Meetings & Events

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 There are three MNFGA meetings held each year during spring, summer, and fall.  In 2020, we will hold a separate grafting class as well as the three meetings.  Meetings vary in location and specific content but generally include a potluck, fundraising auction and a tour when held at a member’s farm.  Spring meetings are usually at the MSU East Lansing Campus. Dates, locations, and meeting details will be posted when available.

2020 Meetings & Events:

MNFGA Booth at the Lansing Home & Garden Show

MNFGA will have a display booth at the 2020 Lansing Home & Garden Show in the Pavilion on the Michigan State University south campus in East Lansing. The show is open to visitors on:

March 12, Thursday, from 3 to 9 pm

March 13, Friday, from noon to 9 pm

March 14, Saturday, from 10 am to 8 pm

March 15, Sunday, from 11 am to 5 pm

If you want to learn more about MNFGA in person or ask questions or make comments about fruit and nut trees you would like to grow or are already growing, please visit us at booth number 2013 and talk to one of our member volunteers.

We will have photos of nuts and fruits that we grow in Michigan and we will have sample nuts for you to crack and taste. We usually display at least two different nut crackers (way better than a hammer and a rock) for you to try. For sure there will be black walnuts (it is surprising how many people have never eaten them or even know they are edible!) and probably some English walnuts, butternuts, chestnuts and hazelnuts…all grown in Michigan. We would like to sample the many minor fruits that the members grow, but food safety rules make it a challenge for a venue like this. To sample Michigan-grown fruits, please plan to attend an MNFGA Meeting. Guests are always welcome and are admitted free of charge (we think you will like what you see and want to become a member). The potluck meals have several member-grown-and-prepared fruits either as fresh fruit or as part of a dish.

We will have applications for membership at the booth. Membership is $8.00 per year for an individual or $11.00 for a family and is good until the Spring Meeting in 2021 (2021 meeting day and location TBD).

Tree Pruning Class 2020

MNFGA will host a tree pruning class on Saturday, March 21, 2020 at MSU’s Tollgate Farm in Novi. Exact time and address TBD, there will be a fee. More to come as the details are settled. Participants will need to bring BYPASS style trimming tools (not anvil)…maybe you need to shop now in preparation? Please research, if needed, the difference between bypass and anvil or contact MNFGA for more details about pruners.

Grafting Class for Lowell Homeschoolers

MNFGA will host a grafting class for a group of Lowell, MI area homeschoolers on Thursday, April 2, 2020. This is not open to people outside the homeschool group but we will be seeking experienced plant grafting members to assist with this educational day for the homeschoolers. Please contact MNFGA via MichiganNutGrower@gmail.com or Dennis at 517-204-8600 if you can help that day.

MNFGA Spring 2020 Meeting & Scion Exchange

When:  Saturday, April 18, 2020, 10 am (business meeting), 11: 00 speaker, 12:00 lunch, Q&A period, auction and scion exchange after lunch

Where:  MSU Campus, Auditorium, Ag Engineering Building, 524 S Shaw Lane, East Lansing, MI 48824

Speaker:  Marc Boone: Growing Pawpaws in Michigan

                     

Auction: fund raiser. If you have something nut or fruit tree related and would like to donate it to the auction, please bring it. If not, you are most welcome to participate by bidding for auction items. Funds raised support MNFGA, help keep our membership costs reasonable and get the highest bidders some great items.

Scion Exchange: If you have an unpatented variety of nut or fruit tree that you like, possibly you would like to donate some scions from it to the scion exchange? ALL scions must be individually labelled: once a scion is separated from its package, it cannot be identified without DNA testing (not available here!). If you are looking for a particular scion, please leave a message with MichiganNutGrower@gmail.com or post it on the MNFGA Facebook page. A member with that variety might then bring some to share. Likewise, if you have any questions about collecting or storing scions, please contact MNFGA. Due to Asian Chestnut Gall Wasp (ACGW) presence in Michigan, please do NOT bring any chestnut scions or trees to the meeting. If you bring scions to the meeting, please look for the scion exchange room when you arrive and check in with Marc Boone. The scion exchange is free and is a great way to obtain some perfect scions for the May 2, 2020 grafting class (see below for more information).

Potluck Lunch: at noon. Please bring a dish to pass. If you can make something with a Michigan-grown fruit or nut, bravo! If you make something from a nut-eating creature, yay! If you just bring something fun to share and eat, super! If the kitchen is not your playground, a purchased item will be gratefully accepted and devoured. If you forget, not to worry, there will be plenty. The mix of amazing dishes is always a taste treat! If you make something gluten free, please label it so. Nothing will be nut allergen free due to the number of nuts in the room. MNFGA will provide regular and decaffeinated coffee, sugar, creamer, cups, paper plates, napkins and woodenware (instead of plasticware, but it remains the best for the environment for you to bring as much of your own reusable table service at possible). 🙂

MNFGA 2020 Grafting Class – Limited Class Size

When:  Saturday, May 2, 202, 10:00 am to about 3:00 pm with a potluck lunch in the middle (please bring a dish to pass).

Where: MSU AgBioResearch Station, 9302 Portland Road, Clarksville, MI 48815

What: Grafting 101 class time and then hands-on grafting of apple, pear, persimmon and pawpaw trees in the afternoon to take home. 

Cost: $10 donation to cover rootstocks and supplies for two trees.

Why: Grafting is a great, simple method to clone our favorite fruits and nuts. Learn a skill that gives for a lifetime and to pass to the next generation. The 2019 class was a success, so we are doing it again.

How

  • All materials and instructions are supplied. Bring your own grafting knife if you have one.
  • Please sign up in advance with an email to MichiganNutGrower@gmail.com or contact President Dennis Strahle. Payment due at the class.
  • Class will be limited to the first 50 students to sign up, starting January 1, 2020

2020 Farm/Nursery Tours

Farm Tours: If you would be willing to offer your farm/orchard or nursery as a possible location for MNFGA to tour in the future, please contact Dennis Strahle or send an email to MichiganNutGrower@gmail.com.  MNFGA reimburses expenses incurred to support a tour/visit.

Also, if you have an interesting topic for presentation at the 2021 or beyond spring meeting (typically held at MSU campus), please contact a Board Member or send an email to MichiganNutGrower@gmail.com Thanks!