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California Rare Fruit Growers Garden Club Annual Tree Sale July 14 The annual California Rare Fruit Growers of the Redwood Empire’s annual tree sale will be at the Original Santa Rosa Farmers’ Market behind Sutter Hospital at 30 Mark West Springs Road 95403 on Saturday July 14 2018 from 9AM until 1PM.
Dozens of uncommon varieties of apples, pears, plums, pluots, figs, cactus-pear, berries and more will be available. All trees are custom grafted by the CRFG Garden Club to be sold as a fundraiser for donations to students’ agricultural scholarships and other ag-related non-profits. We have raised and donated over $20,000 to date.
There are literally thousands of varieties of trees, vines and shrubs that bear edible fruit. Most people are familiar with only the most common varieties of fruits that are available commercially in stores. Many of these commercial varieties are available primarily because of the durability of the fruit for shipping, handling and storage rather than for best flavor. Even though the best tasting fruits can be too fragile for commercial distribution, they are perfectly suited to the home-gardener. Anyone with at least a six foot by six foot patch of open sunlight can successfully grow a tree with delicious fruits, even if only in a box of soil on pavement. Properly selected fruit-bearing plants can also be used for edible landscaping, proving a pleasing visual display in addition to gourmet treats. Multiple fruit varieties can be grown on the same plant by means of simple grafting techniques, resulting in a “fruit salad” tree! One member has over 100 kinds of apples on one tree!
Rootstocks control the size of the tree, scions control the kind of fruit produced. Types M111 and Geneva 41 rootstock limit tree to 6-10’ high, are highly disease resistant, and have been tested to tolerate wet heavy soil like the Santa Rosa plain. Geneva 202 is a semi dwarf, and Bud 9 is an extreme dwarf, which can be kept to 4’ high and 4’ wide with pruning, but will need drip irrigation and staking its whole life, though fruit will be normal large size. All trees are about 2-3′ tall, grafted in March. Note that small trees will outgrow taller root-bound trees within a year or two. You can get more scions from us in January to add varieties to a “fruit salad tree”, $5 entry, $5/graft by expert grafter, by keeping your tree in the pot and bringing it in for grafting then. We will have hundreds of more varieties available then in late Jan. See crfg-redwood.org in December for dates and times.
Many of the best tasting fruits are only available from specialty catalogs and growers, or through hobbyist organizations like the California Rare Fruit Growers (CRFG) garden club. CRFG promotes interest in all aspects of fruit growing, with special emphasis on rare and unusual fruits. North Bay CRFG members in “Luther Burbank country” get together regularly to taste fruits, trade plants, and to swap tips on local growing techniques and what grows best in local conditions. One recent meeting featured over 100 different locally-grown fruits to taste! The results of prior “hard-core-expert” tastings are available on the club website, along with tips on growing, grafting, greenhouse construction, deer-proofing and other topics, at CRFG-Redwood.org.