What's happening in March, 2008

At left San Clemente resident Marina Carson acts as photographer’s assistant to Photographer/Writer David Karp with Ian Crown and Stephen Facciola.

We’ve planted all the new trees we purchased, and are now finishing up the new blackberries and the low-chill raspberries. Also we’re planting rhubarb and more asparagus. We haven’t had much luck with rhubarb and asparagus; it may not be cold enough in Rainbow, but I’m still trying. David Karp, well-known fruit writer came for a visit this week with his author friend, Stephen Facciola and Puerto Rican mangosteen grower Ian Crown. Some of you may have read Stephen’s Sourcebook, Cornucopia II, A Source Book for Edible Plants. It’s an incredible compilation of edible plants and their seed sources. He was kind enough to sign a copy for me! Many of the things that Ian grows in Puerto Rico I grow as well; although I have no chance of growing anything tropical, which Ian specializes in. We enjoyed comparing notes on the things we grow in common.
As we walked through the farm, David was able to help me identify a few fruit trees whose labels have eluded me. We have 3 or 4 citrus trees that are “rootstock”, which is a disappointment as rootstock fruit is useless. I also have a tropical apricot tree, (dovyalis) which has never fruited. I’ve tasted the dovyalis and it is truely amazing. I’d forgotten I’d purchased and planted it 7 or 8 years ago. Long time to wait for fruit….
They gave me a fig tree, which David knows I have a fondness for. David says this Violette is unusually delicious. I’ll let my subscribers decide! I have root grafted many of my own figs on the farm.
He also confirmed that the weird looking fruit that wasn’t picked soon enough is the Yuzu, better picked in the fall. David was most interested in the Ethrog trees that have just been removed from my farm. We had been growing Ethrogs, a sacred Jewish fruit, for a couple of rabbis. They have decided to move their trees elsewhere, but David, who is writing a book about Ethrogs, wanted to visit and discuss my experience and see what was left of the grove.

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