Best of SacConnect blogs: Farmer Fred

Published: Saturday, Sep. 28, 2013 - 12:00 am

The Sacramento Bee hosts a network of high-quality news providers and bloggers in the Sacramento region. Here is a sampling of the best of the current Home & Garden blogs. Check out the full postings: www.sacramentoconnect.com.

•  Sacramento radio host and lifetime master gardener Farmer Fred Hoffman, author of the Farmer Fred Rant, shares a behind-the-scenes glimpse of how new varieties of fruit are evaluated:

“Tasting fruit is easy ... if you’re at an event such as Harvest Day at the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center or an informal tasting at a weekend gathering at a nursery. ... It’s not easy tasting fruit in a more clinical setting. When Dave Wilson Nursery holds one of their annual invitation-only fruit tastings at their growing grounds in Hickman (outside Modesto), your senses go into overdrive. And the stakes are higher. Buying, and growing, decisions on the wholesale level ride on the reviews the new fruits get at these formal tastings.

“For nearly 20 years, Dave Wilson Nursery has conducted 52 formal fruit tastings, featuring over 1,700 varieties, each variety sampled and evaluated by an average of 30 tasters. There were close to 50 taste testers at their latest fruit evaluation in mid-August. This is no leisurely munching, either. There isn’t much time to ponder the subtleties of each morsel. Consider that the tasters will have about two and a half hours to savor 33 pieces of fruit, less than five minutes per sample to judge the fruit on eight different sets of criteria.”

Read more (and learn what varieties of new fruit Fred liked best) at: http://farmerfredrant.blogspot.com/



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