Free Screening of the Biggest Little Farm

If you haven’t seen this, it is a fantastic way to spend Earth Day. Members of the LA Chapter were heavily involved in helping this farm get off the ground, so you may well see some familiar faces.

Thanks to the City of Santa Monica, a free online screening will take place on April 22nd. Sign up here

CANCELLED! Special Field Trip with LA Chapter: March 21st @ 9 am

Please note the different date and early start time from our normal field trips. 

Program: The Tony Stewart Memorial Tree Symposium at Sylmar High School

 Panel of Experts:   Steve List of Sylmar High School,   Dan Nelson of La Verne Nursery in Piru,   Elliott Kuhn of Cottonwood Urban Farm.

             Moderator: Jim Schopper

We will be joining the Los Angeles Chapter for what we hope will be an annual event.

There will be tours of Sylmar High School’s agricultural gardens and hothouse, followed by a Fruit Tree Symposium.  The event will conclude with a tree auction, with plants provided by the school and by local nurseries.

The Symposium will include a panel of three experts in unique fields of interest to answer your gardening questions: Steve List, head of the Sylmar High School Agriculture Department and leader of the Urban Gardening Workshop; Dan Nelson, Director of Operations at La Verne Nursery in Piru; and Elliott Kuhn, educator and owner/cultivator of Cottonwood Urban Farm in Panorama City. Questions will be moderated by Jim Schopper, member of the LA Chapter.

 A potluck will follow. All members, please bring a dish that serves 8-10 people.  Sylmar High School Students studying gardening, planting, and fruit trees will be joining us.

Field Trip to a Member Garden,  Saturday January 11, 2020 @ 10 to noon

Members Only will meet at Jane’s in Cheviot Hills  for a winter field trip.  We will see pruning, mulching, composting and composting equipment. We will have a question-and-answer session among the members, which we didn’t have time for at our December Holiday Party.  Jane has a Mission fig that could use pruning, and she would be happy to share the cuttings with members. Several mulberry varieties and Wonderful and Fleishman pomegranates, all of which are easily rooted, will be pruned and shared. Winter means that Jane has an abundance of self-seeding annuals including Cerinthe and Nigella, which she will share with us.  She notes that these are pollinator magnets!

Jane’s front yard is flat, but the back has three levels and is not as easily accessible, so wear garden shoes.  Weather and other factors permitting, we may walk around the neighborhood to observe other fruit trees.  There will be coffee and tea; Jane requests that you please bring your reusable cup if you can.  Light rain will not cancel the field trip, but saturated ground from heavy rain will cancel it as walking on saturated clay compacts it.

Jane notes that there is plenty of unrestricted parking.


Natural Beekeeping Conference – January 18th & 19th – 8 am to 5 pm

Another non-CRFG activity but I attended the last HoneyLove conference a couple of years ago and if you are keeping bees or are interested in the girls pollinating your trees, it should definitely NOT be missed.

• Michael Bush
• Les Crowder
• Dr. May Berenbaum
• Robin Jones
• Michael Thiele
• Sam Comfort
• Laura Bee Ferguson
• Kate Franzman
• Solomon Parker
• Sarah Red-Laird
• Amanda Shaw
• Jacqueline Freeman
• Anna Marie Despiris
• Fonta Molyneauxis
• Matt Reed
Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen
• Rob and Chelsea McFarland
…plus a stellar lineup of your local favorites in our Breakout Room!
Stay tuned… new speakers are being added daily!! 


Natural Beekeeping Conference

Fruit Tree Pruning Demonstration – Sunday, January 19th, 2PM to 4PM

Do you have fruit trees or fruiting vines you are interested in pruning?  Do you have questions such as: How do I plan and prepare for an orchard?   How do I get a bountiful crop?   What do I need to know before pruning? What are the best times to prune?   What is winter chill?   How is it effecting your crop?

If so, join Greener Way Associates, located at 10708 Northgate Street, Culver City 90230 for a pruning demonstration.  Landscape Architect and Consulting Arborist Pieter Severynen will hold a fruit tree pruning demonstration in the Culver City Greener Way, which will include tree shapes, long-term health and maintenance techniques, pruning tools, and decisions to make before pruning.  Stay for refreshments and Pieter will answer your questions!

Pieter has been pruning fruit trees for over 50 years. He teaches arboriculture at UCLA. He has represented the American Society of Landscape Architects in the preparation of the recently published 10th Edition of the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers, prestigiously rated “Guide for Plant Appraisal” which shows tree appraisers how to evaluate trees. He maintains an active consulting practice, writes tree reports, advises homeowners on planting and maintenance of fruit and shade trees, holds tree pruning demonstrations, and lectures on climate change.   In this hands-on demonstration, Pieter will welcome questions specific to your trees!

This is not a CRFG activity; however, it is highly recommended!

Suggested donation for this jam-packed session is $20.  To RSVP for the Culver City address or for more information email: or Phone/text: 310-204-0570

Scion Exchange/Grafting Demos February 8th @ 10 am

Yes, our biggest meeting of the year is just about upon us.   And for 2020, we are  again 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:

10 – 10:30 –  Registration, affixing of the name tags, 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.

10:30 – 11:00 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)

11:00-11:30 – Members allowed to select scion wood

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

Alas,  because our Chair is currently on medical leave, we will not be doing the hands-on grafting we did last year.  We hope, however, to be able to add it again for 2021


Field Trip to La Verne Nursery! November 9th @ 9 am (Note new time)

This field trip is for WLA and LA chapter members ONLY.   The online address per Google Maps is WRONG.   The nursery has been without electricity due to wind/fires. Specific directions and actual available plants will be emailed to you as soon as the nursery can get them to us.

We will have a tour of La Verne Nursery at their huge Piru Facility.  La Verne is one of the premier sources of tropical and subtropical fruiting plants in our area.  We all probably have at least a plant or two from their nursery.  Daniel Nelson, Director of Nursery Operations, will be our tour guide.  He will discuss such topics as mass propagation, container culture, and specific care instructions for various fruit trees, as well as answer any questions our members may have.  This is a rare chance to see how a large nursery goes about producing many thousands of plants a year and to learn from Dann’s professional expertise.  We will be able to see their propagation facilities and techniques.  Perhaps we will see how their nursery grafts new scion wood to rootstock.

Although La Verne Nursery does not sell retail, as special guests we will be able to purchase trees after the tour at near-wholesale prices.  The last time we purchased trees from La Verne Nursery, the plants were large, healthy, and beautiful!  Everyone was immensely pleased with the plants purchased.

You can pre-order any plants that you want (before we get to the nursery).  Go online to see what plants are available at:    This list shows what plants the nursery has in abundance and may not include all the possibilities you will find when you are there.  As noted above, we will receive a more complete list of available trees by the end of this week and that list will be emailed to you as soon as it is received.  Please note that you cannot order online. Select your plants and email Susan Guggenheim to tell her what plants you want to order.

All sales will be cash; buyers will be responsible for paying for and transporting their own purchases at the end of the tour.

The nursery is some distance from West LA, so plan to carpool.   Members of the LA Chapter are welcome.  Only CRFG members may attend the field trip.