UC plant pathologist on cover
Editor's note: For the cover of the October-December 2010 issue (“The Golden State goes gray: What aging will mean for California”), we ran a stock image of senior runners at Lake Tahoe. The image was posted on Shutterstock with no information identifying the runners. We were delighted to receive the following letter.
That's my father on the cover!
My father is Donald C. Hildebrand, who was a plant pathologist at UC Berkeley until about 1992. He earned his Ph. D. there but is now retired. He and several collaborators named three new bacterial species that affected plants, and published a paper showing for the first time that crown gall of plants could be cured.
Several years ago I attended a dinner with him at UC Berkeley, where he was honored for donating enough money from the family to establish the Hildebrand-Laumeister Chair in Plant Pathology.
This picture was taken last year by my sister, Karin Hildebrand Lau of Sacramento, at a relay race in Tahoe. He was 77 in that photo. He now resides in Sisters, Ore., and will be 79 in a few months. He still actively runs every chance he can and is quite an inspiration! The runner with his back to the camera is Joe McCladdie, another member of the Lake Merritt Joggers & Striders’ Over 70 team.
Thank you so much for choosing such a wonderful cover. This is certainly the way I will always remember him.
Katie Hildebrand O'Connor Granite Bay
Father doubles artichoke yields
Editor's note: We received the following letter regarding Joseph Giannini, a grower from Pescadero who co-authored an article in the October 1973 issue, “Magnifico … a promising new globe artichoke variety,” with Vincent E. Rubatzky, Richard H. Sciaroni and Marvin J. Snyder.
My father, Joseph Giannini, is now 98 years old, and we are putting together a booklet of all he quietly accomplished in the farming of Brussels sprouts and artichokes. Thank you for providing copies of the article that he published in California Agriculture.
We lived on a 30-acre farm in the heart of Pescadero in San Mateo County, and artichokes were his main crop. My father was born in Jackson, Amador County, on March 24, 1912. My grandparents moved the family back to Italy when dad was about 14 months old, and then came back to America when he was 17 so that he wouldn't lose his citizenship. He arrived with 16 cents in his pocket. He made it to Half Moon Bay and worked on farms, married my mother Mary Neves from Pescadero in 1941. They moved to Santa Cruz, where he and a friend trucked produce up and down the coast for a few years and then went into farming again.
He had a Brussels sprouts farm in Davenport for 3 or 4 years and then purchased the 30 acres in Pescadero and planted artichokes. He harvested them from fall to spring and then cut down the plants and waited for the crop to produce again in the fall, which was the norm for raising artichokes at that time. After a few years, he began stumping the artichokes, removing the dried stalks that had produced the buds and leaving room for new growth. He increased his annual production from about 275 boxes to 500 boxes per acre. He worked with Richard (Hank) Sciaroni, keeping charts on the barn door as to whatever he was doing, and did this with a 3-year school education (in Italy).
Martha Giannini Muzzi Moss Landing
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California Agriculture is pleased to announce that Hazel M. White has been hired as part-time senior editor. White will split her time between California Agriculture journal and the publications unit of Communication Services and Information Technology (CSIT), with responsibility for proofreading, copyediting, indexing and writing. White has more than 20 years of experience in editorial work, with a focus on gardening and horticulture. She served as managing editor for a new edition of the Sunset Western Garden Book, and continues to write Sunset magazine's monthly “What to do in your garden” feature. She is the author of 11 books, and has written numerous newspaper and journal articles on gardening, landscaping, sustainability and urban farming. White can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.