[NAFEX] Re: fundraising

Claude Sweet hortventures at cox.net
Thu Oct 21 16:17:12 EDT 2004


Most of my adult horticulture experience has been with subtropicals in 
Southern California. Although several of the temperate species that I 
have experience - kiwifruit, fig, persimmon, and feijoa - do very well 
in colder areas of California.  I have been retired from teaching and 
commercial growing since the early 1990's.  I doubt that I can add much 
concerning cultural methods that would be helpful to NAFEX members in 
cold climates.

I do have experience in attempt to get teachers to adopt new technology 
as I was the administrator in charge of helping non computer teachers 
make the transition to graphic user interface operating systems (Mac and 
Windows) prior to retiring.

The resistance of DOS computer users was immense and not unlike the 
problems I encountered as the first president of the California Rare 
Fruit Growers (CRFG) when our group of backyard growers formalized our 
501 C3 federal tax exemption, affiliated with the Arboretum at 
California State University at Fullerton, CA.

Some people have a comfort zone that they will strongly resist 
changing.  CRFG and NAFEX are no exception.  It is hard for some people 
to accept that others may have many interests besides the primary 
purpose of the group. However, it is the membership fees of those who do 
not wish to be actively involved that provide the funding resources to 
paid for publications. It is very difficult to recruit and fire volunteers.

In most horticultural groups, the exchange of seeds, budwood, plants, 
and expertise are the glue that binds the organization together.  
Expertise is generally passed on through publications and meetings.

As president of the CRFG, I established local chapters that met monthly 
and provided the personal networking and socializing that seemed to be a 
real need that could not be meet through newsletters and the biannual 
tour and plant sale that was part of our statewide annual meeting.

I believe that the internet provides an opportunity for people to 
interact, even when separated by great distances.  This plant forum is 
an excellent example of the networking and dialoging I have been urging 
the CRFG to embrace.  The CRFG has a high quality color publication that 
is one of the best I have seen.

Posting a question and sending a response on this forum is a very active 
form of participation.  It may not be the same as writing an article for 
POMONA, but it is just as much a form of participation as being a member 
of an audience attending a lecture on plants.

People want to learn about fruit growing and there are people willing to 
share their experiences.  There isn't a single method of communication 
that will work best for everyone because their are differences in how 
people acquire knowledge.  Some skills like grafting and pruning can 
considered an art form and some individuals never will be able to 
demonstrate the skills even when they can pass a written test on the 

Passing on the sum of the experience of the CRFG or NAFEX is extremely 
important. The torch of our enthusiasm for growing plants must be passed 
down to our children and to young adults in high school and college.  
Planting the seed of our experiences may take decades to grow and reach 
maturity, but it is the only way for an organization to endure. 

Claude Sweet
San Diego, CA

Bruce Hansen wrote:

>You have written quite a bit. Obviously, your issue is close to your heart.
>Now, if all 200 folk on the list-serv are 'active' participants, then why do
>we not have more articles for POMONA? You can e-mail your article to Jackie.
>Having been a software designer, I know too many people who are still
>uncomfortable behind the keyboard. Many of these folk are the most
>PS I still thing the CD is a good initial step

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