More about our October 13th meeting

Cribbed from the excellent newsletter Margaret Frane writes and sends to our members:

“Edgar is well known in the CRFG throughout California for developing great tasting (and beautiful) dragon fruit (pitahaya) varieties. You can purchase his dragon fruit varieties, such as Tricia and Edgar’s Baby, in many specialty nurseries.  Edgar grows well over 100 other fruit such as at least 20 varieties of cherimoya, lucuma, mulberry, and figs.  You can see a small smaple of them on the CRFG, Inc., “Let’s Find Out” series #12: https://www.crfg.org/piwigo/picture.php?/4733/category/53.

To hear other examples of Edgar speaking, listen and watch him on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZtoyxK-Fqs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UR-Zt-c0gu0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqrOkUAxYCE

 

October 13th @ 10 am: Edgar Valdivia on Cherimoya and Figs

Edgar Valdivia is one of the great fruit growers and researchers in the Southland with a specific interest in developing  new varieties of fruit.  Seven years ago he counted 112 different types of fruit in his orchard and he has surely developed even  more by now.  It is the  casual way he imparts a lifetime of fruit growing wisdom, however, that  makes him a living legend and a cherished speaker.  We are extremely lucky to have snared him for our October 13th meeting.  He will be talking to us about  cherimoyas and figs.  Do not miss him!!

More details on the Sept 8th field trip

From Bruce Blavin, our old Chair: “Our chapter is extraordinarily lucky to be getting  this opportunity to tour a truly inspirational home garden.  The owner has been growing fruit for more then 30 years and has literally hundreds of successful grafts.  He continues to graft and cultivate some of the rarest varieties of fruit trees from around the world.  The citrus collection is truly amazing and there is also a wide variety of Cherimoya, and even a rollinia tree.  He has researched irrigation systems and has also planted a unique ground cover, which is drought tolerant.

His gardening passions extend beyond rare fruit trees and he has put together a world-class collection of Cycads, which he recently added to from a number of private collectors.  There are also chickens, peacocks and other fowl on his property.  The home is in a unique micro climate not too far from the beach and therefore spared the extreme heat and/or frost problems some of us occasionally face.  If you are fortunate enough to make the cut off, be sure to bring a pad and paper.  Our host is extremely knowledgeable and excellent at answering complicated questions.  I never left him  without having learned something new.”

Field Trip September 8th @ 10 am

We will be visiting a member’ orchard all the way out on Point Dume.  This is a long and physically challenging tour with limited space, so it is absolutely restricted  to members only.  RSVPs are required and can be made by using the form below.  Once your chapter membership is verified, you will receive the exact address.

PLEASE do not RSVP if you only think you might be coming.  Our host requires an accurate count.   If we receive more RSVPs than he can comfortably handle, the tour will be repeated in March for the overflow.

Note:  If you RSVP and then fail to show up, thereby depriving someone else the opportunity, you will not be allowed to come in March.

 

An update on our upcoming plant raffle!

So far Charles Portney has 75 plants picked out for the raffle: Sugarcane, blackberry, babaco, paprika, pepino, nopales, loquat, cape gooseberry… and he is not yet done. There will also be a hefty 5-gallon plant started from Stavros Olympios’ Greek fig tree plus I’m sure contributions from other members. Do not miss this!

LET IT ROT! August 11th @ 10 am

Denise  “Deni” Friese of Custom Landscapes (whose services include eco-friendly design, consultation and installation) will speak to us on August 11th about composting and mulching in the orchard.   If you heard her at our last field trip/workshop, you know she is incredibly knowledgeable.  This time she will have the floor mostly to herself (though I’m sure our membership will be contributing their voices and experience as well.)

[Deni adds: “I am an Eco-Friendly Landscaper, own business since 1995, I do design, consultation, installation, specialty maintenance and irrigation. Love putting in edible gardens. My specialty is knowing plants and what they need to thrive. I try to help my clients design their own “dream yard”. I have been a Plant-a-holic for many years and have way too many plants. Joined CRFG a few years ago and love it]

Also the renowned Charles Portney will be describing rare  fruit trees he has propagated and will be generously donating to the day’s plant raffle.  These raffles seem to be shaping up as only semiannual  events so don’t miss this one!  The next one probably won’t be until our Holiday Party in December.

On the same note, if you have plants of your own to donate, this is the time.   And if you happen to have any treepots (the tall skinny pots used for rooting plants with long taproots, they come between 8” and 14” deep) Charles desperately needs them to continue his generous work.  They look like this.

And per usual, snacks to share will always be welcome. Now that Jane has donated a lovely glass beverage holder, we will be having something to drink at most meetings, so either homegrown fruit or hand-held crunchy things will be appreciated by one and all.

Field Trip/Workshop on July 14th

With some misgivings, I am throwing open my yard for our July field trip/workshop.  The topic will be Wise Watering for the Hot Months Ahead.  I have 6 different watering systems in use, ranging from the laundry-to-landscape greywater our April speaker Sergio Scabuzzo  installed in front , to basic inline drip from Smiths Plumbing, individual drippers on a solid hose from various sources, hand watering from 10 gallon buckets where I store shower water not yet heated up (and I just got the niftiest watering can!), and a small rotary sprinkler system on the tiny lawn. If the rest of you could bring samples of whatever you are using to water your gardens, we could answer one of the biggest recurring questions members have here in Drought City.

Members should enter through the big driveway gate and head to the backyard where I will put fences around anything I am concerned about people trampling.  As is true of all field trips, please do not pick, poke or otherwise molest the green-age.

The driveway is in perpetual shade but I have no chairs there so if any of you have portable ones, it would be great to bring them.  There are a (very) few chairs on the back deck plus steps where the younger folk can sit, so if it is not too hot,  we can have our workshop there.

The backyard has some mature trees: a Black Mission fig, 2 Satsuma tangerines, Moro blood orange, Meyer and Eureka lemons, Bearss and Mexican lime, Big Jim Loquat with a Champagne graft from Marjane, Black Persian Mulberry (plus a new little Pakistani from Hal), Saijo persimmon plus half a dozen cherimoyas from seed (and one transplanted from Gary Richwald’s yard), 2 passionflower vines from Jorge Ochoa, a new little Sweetheart Lychee, four apple trees, two ridiculously huge Laurus Nobilis (an object lesson in why they shouldn’t be planted here especially on the south side of our yards) a couple of Cherry of Rio Grande, one Surinam cherry and probably other stuff I’m forgetting (oh yeah, papayas from seed and a Babaco from Charles Portney, plus a new Stewart avocado–ed. the Stewart just ended up in the front yard). The tiny lawn is the UC Verde drought tolerant stuff developed by, right, UC Riverside.

The front yard is not to be entered and will be rung with Home Depot’s best DANGER tape. It is full of bee and butterfly plants, an extremely fragile drip system and an even more fragile graft of Yang Mei onto Pacific Wax Myrtle.  Fang Liu did approximately 15 such grafts and only the one took. Needless to say, I am extremely protective of it.

Nonetheless most of the front yard’s residents are visible from the front sidewalk or the driveway, including two Gros Michel bananas, a Janice Kadota fig and some seedlings from Marjane’s Panache, the Cotton Candy tree some of you have cuttings from, a lot of Pomegranates from sticks stuck in the ground after scion exchanges, three pears (well, only one is really visible from sidewalk), two apple trees (and two more which never really took and are probably coming out for avocados!) a new and struggling Hachiya Persimmon — struggling because the sunflowers and borage tend to crowd it out. Half a dozen roses.  And my rose apple seedling from Marjane which is NOT bearing and is asking to be chopped down. The Burgundy plum next to it may be gone soon too.  It has two plums on it after three years. Not  especially visible are the blueberries and self-sown strawberries.  Please do not walk in my neighbors’ driveway on that side.  They are extremely hostile to Rare Fruit Growers, including me.  Sofia will be monitoring with a machete

There is also a native California garden on the parkway (and a lot in  the front yard too) which is a whole other topic we discussed at Hal’s but people can see in action.

There will be cookies.  Please don’t feed them to the extremely large but friendly dog.

 

 

Pictures from our scion exchange

David King runs the Learning Garden at Venice High and also teaches the Plant Propagation class at UCLA extension.  Each year he brings students to our Scion Exchange, and this  year, they sent us a lovely note of thanks!  And photos!  Thank you, kids,  for being a great part of our group.  And thank you, volunteer grafter/speakers.  The depicted grafter is our pineapple guava expert, Glen Woodmansee.

All About the Avocado! June 9th @ 10 am

Julie Frink and Denny Luby will present “All About The Avocado.” Julie is the Curator of the Avocado Collection at the U.C. Field Station in Orange. Denny – a 20 year member of CRFG – volunteered with Julie at the South Coast Research Center and they have done talks and demonstrations together ever since. Between them, they know LOTS about the avocado; the different botanical races, the named and research varieties, the question of poisonous or non-poisonous, growth habits, grafting, seed size, hybridization, propagation, diseases, etc. Come, learn and bring your questions!