Nov. 28 – Regular Meeting Healing your Orchard with Native Bees and Free Water

Speaker: Candace Vanderhoff
When: Nov. 28, doors open at 6:30 PM, presentation starts at 7 PM
Where: Room 101, Casa Del Prado, Balboa Park

Candace Vanderhoff is the owner of RainThanks & Greywater and the founder of the SoloBee Native Bee shelter business. Candace will share the value of
inviting native bees into the garden and building water systems to capture free abundant water.

Oct. 24 – Regular Meeting

Speaker: Tony Gurnoe
When: Oct. 24, doors open at 6:30 PM, presentation starts at 7 PM
Where: Room 101, Casa Del Prado, Balboa Park

Tony Gurnoe, Director of Horticulture at the San Diego Botanic Garden will talk about how gardens like his, and groups like the CRFG, can partner to preserve fruit crop biodiversity, serve as genetic repositories for disease resistance and other “wild” traits often lost with improper breeding and monocultures, as well as offering potentially untapped commercial opportunities for small local growers.

Sept 26 – Regular Meeting

Speaker: Mark Miner
When: Sept 26, doors open at 6:30 PM, presentation starts at 7 PM
Where: Room 101, Casa Del Prado, Balboa Park

Mark will talk about growing grapes in Southern California and some of his more recent propagation success at UCSD’s Roger’s Community Garden as well the Bancroft Center for Sustainability.

June 27 – Regular Meeting

Jim Neitzel Remembrance
When: June 27, doors open at 6:30 PM, presentation starts at 7 PM
Where: Room 101, Casa Del Prado, Balboa Park

This months meeting is proving to be a somber and yet festive event. With the passing of Jim Neitzel, our first Chairman, we have a lot of sadness in our hearts. He was the heart of our special group and will not be forgotten. When trying to decide how we would honor his memory I started thinking about the most important aspect; what would Jim want.

For a while now we had been planning a couple of events that would get that gleam in his eye and that smile that we all know so well. We had discussed having an ice cream social with some special fruit ice creams similar to the ones made in Mexico and also having a contest. Now, this is where all of you come in. Jim wanted to have a fruit topping contest that hopefully were made from less ordinary fruits. It will be served on vanilla ice cream for planning purposes to make sure the topping is the star. If you use fruit that your grew yourself then you will be eligible for extra points The winner will get a prize (TBD) and be a judge at next years competition. That’s right, I think we will call it the Jim’s fruit challenge and hopefully hold it every year in his honor.

The next thing I want to talk about is how do we celebrate Jim? His family is very private and I would never infringe on them at this time so what as a club could we do? I want to have a celebration of life CRFG style. We are planning to show photos that you can all send in that we will show on the projector and even videos. This is not a morning or sad event, there will be tears but there should be smiles and laughter even more so. There will be an open mic for funny stories, memories or even if you want to sing a song. Its our time to celebrate Jim’s life the way he would have wanted, fun with dirt under our nails.

I am doing my very best to get this information out early enough so that you can plan on attending. I am buying a lot of ice cream and Kim is lactose intolerant so I don’t want to bring any home. Folks, this is a sad time for us all but we were so fortunate to have Jim in our lives as long as we did. I only knew Jim for about a year and a half but he left his mark on me as well.

To brighten the room up a bit, I have very happy news that Theo is recovering and will be moved to a rehab room in the afternoon. I will share the location and how to contact her as soon I find out. I look forward to seeing my friend up and about soon.

On a final note, I would really like to thank Ben Cossel, Jennifer Fitzpatrick and JerryTuler for thier help planning this event. It would not happen without them.

Best WIshes,

Steve Thomas,

CRFG SD Co Chair

Hands On Pomegrante Pruning and Propagation Workshops with Ben Kotnik

When: Jan. 27 Class 1 9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. Class 2 – 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Where: South Bay Botanic Garden
What: Hands On Pomegrante Pruning and Propagation Workshops with Ben Kotnik

Free to CRFG Members, $15 for Non-Members

This is two separate classes, please register for each by emailing Benjamin Cossel @ Class size will be limited to 20 participants each,

930-11 Pruning Pomegranates
Come learn about the unique growth habits of pomegranates and how to prune them. Workshop will cover general pruning practices such as safety, tools, and proper cuts. Then we’ll dive into the specifics of working with pomegranates. Participants should bring their own pruning tools such as a small pruning saw, loppers, and hand pruners. Additionally, long sleeves, gloves, and eye protection are good ideas.

1130-1 Fruit Tree Propagation by Cuttings
This hands on workshop will explore the simplest methods for propagating fruit trees by taking cuttings from mother trees. We’ll work with figs and pomegranates. Participants should bring their own hand pruners, and optionally, a large plastic tub with lid (We’ll have about 10 large black tubs with yellow lids from Costco available for about $10 at the event). Participants will take their finished cuttings home to root and grow.

January Meeting – Scion Exchange

When: January 24, 7 pm
Where: Room 101, Balboa Park, Casa del Prado
What: Annual Scion Exchange and January Meeting

The upcoming scion exchange is just around the corner (January 24) and now is a good time to either become a member of our chapter or renew your membership. Membership for 2018 is $12 and updating your membership is just a click away. If you’ve already registered/renewed for 2018, there is nothing to worry about – you’re covered.

We’ll let you in on a little secret, everyone who renews or becomes a member before the annual scion exchange will be given a 15 minute “early” window to chose through what’s available before we open the exchange to the general public. Don’t delay, register/join now!

Pruning Basics with Tom del Hotal

When: January 21, 9 a.m. to Noon
Where: Bancroft Center for Sustainability, 3845 Spring Dr, Spring Valley, CA
What: Pruning basics with Tom del Hotal

Come learn from one of the masters of San Diego horticulture, Tom del Hotal, as he guides us through the basics of pruning fruit tress.