Growing Avocados in Northern California

The Monterey Bay Chapter of the California Rare Fruit Growers presents Ellen Baker and Freddy Menge discussing tactics for success in growing Avocados in Northern California. Included are tips regarding varieties of interest in the Central Coast area.

Video: How to Graft Deciduous Fruit Trees

In advance of our first ever “socially distanced” scion exchange, Freddy Menge has graciously brought his grafting tutorial online.

In this video, Freddy demonstrates cleft grafting via a proven method that has gotten many local newbies propagating deciduous fruit trees for the first time. He makes mention of knife style (and “caveman grip”), cleft graft technique, the physiology of grafting (cambium contact), tensioning and sealant materials (demonstrating an inexpensive and effective graft with masking tape), and post-graft training (removal of competing shoots).

Santa Cruz Apple Tasting 2019 Rankings (77 Varieties)

For the benefit of visitors to California Rare Fruit Growers northern circuit of Scion Exchanges, below is a complete tabluation of taster rankings from our October 2019 apple tasting in Santa Cruz, California, an event held now for over 30 years annually. Many (but not all) of the apples below will be available as scionwood at our local Monterey Bay scion exchange, and distributed to others run by northern California chapters of CRFG. These include heirloom, modern, and novel locally-discoved and bred apples.

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The Lumpy Fruit, The Golden Fruit

Quinces and Membrillo (photo: Kathleen Rose)

The quince is a pome fruit in the Rosaceae family, which includes pears and apples. It is a rock hard, homely, lumpy fruit. If you manage to hack off a slice, you will find it to be tough, tannic and sour. It has been suggested that the quince was the golden fruit, beloved of Aphrodite, that started the Trojan war. Because it thrived in the heat of the plains of Mesopotamia, it might also have been the fruit on the Tree of Knowledge.

The origin of the quince is thought to be somewhere in the Caucasus, Northern Persia or the formerly Fertile Crescent, so it is a more likely candidate to have starred in those ancient stories than the apple we know today. Hard to imagine, though, that it was considered a tempting fruit.

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