Speakers

Rosalind Creasy

Rosalind Creasy

The amazing line up of speakers starts with our keynote speaker, Rosalind Creasy, author of The Complete Book of Edible Landscaping, followed by a panel discussion with Ms. Creasy and CRFG members Tom Del Hotal, John Valenzuela, and Katie Wong.

Dr. John Clark, David Karp, Dan Lassanske, Gisele Schoniger et al will be some of the speakers starting right after lunch.

Those who sign up for the Saturday BBQ Dinner will be in for a treat… literally!  Chocolate maker Tom Neuhaus will talk to us about growing and making chocolate, and provide samples!

1. Tom BurchellInsights from the owner of Burchell Nursery
With a renewed focus on research at Burchell Nursery, Tom has pioneered the development of the nursery’s container tree lines. His stewardship has also advanced the firm’s breeding program, which now holds more than 44 patented varieties to its credit and with more coming each year.
2. Josh CarmichaelInsights from the owner of Carmichael Environmental
Josh started his landscape design & build in 2001. He created this outlet for his passion of art & science and love of the natural world. He is a community leader, environmental steward, and longtime resident of San Luis Obispo County.
3. Dr. John R. Clark — Professor, Department of Horticulture, University of Arkansas Primocane-fruiting Blackberries: Where Did this Miracle Come From?
Primocane fruiting, or the ability to fruit on current-season canes, has recently been incorporated into commercial blackberries. This trait, which has revolutionized fresh-market red raspberry production, will likely contribute to a similar impact in blackberries. This presentation will provide background on the trait’s origin, benefits, breeding activities to incorporate the trait with other characters, as well as the horizons of improvement in primocane-fruiting blackberries.
4. David Karp — Researcher, University of California Riverside and writer for the New York TimesSecrets of Citrus Ancestry Revealed
What is an orange, a Meyer lemon, a mandarin, or a lime? For decades scientists speculated based on morphological characteristics, but no one really knew. More recently they relied on relatively crude genetic tests; only in the past decade have in-depth tests and surer answers become available—and some of them are real surprises. David Karp, a citrus researcher affiliated with the University of California, Riverside, has reviewed and evaluated hundreds of scientific articles and will present the most current information concerning all the major, and many minor, forms of citrus, along with spectacular photos.
5. Ed Laivo —
Formerly with Dave Wilson Nursery, now Sales and Marketing Director for the Four Winds Growers
Challenges Facing the Home Growing of Fruit Trees
This talk will cover the many different obstacles that will challenge the desire to grow fruit in the home garden today and into the future. From the many insects and disease pressures to the need to use water responsibly. We will cover the problems and present some direction for solutions.
6. Dan Lassanske — Ornamental Horticulture Professor, Cal Poly SLO, RetiredOpuntia--The Edible Succulent
Opuntia culture, use in the landscape, and container growing. Harvesting, nutritional value, processing for human consumption and several recipes. Preparation and tasting of at least one recipe.
7. David Maislen — CRFG Member, Central Coast ChapterBees and Pollination
History of the honeybee and how they are part of our lives. What you can do to help them and what you may be doing that hurts them.
8. Steve McShane — Owner, McShane Nursery, Salinas, CaliforniaEdible Gardening in Small Spaces: Miniature Gardens, Container Success & More
Why not consider downsizing your garden to containers? This topic comes at such a great time given all the hoop-lah over fairy gardens. Join Master Gardener, soil scientist and former Co-Chair of the Central Coast Chapter, Steve McShane, for an exciting presentation on small scale gardening and tips for a beautiful potted paradise.
9. Steve Murray — CRFG member, Kern Chapter and Scholarship RecipientUnusual Edibles with Strange Aesthetic Appeal for the Home Garden from Across the World
Steven will talk about interesting looking exotic fruits from across the world for use in home gardens.

Steven Alan Murray Jr is a fifth generation California young farmer who grew up on his family’s cherry farm, Murray Family Farms, located near Arvin. His research facility is filled to the brim with over 400 species of 2,000 varieties of rare fruit and is growing rapidly. He has traveled to over 45 different countries and in addition to his native tongue, English, he speaks Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, & Portuguese. Steven is active in CRFG, Vice Prez of Kern Chapter, on the Board of the North American Fruit Explorers, and has received scholarships from the CRFG Orange County Chapter and from the whole organization in 2012.
10. Gisele Schoniger — Organic Gardening Educator, Kellogg Garden ProductsBack to Basics: Lessons from Mother Nature - Transforming Dirt Into Soil!
We will explore the magic of the underground world beneath our feet and how dirt is transformed to soil. If you’ve heard that a successful garden starts with “healthy” soil, you’ve been given good advice! Soil is a complex ecosystem, which supports all life on Earth. But what is “healthy” soil and how do you know if you have it? Learn how to build the life in your soils the way mother nature intended by understanding and using organic/biological practices. Going back to Mother Nature’s lessons, you will be rewarded with an abundance of delectable edibles and beautiful gardens. And, you will be contributing to the our overall health and the health of the planet.

See Gisele's video on Unlocking the Secrets in the Soil
11. Jack Swords — Central Coast CRFG Chapter member, Macadamia Nut grower, NipomoGrowing Macadamia Nuts...... with honey bees!!
Imagine a medium sized handsome tree with dark green glossy leaves all year. This evergreen tree has superb ornamental value and produces white or pink blossoms that will produce nuts that fall to the ground 5 - 7 years after planting. This excellent shade tree is drought tolerant, has few pests, and doesn’t need a pollinator. Of course we are referring to the subtropical macadamia tree that can be grown anywhere avocados are grown. Assumed to be a tropical tree, originating in Hawaii, it is actually a native of Australia and grows quite well in California. A clean attractive landscape tree that rewards ownership. Learn all about this wonderful tree and how to grow your own supply of those expensive macadamia nuts that simply drop to the ground when they are ready. Some in attendance could win a small macadamia tree to add to their landscape.
12. Edgar Valdivia — CRFG Member, Simi ValleyGrowing and Breeding Pitahaya/Dragon Fruit
For the past 15 years Edgar has been working to improve the flavor of the Pitayaha/Dragon Fruit. His goal has also been to develop this fruit as self-fertile.

The pitahaya/dragon fruit is an excellent fruit to grow in California both as a commercial and home grown crop. Edgar will share with you some cuttings from his collection as well as some fruits to taste.
13. John Valenzuela — CRFG Member, Golden Gate Chapter Destiny and the Fruit Tree Wagon of 1847– the fate of 700 grafted trees traveling nine months on the Oregon Trail, and other tales of how our best fruits journeyed to the West.
Discover fascinating stories of how the first fruits were spread and nurtured by native peoples, explorers, missionaries, religious zealots, immigrants, nursery families, government, universities, breeders, and even some of our own CRFG members—all part of the vast diversity of fruits we enjoy here on the West Coast.
14. Rick Yessayian — CRFG Board Member, Orange CountyA Cornucopia of Fruit!
Some recommended, unusual varieties of fruit to try in your backyard. We will look at 20 delicious, sweet and unusual, easy to grow items that will tempt your taste buds with new and unusual flavors.
15. Harvey Correia --- CRFG Central, Correia FarmsFigs: Fruitful and Flexible
Figs are a somewhat surprising obsession for many fruit growers. I grew up with a few fig trees around my childhood home but never found them all that interesting. I planted my first three fig trees around my farm home around 2005 and then started adding about 10 more over the next few years. I was curious about the addiction of other growers who had amassed large collections and wrote in a forum in 2008 "I doubt I'll ever build up more than a dozen (or two) varieties." Around 2012 I started tasting some great figs from my own trees and seeing others with figs that seemed amazing and I became a bona fide "figaholic". I later set limits to my additions, saying I'd stop at 100 varieties, than 200....then I just gave up! I now grow well over 300 varieties (an accurate count is impossible as I am constantly adding some and removing a few). When I talk about figs to some relatives and friends and mention the number of varieties, they say they only know of "white fig and black fig". In my presentation, I'll show there is much more than that!

While I grow quite a few "rare" fruits that are native to warmer climates and been jealous of those in such climates, I've learned that many from Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia are very envious of our climates and availability of fig varieties. I will share some stories that show that the addiction to fig growing is truly global.

For most, however, we only want to grow the best varieties. But how can we select these unless we try them all? I will show some of the different figs I grow to help you decide if you should be trying more figs in your gardens. I am often asked how large a fig tree will become and I'll explaining training methods to keep trees a reasonable size and productive. Fig trees are an effective use of limited garden space since their size can be greatly controlled and they can produce fruit over a period of four to six months in many climates. Many home gardeners have developed fig trees with grafts of multiple varieties and I'll discuss grafting methods that have worked well for me. While most fig varieties root easily, I'll also explain why grafting works out much better for many varieties.
16. Bob Ludekens --- President of L.E. Cooke Wholesale NurseryThe Wonder of Chilling
1. Explain chilling hours
2. Chilling zones: Sunset chilling zones vs. USDA Climate Zones.
3. Where use Sunset zones. Where use USDA zones
4. Chilling factors in every home yard and why
5. Ripening dates vs. Blooming dates vs. Chilling requirements
6. Climate change and why (man made vs. earth changes)
7. What part of trees do the chilling affect and why? Icing roots.
8. Night temperatures and how counted. What I believe to be myths.
9. Orchard planting temperature changes. East/West vs North/South vs.spacing
10. Open for questions, not previously covered.
17. Renee Shepherd -- Seed Developer, Gardener, Entrepreneur, AuthorGarden to Table from Seed
How to plan, plant and enjoy a bountiful, colorful and delicious kitchen garden throughout the seasons featuring vegetables and herbs chosen for fabulous flavor, easy growing, productivity, and top nutrition. Includes specific variety suggestions, information on how and where we find seeds of many cultures and countries along with lots of preparation and cooking ideas for using your harvests for satisfying everyday meals. Oriented especially to beginning ‘Foodie’ gardeners who want to cook a wide range of fresh and seasonal meals from their own garden.
18. David Headrick, Cal Poly Professor in the Horticulture and Crops Science DepartmentEntomology in the Landscape
We love our plants and we want them to thrive. Other creatures also love our plants, but for very different reasons. There’s no escaping them and we wage a constant battle against them to protect the plants we love. But our battles are mostly futile. What appears to be a vanquished enemy one day, somehow manages to live on and come back stronger than ever.

Why can we never win the war on bugs?

We first have to come to terms with the fact that our urban landscapes are highly artificial and bring together organisms that originated from very different parts of the globe. We also need to learn to recognize and acknowledge the ecological roles and rules that these creatures play by.

In this one-hour presentation, you will begin to learn the ecology and biology of three of the mightiest foes we face in our garden: aphids, thrips and whiteflies. Using high powered microscopy and the latest 4K HD technology, Dr. David Headrick will bring you face-to- face with your nemeses and provide you with details of their biology to help you better understand and ultimately better manage these common insect pests. For a sneak peek check out Dr. Headrick’s website and learn about aphid parasitoids and biological control.
19. David Karp — Researcher, University of California Riverside and writer for the New York TimesThe Mango in California
Compared to large commercial fruit crops like grapes, citrus and stone fruit, mangoes are a minor presence in California. Good varieties grown in suitable conditions, however, are about as delicious as a fruit can get. David Karp, who has written about mangoes for the Los Angeles Times and Sunset, will discuss the little-known history of the mango in California; the varieties grown here; the main players and plantings in California; the intrigue that surrounds this scrumptious fruit; and the recent resurgence in mango cultivation in coastal areas.
20. Bob Ludekens --- President of L.E. Cooke Wholesale NurseryPlanting, watering and general care of the Bare Root Fruit Tree and more...
We will discuss each of the topics in this session...
* Care in tree planting, watering and feeding of the bare root tree
* Differences in commercial and home garden varieties of fruit trees
* Climate evaluation of new or un-tested fruit tree varieties.. by Zones


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