The North American Fruit Explorers (NAFEX) is a network of individuals throughout the United States and Canada devoted to the discovery, cultivation and appreciation of superior varieties of fruits and nuts.
Founded in 1967 by a small group of pomological hobbyists, NAFEX has grown to an organization of more than 3,000 members, and is chartered as a nonprofit organization in the state of Illinois. Although the ranks of our membership include professional pomologists, nurserymen, and commercial orchardists, NAFEX members are all AMATEURS in the truest sense of the word; they are motivated by their LOVE of fine fruit. NAFEX members typically work together to help each other by sharing ideas, information, experiences, and propagating material.
We communicate with each other via our online list and POMONA, a quarterly journal assembled largely from articles submitted by the membership which is published online in the Members' Only section of the website and in one printed issue annually. A diverse assortment of interests and approaches are represented. While many of us are involved in collecting and growing well-known fruit like apples and pears, others are specialists in so-called "minor" fruit such as mayhaws, kiwis, persimmons, and pawpaws.
A number of members are primarily variety collectors, and some experiment to breed new cultivars. Others labor to produce good fruit crops under marginal conditions. Different, often contradictory, methods of horticulture are advocated; organic practitioners share a forum with growers applying chemical management systems. Despite this lively divergence of focus and opinion.
NAFEX members are bound together by the spirit of fellowship and cooperation in a common quest for excellence in fruit.
Founded in the mid 1960's by Milo Gibson and Fred Janson, out of a round-robin correspondence group, the first issue of POMONA was published in the late summer of 1967. The organization has grown to a membership of over 3,000 with all the United States and Canadian provinces represented as well as many foreign countries.
To aid and encourage fruit exploration in its broadest context.
NAFEX'S members are from all walks of life with the large majority being hobbyists with a keen interest in growing, finding, evaluating and eating exceptional fruit and nuts.
Memberships are available for individuals/couples as well as libraries and schools and begin from the date dues are received. Each membership receives three online only and one print (four quarterly) issues of Pomona magazine.
We have a yearly meeting for the purpose of education and fellowship. The location varies and the time coincides with peak fruit ripening in that area. Recent meetings have been at Decatur, Alabama; Penticton, B.C.; Amherst, Massachusetts; Wooster, Ohio; Houston, Texas; Champaign, Illinois; Charlottsville, Virginia; Clackamas, Oregon, Chanhassen, Minnesota and Concord, New Hampshire.
Pomona is a quarterly journal with articles written primarily by the membership. The winter, spring, and summer journals are available in digital (PDF) format only. The fall issue is mailed in booklet form as well as being available electronically in the Memberís Only section of the NAFEX website. The articles range from folksy tales to in depth studies of various pomological subjects. There are pages devoted to seed and scion exchange, a Back to Basics question and answer page, and Fruitful Tips where members submit their best short suggestions on all aspects of fruit and fruit culture. Each issue includes a list of Fruit and Nut Interest Groups and special consultants for many related areas.