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Rare Fruit Trees Thrive Amid California Drought

An assortment of figs, which ripe late summer to fall, sit on a dish in this ...

Credit: Tom Del Hotal

Above: An assortment of figs, which ripe late summer to fall, sit on a dish in this undated photo.

We're sorry. This audio clip is no longer available. A transcript has been made available.

Photo credit: Tom Del Hotal

A bowl of dragon fruit or pitaya is pictured. The fruit is sweet and mild in flavor. The pink red rind is not eaten. The fruit grows on a type of cactus.

Photo credit: Tom Del Hotal

Pictured is a loquat tree, which is produced in in mid-spring. The flavor of a loquat resembles an apricot.

2015 Festival of Fruit

When: August 7-9

Where: Jacobs Center

404 Euclid Ave.

San Diego, CA 92114

Cost: Ticket Info

As more people limit outdoor watering because of California’s drought, a weekend festival in San Diego highlights water-wise fruit and produce.

The California Rare Fruit Growers is hosting the 2015 Festival of Fruit and the focus is drought-tolerant fruit.

Have you ever heard of pitaya or loquat? These are types of rare fruits flourishing in San Diego County that require almost no water.

"We feel that the best use of water in the landscape is to grow beautiful and delicious fruit that can survive drought conditions or even thrive on natural rainfall once the plants are established in the landscape," said Tom De Hotal, CRFG member and festival organizer.

Nan Sterman, host of KPBS series "A Growing Passion," will be speaking about drought-tolerant fruits at the festival.

"An established citrus tree needs to be watered once a week or once every two weeks," Sterman said. "Some of the plants we're talking about, once they're established, you don't have to water them at all."

Other drought-tolerant fruits include figs, pomegranates, olives, grapes, lingaro and persimmons.

Sterman said drought-tolerant fruit trees and shrubs grow best in full-sun with enough room to prune and don't require fertilizers.

Maddie Wichman, co-chair for the festival, said the event will have 16 speakers with workshops for both novice and expert gardeners.

The Festival of Fruit starts Friday at the Jacobs Center in San Diego. It runs through Sunday.


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