Monday, January 21, 2008

Where do fruit trees come from?

For the last 20+ years members of the California Rare Fruit Growers take great care to keep the DNA of many fruit trees alive and growing through their annual Scion Exchanges. Scions are pieces of trees cut to begrafted onto a rootstock, creating a new tree and passing on the DNA.
The Heritage Orchard in Santa Clara contains over 350 varieties of fruit trees used for scion wood. Michael, Blair, Koral and I all attended our first scion cutting party to learn all we could from the devoted fruit tree lovers.

How it works: (what's grafting?) Little sticks of trees are cut in order to be grafted onto rootstock or a compatible older tree and produce the desirable fruit. Common Vision’s Roots to Fruits program offers the students a hands- on opportunity to learn by participating in the propagation of and care for newly grafted fruit trees (Roots2Fruits).

At the first of a dozen CRFG scion exchanges throughout the state, I collected heirloom varieties that fruit during the school year for propagation on FTT 08, including Tydemans Late Orange & Ashmead’s Kernal apples. Common Vision is honored to help preserve DNA and pass on delicious fruit to students and communities across the state.

No comments: