Have you ever eaten an appleberry, bignay, buni or makrut? There are over 1,000 unique and unusual fruits you maybe haven’t tried–but it’s never too late! Since California’s climate is so diverse, the state is one of the best places to grow rare fruits. All you need is knowledge (information,) seeds and patience. The common fruits are celebrated by the dozens in fruit festivals paying homage to strawberries, mandarins, etc., and their popularity attests to the public’s love of fruit.
Because of the broad range of climates within California, and possibilities for growing different fruits from north to south, rare fruit growers categorize rare fruits to include fruits difficult to grow by reason of climate, the unusual and unappreciated, and the extraordinary and superior forms of conventional, temperate zone fruits. While you can grow rare fruits as a hobbyist, some growers have turned rare fruit growing into a business. The public (and chefs) are always looking for that edge in tasting new things and will pay handsomely for the opportunity.
California has an active rare fruit non-profit organization, California Rare Fruit Growers (crfg.org) for those seeking to connect, network, share seeds, and learn about methods of growing rare fruits. Anyone can join ($36/year, approx.) and attend their annual conference, Festival of Fruits, to be held in Santa Rosa in September 11-13, 2012.