Central Coast Chapter CRFG
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California Rare Fruit Growers – Central Coast Chapter

November 2017 Newsletter
by Lori Bright

Claudia Callwood and Joe Berkman hosted our October 2017 meeting.
Meeting: November 11, 2017
We met this month under a lovely Valley Oak at the home of Claudia Callwood and Joe Berkman. Fall had come to the North County and it was a lovely peaceful remote setting.

Claudia told us of the challenges they’ve met when growing in such a new (one year) wild location. The property experiences very Hot Hots and very Cold Colds. Claudia is a big fan of Agribon (Floating Row Covers and Frost Blankets) which temper both temperature extremes. Due to her cold exposure she has her citrus growing in her greenhouse. That same cold brings the property great Apples. Persimmon seem to struggle but Almonds grow like weeds.
Claudia explains the advantages of Agribon covers.

Upcoming Events:

November 25, (9:00 am) Orchard Maintenance in our Orchard. We’ll spread compost remove broken branches, we'll also weed, rake, fix drip lines, and perform other maintenance tasks. Tucker will be our Grand leader as this day. (Questions? Ask Tucker (805) 709-4811)

December 9, (Noon) we’ll have our yearly Pot Luck at the PG&E Center on Ontario Rd.

January 13 is the date for our regular meeting to be held at the Crops Science Building. We will have the indefatigable Tom Spellman from Dave Wilson Nurseries there to talk Pruning Backyard Fruit Trees.

February 17, (The Third Saturday this Month) We will put on our Fabulous Scion Exchange and grafting party! Woo Hoo! Don’t forget to keep saving those bags for rootstock. Nell will collect them all.

Welcome Ron Ludekens!
Ron tells the audience about cutting cans with these snips.
Ron comes to us all the way from L. E. Cooke in Visalia. L. E. Cooke is a premier grower of Bare-Root Fruit Trees, Berries and select Ornamentals. Ron told us of their humble beginnings. His grandmother being their first Fruit Tree enthusiast back in 1944. Ron’s grandfather drove up to Oregon and back to acquire their first fruit trees for sale and propagation. Back in those days they were all B & B. (Balled and Burlapped) a common practice still in Northerly States. All trees are sold from L. E. Cooke Bare-Root now. They sell internationally and focus on Backyard Trees that do well in Cold as well as temped climates. Their selection of trees are chosen by Flavor, not Ship-ability. Their trees are shipped bare-root and dormant. This means the trees need very little water. Roots should be kept moist until planted. (ie in a plastic bag with a bit of moist mulch, or wrapped in wet burlap etc.) DO plant them as soon as you are able. If you must hold onto the tree for a period of time you can “Heel-them- in”. This is a temporary way to keep the roots moist, but not wet. You can “Heel- in” the tree roots into a variety of mediums. Some people use sand, sawdust, or any friable organic matter that will allow you to easily remove the trees once you are ready for planting. Plant the trees at the same depths as they were originally. (You can tell by the soil line on the trunk) Once planted they should be watered-in, but until the trees show some growth, Ron recommends that you withhold watering. Bare-Root Season gives us the best opportunity to select from widest variety of Fruit Trees. L. E. Cooke has an introduction that sounds amazing. It’s a low-chill Peach variety called Peachy Keen. Sounds delicious Ron!

Saturday, Nov. 4 2017: CRFG Education Booth at the SLO Arbor Day Celebration
Information and picture courtesy of Joe Sabol
The early crew (Pamela, Rick, Jim, Keri, Peter, Tucker, Marv... not pictured: Kathy and Joe) staffs the CRFG Education Booth at SLO's 2017 Arbor Day celebration.

CRFG Central Coast volunteers manned an education booth at the SLO Arbor Day Celebration in Laguna Lake Park. This event is held annually by Public Works Urban Forest Services.

Our members educated passers-by about fruit trees and sold some fruit trees and rooted Dragon Fruit cuttings. We made a lot of friends this day, especially the young ones who walked away with a free Dragon Fruit cutting! Next year, we might have some small 4 inch pots and a yard of potting soil so they can plant their dragon fruit cutting and take it home ready to grow!

A big thanks to each of you... for helping with the CRFG Educational Booth today!!