Thursday, July 05, 2007

Newsletter July 2007


WHEN: Saturday, July 21, 2007, 10-Noon meeting
WHERE: La Huerta (orchard-garden) Project, Old Mission Santa Barbara
WHAT: The Old Mission La Huerta Project is an one acre+ garden (begun in 2003) that displays hundreds of edible and utilitarian and ornamental trees, shrubs & vines, herbaceous perennials, heirloom garden herbs and seasonal-crop plants that portrays the first introduced horticulture to California, the Spanish mission-era (1769-1834). Also native plants associated with the local Chumash (CHEW-mash) indigenous people are on display.

Agenda: Jerry Sortomme – La Huerta Project manager will host a tour of the mission orchard-garden along the El Rastro pathway, and also tour the overlook level that displays native plant materials some collected from the near-by Channel Islands. La Huerta is a functioning garden and a living museum, history-scape. Project volunteers care for and maintain the garden on Wednesday mornings.

July should be an ideal time to experience the summer format of La Huerta.

Optional: After the two hour tour our CRFG members are invited to stay for a casual BYO picnic lunch at the garden’s ramada patio terrace. A large BBQ will be made available for you (and your family & guests) to grill whatever YOU decide to cook (meat, fruit, veggies, etc.). At 12:00 the Huerta Folks (La Huerta Project volunteers), are invited to join the noon time picnic for a potluck early afternoon gathering. The combined event promises to be a pleasant summer time event. **Please bring your own beverage, utensils, plates, etc..
RSVP PLEASE to Jerry if you plan to stay for the post-meeting, potluck,picnic.
Contact Jerry (by July 18):, or H: 805/644-2777.

DIRECTIONS: Note: The La Huerta garden is located in the Old Mission’s restricted, non-public access zone. CRFG members and guests are the special guests of Santa Barbara Mission on the 21st. You will need to park in the restricted parking lot that is separated by fencing and locked gates, from the tourist parking lot.
In Santa Barbara, exit the 101 Freeway at Mission Street. Drive north on Mission Street toward the foothills; past State Street. Turn left turn at Santa Barbara Street. Proceed several blocks, crossing Los Olivos St. Proceed one more block. Turn right turn at Pueblo Street (Pueblo Street dead-ends at Garden Street). Cross Garden Street, and enter the driveway. Proceed 100 yards, take the first right turn at the sign “Old Mission Santa Barbara”. Drive along the south façade of the mission complex. Park in the restricted parking lot. The La Huerta garden is located at the south, lower end of the lot Take the short path (next to the sports court) down to the Huerta garden

Summery of the Old Creek Ranch Tour
In June between 15 & 20 members visited Old Creek Ranch in the lower Ojai Valley.

Host John Whitman took us on a walk-about around the ranch office and homestead landscapes and winery facilities. We observed established plantings of: olive trees, apricots, a Nanking bush cherry, chestnut, jujube, apple, pomegranates, plum, walnuts and pecans.

We then toured the recently planted acreage of production cherry trees. Four kinds of commercial cherries are being grown. The unusual winter cold, micro-climate of this part of lower Ojai Valley, allows the ranch to establish cherries. Protective deer fencing will be installed soon to reduce damage to the nearly 2 year old trees. We then walked thru an older orchard grove that had plums, apples, pears and various stone fruits.

Some of our members stayed to sip the boutique wines at the Old Creek Ranch Winery tasting room. A member or two hiked along the ranch roads at the base of Sulphur Mountain.

The historic agrarian rural setting, flowering gardens and a near perfect day made for a charming day. We thank Carmel & John Whitman for hosting our June meeting.

There will be no August meeting so our local members can attend the Festival of Fruit in San Diego on August 7-12. Check the CFRG web site or the Fruit Grower magazine for details.

******TREASURER’S REPORT: The current balance is $5,593.69

Chapter Co-Chair: Norman Beard, (805) 968-0989,
Chapter Co-Chair: Jerry Sortomme, (805) 644-2777,
V-Pres/Publicist/Programs: Alan Schroeder, (805) 563-9525,
Treasurer: Roland Messori, (805) 969-4167,
Newsletter Team: (i) Vacant (ii) Wally Mathews, (805) 963-6656,; (iii) Laura Nanna, (805) 687-4553,

Local website:
CRFG Website:

For Membership in California Rare Fruit Growers, Inc, send $30 to CRFG, Inc., 66 Farrugut Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94112-4050 AND $10 (for local dues) to Roland Messori, 355 Sierra Vista Rd., Santa Barbara, CA 93108 (Note: Members of the Parent CRFG organization receive the outstanding "Fruit Gardener" magazine.)

Send address changes to BOTH the parent and local organizations (addresses above). Send e-mail address changes to


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