Please be aware that we will be unable to Zoom this field trip because there is no cell reception up on the mountain. So far eight members are heading up. Why not join them?
Obviously not our traditional Second Saturday meeting day (or meeting time for that matter), but we are just so grateful to Dan Nelson for finding another slot for us — after draconian weather forecasts led him and us to cancel the trip in early September.
Temperatures should be much more comfortable for all concerned so make sure to get this onto your calendar pronto. Unfortunately, we don’t have a plant availability/price list yet but will get it to chapter members as soon as we do.
By now all chapter members should have received the address and plant price list for our field trip on the 10th. If you haven’t, please let us know! Because we are going to be allowed to park on the grounds this year, there will also be an updated address in your meeting reminder later this week.
Please, please, please email the list of your wants to us by Wednesday so we can get them to Laverne in time for them to pull the plants. They will be waiting for us at the end of the tour. They have to be paid for in CASH.
If you need more information on the size of the plants, this is a more detailed .pdf. The dates listed are when the plants, mostly described last week as SS or substandard, are expected to be up to snuff. Some of the dates will have already passed by the time we get to Piru and therefore those plants should be full size. Other dates are as soon as 10/1 but some are not until next year. Please keep that in mind when making your selections. You can also see the number of plants available for each size. and their actual dimensions.
Many of you have been startled by how much more expensive the plants are this year than in the past. We are assuming the skyrocketing prices of gas and water have much to do with that. Out of curiosity, I stopped by my local Armstrong’s Garden Center today where 5 gallon citrus trees are $59.99 and 5 gallon avocados are $69.99. Obviously the prices we are being offered are much better than that.
Anyhow, plant acquisitions aside, this is always one of my favorite tours. Our host, Director of Nursery Operations Dan Nelson, is both knowledgeable and charming and it is always fascinating to see how the pros propagate and grow up some of our most loved plants.
For the first time in almost three years, we are finally getting up close and personal again with the amazing growing fields (and propagation greenhouse) of the great wholesale fruit nursery LaVerne . It was recently purchased by Everde Growers but we have been assured the staff and congeniality will remain the same. This is primarily an outdoor field trip (with the exception of the grafting tables/ greenhouse) so you will need a hat. Also there are no restrooms so stake out nearby gas stations!
Exact address and further details will be sent to members as soon as we have them; as will, of course, a plant availability list for any who want to buy fresh new plants at wholesale.
I know many WLA members are members of the LA Chapter as well and therefore are aware of their field trip to LaVerne Nursery scheduled for this past Saturday. Just wanted to alert you that the WLA chapter will be doing the same tour on September 10th (NOT July 9th) so if you missed LA or would rather a more intimate gathering, wait for ours! Details of time, place, and how to order plants for pickup there will be available as the date nears.
Image from Google Maps Street View.
Thank you, Farshad, for making your amazing work available to us. And thank you also for your humorous and informative talk.
Here are some photos Marge Blavin took from below while us “mountain goats” staggered ever higher. Note the mulberries which we feasted on & which were absolutely delicious.
You will have to get going a week early but boy, do we have an amazing field trip lined up for May 7th! One of our long-time members is giving us the very great privilege of visiting his over three-quarters of an acre planted with hundreds of densely planted fruit trees. A master propagator, he has created many of these trees himself though he also buys others from local nurseries, just like us regular mortals. An ambitious fruit grower who is always pushing boundaries, he generously shares both his successes and failures, so there is not a soul who will fail to learn something from this trip. There is however one BIG CAVEAT! The property is almost vertical and better suited to mountain goats than yes, us regular mortals. As a result, only the hardiest among you should attempt the visit (and Margaret suggests walking sticks if you have them). Our Program Chair will be live streaming as she did our previous vertical field trip to Aaron Ostrom’s. If you participated in that Zoom, you know Deborah is really good at videoing whereas yours truly (responsible for the last two disasters) is not. So rest assured you will actually see something this time.
Because this is a field trip to a private home it is restricted to active chapter members only. Members will be receiving a newsletter with the address and Zoom links. If you intend to attend in person, could you please let us know? Our host figures he can handle no more than 40 people.
Master Gardener Aaron Ostrom has kindly invited us to visit his rather large urban, hillside garden of ornamentals and edibles, including Almond, Aprium, Apple, Atemoya, Avocado, Banana, Barbados Cherry, Blackberry, Cape Gooseberry, Capulin Cherry, Carob, Chaya, Che, Cherimoya, Chocolate Pudding Fruit, Citrus of every sort, Coffee, Elderberry, Fig, Goji, Guamuchil, Guava, Ice Cream Bean, Jaboticaba, Java Plum, Jujube, Lemonade Berry, Lingaro, Longan, Loquat, Lychee, Macadamia, Mango, Natal Plum, Nectaplum, Papaya, Passion Fruit, Peach, Peanut Butter Fruit, Pear, Pepino Dulce, Persimmon, Phalsa Berry, Pindo Palm, Pineapple, Pomegranate, Raisin Tree, Raspberry, Sichuan Pepper, Sugar Cane, Surinam Cherry, Walnut, Wampee, White Sapote, etc. What a Rare Fruit wonderland! Aaron has lived all over the world and his plantings truly reflect that.
He does note that the garden is not accessible for those who have difficulty climbing stairs and slopes but our Program Chair Deborah Hartnett will be Zooming the trip to those of us stuck at home.
Aaron’s address and Zoom links will arrive in your newsletter ASAP.
Most of us know Mark Steele as the extremely knowledgeable banana expert who has generously shared with us (at both LA and WLA chapter meetings) his vast experience with the AAA and BBB genome groups (and everything in between).
He is also, however, a self-proclaimed Fig Nerd… as witnessed by his co-hosting a major sale of exotic fig plants this past fall. And now we have a rare chance to see both his banana plants and fig tree, as well as citrus, stone fruit, cherimoya, and other fruits he grows.
When not in his garden or chasing his 4-year-old son, Mark is a Professor of Biology at California State University Northridge.
On Saturday, July 10th, he will be taking us on a tour of his yard and discussing the ups and downs of fruit cultivation. While most of us will be tuning in via Zoom, he says he can handle up to 5 warm immunized bodies, so if you would like to attend in person, please let us know. This may well be your once in a lifetime opportunity to head home with some of Mark’s special plants, so attendance will have to be on a first-come, first served basis.
Zoom links, etc will be in members’ forthcoming newsletter. Mark’s address will only be provided to those who make the 5 body cut -off. PLEASE do not claim a spot unless you are 100% you can attend.