Learning from the past, planning for the future

It’s that time of year again to start planning to add fruits to your garden. After many years of accumulated research, growing and tasting, we have another great selection of dormant fruit trees and berries for you to choose from this winter!

grapes - illustration by Helen KrayenhoffBerkeley Hort has been offering gardeners fruit trees and planting advice here in the Bay Area for a long time, and for over 35 years we’ve been getting our fruit trees from Dave Wilson Nursery. They are a family-owned business (since 1938) that started growing on a piece of rented land near Modesto, CA. Over the years Dave Wilson Nursery (now in Hickman, CA) has grown to be one of the largest growers of deciduous fruit, nut and shade trees in the United States. Dave Wilson Nursery is also the leading provider of almond trees to commercial growers in California. They are currently farming more than one thousand acres, on a four-year rotation, growing over four million trees a year. We also owe thanks to Dave Wilson Nursery for being a major influence on our decision to promote Backyard Orchard Culture: pruning and growing trees to a healthy, manageable and productive size.

It’s been an honor for me to be part of this business relationship for the past decade. Their level of professionalism and integrity in the industry has made my job easy and fun. In the past I’ve been lucky enough to attend their annual (invite ONLY) Fruit Taste Testing. For 2 to 3 hours we “blindly” taste tested up to 35 different fruits that are in season at the time, followed by an informative tour of their primary growing grounds and processing center. Many are fruits that we have tried before, but a few are experimental varieties that may or may not ever see their way to market. Our opinions and results from the taste testing are then used by the company to confirm or determine which varieties will go to market. Berkeley Hort now has an official Master Fruit Taster on staff.

We wrap up 2019 with a great assortment of berries, fruiting vines and small fruit trees in 4 x 9 inch liners to ensure higher success rates and make them available at a lower cost. This will include a bunch of blueberries, grapes, kiwis, figs and olives. And, of course in January, our full selection of Bare Root Fruit Trees and Berries will be available for you including everything from apples to strawberries! Check our website or come visit us for complete lists. Plan to attend one of our upcoming pruning classes and get more information. We love to collect tips and hear stories from YOU our customers. Keep on tasting and sharing. Have Fun!