Tuesday, July 22, 2008

NAFEX meeting - reminder

Hello fellow gardeners,

This is just reminder that the North American Fruit Explores meeting is this weekend!
We have wonderful program planned, and we welcome you to sharing a great time with other fellow fruit enthusiasts.


The 2008, Annual NAFEX meeting will take place in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, on July 24-26th.

Our host, Tom Campbell, is the long-time agricultural extension agent there.

Registration and Welcome: We begin on Thursday late afternoon starting at 5:00 PM at the NC Cooperative Extension, Pasquotank Center which is located at 1209 McPherson Street, Elizabeth City, NC 27909. Greet your old friends and make new ones with our usual see-who-is-here session to accommodate tall stories, registration, maps and handouts, etc.

Show and Tell: Bring your fruit and wine samples for tasting and display.

Brags and blunders: Brag about your orchard? Tell about your blunder(s) to save others from the same mistakes. Why not bring a disk with digital pictures for your presentation on the PowerPoint projector. Our host Tom Campbell will serve as MC. This evening ends at 9 PM. DONʼT FORGET YOUʼLL HAVE TO BE BACK EARLY THE NEXT MORNING!

Board Meeting: The annual NAFEX Board meeting is planned there also, starting at around 7 PM in a separate meeting room. Members are invited to attend the important board meeting.

The emphasis of this annual meeting is visiting orchards with nearly two full days of tours.

Friday morning we will leave from the same Extension Center promptly at 8 AM to begin our first set of tours to four locations which includes raised bed fruit culture for physically impaired gardeners, olive, fig, grapes, an apple planting, plum, and mixed brambles wholesale packing operation, and a muscadine grape winery. By noon we will make it to the Clay Foreman Arboretum for a tour and a catered lunch at the Charles Creek Park. Transportation will be vans, or you may car pool. After lunch youʼll have time to stroll the huge new air-conditioned Museum of the Albemarle facing Elizabeth Cityʼs beautiful historic waterfront.

Spouses: For the spouses not interested in the orchard tour there will be simultaneous trip taking in some interesting antique stores and other locations. They will then meet up with the orchard tour for lunch at Charles Creek Park.

Presentations: By 2:30 PM everyone will be back at the Extension Services Auditorium to begin our scientific program, which will last until around 5:30 PM. Tentative speakers are David Vernon of Century Orchards, his subject heirloom apples. Weʼll have a presentation on kiwi fruit production. Ethan Natelson speaks on pears, another subject grafting and budding fruit.

Banquet: The annual banquet follows the scientific presentations, at Addieʼs Acres Farm at 6 PM with a social hour followed by an outdoor Pig Pickinʼ and Buffet. Directions will be given to Addieʼs Acres, only one quarter mile from the Extension Center. You may bring your own alcoholic beverages. Dinner will be served at 7:00PM. Following the outdoor banquet will be the annual business meeting. The Research Fund Committee will present their recommendation to the membership for discussion. The auction will take place after adjournment. Remember to bring something of membership interest to be auctioned off. Felix Cooper will again manage the auction. Inquiries and donations should be directed to Felix or bring your donation with you. If weather is rainy, dinner will be inside the Extension Center. Alcohol will not be permitted on county properties in the unlikely case that we must stay indoors.

Saturday we will be leaving again at 8 AM from the same Pasquotank Extension Center for a second set of tours. Enjoy a ferry ride to Knottʼs Island, which is a very interesting location and will surprise you with what can be grown on what essentially is a giant sand bar. A box lunch will be served there. We will also take in Austinʼs Peach Orchard and Basket Shop, Floyd Watkins ½ acre 60 vine commercial kiwi fruit vineyard, Martinsʼ 20 acre Orchard and Winery which is a pick your own and wine tasting operation, and Moonrise Bay Vineyard, Winery, and Tasting Room. We would leave to return to Elizabeth City by mid-afternoon, but might not be back there until 5-6 PM. You are then on your own for dinner. Vans will be used for transportation or you may follow or car pool. There will be a small per car follow fee to cover miscellaneous tour related expenses.

Please register ahead using the form, it helps those making plans, lowers their anxiety level and saves you money.

The registration fee is $60 per adult which includes Thursday and Friday, Friday and Saturday lunches and the educational program. Registration will be available on site and can be adjusted for those not attending all of the events. We look forward to seeing you there, Thursday, July 24 thru Saturday, July 26, 2008. For those flying in, Elizabeth City is about 45 miles due South of Norfolk, Virginia and the Norfolk International Airport (ORF). Raleigh/Durham Airport (RDU) is about 3.5 hours drive West Southwest of Elizabeth City.

For more lodging assistance, information about area attractions or other information about Northeastern North Carolina, please call the Elizabeth City Area Convention and Visitorsʼ Bureau at 1-866-324-8948 during business hours M-F EST.

The Extension Office and Motels are handicapped compliant. If you have further needs please call Tom Campbell at 252-338-3954.

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