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

February 2019 Newsletter
by Lori Bright

Meeting: February 16, 2019: Annual Scion Exchange and Grafting Party!

Nothing compares to our “Central Coast CRFG Scion Exchange”! Everybody had a great time, worker-bees as well as visitors. I think that if we’d had better weather we’d have had an even larger showing. That never stops us of course. We acquired two new members to our local chapter, and hopefully more people will have caught the bug that day and will come on-board soon.

Scion hunters search through hundreds of varieties of fruit tree scions: peach, nectarine, plum, apple, pear, mulberry, figs, cherimoya, cherry, and more!
Christine Chiu, John Valenzuela, and Joe Sabol. John and Christine brought many, many bags of scions from the CRFG Golden Gate Chapter to share with our chapter.
Bags of scions of many varieties fill the "Plum" table.

We had oodles of people waiting for the Scion Room to open. Could we utilize this captive audience to our benefit? It was suggested that we announce to the hordes the names of our Scholarship recipients. Maybe we could go one better and display a large photo of those winners with their names listed below. The public might be more generous if they realized where their monies were going. This could also be a fine time to entice more members with some literature. Maybe list a few of the excursions we went on the previous year? We might create a map to explain what we are offering that day, and what they might find at each one of the “stops” we have placed all around the Crop Science building? Just sayin’.

Joe Sabol, John Valenzuela, Robert Scott, Carol Scott, and Tucker Schmidt. The Scion Room Leadership Team!
Larry Hollis and Lori Bright search through bags of scions.

Nell kept track of our Root Stock sales and will monitor our adjustments for even better sales next year.
Roxy’s Swap-O-Rama store did fine too. Buddy tape, Goop, Pheromone loops all sold well. She sold all of the books. Could we round-up more books for next year? Maybe if we keep Roxy’s store in mind throughout the year and bring books/garden goods to our monthly meetings? Do we want to sell our personal seedling plants? Some of our yards overflow with them. Please get back to Roxy if anybody has any suggestions for next year.

Nell Wade (left) lead the Rootstock Sales effort with help from Cory Kelso, Carmela Vignocci, and others. Rootstock for sale this year were MM-111 apple; Mazzard sweet cherry; Myro 29C for plum, apricot, and most almonds; St. Julian plum; GF-8-1 for plum and apricot; and OHxF 97 and OHxF 333 European & Asian pear.
Roxy James (right) lead the Store operation along with the Swap-O-Rama and its delightful plethora of garden items. Maureen Moudakis and Keri Schmidt keep track of the sales and money, all of the latter of which goes to CRFG scholarships.

There were six gifted grafters. They were teaching their method of grafting. To mention a few of the methods: "Cleft," "Whip and Tongue," "Approach," and the grafting tool.

You could see in the eyes of the first-timers, that grafting is magic and a marvelous wonder. They were thrilled to watch our Pro-grafters strut their trade. It still thrills me!

Marv Daniels (red jacket) creates some custom grafts for a family.
Art DeKleine explains about grafting using a tree prop to enhance attendees' understanding.
Jim Ritterbush answers questions about grafting.
Pat Moudakis explains how the cleft graft is created.
Craig Righetti, who specializes in grafting avocados, demonstrates how the graft will fit.
Dick Pottratz attracts a large crowd with his "whip and tongue" grafting demonstration.

Custom Grafting sounds like it might be all the rage for next year. Placing the “Scholarship Fund Tip Jar” nearby was a great idea. It was also suggested that we put a “Scholarship Fund Tip Jar” at all our tables as well as Central Coast Chapter subscription applications. Great idea! Thank you, Marv, for being there for the people who were asking for custom grafting. I know they really appreciated it. Thanks to Tucker and Roger, too.

Let’s sell seedling rootstock trees next year and see how well it goes. We did have leftover rootstock, but that is no problem as we’ll use at schools to teach the art and science of grafting. Nell reminds us that we only want to sell edibles as they are not taxable.

What an amazing day for all. No wimps in the Central Coast Chapter. Every year the Scion Exchange gets better. One thing we can be sure of is that we are growing, improving and getting better all the time. Does anybody else feel as lucky as I do to belong to such a neat organization and work with such a great group of people? Wow!