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Author Topic: Very special story on Lamb Hass from Gray E. Martin (think GEM avocado)  (Read 217 times)

Mark in Texas

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Dr. Martin has all kinds of stories about his avocado advancements.  Here's the latest, just had to share.  My sentiments exactly when it comes to bureaucracies and the local politics of public and private orgs.

I am running out of stories... but one came to mind, thanks to member Mark. I was describing to Mark my avoidance and abhorrence to politics, when I remembered being caught like a dolphin in a fish-net during my first effort to release an avocado selection: Lamb/Hass. If you are not aware, Universities are like miniature municipal governments... There is a hierarchy, and to this day I don't fully comprehend the details; but not all PhD's are equal! Somewhere at the top, below Chancellor, Dean, Department head, is the PhD researcher, and for that person I was an Associate. My level at the time was a high-ranking Tech one. Yes, one out of five! Rank in the departments is critical if you are career minded! I was never career minded. So, my challenge was this: How to get the University of California to allow me, Tech-One, to release an avocado I thought valuable to the industry, so they could claim credit if successful and remain inculpable if not. The normal protocol for new variety release was a peer "Variety Review Board". But I understood Boards. I was serving on one: The Avocado Society Board. Boards (Board of Directors) are funny creations... Purely an academic invention, because in theory they make sense, in execution they stifle creativity and slow implementation... Maybe, sometimes they avoid failure, but failure is absolutely necessary for learning... Anyway, I was in no way going to allow my variety to be subject to questions from the more highly ranked, that seldom work in the field and understand most of their insights from books and lectures. There would be only one person at the table with the insights and knowledge to recognize the value to the industry, and I could not risk that others might ask questions that would sow doubt--because we all know that there can never be certainty! So I just applied for the patent myself, and my PhD researcher, Dr. Bob Bergh permitted me the opportunity! It wasn't until after the patent submission that I was discovered... And my supervisor, Dr. Bergh, received a UC Patent Office call that there was no authorization signature from the Department... Dr. Bergh must of convinced the caller that there was a pressing time constraint from our funding source, the Avocado Commission. So the patent office determined that they would send an agent from Sacramento to personally view my research trials! I took the officer to my research work in Irvine to bring him up to speed with our program and then I took him to a plot I had tucked away on the old Irvine Ranch fields... This was a journey back in the Irvine hills, on dirt roads nestled between fields of citrus... In a hollow was an old seedling trial of 200 trees that did not offer much success, and so I had grafted in a dozen trees of the Lamb/Hass and a dozen Hass. Irvine had the resources to care for my trees! With the Irvine climate and deep loam soils my grafts were stellar. We viewed the productive open Hass trees first, and then approached the Lamb/Hass. The trees were gorgeous but no fruit could be seen as the dark green canopy trapped the interior... I pulled away the outer branches and behold there resided clusters upon clusters of large beautiful fruit! Up to this moment the encounter with the patent agent had been formal, easy but very professional..., upon seeing the Lamb/Hass fruit the agent expelled a huge gasp, jumped and then hugged me! The rest is known....

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containerman

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Re: Very special story on Lamb Hass from Gray E. Martin (think GEM avocado)
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2020, 01:59:23 PM »
Thanks for sharing the story. That is one variety I do not have right now. I'm going to give my daughter my Fuerte so I might replace it with the lamb hass

I have the following now

bacon
carmen
d'atruro
fuerte
gem
gwen
mexicola
pinkerton
reed
stuart/stewart
wurtz

last year I gave my son in law my hass and sir prize

Mark in Texas

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Re: Very special story on Lamb Hass from Gray E. Martin (think GEM avocado)
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2020, 11:21:27 AM »
Thanks for sharing the story. That is one variety I do not have right now. I'm going to give my daughter my Fuerte so I might replace it with the lamb hass

I have the following now

bacon
carmen
d'atruro
fuerte
gem
gwen
mexicola
pinkerton
reed
stuart/stewart
wurtz

last year I gave my son in law my hass and sir prize

That is quite a collection!  Ever thought of making a cocktail tree?  I've got Lamb Hass, Sharwil and Jan Boyce on an Oro Negro stump that pushed some new shoots.


spaugh

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Re: Very special story on Lamb Hass from Gray E. Martin (think GEM avocado)
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2020, 11:33:06 AM »
Thats how I feel when I look inside my lamb tree.

Good fruit and it hangs forever.  Im still picking them since june.  5 full months and they still seem like they can go longer. 
Brad Spaugh

Mark in Texas

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Re: Very special story on Lamb Hass from Gray E. Martin (think GEM avocado)
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2020, 08:42:01 AM »
Thats how I feel when I look inside my lamb tree.

Good fruit and it hangs forever.  Im still picking them since june.  5 full months and they still seem like they can go longer.

Wow!  Can't wait, but hoping the fruit drop on this big tree stops!  Still losing a few Sharwils per week.  Lamb seems to be hanging on.

ScottR

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Re: Very special story on Lamb Hass from Gray E. Martin (think GEM avocado)
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2020, 11:16:48 AM »
Another great history of avocado's by Dr. Martin thanks for posting mark ;)

 

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