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A GROWING PASSION: From Fruits To Nuts

Host Nan Sterman and Tom Spellman from Dave Wilson Nursery discuss breeding fruit trees.
Courtesy of AGP Productions, LLC
Host Nan Sterman and Tom Spellman from Dave Wilson Nursery discuss breeding fruit trees.

Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021 at 8:30 p.m. on KPBS TV + Monday, Aug. 16 at 8:30 p.m. on KPBS 2 / On Demand

Who doesn't love a delicious peach, a juicy pluot, or a tangy apricot - especially when picked right off the tree. New varieties appear in the nursery every year, each more delicious than the last.

On this episode of A GROWING PASSION, we go on a fruit tasting tour in the experimental orchard of internationally renowned Zaiger Genetics, the Modesto California fruit tree breeders who have revolutionized the world of stone fruits, apples, Asian pears and almonds.

Host Nan Sterman goes on a fruit tasting tour in the experimental orchard of internationally renowned Zaiger Genetics, Modesto, Calif.
Courtesy of AGP Productions, LLC
Host Nan Sterman goes on a fruit tasting tour in the experimental orchard of internationally renowned Zaiger Genetics, Modesto, Calif.

Breeding fruit trees starts with pollinating a flower and ends with millions of trees grown by nearby Dave Wilson Nursery.

Aerial view of trees at Dave Wilson Nursery near Modesto, Calif., one of the largest growers of deciduous fruit, nut and shade trees in the United States.
Courtesy of AGP Productions, LLC
Aerial view of trees at Dave Wilson Nursery near Modesto, Calif., one of the largest growers of deciduous fruit, nut and shade trees in the United States.

Most of the dozens of fruits we taste won't ever make it to market, while those that do, might take another 10 or 15 years to get there. Breeding is not a fast process!

From Zaiger Genetics, we head to nearby Dave Wilson Nursery to see how the selected few are propagated, grafted, grown, trialed, and distributed both to commercial growers and to retail nurseries.

Host Nan Sterman admires a pluot tree.
Courtesy of AGP Productions, LLC
Host Nan Sterman admires a pluot tree.

In Dave Wilson's propagation green houses, we see young rootstocks and fruit stocks that are graft together to create fruit trees with the optimum combination of taste and hardiness.

We also tour Dave Wilson Nursery's demonstration orchard where we see how home growers can grow more trees to produce more fruit in less space than imagined.

We also offer a primer on how to select and plant the best fruit tree for your backyard.

A man loads trees at Dave Wilson Nursery, located near Modesto, Calif.
Courtesy of AGP Productions, LLC
A man loads trees at Dave Wilson Nursery, located near Modesto, Calif.

Watch On Your Schedule:

Episodes of A GROWING PASSION will be available on demand following the broadcast. All past seasons are available on demand now.

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A GROWING PASSION is on Facebook, and you can follow @GrowingPassion on Twitter. Share photos and follow the series on Instagram.

Dave Wilson Nursery is on Facebook

About The Series:

From earth-friendly and water-wise gardens to organic foods and habitat restoration, San Diegans demand options that protect our health, feed our communities and protect our natural resources. Hosted by Nan Sterman, A GROWING PASSION explores backyard food production, major horticultural growers, low-water landscapes and sustainable practices around the home and in the garden.