photography by Thomas J. Story

Hopefully you've read all about the latest and greatest in new hybrid stone fruit in our January issue (and seen this blog post on keeping your trees small).

Now, behind the scenes: We shot at Zaiger Genetics (relax, it's old-fashioned hand pollination) in Modesto, CA on a blazing-hot summer day. Fruit was dripping from the branches, and we were free to pick whatever we wanted. Don't like it? Toss it. Love it? Pick a bag's worth. We chased each other around on golf carts, ate our heart's out, and learned a thing or two along the way.

This is Grant Zaiger. His pops, Floyd, is father of the pluot.

This next photo is sort of staged for our photographer, Tom Story, but only sort of. It was basically what was happening all day long.

About that heat.....

It was hot. Too hot to be totally professional (that's me on the ground).

Test Garden Design Assistant Lauren Dunec Hoang got lost in the orchard. Those of you who know her know that I'm not kidding.

One of the very best parts of this job is getting to connect with passionate, innovative experts who value a hard day's work and a juicy piece of fruit.

Dream Team! Sunset-ers, Dave Wilson Nursery experts, and Grant Zaiger.

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