L.E. Cooke Blog

Wednesday, 05 March 2014 19:31

History of Mild Climate Peach Introductions

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MILD CLIMATE PEACH INTRODUCTIONS The L. E. Cooke Co started in the 1950's searching for good varieties to introduce to the homeowners filling a need of varieties for mild winter area with flavor for retail nursery sales. From when Bob Ludekens started in 1946 up to the early '60's the main varieties sold were Elbertas, Hales, and Rio Oso Gem with the white flesh Babcock about the only low chill selection for retail sales. We…
Wednesday, 05 March 2014 17:23

Autumn Rosa Plum History

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AUTUMN ROSA PLUM   The Autumn Rosa Plum is medium to large heart shaped fruit.  The skin has a bloom similar to some grape varieties.  When the bloom is removed, the skin is very shiny maroon to red with an amber cast.  If the fruit is in full sun it is very maroon, if in the shade has more red with the amber shading. The flesh is amber color, moist but very firm, and a…
Wednesday, 05 March 2014 15:14

Blueberry Grape History

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BLUEBERRY GRAPE™ Paul McLane gave the L. E. Cooke Co a grapevine he grew from his grandmother's seedling in Chico, California. The grapevine produced a seedless Concord like grape with a unique blueberry flavor. Thus it was named Blueberry Grape™. A vitis vinifera selection which sets large quantities of medium clusters fully ripe in early September. A temptation to pick because it has good color in August but its very strong high quality flavor is…
Wednesday, 05 March 2014 14:52

Praise for Blueberry (and Venus) Grapes

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Blueberry Grape I love it when I receive a call from someone passionate and knowledgeable who has tried a new product in a here-to-fore untested climate zone and gives back such glowing and detailed feedback.  I want to thank Robin for this anecdotal evidence showing Blueberry and Venus Grapes performing well in a very mild winter area.  Here is Robin's email to me - used with permission. Ron Ludekens   From Email 1-23-2014 Hi Ron,…
Tuesday, 04 March 2014 22:57

Midgely's Purple Seedless Grape History

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MIDGELY'S PURPLE SEEDLESS GRAPE Discovered by Tom Midgely in southwest Utah in 1965.  Taken to Tom's home in Ogden, Utah where the vines froze in 1968. Tom moved to Washington, Utah and replanted from the original vine in southern Utah and sent cuttings to the L. E. Cooke Co. The L. E. Cooke Co has had the vines in Visalia since 1970.  The cuttings were planted in our test block and the decision was made…
Tuesday, 04 March 2014 22:03

Cooke's Purple Wisteria History

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COOKE'S PURPLE™ WISTERIA Wisteria sinensis 'Cooke's Purple' Cooke's Purple™ Wisteria is the result of my interest in having a purple blooming selection. In 1963, Dr. James Miller of Exeter, my optometrist, wanted me to see a seedling wisteria he liked. Most seedlings do not bloom and home owners become upset with wisteria without bloom. I was not interested in seeing another wisteria as we had 28 but I was volunteering with Dr. Miller in Boy…
Tuesday, 04 March 2014 19:41

Caroline Wisteria History

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CAROLINE PURPLE WISTERIA Wisteria sinensis 'Caroline' This selection was found in Santa Monica, California by William H. Chandler and named after his wife. Mr. Chandler was the Dean of Agriculture at UCLA. This wisteria was introduced through the arboretum at UCLA by Ms. Mildred Mathis. She planted it in the campus gardens. Ms. Mathias was a member of the World Identification Board became aware of Bob Ludekens' search for a purple wisteria. Mr. Ludekens is…
Tuesday, 04 March 2014 18:44

John Fanick Peach History

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JOHN FANICKTM PEACH Mr. Eddie Fanick introduced many shade and ornamental trees and a few fruit varieties. His son John managed their large retail nursery with many acres of trees being tested in their research orchard. A fruit tree from a seedling of La Feliciana near the nursery front door had high quality fruit. John's sons wanted to introduce the tree to their San Antonio customers and named it after their father John Fanick. The…
Tuesday, 04 March 2014 18:09

Fan-Cris Pear History

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FAN-CRISTM PEAR Mr. Eddie Fanick gave the L. E. Cooke Co the Fan-StilTM pear which we liked. Later he provided Fan-CrisTM which we planted in our orchard in 1981. We had too many pears, so decided not to put into production. The 1981 tree is still in Cooke I research orchard. We did not treat the tree for pear blight and it sets a heavy crop of good pears every year. The sales staff determined…
Tuesday, 04 March 2014 16:06

Fan-Stil Pear History

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FAN-STILTM PEAR Mr. Eddie Fanick supplied budwood in about 1967. The L. E. Cooke Co put it into production in 1972. This selection has been a very steady seller because of its resistance to pear blight and the high production of quality fruit. It is a pleasurable pear to grow as it continued to increase in production for years and when sales leveled off, it never went down as others have. Retail nurseries change fruit…
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