Grafting demos/Scion Exchange February 10th

Our famous annual Grafting Demos and Scion Exchange will take place on February 10th in the Multi-Purpose Room and its adjacent Patio at the Culver City Veterans Memorial Building.

We will have demonstrations of three grafting techniques, including the use of the common cleft graft (such as you would use with stone fruit), the side veneer graft (such as you would use for avocados) and the traditional whip-and-tongue graft.  You will be able to get up close and observe every detail of these techniques.  Our grafters will be available to answer your grafting questions.

With grafting, you can build your own fruit tree, with multiple varieties of apples, peaches, pears, sapotes, cherimoyas, etc.  You can even have peaches, nectarines, plums, and pluots on the same tree, or almonds on one side of your tree and plums on the other.  You can completely graft over a non-productive variety (called topworking).  With grafting, the possibilities are almost unlimited.

 We will also have our annual scion wood exchange, so please bring your scion wood to share.  If we all bring wood, we should have many different varieties from many different trees.  If you have rootstock growing in small pots, please bring them to the meeting and take home a grafted plant or share your rootstock with others.  Remember to bring extra bags, labels, and a marker for the scion wood you collect!

At the exchange, please limit your selections to two of any variety until everyone has had an opportunity to collect wood.  Then feel free to go back.   Please do not collect wood you do not plan to use. By the way, members who have paid for 2018 and who bring in scions to share will get first choice of scion wood that they want to use in their own gardens.  So, if you haven’t renewed for 2018 (both WLA and CRFG, Inc.), now might be a good time to send your dues to Andrée.

To minimize chaos and give our speakers the respect they deserve, we are adopting the following schedule.

10:00 – 10:15: Registration and scion wood donation

10:15 to 11:15: Demonstrations of grafting on the patio

11:15 to 11:30: Scion exchange open to members in the Multi-Purpose Room

11:30 to 11:45: Scion exchange open to non-members in the Multi-Purpose Room

No one will be allowed to enter the Multi-Purpose Room during the grafting demonstrations (unless it rains).

 Note: There will also be a sale of quite sizable Blue Passionflower vines grown by one of our members, Terry Brockert. These are considered a great pollinator for other passionflower vines.  You can read more about them here.

Fruit tree pruning demo January 6th @ 10 am (note the earlier date!)

We will start 2018 with a great Pruning Demonstration by WLA member Pieter Severynen, a professional arborist and landscape architect. Pieter is a California licensed landscape architect and ISA certified arborist. He has been working with fruit trees for over 40 years. He studied subtropical agriculture in the Netherlands, where he received his pruning diploma from the State Agricultural College in Deventer. He graduated in landscape architecture from the University of California at Berkeley. After a career in land planning with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, he set up his own landscape architect and consulting arborist office in Los Angeles.

Pieter’s company, Pieter Severynen Associates, specializes in the establishment and pruning of sustainable organic orchards and fruit trees, aiming for high yield and maximum enjoyment. His company provides two key services: 1) Arboriculture: consulting on trees and landscaping, and 2) Landscape Architecture: outdoor environment & garden design. Pieter provides on-site advice on selecting climate- appropriate trees and plants and keeping them healthy for a very long time, using minimum water and fertilizer, while keeping gardens sustainable with minimum impact on the environment.

Pieter has taught at UCLA Extension, written articles for various newsletters, and blogged “Tree of the Week” articles for the LA Times. He teaches classes in and publicly speaks on arboriculture, planning, environmental subjects, gardening, urban forestry, and fruit tree pruning and maintenance. He has been the Director of Planning and Design for North East Trees, a nonprofit Los Angeles environmental design/build firm that practices urban forestry, watershed rehabilitation, park design and community stewardship.

The demonstration will be hosted at the lovely home garden of member Sue Oppenheimer. Thank you in advance, Sue!

If you have trees, then you need to prune. If you need to prune, then you need to see Pieter’s demonstration! Bring any pruning questions you have because this is your chance to have them answered by a professional.

Holiday Party! Saturday December 9th @ 2 pm

Okay, so there probably won’t be fireworks.  But there will be yummies.

 

And, yes Virginia, there will be plants!

 

Our annual CRFG holiday shindig will be held this year at the beautiful Rotunda Room of the Culver City Veterans Memorial Building. 

 

 

In keeping with CRFG tradition, this will be a potluck.  Please bring your most festive dish.

 

It should also be our biggest and most exciting plant sale of the year, so start grooming those seedlings, rootlings, grafts and other rare-fruit-growing items to gladden the hearts of your fellow members (and also increase our decidedly non-profit coffers).

Jane, who is running the plant sale, has asked that you label your contributions which will make it easier for winners for find your precious babies.  This needn’t be anything fancy:  a popsicle stick with a pencil inscription is fine.  As is a length of painters tape stuck on each pot.   If you are bringing dozens of the same plant, you could also group them under a single sign.

In addition we will have a return of our popular “Ask the Experts”.  A panel of some of the most knowledgeable fruit growers on the planet (or at least west of the 405) will be on hand to answer your questions.

Please notice this month’s change to a far-more-civilized time.  See you there!

Persimmon Tasting

Join the South Coast Research and Extension Center for the upcoming persimmon tasting and plant clearance sale at the UC ANR South Coast REC on Thursday, November 9th, 2017 at 10:30 am.  This is not a CRFG-hosted event but we have graciously been invited.
For more information about the tasting and the special VIP event (pre-registration required), go to http://screc.ucanr.edu/?calitem=376819&g=68933
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Tammy Majcherek
Outreach and Research Coordinator
7601 Irvine Blvd.
Irvine, CA  92618
Phone: (949) 653-1824
Fax: (949) 653-1800

November 11th Field Trip to Cottonwood Urban Farm @ 10 am

From Cottonwood Urban Farm’s website:  “In the winter of 2012, educator and LA native Elliott Kuhn began converting a dusty, vacant plot in Panorama City into a highly productive urban farm. Nestled in the basin of the Tujunga Wash, Cottonwood Urban Farm (CUF) uses creative growing techniques (season extension, intercropping, succession planting) to cultivate a variety of vegetables, fruits and herbs without the use of any large scale commercial farming equipment.

CUF is currently in a transformational phase of becoming a boutique agricultural enterprise that provides a reliable source of locally grown produce to serve the needs of restaurants, chefs and community members concerned with sustainability. With a deep connection to community, education, and ecology, CUF places social responsibility first and has an ongoing contract with a local substance abuse program for youth. The program provides participants with a 10-week ecology course and horticulture therapy through work at the farm.”

The LA Chapter visited the farm last month and came back with glowing reports.  This is the WLA Chapter’s turn.

Read more about the farm here.  Like all field trips, this is for members only please.  No children or dogs.

The Underground Jungle

Speaker:  Pieter Severynen

When: October 14th @ 10 a.m.

Where: Multipurpose Room, Veterans Memorial Building 4117 Overland Ave., Culver City 90230

Most people have only a very limited concept of what takes place underground when they plant and care for a fruit tree or an orchard; as a result they do not have enough information to make the best decisions. In this talk Landscape Architect, Consulting Arborist, Southern California Fruit Tree Expert, and Storyteller Pieter Severynen will illustrate and explore cutting edge insights in what happens below the surface in ‘The Underground Jungle’, a term for the fiercely competitive, microbial rich underworld playing out in the soil volume occupying the space between the earth surface and the bedrock below. Pieter will follow the Sugar Trail, starting with the manufacture of sugars through photosynthesis in the leaves, and ending in their handover by the plant to the protective mycorrhizal fungi that have been wrapping around tree roots for hundreds of millions of years; he will outline the reciprocal services provided by the mycorrhizae to the host plant; and the interactions between the millions of commonly occurring bacteria, viruses, fungi, nematodes, archaea, protozoa, slime molds, algae, gastropods, arthropods, earthworms, and higher animals in turn attracted either to the original feeding troughs around the microscopic root systems or as higher level predators. He will show which actors in the underground food web are harmful, which ones beneficial and the ones that can be either. Using the most up to date scientific insights, he will explain which cultural management practices are most beneficial in orchard and vegetable garden, and why, making the speech as practical as it is informational. Most of the photographs in this richly illustrated ‘Underground Jungle’ talk are unknown to the public; many were generated by electron microscope. As one reviewer of an earlier segment of the speech noted: ‘This Is National Geographic Meets Storytelling’.

Field Trip September 9th @ 10 a.m.

Where: Field Trips are for members only.  Please check your newsletter or contact us for the address.

This is the first of our workshop/field trips.  Various members (and perhaps some outside experts) will share their mostly gentle ways of handling invasions.  If you have found a solution that you want to share, definitely let us know and we will slot you in ( no bazookas, please)!

Also, please do not bring samples of your critters to the meeting.  We do NOT want to infest our gracious hosts’ yard.  If you have a problem you want help with, take a clear photo and send to https://www.whatsthatbug.com/ask-whats-that-bug/.  Once you have an ID we can brainstorm at the meeting.

Please DO bring samples of whatever you have ripening right now for our fruit calendar. Also snacks to share and plants to sell would be nice.

As you may have noticed at our last meeting, we have decided to follow the LA Chapter’s lead and substitute the Silent Auction format for Plant Raffles. The selling and then drawing of tickets just became too cumbersome, especially at the Culver City location where we had to be out of the room precisely at noon.  Member Jane Coogan Beer will be supplying us with a handy sign-up sheet for each item.  The minimum starting price will be on it.   If you have signed up for a plant, please listen for the announcements at 11:50 (Last Call) and 11:55 (Auction Closed)  so you can claim your prize if you have won.  If the top bidder doesn’t respond to the Closing Announcement, the item will go to the next highest bidder.

 

 

GROWING BANANAS IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA!

WHEN:  August 12th @ 10 am (promptly!)

LOCATION: Multipurpose Room, Veterans Memorial Building, 4117 Overland Ave., Culver City 90230

Mark Steele, a CRFG member and a member of the Los Angeles chapter, is an avid fruit grower who lives in Ventura.  His small yard is packed with various fruiting plants, especially bananas.  He currently grows about 20 different varieties of bananas, most of which he has succeeded in fruiting.  He became obsessed with bananas after receiving one as a birthday gift from a friend about seven years ago.

Mark is a professor of biology at CSU Northridge where he teaches various marine biology classes and does research of marine fishes.  His talk will cover the basics of banana biology and provide advice about varieties that do well in Southern California and how to grow them.

If you have eaten a home-grown banana, you know that they are very much sweeter and tastier than those you buy in the grocery store.  According to the CRFG Fruit Facts, bananas are “fast-growing herbaceous perennials arising from underground rhizomes,” not trees.  They are a plant that can be grown quite successfully here in Southern California if they are given proper soil conditions and are protected from temperatures below freezing.  Mark will tell us more about how to do this successfully.

Plan to come and learn a lot more about growing bananas!

Also please bring fruit and other treats to share with our members.

Please bring any plants that you have to raffle or sell!  Sharing plant material and related information is what CRFG is all about.