To encourage and foster public and scientific interest, research, education in and the preservation of rare fruit plants that have edible seeds, fruits, leaves, stems or roots and are not commonly grown commercially. The furtherance and encouragement of these activities shall be for the benefit of the public rather than commercial interests.
The California Rare Fruit Growers (CRFG) is the largest amateur fruit-growing organization in the world. Its membership includes nationally recognized botanical gardens and noted international horticultural researchers, as well as hobbyists, commercial growers and representatives from institutions of higher learning. The members of twenty-one chapters and individual members reside in 48 states and territories of the United States, but the membership encompasses over 35 countries worldwide. Although oriented toward the environmentally sound culture of any and all edible plants in the home landscape, CRFG is focused on species not native to nor grown commercially in any given area. Its mission is to share knowledge acquired from its activities with home growers in particular and with anyone else in the world having an interest in edible plant cultivation. More info on CRFG national website.
Refer to the contact us page for a listing of our local chapter’s leadership group.
If you grow fruit, or want to grow fruit, come join us!
John M. Riley and Paul Thompson founded California Rare Fruit Growers in 1968 in southern California. During the next 20 years about 10 chapters formed in southern California. In 1983 John Riley and Paul Thompson founded the first northern California Rare Fruit Growers Chapter in San Jose. It was called the Bay Area Chapter, and Brent Thompson was its first chairman. Florence Strange served on the board of that chapter from 1986 to 1987.
Florence Strange had joined the Bay Area Chapter as it was getting organized in 1983. The Bay Area Chapter of CRFG was very active and drew interested people from the whole Bay Area. They were the ones who planted the rare fruit trees in Emma Prush Farm Park (“Prush Park”) in San Jose, with CRFG volunteers propagating and planting over 100 specimens of unusual and prized fruit trees.
In fall of 1986 they organized the first CRFG chapter north of San Francisco, naming ourselves the Redwood Chapter. The first members were brought together by Caroline & Terry Harrison and Kay Barr. Kay served as the original chair of the infant chapter for the remainder of 1986.
Florence Strange served as first full term chair of the Redwood Chapter from 1987 to 1988. We met six times a year for field trips or speakers. The meetings often drew attendance of 30-40 members.
Redwood Chapter Chairs:
1987-88 Florence Strange
1990-1992 George Quesada
1993-1998 Carolyn Harrison
1999-2002 Mark Harrington
2002-2005 Gregory Flick
2006-2008 David Ulmer
2009- 2010 Phil Pieri
2011-2012 Linda Robertson, with co-chair Keith Borglum
2013-2014 Maile Pieri, with co-chair Ed Maybrun
2014-2015 Maile Pieri
2015-2017 Rachel Spaeth
2018-2019 Richard Kirk