MEETING: Saturday July 10, 2004 10:00 a.m.

Note meeting site address

The address for the July meeting is:

Ken Edwards Center room 104
1527 4th Street., Santa Monica

Directions: Take the 10 West to 4th/5th Street exit. Keep left at the fork in the ramp. Turn right onto 4th Street. 1527 is between Colorado and Broadway on 4th Street. You can drop off passengers and plants at the entrance and park underground. Assigned spots are available to you outside of regular business hours. There is an elevator to the street level rooms.


Speaker: Charles Portney

Our own Charlie Portney will talk to us on the underlying principle of all organic gardening, taking care of the soil. Pay attention to the health of the soil and the soil will take care of the health of the plants. Anyone who has been to Charlie's garden knows that he has developed phenomenally wonderful soil. He will talk with us about the concepts behind soil development and maintenance, as well as how to implement those concepts.

Charlie is also interested in methods other members have used to further the goal of soil enrichment. So, jot down your own methods and ideas and bring them with you.

Charlie is pitch-hitting for Glen Young, who was originally scheduled to speak about successful plant propagation for the backyard gardener. Glenn had a bad fall and is in the hospital. So, send him some positive thoughts and he will reschedule talking to us for later this year. Thanks to Charlie for agreeing to speak on short notice!

Also at this meeting, we have planned the biggest raffle of the year, so please bring whatever plants you have to put in the raffle. Be sure and label them. Charlie will be bringing an exceptionally large number of plants, with several types / varieties of fruiting plants not raffled before! Charlie is clearing out many items he has previously propagated. So, come for both a great talk and a huge raffle and don't forget to bring your plants and buy tickets!

We are planning a field trip in August to the Papaya Tree Nursery, a rare fruit nursery in Granada Hills, founded by David Silber and wife Tina. Their son, Alex, is now in charge of the nursery. David and Tina are long term members of the CRFG. Although the nursery is easy to get to, we will have a bus if there is enough interest.

Festival of Fruit 2004:

For those attending the Festival of Fruit, I think we can agree is was great! On Friday we enjoyed a trip to the LaVerne nursery. It was interesting to see how they prepare thousands of new trees for sale. Many bought trees at discount prices. Friday evening the Orange County Chapter joined with the LA Chapter to provide food for a get-together. Mmmmm, good food, especially the abundant fruit. Saturday there were many good talks to attend. Some were oriented toward the backyard grower and others explained how large commercial growers handle their orchards.

Several of our favorite sub-tropical tree nurseries were there. Luckily the weather was quite nice for the whole weekend, so there was no problem with purchasing plants and leaving them in the car for several hours. Saturday night was a sit-down dinner and entertainment. All-in-all, a very nice Festival. Congratulations to the LA Chapter. Job well done!

Chapter News

A Berry informative and interesting program! May 8th, the West Los Angeles Chapter, CRFG, was treated to an outstanding presentation by Ben Faber, the Ventura County Extension Agent for Blueberries. Ben is responsible for the very successful establishment of commercial blueberry growing in Southern California. California crops ripen weeks ahead of northern crops and produce marketable crops in the fall when prices are at their highest.

Ben covered all aspects of successful blueberry growing in our less than ideal growing conditions. There are many challenges including highly alkaline soils, far less than desirable rainfall and low winter chill. Ben noted that Misty and Sharpblue were the best of 35 varieties tested for commercial production. Two nickel-sized berries, Jewel, 100-150 hours chill, and Emerald, 350 hours chill, were also highly recommended for our climate. Thank you Ben for a morning well spent! We have a video copy of Ben's talk for anyone who missed it.

We want to make the West LA Chapter active and exciting. Donít forget to take part in our chapter! We need you suggestions. We need your companionship. We really need your ideas for speakers and field trips. Come to the board meetings! Just tell any board member you would be interested in attending. We will be sure you get notice of the next meeting. We would love to have you!

Support your CRFG. Donít forget to pay your national & local dues. Please recall that our parent CRFG depends on dues to maintain our meeting site insurance, as well as to publish the Fruit Gardener.

National dues are $30. Brochures will be available at the July meeting or check out the internet site:

Our local chapter depends on dues to pay for site rental, newsletters, and purchase refreshment supplies. Local dues are $5. Please send a check to Joan Wilder, treasurer (see address under chapter officers), or pay at the meeting.

Please bring fruit you have for either eating or display. Other tasty goodies are always appreciated.

Letís plan to increase our membership. Bring a friend who is interested in growing rare fruit.


Chair: Joe Heinz 310-457-3040  Email:
Vice Chairs: Norma Heinz & Margaret Frane
Secretary: Selma Seps
Treasurer: Joan Wilder
Field Trip Coordinator: Herb Lees
Plant Chair: Ray Bourguignon
Raffle: Claire Lees
Hospitality: Lily Downing
Newsletter: Hal & Cicely Golden, Janet Leigh
Membership: Margaret Frane 310-828-0092 Email:

Back to California Rare Fruit Growers West Los Angeles Chapter page.

Previous Newsletters: May 2004


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