Central Coast Chapter CRFG

The Central Coast Chapter

    Chapter Board Members | Join Us | About Us | Pruning | Scholarships
2014 Central Coast CRFG at the Madonna Inn
Central Coast CRFG Chapter at San Luis Obispo's Madonna Inn in 2014

Chapter Officers & Board Members

We elect or Chapter Officers & Board Members at our December meeting and often elect "Co-Chairs" to share the leadership responsibilities for our chapter. We have our own Board of Directors where long range planning and much of the business of our Chapter is conducted.

Join Us!

We strongly encourage everyone with an interest in fruit trees to join the CRFG organization. You will find the membership application for the CRFG organization, as well as information about obtaining the local chapter newsletter, in this CRFG membership application.

About Us

The Central Coast Chapter learns from a wide variety of speakers and programs. We visit members' homes, gardens, and orchards. We tour commercial operations. We enjoy eating lots of fresh fruits and nuts!!

Our definition of "Rare Fruit" is rather open. Some of our members have only one or two fruit trees and are trying to get more fruit from these trees! Others own orchards and may run businesses based on those orchards. We have popular plant exchanges at several of our meetings and this is a great way to get started or add to your collection of fruit trees.

Guests and visitors are always welcome at our meetings. Our typical attendance at monthly meetings is between 50 and 60 people. We meet on the second Saturday of every month, including the summer months. The meetings usually start at 1:30 p.m. and rotate to a different location nearly every month. Please check out our meeting manners prior to attending.

Annual Pruning Clinic

We provide an annual pruning clinic. This clinic is always held during our January meeting, the 2nd Saturday in January.

All CRFG members and the public are invited to attend!

We invite a "guest pruner" to teach us techniques and tips- then we all go out to our orchard to hone our skills! The Central Coast Chapter has a small "Community Orchard" at Cal Poly with a wide variety of "low-chill" fruit trees donated by Dave Wilson Nursery and Burchell Nursery. Our orchard is an instructional resource for the Chapter and community. We prune the orchard in the winter, and enjoy the fruit all summer and fall.


The Central Coast Chapter has been conducting a "Scholarship Program" for many years. Income from the sale of rootstock, pheromone loops, birdnet and various plant sales helps to fund the program. A small committee of volunteers works with Dr. Lauren Garner, Fruit Science Professor at Cal Poly. She shares the scholarship information and encourages qualified Fruit Science students to apply. The committee then evaluates and scores the applications and recommends those to be granted a scholarship.


The Central Coast Chapter of the California Rare Fruit Growers awarded scholarships to six very deserving students.

Awardees Taylor Krebs (a graduate of Arroyo Grande High School) and Kyanne Skelton (a graduate from Midland in Los Olivos) received their awards at the the September 2019 meeting at the CRFG Demonstration orchard. Awardees Adam Afriade, Sammy Springer, Gareth McCormick, and Annie O’Neill received their awards at the October 2019 meeting at Rick Tibbens' home.

Joe Sabol and Tucker Schmidt flank 2019 award winners Taylor Krebs and Kyanne Skelton.
Joe Sabol listens to 2019 awardees Adam Afriade, Sammy Springer, Gareth McCormick, and Annie O’Neill.


Central Coast CRFG scholarship 
		                  recipients in 2018
2018 awardees: Victor Guadian, Jose Munoz, Emma Sertich, Vincent Koster, Dr. Lauren Garner, Mitchell Moreda, Joni Shaffery, and Geena Rohr. Not pictured: Heidi Burgess, who is studying abroad in Italy this fall.

Saturday, October 13th, the Central Coast Chapter of the California Rare Fruit Growers awarded $4,600 in scholarships to eight outstanding Fruit Science Students at Cal Poly. The students attended our October chapter meeting along with their faculty advisor, Dr. Lauren Garner.

This year's awardees are Heidi Burgess, Victor Guadian, Vincent Koster, Mitchell Moreda, Jose Munoz, Geena Rohr, Emma Sertich, and Joni Shaffery.

Central Coast CRFG scholarship recipients in 2017
2017 awardees, back row: Kaitlyn Garcia, Kalena Bonnier-Cirone, Pet Daniels (scholarship committee member), David Luevano, Sunny Brucker, Michaela Chin, Foster Hengst, Haleigh Jones.
Front row: Marv Daniels(scholarship committee member), Dick Pottratz (Central Coast Chapter Treasurer).


This year the chapter awarded eight scholarships! Dr. Lauren Garner, Cal Poly professor in the department of Horticulture and Crop Science, said the following about this year's pool of steller applicants:

"I want to thank the CRFG for the time and effort that they continue to give to this scholarship program. This year, I knew that the committee would have a tough time choosing a scholarship winner from among the applicants. It has been a real treat to have all of these students in my classes this year. They are all hard-working students with unique talents and strengths. The committee obviously recognized this too but I was still overwhelmed that the committee and chapter leadership, chose to award scholarships to all of them! I have enjoyed getting to know them and I know the CRFG members will too."
Central Coast CRFG scholarship recipient in 2017
2017 awardee Dulce Espinoza-Valdez (center) was able to meet with Joe Sabol and Dr. Lauren Garner at a later date to receive her award.

Kaitlyn Garcia, Foster Hengst, Haleigh Jones: $1000 each.

James (Sunny) Brucker, Michaela Chin, Dulce Espinoza-Valdez,
and Kalena Bonnier-Cirone (SLO High School senior who will be attending Cornell in the fall): $500 each.

David Luevano: $100.

All awardees will also receive a one year membership in our organization, the CRFG, Inc., and so will be receiving our bi-montly magazine, the Fruit Gardener.


Four scholarships were awarded of $1000 each! The recipients for 2016 were: Julie Dunbar, Shun Toida, Kathleen Warde, and Rachel Wehrman.

 Central Coast CRFG scholarship recipients in 2016
2016: Dick Pottratz (Central Coast Chapter Treasurer), Shun Toida, Kathleen Warde, Rachel Wehrman, and Fruit Science professor Dr. Lauren Garner