[NAFEX] Angelcot white fleshed apricots
brucedhansen at sbcglobal.net
Mon Dec 27 23:12:59 EST 2004
Would that we all had a foot in this door.
From: nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org]On Behalf Of markl
Sent: Monday, December 27, 2004 2:43 PM
To: nafex at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: [NAFEX] Angelcot white fleshed apricots
from NY Times magazine Dec 25, 2004
by William Grimes (a NAFEX member?)
Every plant breeder has a dream. For Ross Sanborn, a longtime farm adviser at the University of California, it was the perfect apricot. Sanborn spent decades developing a white apricot he called an Angelcot, a velvet-skinned, ovoid fruit with pale yellow skin and white, juicy, intensely sweet flesh.
In 1976, a friend serving as a farm adviser in Iran sent him a package of white-apricot seeds, as well as some seeds from Morocco. Sanborn planted them, and the apricots that resulted were a revelation. Sanborn then grafted the best plants onto trees at a nearby farm, and one thing led to another. In the 1980's, he bought a ranch in Brentwood to continue his research. Along with apricots, he grew a dozen varieties of cherries, hazelnuts, chestnuts, peaches, nectarines, grapes and what he described as ''oddball'' figs. A cherry he helped develop, the Brooks, is now one of the leading early-growth sweet cherries produced in California. In 1996, the California Cherry Growers and Industries Foundation named him Cherry Man of the Year.
At the time of his death at 84, Sanborn was still tinkering with the Angelcot, trying to develop greater hardiness so it could ship across country without bruising and an eye-catching blush on the skin. He gave its various cultivars, all sold under the Angelcot brand name, fanciful names like Heavenly, Saintly and Pearly Gates. Sanborn set his sights very high. The Angelcot was intended to be divine, the fruit of the gods. He came very close.
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