From forgotten varieties of plums and apples to grapefuit and even bananas, an impressive array of rare fruits are growing in Sonoma County.
The California Rare Fruit Growers organization is internationally known for its devotion to cultivating and perpetuating fruit varieites that may otherwise go unnoticed and even face extinction. Even Sonoma County's favorite homegrown apple, the Gravenstein, is considered a rare or heritage variety in most other places.
The Redwood Empire Chapter of the California Rare Fruit Growers has events for local members as well as an annual community event to showcase the organization and demonstrate their grafting and planting techniques. Visitors can even select some cuttings to take home.
Phil Pieri, president of the Redwood Empire chapter, retired to Sonoma County to fulfill his lifelong dream of growing food for his own table.