ranch Nursery in Fallbrook. They’ve been in operation for 40 years. The Founder’s picture is on display in the office, opposite the mural of the original home. His twin sons run the nursery now. The mural was painted by Ella, whom we met in the office. She likes the environment there; when she’s finished in the office, she can go outside and paint the plants.

They have 70 acres of a wide variety of citrus, avocado, deciduous fruit, shade, and nut trees, and grapes.

Clausen Nursery

Next we went to the Clausen Nursery in Vista. We talked to Gordon, grandson of the founder. The nursery produces tens of thousands of trees annually and sells to all sorts of customers, from homeowners to growers to Home Depot. Gordon spoke about the difficulty of predicting what fruit will be popular. It takes them two years to grow the trees to a size they can sell, and sometimes by then the demand has waned.

He had some balled and burlap citrus from “the desert,” where they grow them in the ground instead of pots. They grow very fast there because of the heat (one year to saleable size instead of two). But the foliage is not as attractive. The leaves are smaller, and a less rich green color. Sometimes in the desert they erect old telephone poles to support shade cloth, and hold the trees under that for a while until the foliage relaxes a little and becomes more attractive; sometimes they hold them at their growing grounds in Vista for the same reason.

He talked to us about Rangpur lime when he found out we were from northern California. The fruit looks like a mandarin (which it is), but tastes like a lime, and is much more cold hardy than “real” limes.

There are several huge white sapotes on the property (one of three growing grounds they operate), planted by his grandfather. We tasted the fruit of one, a seedling of Suebelle; delicious! He sells the fruit of this particular tree to a broker, who ships the fruit to France. There are cherimoyas and some citrus in the ground also.

The nursery is only 7 miles from the ocean; every day after work he goes surfing. We heard big booms in the distance—gunnery practice at Camp Pendleton.

Encanto Farms Nursery

Then we went to John Verdick’s incredible banana garden in Encanto, Encanto Farms Nursery. Even from the street, you can see that something amazing is going on.

There are paths through the jungle of 100 banana varieties, but overhead the canopy is almost solid. Thick, richly colored trunks beside you, the leaves rattling overhead and bunches of bananas at every turn. He grows them in a layer of stones a bit smaller than a fist, with sand and clay sifted down between them, and compost over all.

In among the bananas are citrus, cherimoyas, apples, pears, even a papaya, and countless pots of figs—300 varieties.

Art & Dottie Logan

Last but not least, we went to Art and Dottie Logan’s home garden in Vista. In only a few years, they have a good start on a jungle of their own.

Among a lovely collection of ornamentals are mangos, bananas, papayas, longans, lychees, cherimoyas, sapotes, citrus, and many others. The day we were there, Better Homes & Gardens was also there, taking photographs for an upcoming book.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Mangosteens heading for your stores

From Bruce Goren, here is a link to a story about the end of the ban on importing mangosteens (has a nice picture, too). Click here.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Foothill SRFG meetings in L.A.

Dear Foothill CRFG members and friends,Our next meeting (Saturday, August 4 at 9:30 am at the L.A. Arboretum) will feature special guest speakerYvonne Savio of the Common Ground Garden Program, University of California Cooperative Extension, Los Angeles County.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Yahoo group for Monterey Bay Chapter

EMAIL DISCUSSION FORUM: We have created a Yahoo Groups discussion forum forMonterey Bay Chapter members of the CRFG. If you'd like to join the list, allyou have to do is send a blank e-mail to from the address you wantsubscribed to the list and follow the instructions you get back by returnmail. In the message you receive, you will be sent a link to a confirmationpage at If you do not have a yahoo e-mail address you canstill join the mailing list by clicking the link on the bottom of the pagewhere it says, "As an alternate option, you may join the mailing listinstead." If you have, or are willing to get, a free yahoo mail account, youhave options for selecting whether you want to receive each messageindividually, each day's worth of messages in one digest of the day's traffic,or not receive messages at all so you just read them from the yahoo groups website. You need not read your mail on your yahoo account -- you can read itfrom any account you choose. We hope you'll join in the free-flow of ideasfor upcoming chapter events or submit your rare fruit questions to your fellowmembers.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

CRFG booth, calling rare fruits for gelato

Howdy folks,I'm working hard not only to try to get as much garden club/plant society participation in "Cross-Pollination" as I possibly can, but tomake sure that CRFG's booth is a big hit and that we'll draw in somenew members. Part of what will make our booth stand out, I think, ishaving some rare fruit gelato. Gelateria Naia is willing to make gelato out of fruit we barter. They keep most of it, but give us a share based on how much fruit we give them. Are you or other CRFGers you know of willing to donate some fruit from your yards towards the making of some gelato to be stored until the 9/23/07 date of the fair?Chris of Gelateria Naia says they're most interested in: "Mulberries, Cherimoya, Longan, Lychee, Paw Paw,Tamarind... our "holy grail" of fruit is my personal favorite, theMangosteen."They have also made gelato of feijoa that CRFGers have bartered. They need a minimum of 10 lbs. but prefer even more. Even if you don't get 10 lb. crops, perhaps several CRFG members can pool their harvests to make the 10 lb. minimum. If you have fruit that will become ripe between now and mid-September, please contact Megan Lynch at so she can co-ordinate the barter. Your donation of fruit will help make CRFG's booth at the UC Botanical Garden event "Cross-Pollination" a big hit and hopefully that will translate into a bunch of new members for our chapter.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Redwood Empire Chapter Plant Sale

Next Sunday, July 22, is the Redwood Empire chapter's big annual plant sale. It's from 9 a.m. until 1 or 2 p.m. at the Midgley's Country Flea Market in Sebastopol, 2200 Gravenstein Hwy South (aka Hwy 116). Check it out, see what they've been grafting up there! Go early for best selection.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Festival of Fruit

Thinking of going to the big annual CRFG Festival of Fruit, to learn all about mangoes?

Think fast--it's coming up in less than a month.

Here's the Festival website, with all the info.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Citrus Day

It was cool and very windy as a swarm of volunteers arrived in front of the library at Diablo Valley College to start preparations for Citrus Day: cutting fruit into big orange, yellow and green bowls for the tasting, arranging tables and making various signs, setting up the budwood distribution, handling registration and questions, taking signups for budwood—all sorts of jobs—and Idell whirling around coordinating and troubleshooting it all. “Many hands make light work” is not just a saying; it was enjoyable to meet and work alongside volunteers from other areas and organizations in addition to CRFG. There was a small raffle of citrus rootstock for the volunteers, but the main reward was the camaraderie of getting the job done together

There were about 85 in attendance, including members from all five Bay Area chapters of CRFG and Master Gardeners from Contra Costa, Alameda, Napa, and Santa Clara Counties.

The proceedings began with a tasting of 12 varieties of citrus Toots Bier had picked only two days before and brought up with her from Riverside. Varieties included Tahoe Gold mandarin, Pixie mandarin, Tango mandarin, Ortanique tangor (my favorite), Delfino blood orange, Barnfield late navel orange, Delta Valencia orange, Mary Ellen sweet lime, Tavares limequat, Siracusano Femminello lemon (one of the varieties limoncello is made from), Nordmann Seedless Nagami kumquat, and Rio Red grapefruit. The tasting was so intensely organized that anyone who wanted to had a chance to go through at least twice, in only half an hour!

Next, we broke up into 3 large discussion groups: growing citrus in cool climates, in climates with heavy frost, and in climates with high heat. This was a great way to exchange experiences with fellow citrus fans, and even discover neighbors with similar interests.

Then the featured speaker, Toots Bier, newly retired assistant curator of the large citrus collection at UC Riverside, took the mike and gave an overview of citrus growing, sprinkled with helpful tips. She talked about: characteristics of varieties, her favorites, and how to choose for your own plantings; how to grow (fertilization, irrigation, pruning, etc.); sources of information (including The Citrus Industry, the “bible” of citrus growing, online at ); and, took questions throughout and at the end.

During the break, folks picked up the budwood they had signed up for during registration, milled around and chatted, and peppered Toots with more questions. Despite the discovery of tristeza in the UC Riverside citrus collection last month, and recent heavy cutting of the trees in the greenhouse, Toots managed to bring enough budwood for everyone to get several pieces.

Then Toots spoke again, this time on citrus propagation—growing from seed, grafting, and budding.

This was followed by a short presentation by her husband, Bob Bier, on Eradicating (not Trapping, he took care to say, but Eradicating) Gophers with Black Hole Traps.

At this point, some went off to tour the Adaptive Horticulture Center at DVC, and others stayed for the last talk, a slide show on Techniques to Place and Protect 60 Grafts on One Citrus Tree, produced by Joe Real from Davis (moderator of Joe could not make it, so instead the discussion was led by his friend Harvey Correa, a grower of multiple kinds of citrus, chestnuts, bananas, and alfalfa near Rio Vista.

By 1:30, it was all over but the cleanup (those volunteers again!). All in all, a tremendous amount of citrus information put forth and exchanged, in just a few hours. A big hurrah to Idell and her peerless organizational skills, and to all who came and shared their experiences!
—Gail Morrison

Cherry tasting at Andy Mariani's orchard in Morgan Hill

Andy is second generation fruit farmer in Morgan Hill and has one of the most if not the most extensive collection of stone fruits and persimmons in California. The quality of his fruit is as good as it gets. Come hear him talk about the farm - a little history and what it takes to produce his artisan fruit. He will speak - then we taste and then tours will be led around the farm where you will be able to taste straight from the trees. There will be lots of fruit to purchase and take home too. Tasting is $12 per person.

Directions follow and to learn more about the upcoming tastings check out his website at There is a harvest calendar so you can see what varieties of apricots - cherries - plums - pluots - peaches - nectarines and persimmons are ripe at the different times.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Sat 6/16 Edible/Medicinal/Wildlife Garden Tour

What: Edible/Medicinal/Native Plant/Wildlife Garden Tour. One of the things that most amazes me about my yard which requires very little work and very little water is how beautiful, how productive, how much wildlife it attracts and how much it has taught me. I have 85 plant families represented in my average size yard. Every plant has a story and a purpose.

When: Saturday June 16th from 3-4:30 pm

Where: Shonduel's House at 22574 6th St, Hayward (4 houses north of B St on6th St. Please note, you can only access 6th St from Bst because of the creekthat runs between A St and B St. Feel free to call me prior at (510)881-1958 for directions if needed.)

My yard is at its prettiest this time of year, maybe last week. If interested, there are pictures of my yard and an article I wrote about the native plant aspect of my yard's that can be accessed on or by simply typing "shonduel 2006". Of course, my yard has grown quite a bit this past year.

Dreaming the World Beautiful,

Monday, June 4, 2007

Monterey Chapter Cherry Tasting June 15

STONE FRUIT TALK, CHERRY TASTING, AND POT LUCK: On Friday, June 15th, we willbe holding a potluck dinner at 5:30 sharp, followed by a mouth watering cherrytasting from Andy's Orchard, and, at 7:00, a talk by Bill Coates on Growingstone fruits on the Central Coast. The event will take place at the SantaCruz Live Oak Grange, located at 1900 17th Ave (between Soquel Ave andCapitola Rd.) MB chapter members may attend for free, there is a $5 chargefor the general public.The cherry tasting will be a mere sampling of what is available at Andy'sOrchard (where you can taste and purchase them), and will hopefully inspireyou to attend the tours and tastings listed a little further down.Bill Coates is the UC Extension Farm Advisor for Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, SanBenito, and Monterey Counties, specializing in tree fruits and nuts. After hispower point presentation, he will be available for questions. He is a wealthof knowledge, so don't miss this talk if stone fruit are of interest to you.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Agricultural Research Service

Click here to read about the new US Department of Agriculture research facility in Hawaii, where scientists will work on developing papayas, pineapples, other Hawaiian crops.

This article is on the Agricultural Research Service website, which is a source of all sorts of fruit info. And, lots of nice photos free to use (don't forget to give credit) -- your tax dollars at work. Here's an example:

Hawaiian papayas, Carica papaya
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Photo by Scott Bauer

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Who Killed The Honeybees?

There's a very interesting article in today's online Salon Magazine (, with a panel of experts discussing the possible causes of hive decline among our honeybee population. Since not everyone belongs to Salon (although perhaps they should ;-)), I've copied the article to

Bill Grimes

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Bud grafting help needed

Jerrie, a non-CRFG member, in Albany is looking for someone to help her graft budwood from an old, but historically reliable, apricot tree onto a new tree. She is willing to pay for the service and asked me to post this message. Please call her if you can help, 510-479-7260, or email her at

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

LA Chapter Activities

May Meeting
Date: Saturday, May 26, 2007
Time: 10:00 A.M.
Place: Sepulveda Garden Center
16633 Magnolia Blvd., Encino, CA 91316

Program: Don’t’miss this meeting! Learn the best techniques about grafting, air layering, clonal propagation and scion wood selections from the experts: Julie Frink, Dennis Luby, Don Winterstein, Roger Meyer and Riley Holly. We will watch this wonderful DVD these Orange County members made entitled “Techniques of Grafting”. The DVD will be available for you to purchase at $10.

June Meeting
Date: Saturday, June 23, 2007
Time: 10:00 A.M.
Place: Papaya Tree Nursery
12422 El Oro Way
Granada Hills, CA

Program: Alex Silber, will lead us on a tour of Papaya Tree Nursery. Be prepared to see many unusual and rare fruit trees consisting not only of guavas, mangos, cherimoyas, star fruit, miracle fruit and lyches, but much, much more. You will have a chance to buy some quality trees. As most of you know, Papaya Tree Nursery was started by Alex’s parents-David and Tina Silber- in 1985. Alex is carrying on the tradition in this wonderful and unique nursery. You can check out the website at:

Directions: Take the 118 freeway and exit at Balboa Blvd. At Balboa make a left turn. Go to Midwood Dr.and turn left. Make a right on El Oro Way. Arrive at 12422 El Oro Way.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Chapter tours

CRFGers came from all over the Bay Area and beyond on Sunday for 2 great Golden Gate chapter tours.

Tom showed us the plantings of white sapotes, passion fruit, capulin cherries and other subtropicals, large and small, that he’s shoehorned into spaces in otherwise “normal” gardens. He says the climate in El Cerrito is good for cherimoyas, and showed us this giant specimen to prove it.

Later, we visited Idell’s fantastic, ever-evolving garden. Incredible variety—yesterday she gave a talk on birds in her garden and another on butterflies, earlier today she was one of the stops on the big Bring Back the Natives tour, and she still had the energy to take us around to see her fruit plantings.

Thanks to them both! Made me want to run right home and get to work.

Blueberry tasting May 12, Parlier

Dear CRFG Members and Friends of the Berry:See note below from our friend and fellow CRFG Member, Martin Berghuis of the Sequoia Chapter!!!If you enjoy the Blueberry meeting we will have on May 12 at Cal Poly, you may want to drive over to Parlier (U.C. Field Station) and meet with Manuel Jimenez and see his collection of 72 varieties!!!!!!!!!!! Manuel was a speaker at our Festival in September and is a great guy.Shucks, stay over night in Reedley and attend the FREE Blackberry Meeting the next day????See below;Joe

Saturday, May 5, 2007

CRFG on TV (Again)

Yet another cable channel broadcast featuring members of the Los Angeles Chapter (Jorge Pelaez, Edgar Valdivia and Emory Walton) has aired and is linked on the CRFG website ( Viewing it requires that you have installed the free Google Video Player, also linked from the above page. In this interview, again hosted by the great Walt Zmed, our members talk about the Great Freeze of 2007, grafting and the grafting video they have for sale. It's worth a watch at

Bill Grimes

Friday, May 4, 2007

Caltech Olive oil article from Spidra Webster

Caltech branches into ・olive oil
The Pit Expulsion Lab? Students will bottle the fruit from campus' copious trees.
By Larry Gordon, Times Staff Writer
April 28, 2007
Take 130 trees dropping olives on campus walkways. Add in students seeking prankish respite from their studies. Mix in a French-born university president with a taste for Mediterranean cuisine.
That's the formula for making olive oil at Caltech.
The institution better known for rocket science is launching its own brand of the golden kitchen condiment, produced from the trees on its Pasadena campus. A minor flood ・upward of 300 gallons ・is expected this fall.
"We are here to educate students, but we are also there to give them an opportunity to experience different things in life," Caltech President Jean-Lou Chameau, an engineer who loves cooking, said in explaining why a school without a botany course is embracing a project that seems more suited to a farm college than a Nobel Prize factory.
The olive trees, which average 80 years of age, provide the science-and-engineering campus a canopy of shade from the San Gabriel Valley heat. But those trees drop so many olives in autumn, staining walkways black and felling skateboarders, that the school sprayed them to retard fruit growth and even considered replacing them with fruitless varieties.
In October, the ripening crop snagged the attention of students Ricky Jones and Dvin Adalian. They began an exercise that might date to Socrates' pupils in ancient Greece: whacking olive trees with a stick (in this case, a plastic pipe) and collecting what falls.
"I was just trying to relieve the stress from being inside and busy all the time. I wanted to go outside and do something else," recalled Jones, 21, a talkative biology major from Minnesota who wants to be a physician.
"As a physics major, I'm supposed to be working on a chalkboard or something," explained Adalian, 20, who is from Virginia. "But it's nice to go out and do something physically and show I can do something useful besides physics work."
The two proposed an experiment: Could Caltech's trees produce olive oil?
"We want to figure out stuff people haven't done at Caltech yet," Jones said. "There is always this feeling at Caltech that you want to find something new to do."
Good timing intervened. Recently arrived from being second in command at Georgia Tech, Chameau and his wife, Carol Carmichael, noticed the pair at work with tarps and buckets on the aptly named Olive Walk. Told of their plans, Chameau issued a challenge: If they actually made oil, he would cook them dinner at the presidential residence.
The students, with help at various times from as many as 15 friends, took up the dare, armed with a little Internet research and a lot of winging it.
Their 30 pounds of black and green olives were cleaned, soaked and (somewhat) pitted. Four kitchen blenders in the Ruddock House dorm pulverized the olives into "this slurry, a disgusting mess," Jones recalled. The glop, Adalian said, was stewed in "lots and lots of pots" for two hours in kitchens on three dorm floors.
The odor triggered some complaints. "The smell of stewing olives is wonderful, but it is a little bit powerful," conceded Jones, the dorm president.
It took engineering trial and error to separate the oil from water and solids.
The students first placed the stew inside plastic garbage bags ・with cheesecloth and punctured holes at the bottom ・and pressed down with cinderblocks and concrete pieces. Some oil dripped into bowls, but most of the bags remained clogged.
The next idea was more successful: press the stew by hand through window screens. (Yes, they did clean the screens first.) Then, with the consent of a somewhat baffled professor, they purified the oil by spinning it in centrifuges in a biology lab.
Jones explained the process in Caltech-speak: "They are different chemical structures, and because of that they don't bind to each other and don't have the same molecular weight. So you use a centrifuge to take advantage of that property and separate them by density. So oil will go to the top and water will go to the bottom, along with dirt and particulate matter."
The result, stored in plastic test tubes with blue caps, was about a half-liter of nice-tasting oil. Late one night, the crew delivered a surprise portion to the president's house.
"We didn't realize they would actually have the moxie to walk up to our door at 10 o'clock at night and hand us the olive oil," recalled Carmichael, a technology researcher who is now Caltech's senior counselor for external relations. But, keeping their pledge, she and Chameau invited the group over for a November dinner of rabbit stew, onion tarte and cranberry sorbet.
The students' oil was not used in the meal, but the presidential couple and their six guests taste-tested it along with store-bought samples from around the world.
Carmichael admitted having suspicions. "I have to say at first I was not sure I would eat this without seeing them eat it too," she said. "We were sort of new on campus and heard all the local legends of Caltech pranks. We didn't want to be eating dish soap or something." As it turned out, the oil tasted "wonderful."
The students' success inspired Delmy Emerson, Caltech's buildings and grounds director. Her staff sent a batch of olives to a commercial presser. The resulting 54 small bottles are being given to donors, guests and staff.
In a major expansion, plans are underway to harvest 60 trees as part of a festival next fall. Students, faculty and grounds crews will do the work from ladders and cherry pickers.
The Santa Barbara Olive Co. will handle pressing and bottling, although students will design the labels. The anticipated 3,000 12.7-ounce bottles will be sold on campus and could generate at least $30,000 ・probably for scholarships or gardeners' bonuses.
Craig Makela, president of the Santa Barbara Olive Co., recently visited Caltech to teach grounds workers and students how to turn the trees from ornaments into providers. He was joined by landscape architect Douglas Campbell, an adjunct professor at USC who is advising Caltech on sustainable agriculture.
Standing on Olive Walk, Makela urged the gardeners to trim the trees, which average 45 feet in height, and described an organic deterrent for fruit flies he uses on the 5,500 trees at his Gaviota Coast farm: Put a yeast mixture in plastic bottles hanging from trees; flies enter through holes but can't escape.
Although he had to explain that olives should be picked by hand (no sticks allowed), Makela said the students "got the principles right." He joked that Caltech, which manages the Jet Propulsion Lab in La Cada Flintridge, might wind up sending "a bottle of olive oil to the moon."
Caltech has joined the California Olive Oil Council, a trade group, and expects to submit its wares for lab and taste tests to gain that group's approval for extra virgin oil ・indicating low acidity, among other things. It is not the first university to do so.
UC Davis wanted to prevent bicycle and pedestrian spills caused by olives dropping from its 1,500 trees, according to Dan Flynn, manager of the campus' olive oil program. The UC Davis Olive Oil brand offers several varieties, including one named after Gunrock, the school's mascot mustang.
Cal State Fresno is working on a much bigger scale, testing mechanical picking on 12,000 trees planted very densely on 20 acres. That school expects this year to produce about 4,000 bottles of Fresno State Estate Reserve.
Caltech's product will be sold under the name Olive Walk. With such commerce, Caltech students realize their oil's quirky origins may be lost, but that's an acceptable trade-off if the harvest festival, complete with a celebratory dinner, becomes a tradition.
Jones imagines a future when he might attend an olive festival as an old alumnus. "The students," he joked, "will be bathing in oil and they could have oil-chugging contests."

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Looking for help preserving apple cultivar

Pam-Anela wrote:
I was referred to your organization through a series of connections with my question.
I have a client in Danville, CA, who has an apple tree on her property that she was told was a special cultivar from UC Davis (from the previous owner). I don’t know much else about the tree but she would like to have some grafts done on it so that it can be preserved in some form in the unlikely but possible event that something happens to the tree during construction operations. Would you know of someone who could take on this task? Could you point me in the direction of someone who might?

Thank you.

Pam-Anela Messenger
Landscape A R C H I T E C T
3341 Victoria Avenue
Lafayette, CA 94549-4620

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Light brown apple moth info

Click here for info on the Light Brown Apple Moth from the California State Department of Agriculture, including photos.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Classic work on Fig varieties available online

Click here to go to a letter in the latest issue of California Agriculture, which in turn contains a link to Ira Condit's 1955 classic, Fig Varieties: A Monograph.

"Kiwibob" Glanzman has scanned it and posted it online, available to all for downloading. His letter explains more about why it is a classic and important document.

While you're there, check out the rest of California Agriculture. Subscriptions are free for US residents.

Looking for Patrick Schafer's email address

Would you happen to have Patrick Schafer's e-mail address? I am a fellow CRFG member in Seattle, and had a few questions for him about Loquats and Figs. I noticed he recently donated quite a bit of Loquat material to the ARS bank, and could use his knowledge on the subject.
Thank you-
Mark Wamsley

Friday, March 30, 2007

Orange County Chapter Grafting DVD Available

The Orange County chapter's "Techniques of Grafting" DVD is ready to ship. It includes different techniques performed by specialist:Julie Frink on Splice GraftingDennis Luby on Bark GraftingDon Winterstein on Cleft GraftingRoger Meyer on Air Layerng andRiley Holly on Clonal PropagationIt's a must have reference guide for only $12.00 including shipping in the United States.For more information contact/e-mail: graftingdvd@ocfruit.comHerb Leeherblee@bates-lee.com714.549.1757 x215

Friday, March 23, 2007

Light brown apple moth

Contra Costa Times says: "A fruit-eating Australian moth has arrived in the continental United States for the first time, landing in the East Bay and threatening major economic damage to crops if the infestation spreads, state agriculture officials announced Wednesday."

Read more here:

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Santa Clara Valley chapter meeting Sat, April 14

We will have our next meeting on Sat. April 14 from 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM at Prusch Farm Park on budding and grafting citrus and avocados. Prusch Park is located at 647 S. King Road in San Jose. Bring fruit to taste.

Nancy Garrison
Santa Clara Valley chapter

Monday, March 19, 2007

See where your organic bananas come from

If they're Dole organic bananas, that is. Go to, and type in the farm number from the sticker to see info and pictures about the farm the bananas came from. They show a picture of a sticker, with farm number 776, so you can try it out even if you don't have any of their bananas on hand.

(Other interesting produce sticker info: conventionally grown produce has a four-digit number on the sticker. If it is preceded by a 9, the produce is organic. Preceded by an 8, it is genetically modified--look out!)

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Clytia Chambers, 84; PR executive developed Fruit Gardener magazine

If you would like to read more about Clytia go back to the May/June 2000 issue of our Fruit Gardener magazine.

Clytia Chambers, a retired public relations executive who turned a newsletter about exotic fruit into the bimonthly magazine Fruit Gardener, died Feb. 20 of complications related to old age at a Pasadena care facility, said her husband, Robert Chambers. She was 84. The complete article can be viewed at:,0,5063762.story?coll=la-news-obituaries

Monday, March 5, 2007

Calamondin demise

I took out our calamondin today--it was at death's door. I am wondering if it had Oak Root Fungus/Armillaria, or if this is some other fungus. The white "stuff" is not thick like plaques of mycelium, and there have been no mushrooms, no rhizomorphs that I could find, no fungal odor.

Anyone have experience of something like this/know for sure what it is?

CRFG LA Chapter March/April Newsletter

From the LA chatper:

There are 5 wonderful events happening in March and April. Be sure to check them out and try to make it to them. You will have a lot of fun and learn a lot.

Pat Valdivia,
LA Chapter
Newsletter Editor


March 2007 Volume X Issue 2
Our website--
CRFG website:

March Meeting
Date: Saturday, March 24, 2007
Time: 10:00 A.M.
Place: Sepulveda Garden Center
16633 Magnolia Blvd., Encino, CA 91316

Program: Dr. Greg Partida will speak on “The Treatment on Freeze-Damaged Avocados”. Greg is a dynamic speaker with over 30 years of experience in the area of AG Biology and fruit industries. He has consulted in cultural practices of avocado throughout the production area of California.
April Meeting **NOTE-Tour is on a week day. **

Date: Thursday, April 5, 2007
Time: 10:00 A.M.
Place: Boskoivich Farms, 711 Diaz Ave. Oxnard, CA (805 487-2299)

Program: Tour of the Boskovich Farms packing house. Since 1915, the name Boskovich has been associated with the finest fresh produce. Today, three generations later, they're still family owned and operated. They grow on more than 10,000 acres of land, producing nearly 30 vegetable crops and strawberries year round. In addition, their processing division, Boskovich Fresh Cut, provides a diverse line of fresh-cut produce for foodservice and retail.
**Wear flat shoes (no high heels: There will be a fair amount of walking)
.Wear warm clothing (The "chilling facilities" are quite cold).

Directions: From Los Angeles head "north" on the 101 (toward Ventura). Exit at Rose Avenue. Turn left over the freeway and go about two miles. When you cross the railroad tracks, cross 5th street also-(don't turn on 5th street) and go one more block. Turn right on Mountain View. Next, turn Right at Richmond. Look for Boskovich Farms truck entrance. You will enter there.

California Cherimoya Association Annual Meeting and Program will be held Saturday, March10th starting at 10 am. The event will take place at the Faulkner Farm in Santa Paula. There will be a tour of the Faulkner Farm in the morning followed by a BBQ lunch. After lunch there will be a tour of Calavo. The price of the BBQ is $20.00 per person. The event itself is free Call Scott Van Der Kar at 805 684-7900 for more information.

Directions: Corner of Briggs and Telegraph, Santa Paula, CA 93060. From Hwy 126 take Briggs Rd. offramp north ¼ mile. Parking entrance is on Briggs Rd. through the gate on the left side (before reaching Telegraph Rd).

TASTING TABLE: If your last name begins with A-M, please bring something for our March Meeting.

California Freeze Wrecks Havoc

Agriculture & Natural Resources
University of California
669 County Square Drive, Suite 100
Ventura, California 93003-5401
(805) 645-1451 Fax: (805) 645-1474
Rehabilitation of Freeze-Damaged Citrus and Avocado Trees
by Nick Sakovich and Ben Faber

For the first time since the great freeze of '89-90, we have experienced a little more than minor damage to our crops. Compared to the San Joaquin Valley, Ventura country escaped without major damage; although there were some areas harder hit like the Ojai Valley and some canyons near Santa Paula. Many parts of the SJV were hard hit.
As in the freeze of 1990, your trees must be cared for in the same way during this post freeze period. In 1990, advice was issued to the grower about the rehabilitation of their trees, both citrus and avocado. We would like to review that information for you at this time. How can we best aid tree recovery so that tree growth and yield will proceed most rapidly?
Citrus and avocado leaves appear wilted or flaccid during periods of low temperature. This is a natural protective response to freezing temperatures and does not mean the leaves have been frozen. Leaves will be firm and brittle and often curled when frozen. Leaves become flaccid after thawing, and if the injury is not too great, they gradually regain turgor and recover, leaving however, dark flecks on the leaves.
Seriously frozen leaves collapse, dry out, and remain on the tree. Foliage form recent flushes are most susceptible to this damage. If twigs or wood have been seriously damaged, the frozen leaves may remain on the tree for several weeks. If the twigs and wood have not been damaged severely, the leaves are rapidly shed. Trees losing their leaves rapidly is often a good sign and is not, as many growers believe a sign of extensive damage.
Cold damage to the twigs appears as water soaking or discoloration. In older branches and trunks it appears as splitting or loosening of bark where the cambium has been killed. Bark may curl and dry with many small cracks. Dead patches of bark may occur in various locations on limbs and trunk.
Sensitivity to frost is dependent upon many variables. In general, mandarins are the most cold hardy followed by sweet orange and grapefruit. Lemons are very frost sensitive with Eureka decidedly more sensitive than Lisbon. For avocados, Hass is about as cold tolerant as lemons, while Bacon is more cold tolerant. Limes are the least cold hardy. Healthy trees are more tolerant than stressed ones. The rootstock also imparts sensitivity onto the scion.
Injury to the foliage and to young trees may be immediately recognizable but the true extent of the damage to larger branches, trunks, and rootstocks may not appear for on to four months following the freeze. No attempt should be made to prune or even assess damage from the frost until spring when new growth appears.
The only treatment that should be done rapidly after a freeze is whitewashing. Often the most sever damage following a freeze results from sunburn of exposed twigs and branches after defoliation. Avocados and lemons are the most susceptible to sunburn, oranges not as much; but, if the tree has been defoliated, applying whitewash would be precautionary. Temperatures do not have to be extremely high to cause sunburn.
Pruning should be carried out to prevent secondary pathogens and wood decay organisms from slowing tree recovery. Again, however, there should be no rush to prune. Premature pruning, at the very least, may have to be repeated and, at the worst, it can slow tree rehabilitation. It should be remembered that when pruning, all cuts should be made into living wood. Try to cut flush with existing branches at crotches. Do not leave branch stubs or uneven surfaces. Tools should be disinfected in bleach or other fungicide before moving on to the next tree.
The extent of pruning is dictated by the amount of freeze damage:
Light Damage
Where only the foliage and small twigs are injured, pruning is not required.
Medium Damage
Where a considerable part of the top has been killed but the trunk and main crown limbs show little damage, branches should be removed back to living wood above vigorous sprouts.
Severe Damage
Where the top and crown limbs are severely damaged but there are sprouts above the bud union, the tree should be cut back to the uppermost sprout.
Extreme Damage
Where trees are killed to the bud union or the rootstock has been girdled, the trees should be removed and replaced with new trees.

Irrigate carefully! Remember that when leaves are lost, obviously evaporation from leaves is greatly reduced, and, therefore the amount of water required is also greatly reduced. A frost-damaged tree will use the same amount of water as a much younger or smaller tree. Over irrigation will not result in rapid recovery. Instead, it may induce root damage and encourage growth of root rotting organisms. This is particularly true for avocados. Irrigation should be less frequent, and smaller amounts of water should be applied until trees have regained their normal foliage development.
Fertilization of freeze-damaged trees should be carefully considered. There is no
evidence to indicate that frozen trees respond to any special fertilizer that is supposed to stimulate growth. If trees are severely injured-with large limbs or even parts of the trunk killed-nitrogen fertilizer applications should be greatly reduced, until the structure and balance of the tree become re-established.
Trees should be watched for evidence of deficiencies of minor elements. Deficiencies of zinc, manganese, copper, and iron are most likely to develop. For citrus, these materials should be applied as sprays, and they should be used as often as symptoms are observed.
Two or more applications may be required the first year.
Pierce College Agricultural Science Department FARMWALK
Don’t miss a fun day at Pierce College Our LA Chapter will have a booth, so we’ll look forward to seeing you there!
Sunday, April 22, 20079:00am - 4:00pm
6201 Winnetka Ave. Woodland Hills, CA $5.00 donation per person Children under 12 free
California Dairy Council's Mobile Classroom (cow milking demonstrations) BBQSimply Marie & Her Canyon Cowboys "Live"Sheep Shearing & Wool SpinningHorse Shoe- Forging- Exotic Animal ShowsPetting Zoo - Kung Fu Demonstration California Women for Agriculture Booth Agriculture Educational Center Booth) and much more!

PACAY By: Alfredo ChiriPACAY - Inga feuillei - FabaceaeDonated by: CRFG/Barkman and planted in 1998 (r.f.-06)Common names: Ice-cream beans, Pacae, Guarma, Guamo, Rabo de MicoThe Andean "Pacay" is widely grown in highland valleys as well as in coastal lowlands of Perú and Ecuador. The tree pods have been favorite snacks for their sweet, mealy pulp and are eaten as fruit. The species has also been introduced across most of tropical South America, Panama and Costa Rica. The tree is most widespread in areas without a dry season (Andean South America, western Brazil) or with a dry season of 3 to 4 months and minimum rainfall around 1200 mm. In South America this tree is often employed as a shade tree in the coffee and cacao plantations.The Pacay pods have been called in English the "ice-cream beans" because they are reminiscent of cotton candy.The Pacay tree grows up to 51 feet tall, with broad spreading crown. The bark is pale gray, and the trunk is cylindrical to 12 inches in diameter. Branching starts at 3 to 6 feet from base, forming a broad, flat, moderately dense canopy. Leaves are once pinnate, up 4 to 12 inches long, with 4-6 pairs of opposite oval leaflets. Between each pair of leaflets they are separated by a winged rhachis.Flowers are fragrant, solitary, arranged at the tips of stems or solitary in upper axils. Corolla is silky. The tree may flower throughout the year, but in regions with a short dry season it is most likely to flower at the beginning of the wet season.The fruits are ribbed, cylindrical pods, straight or spirally twisted, up to a yard long, occasionally even longer, and 1 to 2 inches in diameter. The fruits contain fleshy green seeds (1 inch long) in a sweet, white, cottony pulp. Seeds sometimes begin to germinate in the pod. The pods do not ship well. The seed storage is very poor.The Pacay tree can tolerate short droughts. The tree is tolerant of acid soils, outgrowing many other leguminous trees under such conditions. It is a forest gap generator, and although seedlings often establish themselves in the shade of other trees, it needs light to grow and flower. In the forest it becomes a canopy tree, but it is also common in secondary forest.Like most legumes, the Pacay trees fix nitrogen and improve the soil around them. The litter is high in organic nitrogen, lignins and polyphenols. It is slow to decompose but provides a long-term build-up of organic nitrogen.

Please note: 1 ½ cups of flour were missing from last month’s newsletter
Recipe is from Phyllis Parker of our Los Angeles CRFG Chapter
Nonstick cooking spray
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
2 or three green tomatoes, cored and cut into eighths
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with oil. 2. Cream butter and sugar, when slightly fluffy, beat in eggs and vanilla. 3. Combine flour, baking powder and salt and sift into the creamed butter mixture; beat well. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Arrange green tomatoes pieces in concentric circles over batter. Sprinkle lightly with sugar and cinnamon. 4. Bake 50 minutes to 1 hour or until cake is firm and golden and tests when done. Serves 8.

CITY OF RIVERSIDE’ CITRUS HERITAGE CELEBRATIONOn Saturday, April 21, 2007, the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at UC Riverside, 900 University Ave., Riverside, CA 92521 will hold an even bigger and better version of the 2006 Agricultural Experiment Station Open House. This time CNAS will partner with the City of Riverside’s Citrus Heritage Celebration to create a fun-filled event for the whole family.

From 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., the college will host all comers in fact-filled tours of its fabled Citrus Variety Collection, Agricultural Operations station and fields, Entomology Museum, Botanic Garden, and greenhouses.
Check out the famous Citrus Tasting Booth with world-famous UCR-developed varieties of oranges, grapefruits, and tangerines.
Visit booths explaining up-to-the-minute research on plants, soil, water, and pests; eat barbeque; and dance to a live band. Much of the fun takes place in Lot 30, at the corner of Martin Luther King Blvd. and Canyon Crest Dr., across from The Agricultural Operation Field. Buses will take you to other attractions.

In April we will open up for blueberry orders. Interested purchasers should go to the Fall Creek Nursery site (, click on the "commercial" icon, and then on that page click on "Southern Varieties" to get to a catalog of plants and their description. For those not on the internet Lynn has order forms. Those on the internet can simply email him with each variety and quantity desired. He will acknowledge all orders

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Homework for the next chapter meeting

There is an article in today's Chronicle about the decline in bee populations.

BEES ON THEIR KNEES, GARDENERS TO THE RESCUE / A world without bees is a world without chocolate / UC professor says urban ga...

Here is a link to Professor Gordon Frankie's Urban Bee Gardens website--fascinating & useful.
Guide To Bee-Friendly Gardens - Home

Friday, March 2, 2007

Durians--Not in My Hotel!

Thanks to Bruce Goren for sending us this link to a National Geographic video: Video: Durian "Wars" Fought in Malaysia Hotels

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Central Coast Chapter CRFG Newsletter Posted

The March/April newsletter is posted at: The mango is the featured fruit. Alice

Looking for Container Gardening Editor

I know how hard it is for chapters to get volunteers so imagine our plight. Our Container Gardening editor has just submitted his last column and we need to find a replacement. Please poll the folks in your chapters to see if there is any interest. No wealth and certainly no great fame, just the satisfaction of passing on some information and hearing from grateful (and frequently helpful) readers. The volunteer gets the title of editor of Fruit Gardener, which might look good on the resume. Please let me or Ron Couch ( know if you have any volunteers or even a candidate.

Looking for Container Gardening Editor

I know how hard it is for chapters to get volunteers so imagine our plight. Our Container Gardening editor has just submitted his last column and we need to find a replacement. Please poll the folks in your chapters to see if there is any interest. No wealth and certainly no great fame, just the satisfaction of passing on some information and hearing from grateful (and frequently helpful) readers. The volunteer gets the title of editor of Fruit Gardener, which might look good on the resume. Please let me or Ron Couch ( know if you have any volunteers or even a candidate. Bill Grimes

Monday, February 26, 2007


I spent all day organizing the horticultural information I've compiled during the outrageous number of hours I've spent combing the web.

Here is the fruit of my labor: Resources

Friday, February 23, 2007


Colors of Spring

Oxalis! Yellow, ever-growing.
Oxalis green: My heart o'erflowing
With deepest, blackest, lethal loathing
Beats for your demise.


Thursday, February 22, 2007


A friend that lives in Livermore wants to grow tamarillo (his wife is from New Zealand). Where can he find plants and what kind of care of they need? Thanks a bunch. He's been nagging since he found out I am in the CRFG. Thanks Alice

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Sacramento CRFG Chapter Plant Sale--at the Zoo!

Here is some info from the Sacramento chapter about an upcoming plant sale.

Bloomin Crazy Day

Plant Sale

March 3rd, 9:00a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

At the Sacramento Zoo

We (Sacramento chapter) are being given the opportunity to have a table to hand out information and have a plant sale. If you have plants, seedlings, or plant related items, please contact Ray ( about attending this. If you are willing to join Ray and help at the table with information, etc., let him know as soon as possible. In 1990 we gave the zoo 1600 fruit and flowering trees, we maintained and grafted there for many years . We are just getting a relationship that is mutually rewarding again so I hope you will attend, maybe help at the table, and enjoy a fun day at the Zoo.

Monday, February 5, 2007

If I you only had space for two grape varieties...

Here's a question for the group:

If you only had space for two grape varieties, which ones would you grow and why?

This question was spurred by reading Idell's list (there's a link to it on the right), "Grapes for a Cooler Bay Area Climate."


Thursday, February 1, 2007

New Chapter Blog


The Redwood Empire Chapter of CRFG recently had a poetry slam on their email list, writing and sharing haiku about the cold weather.

That made me so jealous that I started this blog for the Golden Gate Chapter. I envision it as a way to exchange fruit growing info and other items of interest in between chapter meetings.

Anyone can read it, so be nice! Also, anyone can comment on posts--just click the line that says 0 (or whatever number) comments. A page will come up where you will see a box to post your comment; just type it in. You can choose to sign it with your Google account, or as "other" (in which case you can type in your name), or as "anonymous."

If you want to initiate posts (including photos!), you will need to have or create a Google account, and send me your email address. I'll check it against the list of chapter subscribers, and set you up.

Don't let lack of familiarity with internet stuff intimidate you--this isn't too hard. If you run into difficulties with it, email me and I'll be happy to help you.

Gail Morrison