Swaptime for Gardeners

At the California Rare Fruit Growers Annual Scion Exchange, participants learn about grafting and get new cuttings to propagate at home. (Photo courtesy of the Rare Fruit Growers Scion Exchange)

Scion: A detached living portion of a plant—such as a bud or shoot—that can be grafted onto rootstock to create a new plant that joins the strength of the rootstock with the desired characteristics of the scion. Gardeners interested in having heirloom varieties of fruit growing in their yard do this sort of grafting. 

At this annual exchange run by the Golden Gate Chapter of the California Rare Fruit Growers, gardeners trade scions from heirloom varieties of fruit grown in Northern California. Here’s how it works: you select one or two pieces of each type of plant or cutting you want to propagate, label each item, get answers to your questions about how to make them grow once you get them home, and enjoy meeting others interested in growing unusual edibles. If possible, bring something from your own garden, like seeds of your favorite vegetable or cuttings from an heirloom fruit tree. Introductory lessons in grafting, a demo, silent auction, and a drawing for free plants are included with admission. Cost: $5. Info: here

California Rare Fruit Growers, Golden Gate Chapter Annual Scion Exchange
Saturday January 19, noon–3pm
Diablo Valley College, Horticulture Department
321 Golf Club Rd, Pleasant Hill



Photo by Carol Topalian