Meet the Board
E Bulletin

Members Only Portal
Coming Soon


Charles Allen, assembler
Vol 2, August 1, 2003

The success of this Bulletin depends entirely on whether you find it useful enough to send in material for subsequent issues. We'll try it for a few weeks and continue if there is enough response make it worthwhile.

COMMENTS FROM BULLETIN READERS. What's your opinion on these?
Thank you for these responses. There is good food for thought here, and they may open up new territory for CRFG.

** Chapter chairs should be members of the board.

** While the logistics and cost are an issue, it is certainly possible to have a chat room established and have meetings at a designated time where interaction is real time on the computer.

** We have no reporting from the board: they meet, they make decisions, and the members never know about it.

** The financial problems of the CRFG didn't just happen overnight, yet the manner in which this 'emergency' was publicized had those overtones. Why wasn't this issue taken public when the indications were there - why did we let it get to the emergency stage? The fact that the communications from the top are so poor further fosters the notion that CRFG is merely a collection of "Garden Clubs" who meet once a year and with a parent whose only function is to publish a magazine. And we wonder why it is not growing?

** Several chapters have asked for membership lists broken down by chapter, and CRFG has not responded. Seems like this would be a simple bookkeeping task that would already be implemented.

The next Festival of Fruit will be June 18-20 at Cal Poly Pomona. The hosting LA Chapter has declared the Year of The Berry. This is going to be terrific; I've seen the site and heard some of the plans -- and it's only a few miles down the road from where I live!

The next issue of the Fruit Gardener will be coming to you with a plastic wrapper (and a membership application you won't have to tear out of the magazine). You can read more about that in the President's Message when you get the magazine in September.

The next CRFG Board meeting will be August 16 in San Luis Obispo. The agenda hasn't been set yet, so there is still time if you want to suggest something be added.

I keep meeting and hearing about great people in CRFG, and I want to know more about who they are and what they do. That's what this section is about. Let's start with Chapter Chairs and Members of the Board. Of course, we can't do this unless you send in the information, so be sure we to tell us about you and your chapter!

The first to reply were Eva and Martin Berghuis of the Sequoia Chapter. Here is what they wrote:

We are Eva and Martin Berghuis, we have been members of CRFG since 1988. When we lived in Laguna Hills, we were members of the No. San Diego and Orange County Chapters.

For an obsessed rare fruit grower a city lot was very soon too small. When we retired in 1994 we bought 5 Acres in the Foothills 20 miles from the South entrance of Sequoia N.P. for a fraction for what you have to pay in So Cal.

We missed the chapter meetings here and very few people have heard of the CRFG in Tulare County, so we started the Sequoia Chapter with 5 members in 1995, about 25 members now. We live in the fruit basket of the United States but unfortunately only a few people in this area are interested in rare fruit trees. Our chapter is still very small compare to the other chapters, but we are probably the most sociable chapter of the CRFG. The meetings are usually held at a members home and most of the time the host prepares a delicious lunch, with a lot of fruit which the members bring. For a small chapter this is still possible.

Every year in January our Chapter organize a tour at the UC Lindcove Station and all CRFG members and their guests are invited. After the tour some of our members have prepared a delicious lunch. We hope to see you there next January. -- Eva and Martin Berghuis

In responses to the first Bulletin the most frequent comment was: We want to know more about the Board. Who are the people making those decisions that affect us? I'm going to try to respond by including a vignette on at least one director in each Bulletin.

In the meantime, here is something I discovered: You can find a rogues gallery at Try it -- it's fun. Our webmaster, Shirley Matsuhashi, says she will also post the vignettes as they come in.

Let's start with our Board President -- ands don't miss the attached photo:

Herb Lee, CRFG President

Still just a kid at 57. Born and raised at the beach in Long Beach, where your parents didn't worry unless you missed dinner. I explored and collected anything that washed up on the beach and did a lot of things that are now probably jailable offenses. Took up skin diving to see what was under the top of the ocean and bay. Was certified for scuba in 1959 and later collected salt water fish for aquarium stores and golf balls from the country club pond where I was a lifeguard and swim coach at the pool.

I went to California State University Long Beach where I played water polo, got into photography, joined Kappa Sigma fraternity, established a new world’s record for eating live goldfish and finally got a B.A. in geography. After realizing that I didn't want to teach geography or go into city planning, I married Karen in 1970. Also realizing that we had to eat and have a roof over our heads, I used my photography skills and opened an advertising art boutique.

In 1975 my partner, a friend from junior high school, and I opened Bates/Lee Advertising. Now we have offices in Costa Mesa, CA and Honolulu, HI and do mostly destination/resort and restaurant direct marketing and advertising. We also work for foodservice, retailers, manufacturers and related companies.

My family is close, not large, just close, Karen, who has hung in there with me through all the little surprises that life has had to offer, and I have a son and daughter, a 2 year old grandson and all the support team that goes along with the package.

We joined CRFG in 1985 after we saw a story in the local paper about a backyard grower that had some of the most amazing fruit trees in his collection. We had moved into an old house in Corona Del Mar that nobody wanted because it had a big yard. About 3/4 of an acre, which is big for here, and started planting fruit trees. It was like a blank canvas, dirt covered with ice plant and pampas grass. Today we've got over 200 trees and about 150 grape vines. In retrospect, I would have laid it out differently today... it seemed ok when I started, but what did I know then.

We were CRFG members for a couple years before we attended any Orange County chapter meetings and when we went, I think people thought we were just visitors. One night they ask the visitors to stand and be recognized, we didn't since we were members, and they finally pointed to us and ask us who we were. A couple months later, I received a call from Eunice Messner asking me to help them on the chapter board. Sounded good to me and when I went to the board meeting, they introduced me as the chapter chair. And I'm thinking that they've forgotten more about fruit than I ever knew. Hey, life's a hoot and the members are the greatest bunch of people I've ever been associated with.

Six years ago, Glenn Young ask me to join the CRFG Board of Directors and here I am today. Soon I will have time to take care of the garden again. Attached is a recent photo Karen took of me (I'm the photographer, she's not) with our two black lab puppies, Lucy and Ethel. During their puppyhood they have managed to damage or eat about everything we grow. They really like the macadamia nuts, grapes and apples.

A vignette from Ron Couch, member of the CRFG Board and editor on the Fruit Gardener AND Inside the Redwood Empire Chapter by Gregory Flick, Chairperson.

Also, more on Campaign 360.

For some time there has been talk of putting a "members only" area on the website. It can't yet be done because of the limitations of the service provider, but webmaster Shirley is looking for a new provider who will make that possible.

Do you have any suggestions for what should be included in a members only area? One possibility is to move such features as "Ask the Experts" over there. Should we do that?

In the first Bulletin I asked every chapter chair who read it to send a brief reply that it was received, and if the Bulletin seemed worthwhile. I still have not heard from several chapter chairs, but some chairs say they are forwarding the Bulletin to all the members of their board.

If you would like me to add anyone to our e-mail list I'll gladly do that, or if you would like any names removed. Just let me know.

In the first Bulletin I attached copies of the old CRFG by-laws, and the proposed revision. At least one person had trouble opening these. If you are having the same problem I can send copies by post. Let me know if you would like that.

Hey, don't disappoint me. I'm enjoying reading the responses that are coming in and I don't want it to stop. Take a few minutes while it's still on your mind and send in something for the Bulletin.

-- Charles Allen