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

July 2019 Newsletter
by Lori Bright



July 13, 2019 Meeting: 2nd Annual Fruit Tasting in the CRFG Demonstration Orchard.

Joe mannaged to snap a picture of the fruit bowl just before all of the fruit was eaten! Photo by Joe Sabol.

This month we held a fruit sampling meeting at our Fabulous CRFG Demonstration Orchard. We sampled fruits from our “Demo” trees as well as a plethora of home grown fruits. The spread was awesome.

Including: Apple, Apricot, Blackberries, Blueberries, Grapes, Kumquats, Marionberries, Mulberries, Plums, Papaya and Prickly Pear.

Tucker welcomed and thanked everyone for their participation.

We had a lot of new faces this meeting. Whether old or new, there were a lot of smiling faces full of fruit at the orchard.

Manny discusses getting a Guava tree for the orchard with Tucker. Photo by Dara Manker.
Manny explains that in February we'll be grafting to a lot of the trees in the orchard which either do not produce much fruit or fruit of a less than desirable flavor. We'll need volunteers to get scions at the February 2020 Scion Exchange, and then graft to the designated trees! Photo by Joe Sabol.
Manny reads a summary of the early history of the Orchard to the group. Photo by Joe Sabol.

Team Dara and Manny have been doing an absolutely amazing job tending the Demo Orchard.

Irrigation is working and weeds are down and the trees are thriving under your care. Big thanks to Dara and Manny, the orchard looks great!

Dara and Manny shared some insights: On our website there is a map of all the fruit trees in the orchard. This map is so Fab, if you hover over any given tree you will see what variety it is, who dedicated it and when it was planted. (Thanks Gabriel for the donation of the fig trees.) So very cool!

In 1997, along with Cal Poly and the proceeds of the 1996 Festival of Fruits, the Orchard was purchased. Joe Sabol had a Dapple Dandy to plant. Humble beginnings. By 1998 Dave Wilson Nursery donated 54 trees. Today we are nearing in on one hundred trees. Wow.

Manny requested a Guava from the audience, and quickly Tucker offered up one. Don’t we just have the best CRFG crew ever?

Keep an eye on the website as more “Work Days” (read FUN DAYS) are ahead and those dates will be posted on the site.

If you want to do some work yourself at the orchard, or just want to have a good look around, feel free. Be sure to get the new lock code from a member and don’t forget to sign off in the log book before you leave. Thanks again Dara and Manny!

Don’t forget to bring your own propagated plants to our meeting to share with other members.

Ky receives her award from Tucker, and a bouquet of flowers from Nell. Photo by Joe Sabol.
Taylor and Ky display their scholarship awards, flanked by Joe and Tucker.

State Scholarship checks were handed out to two winning contestants chosen from thousands of applicants. Congratulations Taylor Krebs (a graduate of Arroyo Grande High School) and Kyanne Skelton (a graduate from Midland in Los Olivos). Wooo Hoooooo!

Special thanks to Kevin Reimer who visited with his friend from Santa Barbara. Kevin brought Jabotacaba and Pitaya seed to share. We hope the two of you will become regulars, it was fun to have you.


This year’s Festival of Fruit main event location is at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden, 301 N. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia CA 91007. The Festival of Fruit website is now selling tickets. $75 for CRFG members who register before June 21. festivaloffruit.org. The festival takes place August 17, 18 and 19. This is the year of the Annonaceae. (Coincidentally, Annonaceae is the secret word for our September meeting. Correct pronunciation is required! ;-) ) Don’t miss this year's Festival of Fruit!




Orchard Work Day: June 29, 2019

Pat, Manny, Seth, Jenny, Marv, Steve and Joe pause their work for a group photo. Photo by Dara Manker.

Much was accomplished today: we installed an honorary plaque for Joe Sabol, planted three new fig trees donated by Gabriel Frank, weeded and weed whacked the entire orchard, painted the trunks and limbs of trees to prevent sunburn, cut off suckers, dug up little poison oak plants, filled squirrel holes, and pruned some trees.

We thank all of the volunteers that gathered for a few hours to knock out all of our chores!

There is a new plaque in the Orchard!
Recently one of Cal Poly's Agriculture fruit orchards was razed to make way for a new building. The contractor had noticed an honorary plaque in the orchard and recognized the name of the honoree: Joe Sabol. The contractor gave Joe a call to say he'd saved it and had it at his home. Maino delivered the plaque to Joe, and we installed it in the orchard today under the Dapple Dandy pluot.

Joe and Manny wheel the plaque out to the Dapple Dandy pluot (the first fruit tree ever planted in the orchard.)
With great ceremony, Joe places the plaque under the tree.
An inspiration to all!
Seth, Manny, and Joe pay their respects to a great man.

Figs! Gabriel Frank brought us three fig trees to plant in the Orchard. Wire baskets were put in the holes to protect the roots from marauding gophers. These donations are the first figs to be planted in the orchard.

Fig tree number 1: Grafted Desert King and Mission
Fig tree number 2: Violette de Bordeaux
Fig tree number 3: Panache
Gunde protects the trunks and limbs of trees from the sun with a 50/50 mix of latex paint and water.
Jenny removes a multitude of suckers from the bases of the trees.
Pat hoes the weeds away from around the trees.
Dick prunes dead limbs from the trees.
Seth, Marv, and Steve clear out the weeds from the orchard.

Website Updates

  • The Orchard map has been updated to include the three fig trees donated by Gabriel Frank. Also, the Star Fruit tree that died a while back has been removed. A moment of silence for the Star Fruit, please.