PERMACULTURE/FRUIT TREE GRAFTING WORKSHOP and VISIT TO CITRUS STATE PARK
At Don Fitzgerald’s citrus farm in Riverside, we were warmly greeted with coffee and lemon (what else) cookies like little citrus clouds that melted in the mouth. The rest of the day felt the same. Surrounded by about a million glowing oranges, we heard Daniel Francis, permaculture designer extraordinaire, give us his newest bits of hard-won wisdom, most of which were new to us and entirely relevant. Then we were shown use of the A-frame as a contour swale maker. At the same time we were encouraged to plunder nearby trees of all the oranges we could eat on the spot and take home. Wow. Then Don showed us how to graft citrus and pear trees using two types of cuts. It looked doable. In short, combining one variety of root stock with another variety of scion or top branch gives the best of all worlds of vigor, size, health and flavor. Finally, we visited one of the most magical places we never heard of—Citrus State Park. The cumulative effect of meandering through acres of every conceivable variety of citrus tree in brilliant ripeness was mesmerizing-like going back to Eden before all the craziness started.