California Rare Fruit Growers Association

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
California Rare Fruit Growers Association
Founded 1968 (1968)
Type agriculture, horticulture
Focus rare, non-indigenous fruit bearing plants and trees
Area served
Key people
John Riley
Paul Thomson
Mission "To encourage and foster public and scientific interest, research, education in and the preservation of rare fruit plants that have edible seeds, fruits, leaves, stems or roots and are not commonly grown commercially. The furtherance and encouragement of these activities shall be for the benefit of the public rather than commercial interests."

The California Rare Fruit Growers Association (CRFG) is an organization of rare[1] exotic fruit enthusiasts, hobbyists and amateur horticulturists based in California. The CRFG, founded in 1968, promotes rare fruits in the Southern California marketplace, according to a 1997 article in the Seasonal Chef online newsletter.[2] As of 2008 the CRFG has 3,000 members in approximately 35 countries[2] with 20 Chapters in Western US[3] and is said to be the largest amateur fruit-growing organization in the world.[4]


The California Rare Fruit Growers was co-founded by Paul Thomson and John Riley in 1968.[2] Thomson was a self-taught botanist and fruit farmer based in San Diego's North County, while Riley was an engineer with Lockheed from Santa Clara, California.[2] Both Thomson and Riley shared an enthusiasm for rare fruits and plants which had not been previously widely cultivated in California. Riley and Thomson soon began collaborating to publish a newsletter on tropical and subtropical fruits[5] using a mimeograph machine.[2] In 1968 they expanded operations to found the CRFG.[5] Membership was swelled by a rapid influx of newcomers to California who were "without prejudice to what could not be grown" in the state.[2]


The CRFG publishes[6] a bimonthly magazine called The Fruit Gardener, an outgrowth of the early newsletters published by Thomson and Riley.[2][5]

Annual Meeting[edit]

CRFG members and the public meets every year to celebrate the Festival of Fruit,[7] an event organized by different Chapters. This event includes seminars, workshops, local tours and plant sales.


  1. ^ "What is a rare fruit?". Retrieved 2014-02-02. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Nelson, Valerie J. (2008-06-16). "Paul Thomson - California grower of exotic tropical fruits". Los Angeles Times. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2014-02-02. 
  3. ^ "Current CRFG Local Chapters". Retrieved 2014-02-02. 
  4. ^ "California Rare Fruit Growers front page". California Rare Fruit Growers. Retrieved 2014-02-02. 
  5. ^ a b c Gonzalez, Blanca (2008-06-10). "Paul Thomson; exotic-fruit grower, former Marine; 91". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 2014-02-02. 
  6. ^ "Fruit Gardener current issue". Retrieved 2014-02-02. 
  7. ^ "Festival of Fruit". Retrieved 2014-02-02. 

External links[edit]