Charles Portney on Blueberries July 13th @ 10 am (NB different location!)

For the very last chapter meeting I am solely responsible for arranging (thank you, new Program Chair Alan!) I have managed to persuade the esteemed Charles Portney to speak to us on “38 years of Amateur Blueberry Growing in Southern California”. 
 
I don’t know anyone who has grown as many different varieties of blueberries here, successfully, as Charles has and — bottom line — he is an amusing and highly authoritative speaker on just about anything.  Come to learn how you can grow this healthy and delicious fruit in pots or in the ground…. and, yes, without chemicals or animal-based products.
 
Because Charles will also be speaking at the Festival of Fruit in August, we had to switch our Field Trip month with our Chapter meeting month to accommodate his schedule, hence the July 13th date. 
 
In addition, because our normal Culver City location was already booked, we are — thanks to the hard work of our new Facilities Chair Cat —  able to try a different and temporary location:  the Reed Park Auditorium at 1133 Seventh Street in Santa Monica.  This is just above Wilshire Blvd in downtown Santa Monica;  and while there is some metered street parking on all four sides of the park, there is also parking a few blocks away at either City Parking Structure 9, (1136 4th Street) or the Public Library at 7th Street between Arizona and Santa Monica Boulevard.  Structure 9 is free for the first 90 minutes and then $2.00 for the next half hour and $1.50 for the next, at which point you should probably leave.  The Library lot is free for the first 30 minutes and then $1 for every half hour after that.  BUT the maximum for the whole day is $5 so once you’ve parked at the library, you could come to the meeting and then hit the beach and the Farmer’s Market for hours (or Sidecar Doughnuts across 7th Street from our meeting)

Meeting June 8th @ 10 am: Dr. Leryn Gorlitsky on the Fig & the Wasp

Dr. Gorlitsky is a Senior Researcher at UCLA’s Center for Tropical Research as well as a lecturer in the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability (whose mantra is Moving Science to Action) As such, she is intimately engaged in efforts to combat everything from invasive species to mass extinctions. Her specialty of Tropical Ecology, however, intersects with our interest in exactly what is going on in our back forties. She will be lecturing to us on Coevolution, focusing on the interaction between the fig and the wasp.

Margaret’s friend Britten is currently a student in one of Dr. Gorlitsky’s UCLA classes and reports she is both an engaging and incredibly knowledgeable lecturer. This is definitely a meeting not to be missed.

Field Trip to Champa Nursery May 11th @ 10 a.m.

This month we will visit Champa Nursery in El Monte. Jimmy Nguyen, the proprietor, has extended a kind welcome to us. Jimmy has over a hundred different varieties of tropical fruit trees in stock (on less than an acre!). Were you looking for that hard-to-find acerola cherry (Barbados cherry)? Jimmy has them! Want a new variety of black sapote? Jimmy has four varieties currently available! Were you anxious to try a sapodilla? Jimmy sells three varieties! He even has three varieties of mamey sapote! At Champa Nursery you will also find six different varieties of carambola, three varieties of canistel, an amazing eight varieties of jackfruit, a dozen varieties of mangoes, three varieties of longan, four varieties of lychee, five varieties of wax jambu, and many many more intriguing fruit trees. Go to their website and start your want list: https://www.champanursery.com. Carpooling is recommended.

Address: 4254 Tyler Ave, El Monte, CA 91311

Directions: Champa Nursery is on the corner of Santa Anita and Tyler Ave., next to the El Monte Airport. Take the I-10 Freeway east to El Monte. Take the Santa Anita Ave. exit (Exit 28) and turn left onto Santa Anita Ave. In just under 1 1/2 miles turn right onto Tyler Ave. Champa Nursery will be on your left.

Meeting April 13th @ 10 am: Ray Teurman on Bees!

We fruit growers need to know about bees:  how to encourage them in  our orchards,  how to protect them on our shared planet and, if nothing else, how to appreciate their  marvelously democratic society.  Bottom line, after all our planting, grafting, pruning, fertilizing and elaborate irrigation systems, without the girls we would have very little to eat.

At the enthusiastic recommendation of the Orange County chapter, we are thrilled to have snared Ray Teurman to speak to us about bees at our next meeting on April 13th.  Eight years a beekeeper and seven years a bee rescuer, Ray maintains 70 hives at homes in LA, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties  plus over 40 hives in apiaries in Long Beach, Hacienda Heights and Compton.  A member of the Bee Keepers Association of Southern Calfornia, Long Beach Beekeepers and Honey Love,  among other apis-centric organizations, he has been termed one of the unsung heroes of SoCal bee keeping and volunteerism. This is how he is described on the Bee Keepers Association of Southern California site:

Ray has recently begun his retired life.  That doesn’t mean sitting under an umbrella enjoying ice tea!  No!  He’s busy rescuing bees every single day.  He does cutouts, swarms, most jobs that other rescuers don’t have time for.  He does charge a fee, but it’s well worth it, as he charges a fair price  He does best by texting.  Please include your name, address where the bees are located, where the bees are (in a wall, in a tree, under the shed, etc.), how long they have been there, and a contact phone number.  Please be patient, as he could be busy in a tree.  Ray does enjoy help.  You can learn while helping!

Please call Ray by clicking the number. 323-599-6802 or text him.

Scion Exchange/Grafting Demos/Hands On Class February 9th

Yes, our biggest meeting of the year is just about upon us.   And for 2019, we are finally providing what has long been requested:  a chance  for you yourself to take a shot at grafting under the eyes of an expert.

We are also going to provide  intimate, close-up-and-personal  grafting demos by having four different experts each holding down his own table and teaching a variety of different grafts , the Cleft Graft, the Budding Graft, the Veneer Graft, etc.

The meeting will be in the MultiPurpose Room of the Culver City Veterans Memorial  complex.  The schedule will be as follows:

9:30-10 –  Registration, waiver signing, the Bringing In and Arranging of the Scion Wood (Click here to access a .pdf on how to collect and store scion wood from  your orchard)  Please place each variety in its own ziploc bag and label it!  Also, if you intend to collect wood at our exchange, bring more ziplocs, and a Magic Marker to label your precious finds.

NOTE:  Because of huanglongbing disease, NO CITRUS scion wood, fruit or roostock should be brought to the meeting or otherwise moved around the state.

10-10:30 – The Grafting Demos (you are encouraged to watch each of them, but obviously you can camp for the duration in front of Fang Liu, for example, if you are trying to master the veneer graft)

10:30-11 – Members allowed to select scion wood

11-11:30 – Non-members allowed to select scion wood

11:30-noon Hands on Grafting Classes with our Experts

Note:  while we will have knives, parafilm and grafting tape on hand, we will not necessarily  have enough rootstock and matching scion wood for all comers to take home an actual grafted tree.   The classes are designed to teach you the craft, period.  Odds are we will have a lot of avocado rootstock and  a lot of pear scion wood.  Despite the fact that avocados are sometimes referred to as Alligator Pears, this WILL NOT work.  Plus, your beautiful graft may be lopped off and replaced by the next student.

If you have a rootstock and scion wood of your own, however, that you want to learn to “marry” for life, feel free to bring ’em.

Field Trip/Workshop January 12th @ 10 am

Okay, so hopefully there will be no snow on the ground, but we are taking the opportunity of visiting a member’s relatively  new orchard to discuss our various preparations for winter.  Do you do dormant spraying? Do you remove the leaves from your trees in this most unseasonable of winters?  How do you train the young trees you planted last bareroot season?  How are you getting ready for the trees you will plant this year?  How do you prepare your orchard for the (fingers crossed) winter rains?  There will be plenty of time to tour the garden but also yak.  Come with ideas!

Party! Party! Party!

Chapter members, just a reminder: our holiday party is Saturday and the plant raffle is really starting to shape up,. Gros Michel banana pups, rose apple seedlings, and a one-gallon ice cream bean tree are among the offerings. This is a pot luck so bring your best dish (as well as plants to include in the raffle if you have them)  See you there!

Paradise Nursery address

Yup, forgot it in previous post:
10943 De Soto Avenue,
Chatsworth, CA 91311

This is just south of the DeSoto exit on the 118 at Rinaldi.  Entrance is easy to miss, so keep eyes peeled.