Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Volunteers! Thank You For A Successful Scion Exchange!

At first I didn't write an email because I was completely exhausted
from the Scion Exchange. Then, when I had a bit more energy, I felt
as if I had to write professional writer level prose and put it off
'til I could summon that. But hang it all, people need to be
congratulated! We don't yet have tabulated figures for the number of
new members nor the money raised for the chapter. I don't know about
you, but it felt like a success to me. I was heartened to see a bit
of diversity in who was coming, the sign in sheet showed that some of
our PR efforts have worked, and we had a lot of people in that room!
Despite the quarantine's effect on what we can offer in our raffle,
we had fairly good participation in it.

NONE of this would be possible without all the many volunteers who
gave of their time and energy to make the Scion Exchange happen. I
want to avoid the trap of naming names and thus possibly leaving
someone out. I want to leave no volunteer out. You know who you
are. Know that I am very grateful for all of your help. I always
knew that the Scion Exchange was a lot of work but being on the
inside this year showed me that it's a minor miracle every year that
we can pull it off with the few resources we have.

The course of this event demonstrated something I'll be repeating
again and again until everyone knows it by heart: while we depend on
the volunteers who take on offices or big chunks of work, we are also
supported by and indebted to those who make whatever small contribution
they can. Even twenty minutes of help once a year can make a
difference. Do whatever you can and you will see this chapter
establish strong roots and thrive....and bear a harvest of
information and experiences that benefit YOU.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Mangosteens at Monterey Market

I went to the screening of Eat at Bill's last night, and Bill Fujimoto was there to answer questions. Someone asked, "What's new?" and he said they expect to have fresh mangosteens at the Monterey Market by the end of the week! (They are irradiated; he said that's the only way to get at insects under the calyx.)

Friday, January 11, 2008

New Tropical Fruits Coming to a Market Near You

New varieties of tropical fruit may soon make landfall on the U.S. mainland, thanks to work by scientists with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. They are using crop management practices to increase yield and obtain high-quality tropical fruit that can be imported safely into the continental United States.

For instance, U.S. imports of mamey sapote--a cantaloupe-sized fruit prized by the Hispanic community in the United States--have been restricted by concerns that it may serve as a host for the West Indian fruit fly. But studies conducted by TARS entomologist David Jenkins indicate that these insects are unlikely to infest mamey sapote crops produced in Puerto Rico.

The station also maintains a germplasm collection of other exotic tropical and subtropical plants, including sapodilla, Spanish lime, and species of Annona and Garcinia.

Large-scale cash crop research at TARS focuses on bananas (92 accessions) and plantains (29 accessions) (in the Musa genus), cacao, papaya, beans and sorghum. Horticulturist Brian Irish and research leader Ricardo Goenaga are conducting research evaluating Musa germplasm.

Click here for more, and be sure to click through to the full magazine article, which has much more info and lots of great photos.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Monterey Market film to be shown at Kensington library Jan. 14

Kensington Library
Monday, January 14th at 7 p.m.
Join us for a screening of Eat at Bill's: Life in the Monterey Market, a film by Lisa Brenneis, a California citrus grower. This is a fascinating look behind the scenes at a very influential local grocery store, and the people who work and shop there. After the film Bill Fujimoto, owner of the Monterey Market, will be available to answer questions.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Don't Forget to RSVP!

For a while now, I have been posting chapter event notices at Upcoming.org I hope this will help us reach potential new members. However, YOU can help. By RSVPing at our event listings on Upcoming (even if it seems pointless because everyone knows you always attend meetings), you help our event sort higher on Upcoming's home page. Which means more people see it. Which means more people might attend. So please PLEASE RSVP at our Scion Exchange listing on Upcoming.org

If you already have a Yahoo ID (from Yahoo Mail or Yahoo Groups, etc.), you can just sign in with that. If not, you'll have to create an account. If you're worried about privacy, I have NEVER gotten any spam due to my registration and activity on Upcoming.org

If you go to Upcoming.org, add "spidra" as a contact and you will be able to see all CRFG events I post there by just selecting "My Friends' Events" in the top menu.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Merritt Grafting Class

Grafting for the home fruit orchard: A one day class covering grafting, budding, planting, pruning and care of the home fruit orchard. This class is designed for the gardener with limited space who wants to maximize fruit production and variety. The class is 9-4pm Sat Feb 9th, Room H108 Merritt College, The course number is 848pb, the class code is M1433. The fee is $78, the materials fee is $5 which includes 2 dwarf apple rootstocks, one citrus rootstock and all the scion material. You can enroll by phone at 510 436-2413 or enroll at the beginning of the class (please pay by check or cash). The instructor is Susan Ashley, who teaches propagation and grafting at Merritt College.She can be reached at Susanwashley@gmail.com. Thank You