L.E. Cooke Blog

Tuesday, 25 March 2014 22:49

Italian Everbearing Fig History

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ITALIAN EVERBEARING FIG The L. E. Cooke Co Italian Everbearing Fig came from George Roeding, Jr. of Niles, California. In 1901 John Rock imported Riviera Fig (Italian) to Niles. It came from Thomas River and Son, London, England. The L. E. Cooke Co received it in 1970 and began production in 1975. The tree has strong dense growth. The fruit is darker than Brown Turkey and Texas Everbearing. The tree sets heavily with larger fruit…
Tuesday, 25 March 2014 22:20

Santa Barbara Peach History

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SANTA BARBARA PEACH Approximately 1984 I received a call from Frank Mori at Kata-Shi Nursery, Goleta, California. A customer Paul Herrigal had purchased one of our Ventura Peaches (Hale type) and it had Elberta type fruit. I drove to Goleta to see the tree and fruit. Ventura fruit is round and this fruit was pointed similar to Elberta with melting soft texture of an Elberta with a good flavor and high sugar. I cut some…
Tuesday, 25 March 2014 08:57

Persimmon History

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Fuyu Imoto Persimmon PERSIMMONS In North America there has been confusion on persimmons. Our native American Persimmon was not very edible so the market production of fruit was slow and the public showed little interest to sample. Japan and China grew the Asian Persimmons and the Japanese sold them in Europe. By the time these Asian Persimmons arrived in California, the names were mixed, there were new crosses and also rootstock confusion. Orange County Nursery…
Tuesday, 25 March 2014 07:28

Inca Plum History

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INCA PLUM Inca is an old plum last in production in the 1940's or 50's. It is a 1919 Luther Burbank introduction. There is an old tree in El Monte, California. A local nursery wanted the Company to grow 50 trees for him. We planted Inca in our orchard. The sales staff began to pick and bring to the office. Everyone wanted to know why we did not produce Inca. I believe it was only…
Tuesday, 25 March 2014 06:59

Sweet and White Pomegranate History

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WHITE and SWEET POMEGRANATES Chico State University brought in many varieties of Pomegranates from the Middle East. I wanted a good White and Sweet selection. Mike Spratley, L. E. Cooke Co salesman since 1979, is a graduate of Chico State and was aware of their large collection. I asked Mike to obtain a good Sweet and White. He obtained about 15 or 20 White and many Sweet. The L.E. Cooke Co grew all of these…
Sunday, 23 March 2014 17:20

Natural Dwarf Fruit Trees Histories

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(Flory Peach Started It All) NATURAL DWARF FRUIT TREES Genetic dwarf peaches and nectarines began with the Flory Peach.  (Note: We are now calling them "Natural Dwarfs" - to distance them from current "GMO" histeria.)  In the summer of 1939 an United States Army engineer was in northern China.  He found a small peach tree in a Chinese family's yard and sampled some of the fruit.  He obtained several peach pits which he brought to…
Sunday, 23 March 2014 15:33

Conadria Fig History

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CONADRIA FIG This fig was introduced by Ira J. Condit at California Ag Experiment Station, Riverside. We have a copy of a 1955 book written by Mr. Condit naming more than 1,706 figs. Mr. Condit introduced Conadria in 1955 but is not included in his book. This fig is a cross of Adriatic x California 72-80 (Caprifig). It was selected in 1955 and became available to a few commercial growers. The L. E. Cooke Co…
Sunday, 23 March 2014 14:53

Black Jack Fig History

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BLACK JACK FIG (Olney Strain) Armstrong Nursery provided this fig. The fig is purple with strawberry red, juicy, sweet flesh. The tree is a natural dwarf, our orchard trees are a maximum of 6' tall with pruning. The fruit is plentiful and sets 30 days before Black Mission and holds better on the tree. Our fruit ripens late July through November. Armstrong recommended all zones from coast to desert valleys in the southern United States.…
Sunday, 23 March 2014 14:17

Utah Giant Cherry History

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UTAH GIANT CHERRY This cherry originated in Logan, Utah by USDA and Utah Ag Experiment Station. A seedling of a Napa long stem Bing Cherry was introduced in 1981. The L. E. Cooke Co. received this variety in 1985. The fruit is larger than Bing with firmer, dark red sweet flesh, outstanding flavor. The pit is smaller than some cherry varieties and is freestone. The skin is a colorful mahogany and has some resistance to…
Sunday, 23 March 2014 10:40

Kansas Sweet Cherry History

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KANSAS SWEET CHERRY Willis Nursery, Ottawa, Kansas introduced Kansas Sweet as The flavor is somewhat sweet for a Prunus Cerasus or Sour Cherry. The L. E. Cooke Co brought in the cherry in 1960 and put into production in 1965. The tree is a small growing pie cherry which sets heavily even in the mild areas of Southern California. The selection is not considered a sweet cherry but is sweeter than all other pie cherries,…
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