September 5, 2017: National Heirloom Exposition

CRFG-Redwood exhibited at Santa Rosa’s National Heirloom Exposition. Dubbed the “The World’s Fair of Pure Food,” it was host to over 20,000 farmers and gardeners! The expo featured over 300 vendors, including thousands of Heirloom varieties from across America. CRFG members again assembled impressive tables full of a variety of fruits grown locally by members.

July 29, 2017: Summer Tree and Plant Sale

CRFG Redwood Chapter held its annual Summer Plant sale and fundraiser in July at the Original Organic Farmer’s Market behind Sutter Medical Center. Dozens of varieties of rare fruit trees and plants were sold, raising almost $2,500 for further charitable works. Other market fruit, honey and mushroom vendors came over to visit and share nibbles and stories of interesting fruit.

July 9, 2017: Summer Budding Clinic and Greenwood Swap

A Bark Grafting and Citrus grafting demonstration was held at the Summer Greenwood Scion Exchange at a member’s orchard.

David Ulmer demonstrated grafting citrus with bud and cleft grafts.

Ray Sheehy sent certified clean rootstock, and Dick Kirk ordered and brought many varieties of certified clean scions of unusual citrus  available to participants to a nominal price. Members had a hands-on opportunity to practice grafting supported by the close attention of the experts.

March 12, 2017: Fruit Tree Grafting Work Party

CRFG member volunteers gathered at Keith Borglum’s place to graft and pot up  150+ trees to be ready for the big sale fundraiser event in July. Thanks Keith for hosting and providing these pictures!

January 28, 2017: Scion Exchange

We hosted our annual scion exchange to a crowd of several hundred fruit enthusiasts. Hundreds of varieties of fruit trees were available as free scions, plus bare root and live plants offered by vendors.

We were lucky in receiving our rootstocks at the last minute, as our shipment had been delayed due to rainy weather. So, a great abundance was on hand to go with the many varieties of scions available.

Thanks to all the volunteers who donated countless hours collecting scions, managing rootstocks, organizing our fund raising raffle, staffing the event and all the other myriad tasks associated with the scion exchange. Thanks also to Keith Borglum for the photos.

All the members of CRFG take great pleasure in sharing our knowledge and contributing back to the community by encouraging a love of fruit growing.

August 26-18, 2016: San Luis Obispo Festival of Fruit

CRFG Member Maile Pieri attended the 2016 Festival of Fruit in San Luis Obispo County and provided the following writeup and photos. Thanks, Maile!


Black Diamond  Vermicompost in Paso Robles.

CRFG members were given an amazing tour, by Cristy and Jack.  They raise worms in their off-the-ground continuous flow thru bins.  As surface dwellers and feeders, the worms generally hang out in the top 6-8 inches. The bin is 24″ deep (45 feet long), they we make a “cutting”, and take off an inch or so of vermicompost, which has been thoroughly worked through by the worms.  The fresh vermicompost (you see on the floor) is very wet so it dries for a while on the floor before it’s screened and packaged for sale.  There is no smell here what so ever.  Great tour!

Mt. Olive Organic Farm in Paso Robles

This sustainable organic farm provides organic healthy food while benefiting the environment and all the living things around. They don’t use any chemical pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, or synthetic fertilizers.  They grow fruit and produce and farm cows.

They raise earthworms and use the castings, our own compost, beneficial microbes and old-fashioned farming practices to produce the best, the earth has to offer.

Kiler Olive Farm in Paso Robles

CRFG members were treated to a Tuscan style olive oil tasting at the beautiful top of the world location of Kiler Olive Farm, with Gregg Kiler.   We tasted 5 oils ending with a commercial brand many of us have in our kitchens.  I think our tastes buds woke up to what ‘fresh’ really is.  We left with a couple of fresh bottles.

In their ‘frantoio’ eco-friendly straw bale building, is the milling equipment and olive oil storage tanks.  It is fully solar powered, and walls are finished in natural clay plater.  They sit on 58 acres and farm 2700 olive trees, varieties originating from Italy and Sicily.  They first produced olive oil in 2010 winning many medals for their EVOO.

Later some who lingered, were offered a tour of the mill facility with the owner.  There we got to see the core of the business ~ from the receiving, to pressing, to bottling and packaging.   It was an incredible tour and Gregg was very generous in sharing what he has learned along the route of making olive oil.  His energy was endless.  He truly loves what he does.


January 23, 2016: Scion Exchange

We held our annual scion exchange at the Santa Rosa Veteran’s center. Hundreds of people attended this community event, collecting free scions from hundreds of varieties of fruit trees. Rootstocks were available for sale at a nominal price, and CRFG grafters were on hand to create custom- fruit trees on the spot.

Among the rootstocks offered this year were:

  • Apple: MM111, Bud 9 dwarf, Geneva 41 dwarf, Geneva 202 semi-dwarf
  • Plum: Myrobalan – for Apricots, Pluots, Plums and Almonds
  • Peach: Lovell – for Peaches, Nectarines, Apricots, Plums, Pluots  and Almonds
  • Pear: Calleryana

An ongoing raffle and auction offered many interesting and useful prizes donated by local-area businesses in support of our mission.

A hospitality table was provided with free coffee and tea, plus many fruit-based snacks provided by our members.

More than a dozen vendors offered fruit trees, grape vines and other plants for sale as well as fresh citrus fruit and other items. Local businesses and non-profits provided information tables as well.

Thanks to all the volunteers who helped put this event together. Photos by Keith Borglum.

Jan 2, 2016: Prusch Park Scion Cutting

CRFG-Redwood members travelled to San Jose to collect scions from the many varieties of fruit trees at CRFG-maintained Prusch Park.The scions will be used to share with people at scion exchanges throughout Northern California. Photos courtesy of Maile Pieri.

December 12, 2015: Annual Meeting

Rachel and all officers were re-elected. Lots of interesting fruit to taste. Rachel displayed her school insect education project. Our Sonoma State grant recipient gave a presentation on his planned use to genetically identify the avocado trees around Sonoma County, searching for a cold hardy variant. Gene gave a little grafting knife-making talk.

Thanks to Keith Borglum for this writeup and photos.

October 4, 2015: Apple Tasting

A great crowd assembled at the Ace in the Hole cider pub for CRFG Redwood’s annual apple tasting.

We tasted 52 apples, 16 European pears and 5 Asian pears from 13 states and 10 countries. Remember that on any given day, the results will differ due to several factors such as fruit maturity and growing conditions. As many of you know, the top tasters vary widely from year to year. The top apple this year, Liberty, ranked near the bottom of the list last year.

Thanks to David Ulmer for organizing and emceeing, Ace Cider for hosting, and everybody who donated fruit and helped out. Thanks to Keith Borglum and John Valenzuela for photos.

Click the links below to download copies of the final results.

CRFG Apple Tasting Results 2015

CRFG Pear Tasting Results 2015