Dave Wilson Nursery’s Fruit Tasting

Last Saturday we were invited to attend the Dave Wilson Nursery’s late summer fruit tasting at Cal Poly Pomona.  The morning session is by invitation only to nursery retailers, and then after lunch it opens up to the public for a couple hours.  This is a chance to taste tree-ripened fruit and see what is available to purchase at your local nursery in the spring.

It was an eye-opener as to why you will never see any good-tasting fruit in the supermarket, especially stone fruit like peaches and nectarines.  The fruit was picked on a Thursday afternoon, trucked down Friday, and consumed on Saturday, but many of the samples were already starting to go mushy.  They have absolutely no shelf life after picking; but these fruits had the most outstanding flavor.  However you could never expect to be able to sell them in the store.

The morning taste test panels were blind, in that we didn’t know the variety we were tasting.  But it was instantly recognizable when we were given a commercial variety; it was beautiful, but tough and tasteless.  Of course they had held up very well to the trip down and were in perfect condition.  These are the qualities a grower will look for, but the taste will never equal the tree-ripened fruit.

But all is not lost, as you can grow your own; many of the wonderful varieties we tested are considered low-chill and do very well in our Southern California climate.  I encourage you to check out Dave Wilson Nurseries’ website at www.davewilson.com and go to the “Home Gardener” section.  

Special thanks to Tom Spellman and Ed Laivo for the invitation; it was a wonderful day.

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