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July 6, 2005 | Corie Brown, Times Staff Writer
In the overgrown, mixed-up jumble of an orchard at Circle C, the elderly Persian mulberry trees stand apart, each one's long, rubbery limbs propped up by a ring of 6-foot-high sticks whittled to allow the limbs to rest in a crook at the top. These were the first trees planted by Cheng Ja Blain back in the early 1970s, when Circle C was nothing but high desert tumbleweeds and sagebrush, says her husband, Clarence Blain. He has no idea why she planted them.
September 23, 2011 | By David Karp, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Thirteen years ago, when Ruben Mkrtchyan told his wife and four children that they were going to move from Glendale to a high desert valley in the middle of nowhere to grow the world's tastiest melons, they thought he had lost his mind. "My mom and I looked at each other and said, 'What is he talking about?' " recalls his daughter Tatevik. "When we went up there, the land was completely empty, just Joshua trees and scrub. " But Mkrtchyan had a vision of fields and orchards blooming in the wilderness, one that he has realized to a remarkable extent.
November 18, 1998 | S. IRENE VIRBILA
With his 1995 Les Cotes Sauvages ("The Wild Hills"), Steve Edmonds has created a California wine that honors the tradition of the southern Rhone's big red wines. It's a blend of Grenache and Syrah from hillside vineyards in Mendocino and Sonoma County, along with some Mourvedre from an old planting in the Mayacamas hills of Napa Valley. Deep purple-red and inky, it is a rustic full-bodied wine with a taste of mulberries and dark plums.
September 7, 1997
If you like fruit--fruit of any kind from mulberries to sapotes--plan on attending the Festival of Fruit being held at the Arboretum of Los Angeles County on Oct. 4. Put on by the California Rare Fruit Growers, the daylong event will feature tastings of fruit, plus noted speakers on a variety of subjects, beginning at 9 a.m. There will be talks on rare fruits from around the world, including mulberries and papaws, on pollination problems and bees, and on Luther Burbank.
July 26, 2006 | Russ Parsons
Peak season Melons: As if all those triple-digit temperatures weren't enough to clue you in, the markets are awash in melons -- one of the surest signs that we have hit the heart of summer. How do you pick a good one? It depends. There are two main families of melons: those with rough, netted or reticulated rinds (muskmelons, cantaloupes, etc.) and those whose rinds are baby-smooth (such as honeydew). With the netted melons, the best indicator is smell: They should be intensely perfumed.
July 19, 2000 | DAVID KARP
The mulberry family (Moraceae) includes diverse crops such as figs, breadfruit, jackfruit and hemp. Of the 12 species of mulberries, three--black, red and white--are of greatest interest. Black or Persian Mulberry (Morus nigra). Native to Western Asia, grown for fruit in Europe since Roman times. Tree slow-growing, smallest of the three main species, sometimes reaches 20 to 30 feet but tends to be a bush if not trained when young.
Long before the current vogue for mulberries in California, waves of mulberry mania swept across America, based on the cultivation of mulberry leaves as fodder for silkworms. Silk culture began in ancient China, homeland of the white mulberry (Morus alba), the chief food of silkworms; over the centuries it spread across Asia to southern Europe. In 1609, King James I ordered the planting of 100,000 mulberry trees around England in an attempt to develop a silk industry.
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