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

Nov. 17 – Regular Meeting – Effective Biocontrols for fruiting trees and plants

Join us as Matthew Gates will talk about using biological control agents (BCAs) in such a way as to maximize their control potential, in an integrated pest management system. The presentation centers on the diverse ways biological organisms can be used to control pests, and some of the common pitfalls and challenges associated with them in different growing environments.

When: Nov. 17, doors open at 6:30 PM, presentation starts at 7 PM
Where: Room 101, Casa Del Prado, Balboa Park

Oct 25 – Living to a “Ripe” Age, Professional “Nursery School” for Fruit Trees

ISA-certified arborist, Master Gardener, and long time CRFG member, Robin Rivet will be our guest speaker during the October 25, regular meeting. Robin’s talk will focus on the critical nature of tree selection, especially for specimens, not just species; and why this is vital for long-lived, productive fruit trees with water-efficient roots. Basic principles of modern arboriculture will be discussed, particularly how they should be applied to backyard fruit tree growing, as opposed to commercial, agricultural orchard practices – which often ignore these tenets.

She will review current ANSI standards for trees that the nursery trades should be following, yet are frequently circumvented due to economic pressures to sell quantity, instead of quality. Her talk will offer tips on how to locate the best trees, examine them before and during planting, and even sometimes improve those already in the ground. This will include best-practice planting techniques, and dispel many myths that abound about growing fruit and ornamental trees in our urban soils.

Lastly, she will bring some samples for show-and-tell to enlighten members about just how bad things can get, in hopes to convince attendees to learn from her mistakes. Be prepared: nursery school is much harder than you imagine.

Room 101, Casa Del Prado, Balboa Park
Doors open at 6:30 PM, presentation begins at 7 PM

Robin’s Biography
ISA Certified Arborist – Robin Rivet is an independent, consulting horticulturist & designer providing residents, non-profits, municipalities and schools with education and planning services. Robin currently serves on the City of La Mesa Environmental – Sustainability Commission, the executive committee for the San Diego Regional Urban Forests Council, was past manager of the Cool Communities Shade Tree Program and board arborist for the City of San Diego’s Community Forest Advisory Board. In 2012, she helped launch a countywide tree-mapping website that calculated the ecosystem benefits of urban trees. That year she received the Durrell Maughn Founder’s Award, “As an individual who had done the most to advance urban forestry education in the State of California”. For the San Diego Horticultural Society magazine, Robin authors a regular garden column, called “Trees Please”. This is her 21st year volunteering as a University of California Master Gardener, and she’s also a certified tree risk assessor and utility forester. In 2013, Robin was selected as a fellow with the National Science Foundation’s “Art of Science Learning”, and in October 2015, La Mesa Beautiful honored Robin as their “Citizen of the Year” for a decade of public service improving awareness of urban forestry. At her home in La Mesa, she helps tend a large, backyard orchard and garden with the love-of-her-life, fellow CRFG member “Steven Stuverud”. She believes home gardens should have components to mitigate climate change, supply edibles, provide wildlife habitat, and be water-efficient – as well as beautiful to the eye; and this June she completed a multi-media, digital arts certificate program.

May 24 – Regular Meeting with Matt Powers

Join us May 24, at 7 p.m. in Room 101 of Balboa Park’s Casa del Prado for our regular monthly meeting. Matt Powers of “The Permaculture Student” will talk to us about Low Stress, High Yield Food Forestry.

About Matt
Matt Powers teaches permaculture and regenerative gardening and farming to families, youth, schools, and adults all over the world through his online courses, videos, and books, which are now being used on all continents (except for Antartica.) Translations of his books are already available in Spanish, Polish, and Arabic with French and Italian coming soon.

As an experienced educator with a masters degree in Education, Matt went from teaching high school students to teaching high school teachers and administrators to teaching districts and appearing at universities and conferences all over America and online, teaching permaculture and sustainable, regenerative skills and thinking.

Matt provides daily inspirational and regenerative content online and is one of the most-followed permaculture teachers online with over 30,000 Twitter followers and tens of thousands of followers in his many Facebook groups and pages ranging in topics from permaculture education to entrepreneurship to gardening to fungi & more. 

February and March Regular Meeting

The regular meeting of CRFG San Diego is the fourth Wednesday of every month. Our meetings are held at Casa Del Prado, Room 101 at Balboa Park. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the meeting beginning at 7:30 p.m. We hope to see you there! All are welcome but we do hope you’ll become a member.

For our February 22nd meeting we are pleased to announce Barry Koral will present about optimizing fruit production on small urban properties.

Barry Koral is a veganic food enthusiast and grower providing tropical fruits to the SoCal community. He is a motivational speaker for optimal living. Barry owns Koral Tropical Fruit Farm, located in Vista, CA. He is an artist who embraces the philosophy that all aspects of life are art. Since 1968, Barry has been passionately involved in preparing and growing fruits and vegetables. He was the owner/manager of a natural food store. Barry currently grows for and brokers farm fresh fruit for Ocean Beach People’s Organic Foods Market, Specialty Produce, Cream of the Crop Natural Food Store, and Seaside Market. For the past 25 years, Barry has sold fruit at numerous San Diego farmers’ markets, and he is still active at the Hillcrest Market on Sundays. Barry loves sharing his accumulated knowledge as it is an integral part of his deeper passion for the way he chooses to express life and do the most good for the planet. Barry currently farms on 1.33 acres growing 200 fruit trees and will be sharing his unique approach to optimizing fruit production on small urban properties and how to get it to market.

For our March meeting, we will host Pat Nolan, Plant Pathologist for San Diego Co. department of Ag, Weights, & Measures. She will be discussing preparation/prevention for huanglongbing, the worst disease of citrus in the world.