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

May 2019 Newsletter
by Lori Bright

May 11, 2019 Meeting: Barbara and Mathew Forbes' Gardens

Barbara leads our group on a tour down a path loaded with roses in bloom, tree branches framing us, white picket fence around the garden, and an arbor arch in the background. Photo by Joe Sabol.

Today we visited the lovely residence of Barbara and Matthew Forbes. Not only was their property fruitful, but a rose-lovers haven as well. May was the perfect month to visit the Forbes’ home. Entering their 2 acre multi-layered residence we are first greeted with Roses, Beautiful Roses that you can see half way down the street. All the plants on the property seemed to be growing with great exuberance.

Back in 2004 Barb and her husband had settled on a more Northerly location to retire. They had just come down our way for a visit and Bike Ride. (They are not only Gardeners, but Bike Riders and Contra Dancers too…..way cool couple!)

Tucker shows off one of a plethora of roses that abound in the Forbes' gardens. Photo by Joe Sabol.
Barb explains that the barrier protects a young tree from hungry creatures. The Forbes have surrounded the barrier with two rings of stone and bark. The Mexican Primrose is allowed to self-sow throughout the property, helping to cut down on weeds. Photo by Joe Sabol.
Matthew has finished the first stage of a support structure for the table grapes. In the future he will add a horizontal overhang to complete the grape arbor.

During their visit to Paso Robles they were taken with our beautiful area and climate. They were smitten. They skipped out on their original retirement location and that very week began the purchase of their new Paso Robles Dream Retirement Home.

From childhood Barb loved to garden and it really shows today. Their property came with Roses, Apples, Pears, Plums, Apricots, Peaches, Nectarines, Persimmon, Pomegranate and more. Once moved in they added their own Fruit Trees, Roses, Veggie Garden, Iris’ and other lovely Ornamental Perennials. They did find that they would have some challenges. Due to drought and the local vineyards, their well had become less reliable and they had to sink it deeper.

They have that ongoing fight with squirrels and gophers. (We all feel your pain on that issue.) The Forbes’ have adorable goats that help with the weeds. Barb had a property overrun with mint (a gardener's worst nightmare next to Bermuda grass). They keep a compost heap. Matt has recently incorporated rain barrels and a grey water system too. Geeze, where do they find the time and energy to Bike and Contra Dance???

CRFG members take time to smell the roses... and they smelled fantastic! Photo by Joe Sabol.
Jenny Weaver shows Barbara Forbes the back side of a leaf, trying to identify the insect causing a problem. Photo by Joe Sabol.

Like all really good gardeners, Barb and Matt “Push their Zone” by having some Tropical plants, (in a climate that has hit 8 degrees, mind you!) such as Citrus. They cover these Tropicals and put lights under them in Winter. They seem to meet all these challenges with optimism and a smile. What an amazing couple! Thank you Barb and Matt, you two were such a pleasure to get to know and your home was gorgeous.

Here's how we know we've found the right spot! Jenny helps to hang up our signs before the meeting.
Our hosts don their new gift CRFG hats. Photo by Joe Sabol.
During the "business session" we listened to Chapter business in the Forbes' backyard, enjoying the lovely breeze. Some enjoyed sitting under the shade cloth put up by our gracious hosts! Photo by Joe Sabol.

Website Updates

May Update from the SLO Ag Commissioner

Joe Sabol provided this "Update from the San Luis Obispo Agricultural Commissioner - May 2019"