Courtesy University of California - DavisLead instructor, Professor Ted DeJong teaches a hands on pruning exercise at the University of California - Davis teaching orchard. The University of California-Davis, together with the University of California Cooperative Extension, plans to sponsor a training course in pomegranate orchard management, said Carlos Crisosto, University of California Cooperative Extension specialist and director of the Fruit and Nut Research and Information Center.
The course, titled “Pomology Extension Course: Principles of Fruit and Nut Tree Growth, Cropping and Management,” is the second-annual class offered by the university.
It is scheduled for Feb. 24 to March 6 and is divided into two sessions.
The first week of the course will consist of lectures by five fruit and nut tree production experts. The next week will be hands-on experience and learning in the fields.
The goal of the course is to help new pomegranate growers with hands-on experience and informational lectures, Crisosto said.
“Most classes tell you how to produce pomegranates, and we teach students how the tree grows and help them decide on their own how to produce the best fruit,” he said.
Topics will include climate and soil conditions, tree growth, pruning, root excavations and measuring fruit quality and taste, among others.
“There are a lot of new growers or growers shifting from one crop to another, so we have a lot of people who need to be educated. I think this class is having a tremendous impact on California pomegranates right now,” Crisosto said.
Last year, more than 100 people signed up for the class and only 45 spots were available. The 2014 session is currently taking enrollments.
Crisosto said if the waiting list gets too long they might hold another course in fall 2014.
For more information, go to http://fruitsandnuts.ucdavis.edu.