Workshops – Books – Tours – Trees – Plants

Towards A Climate Resilient Food Economy:

We have passionately searched the Sierra Nevada and Western States to re-discover the living library of plants still scattered across Northern California, those trees and plants left over from the 1800’s and early 1900’s Gold Rush era.   These are the grandmother trees that have become climate resilient with no human attention for the last 100 years. They give the best fruit and nuts in conditions that most fruit and nut trees can not endure with large annual temperature variations. These  grandmother trees have learned to thrive under the most harsh conditions. We want to make them available to growers, gardeners and communities throughout the West Coast.

We have personally found these trees and have taken cuttings directly from the 100+ year old grandmother trees that still cling to life in ghostly, historic orchards. We offer very rare and exclusive plants – some may have only just been rediscovered.

95% of plants available during the 1800s are no longer available today.  We are saving what is left before they die. 

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Thanks to Peaceful Valley Farm and Garden Supply (originally started by our founder Amigo Bob Cantisano), a collection of some of our favorite species and varieties will be available through Peaceful Valley Farm and Garden for the 2024/25 Bareroot Season. 

Stay Tuned…

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The SOLD OUT Varieties listed below are for informational purposes only. These are many of the plants we have found and sold over the years. While some of these varieties will be available this Autumn, many will not. 

Updates on what we have for sale this year will be available in October 2024.

Thank you for all your Support!

Orders only accepted via the website.

Plums and Prunes

Felix Gillet introduced more than 40 varieties of prunes and plums beginning in 1871. Gillet is credited with establishing the now huge California prune industry (the worlds largest), as he recognized that the Santa Clara, Napa and Central Valleys of California were similar to the Clairac Valley of France, which is world famous as a prune producing region. Our California climate actually turned out to produce better quality and larger quantities of prunes than in France. He introduced three French prune varieties that are still in primary production today. The most popular is known in English as the Improved French, likely because Americans had a difficult time to pronounce “Clairac Mammoth d’Ente”! This variety is still the main variety in California’s prune (dried plum) industry. His other enduring prune varieties are the Imperial de Clairac and the Robe de Sargeant. We are pleased to introduce all three of these great varieties this year. Our project has uncovered a only few of his other varieties at this point, and we offer them for your culinary delight. We continue to explore for other varieties, and will love to know if you are aware of any plums or prunes growing here in the Sierras. These prunes and plums are of European origin, which infers increased hardiness, resistance to disease, cold and rain, which is not found in the Japanese varieties commonly grown as fresh fruit.

These plums and prunes are self fertile, and do not require a pollenizer variety to produce a crop, however planting two different varieties will increase the production of each. The primary pollinator of prunes and plums are honeybees, and numerous wild species of bees and wasps.

All of our prunes and plums are grafted to the Myrobalan 29C plum rootstock, which insures increased hardiness in higher rainfall, clay and poor soil sites. Also, trees on this rootstock are somewhat delayed in blooming each spring, reducing the risk from frost and rain. Myrobalan is widely used as a rootstock for apricots, plums, prunes and most almonds. It is a widely adaptable standard size rootstock, particularly adaptable to heavier soils with excellent anchorage. Shallow but vigorous root system. Tolerates wet soils. Immune to root-knot nematodes, some resistance to oak-root fungus. Trees grow to approximately 12'-15' tall, but may be kept shorter by pruning in June or early July.

Click on images to view the variety descriptions and order.

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