Central Coast Chapter CRFG

Newsletters

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California Rare Fruit Growers – Central Coast Chapter

January 2020 Newsletter
by Lori Bright

Meeting January 11, 2020

After listening to Dean in the classroom, the group gathers in the CRFG Demonstration orchard for hands-on pruning experience. Photo by Dara Manker.

Tucker started our meeting off today.

  • Thanks to Cal Poly and Dr. Lauren Garner for the use of their crop Science Building. Let’s all support Poly by buying at their fruit stand.
  • The Fabulous February Meeting is our Scion Exchange on the 22nd. The Scion Exchange has been moved from the 3rd Saturday to the 4th Saturday of the month to ensure we get our rootstock in time for the event.
  • The March Meeting will be on the 14th at the Master Gardeners’ Community Garden, the Seven Sisters Garden, 2156 Sierra Way, San Luis Obispo, CA.

An additional note: DP is offering to give his personal wheelbarrow to anyone who is in need of one. If you would like more information about this wheelbarrow, please talk to DP at the next meeting. If you don't know who DP is, please ask anyone in charge. We can steer you his way.

Dean explains how to make your initial cut on a bareroot fruit tree to reduce its height and allow for greater productivity. Photo by Dara Manker.

Yearly Pruning Meeting

Today we are honored by Dean Harrell, instructor at Cuesta College, North County. Dean starts us off with a “Shameless Plug” for his upcoming class. 😀 Dean will be covering Plant Propagation and Production, AGPS 243. He will cover everything around the care of plants in a nursery. You will learn skills from how to graft fruit trees to growing vegetables for a community plant sale! Dean also teaches Soil Science, Plant Science and Viticulture classes. If you are interested in participating in his classes you can email him at Dean_Harrell@cuesta.edu.

Why do we prune? When we remove buds from the tree there are consequences such as:

  • The tree will be smaller
  • There will be less leaf area
  • Possibly less fruitfulness
  • The tree will be invigorated

Dean will discuss winter pruning and therefore wants us to avoid pruning Apricots, Cherries and Grapes during the winter season. These plants are susceptible to diseases predominant in the wet Winter season. Dean wants us to use the 3 D’s. Cut out Disease, Damaged and Dead wood first. Next keep an eye on Spatial areas. Size up the tree based on Sun Exposure, Ultimate Height and Width desired. If you are doing restorative pruning, don’t hurry it. You might take up to 3 years. When uncertain “Wing it, Learn and Repeat.”

Know the bearing habits of your tree. Nectarines and Peaches bear on 1-year old wood. You can remove 40 - 50 percent of the wood on those trees. Many fruit trees bear on spurs which are formed over a longer time period. Some, such as Cherry have mixed buds (the terminal bud has fruit and leaf potential). On these trees you will want to remove 20 – 30 percent of its wood. For more information on Fruit-Bearing habits of fruit trees you might want to see http://fruitandnuteducation.ucdavis.edu/generaltopics/Tree_Growth_Structure/Bearing_Habit/

Dean goes above and beyond to demonstrate pruning techniques. Photo by Joe Sabol.
Don't be afraid of pruning. Dean says you can think of the root system as the "gas tank" of the tree. When you get rid of dying branches, diseased wood, water sprouts and suckers, the tree can put more effort into producing healthy branches and fruit. Photo by Dara Manker.

When pruning your new tree, prune to accommodate its function. Are you short and want to harvest low, do you need the tree to accommodate a narrow area? Face your tree's graft to the North or North East. Avoid getting Sun Scald by using a thin paint mix made up of 50 percent latex paint to 50 percent water. Paint the graft union, the trunk and branches. Dean likes to use an organic nitrogen fertilizer, but if you want to use a conventional fertilizer just “go easy” on its application. Dean led us over to the CRFG Demo Orchard and continued educating us on pruning techniques. Thanks so much Dean, we learned oodles from you today!

The pruning curious gather in the orchard to hone their skills. After listening and watching Dean, we gathered in smaller groups led by experienced pruners to ask our specific questions and try pruning under supervision. Photo by Dara Manker.
Lori explains the advantages of various types of pruners. Photo by Dara Manker.
Tucker answers questions and shares experiences with backyard fruit tree gardening with his group. Photo by Dara Manker.
Larry discusses tree scaffolding with his group. Photo by Dara Manker.
Art explains about apical dominance to his group. Photo by Dara Manker.

The orchard looked amazing before we began pruning but when we left it looked even better. Thanks be to everybody that pruned their little hearts out. Dara and Manny are working hard to keep up the orchard and they are doing a great job. Having said that: when D & M propose “Orchard Days”, let’s pull together and further that pruning, weed-pulling and raking. Our Orchard looks lovely. Thanks again Dara and Manny!

Jim Gealy came early and pruned many trees. Thanks, Jim! Photo by Dara Manker.
Jesse helped prune trees at this meeting, and frequently volunteers pruning in the orchard on his own time. Dara and Manny greatly appreciate Jesse's help throughout the year! Photo by Dara Manker.
Dean shows us how to make a spreader by twining two branches together to separate branches (see spreader in foreground). Photo by Dara Manker.
Surinam cherries are ripening in the orchard! Photo by Dara Manker.
The orchard in winter. Photo by Dara Manker.
 


 

2019

Dec
December Meeting: Christmas Party and Plant Exchange   -   Guest Speaker Gisele Schoniger talks about soil
Nov
November Meeting: Carol and Robert Scott's Home Garden   -   CRFG Booth at SLO Arbor Day 2019   -   Orchard Work Day: October 26, 2019   -   Donations of Apple Trees Grafted by Marv Daniels and Tucker Schmidt   -   Website Updates   -   EcoSlo Guided Hikes
Oct
October Meeting: Rick Tibben's Home Garden   -   Arroyo Grande Harvest Festival 2019   -   Master Gardeners' Fall Festival 2019   -   YouTube Video: How To Never Have A Serious Poison Oak/Ivy Rash Again!
Sept
September Meeting: Bartleson Ranch
August
No August Meeting: CRFG's Foothill Chapter hosted the 2019 Festival of Fruit!
July
July Meeting: 2nd Annual Fruit Tasting in the CRFG Demonstration Orchard   -   Orchard Work Day: June 29, 2019   -   Website Update: Orchard Map Updated
June
June Meeting: Gabriel Frank's Demonstration Garden   -   Larry's 3.5 Pound Cherimoya   -   "The Last of His Kind Farming Fruit in the Silicon Valley:" Andy Mariani
May
May Meeting: Barbara and Mathew Forbes' Gardens   -   Jujubes and Macadamias added to the "Fruiting Plants that Grow in the Central Coast Area" webpage   -   May 2019 Update from the San Luis Obispo Agricultural Commissioner
Apr
April Meeting: Jack Swords' Orchards   -   Orchard Workday April 20, 2019   -   April 2019 Update from the San Luis Obispo Agricultural Commissioner
Mar
March Meeting: Meet The Grafting Magicians!   -   New Pest: Plum Bud Gall Mite Fact Sheet
Feb
Meeting: February 16, 2019: Annual Scion Exchange and Grafting Party
Jan
Annual Pruning Workshop with guest pruner Tom Spellman
 

2018

Dec
December Holiday Party   -   The Art of Hoshigaki
Nov
November Meeting: Tucker and Keri Schmidt's Home Garden   -   John Salisbury on starting a Wine Grape Operation
Oct
October Meeting: Mallard Lake Ranch Kiwi Farm!   -   2018 CRFG Central Coast Chapter Awards Scholarships   -   Successful booth events at Arroyo Grande Harvest Festival and the Master Gardeners' Fall Fruit Festival
Sep
September Meeting: Fruit Salad Bowl Extravaganza!   -   CRFG Demonstration Orchard Work Day   -   New Tool Shed for the Orchard!
Aug
Xerces Society talk on pollinator conservation
July
No July Meeting: CRFG Santa Clara Chapter hosted the 2018 Festival of Fruit!
June
June Meeting: The Central Coast Grown, City Farm SLO
May
May Meeting: Las Pilitas Nursery   -   Announcing new "Plant Exchange" CRFG CCC Google Group
Apr
April Meeting: SLO Food Bank Warehouse   -   One Man Responsible for Roughly Half of US’s stone Fruit Collection   -   Christine Chiu Shares Her 2018 Annual Scion Exchange Photos
Mar
Annual Propagation Meeting with Grafting Seminar Extraordinaire!   -   Marv and Tucker graft apple trees for non-profits
Feb
2018 Annual Scion Exchange And Grafting Workshop   -   Gleanings From the Past: Marv Daniel's Journey in Apple Grafting
Jan
2018 Annual Pruning Workshop   -   Dr. Lauren Garner's 8 Tips for Successful Backyard Deciduous Fruit Tree Pruning
 

2017

Dec
December Holiday Party   -   Bee Better! Presentation on Bees by Marcel Mueller   -   EcoFarm's Seed & Scion Swap on Jan 25
Nov
November Meeting at the home of Claudia Callwood and Joe Berkman: Ron Ludekens from L. E. Cooke speaks about Bare-Root Fruit Trees   -   CRFG Education Booth at the SLO Arbor Day Celebration
Oct
October Meeting: Sharing "Our Favorite Fruits" with the members of the SLO Botanical Gardens
Sep
September Meeting: Tim and Judelon LaSalle: A New Paradigm for Soil Health   -   Recent Updates to Website
Aug
August Meeting: Les Ferreira's Garden and Introduction to the Art of Bonsai   -   2017 Scholarship Awardees   -   Announcements   -   Recent Updates to Website
Jun
Remembering Art Henzgen   -   June Meeting: Redstone Apple Ranch   -   Recent Updates to Website
Feb
Pictures from 2017 Annual Scion Exchange
Jan
January meeting: Annual Pruning Workshop

 

2016- Year of the Edible Landscape, A to Z, Apples to Zapotes, San Luis Obispo CA

Dec
Holiday Potluck Luncheon Recap
Mar/Apr
Members encouraged to join in Festival of Fruit 2016 planning   -   Demonstration Orchard pruning workday in February   -   Annual Scion Exchange in February   -   Annual Propagation meeting announcement March 12   -   Semi-Dwarf rootstock R 225 - OHXF 333 arrival
Jan/Feb
Festival of Fruit planning   -   Annual pruning meeting   -   Annual Scion Exchange reminder

 

2015- Year of the Drought Tolerant Fruits, San Diego CA

Nov/Dec
November chapter meeting at Hearst Castle   -   Faux rock workshop   -   Annual holiday meeting announcement   -   Request for Festival of Fruit 2016 planners and volunteers   -   Request for membership renewals
Sep/Oct
September chapter meeting at SLO Botanical Gardens   -   October chapter meeting: Les' garden tour; 3 Cal Poly students awarded scholarships   -   July chapter meeting: Peter and Gabrielle Robins' garden tour; Art Henzgen honored   -   Growing sapotes on the central coast   -   San Diego Festival of Fruit write-up; Art DeKleine honored   -   Master Gardeners' Tomato Extravaganza write-up
Jul/Aug
July mtg announcement   -   No August meeting due to San Diego Festival of Fruit   -   Listserv announcement   -   May chapter meeting: Don and Roxy James' blueberry orchard   -   June chapter meeting: Barney, Alisha and Ky Taff- jujubes at Rock Front Ranch
May/Jun
May and June meeting announcments   -   April chapter meeting at the Avila Barn   -   Request for volunteers to maintain the CRFG orchard at Cal Poly

 

2014- HOS / NAFAX / CRFG Joint Meeting, Troutdale Oregon


No newsletters in 2014!

 

2013- Year of the Hawaiian Fruit, Hawai'i

Mar/Apr
VermiCompost/worm castings   -   Pruning demo from "guest pruner" Mike Cirone   -   This history of Corned Beef and Cabbage with Potatoes   -   2013 Scion Exchange and Grafting Clinic   -   The Blueberry Years book review
Jan/Feb
details coming soon   -   details coming soon

 

2012 - Year of the Heirloom Fruit, Santa Rosa

Nov/Dec
Write-ups for the Festival of Fruit 2012: "Year of the Heirloom" and 2nd annual Heirloom Exposition   -   Excerpted from “Of Gardens” from The Essays or Counsels of Sir Francis Bacon   -   Persimmon Cookie Recipe   -   Making apple juice at SLO Creek Farms   -   How to deal with peach leaf curl   -   Access Amazon.com for your purchases via the link on this page of the CRFG website and a small percentage of your purchase price will be given to CRFG.
Sep/Oct
UCCE Master Gardeners' Sixth Annual Tomato Extravaganza   -   Websites to purchase inexpensive grafting supplies   -   Local Food Purchase Program   -   Plants in Mythology   -   Gluten Free Banana Muffins   -   Book review of Mary Moss-Sprague's (Master Gardener and osteoarthritis sufferer) new book Stand Up and Garden   -   Write-up of July meeting at Joe Sabol's garden
Jul/Aug
House Guests of the Feathered (Barn Owl) Kind   -   Passing of Clifford Chapman   -   CRFG Scholarships   -   Aroma Tea Shop in San Francisco   -   Compost Donation for CRFG Central Demonstration Orchard   -   Careful Use of Rodenticides   -   Fresh Apple Cake Recipe   -   Book review of Chemistry and Applications of Green Tea   -   Food in History: Kimch'i   -   Peach Leaf Curl
May/Jun

Mar/Apr
Write-up of the Central Coast Chapter's Annual Scion Exchange in February, with a Tribute to "Dr. D"   -   Grafting Lessons for Students   -   In Memory of Gene Santos   -   Avocado Database   -   Book review of The Year 1000, What Life Was Like at The Turn of the First Millennium   -   Recipe for Spiced Sautéed Carrots with Pecans   -   Book review of Golden Gate Gardening ... San Francisco Bay Area and Coastal California   -   January Pruning with Guest Pruner Professor Dan Lassanske: "every branch, every year!"
Jan/Feb
The Garden of the Seven Sisters   -   Treasure Hunt in See Canyon: the Perfect Apple of Dr. D   -   Tree Collards   -   New CRFG Inc., Marketplace Managers   -   First ever CRFG Central Chapter Scholarships Awarded   -   PG&E Community Service Award given to CRFG Central Chapter for Apple Grafting Project   -   Los Olivos Rotary Club Foundation donation buys rootstock for Apple Grafting Project   -   CRFG Central Demonstration Orchard pampered with compost and straw   -   In Memory of Dr. Tom Ruehr   -   Cranberries   -   Evelyn's Berry Buttermilk Frozen Dessert

 

2011 - Year of the Pomegranate, Arizona

Sep/Oct
Lawns to Food Demonstration Garden   -   Purslane: Weed or Food?   -   3 Dragon Fruit Blossoms   -   News from Owen Baynham   -   Marketplace Manager Opening   -   Story: Help When It's Needed   -   Mehe's Rice Salad Recipe   -   Oranges and Lemons in Britain   -   Film review of Pranzo di Ferragosto   -   July meeting: Blackburn Ranch in Bradley   -   Scholarship Awards   -   Olive Trees in Iraq and SLO   -   August meeting: Chapman Estate in Pismo Beach; Bob Ludekens educates us on "chill hours"
Jul/Aug
Veteran Farmers: veterans across the country are joining the agricultural movement as they retire from the military and return home to farm   -   News from Slovakia   -   The New Central Coast Chapter Plant Exchange   -   New Scholarship Program for Cal Poly Ag majors   -     -  
May/Jun

Mar/Apr

Jan/Feb

 

2010 Volume 13 - Year of the Pitahaya/Dragon Fruit, Los Angeles

 

2009 Volume 12 - Year of the Olive

 

2008 Volume 11 - Year of the Avocado

 

2007 Volume 10 - Year of the Mango

 

2006 Volume 9 - Year of the Grape

 

2005 Volume 8 - Year of the Apple

 

2004 Volume 7 - Year of the Berry

 

2003 Volume 6 - Year of the Citrus

 

2002 Volume 5 - Year of the Banana

 

2001 Volume 4 - Year of the Guava