Felix Gillet established one of the first fruit nurseries on the west coast of the United States in 1871, here in Nevada City, California. Gillet is credited with providing the nursery stock that established the hazelnut industry in the Northwest. His stock was primarily introduced from European sources. In many a backyards in Nevada City and Grass Valley, I have been gleaning (the act of collecting leftover crops from farmers’ fields after they have been commercially harvested or on fields where it is not economically profitable to harvest. Some ancient cultures promoted gleaning as an early form of a welfare system.) Gillet varieties of both Plums and Pears in Grass Valley. Gillet bred these fruits so that their blossoms could with stand the sometimes rugged springtimes and be able to produce fruit some summer. Much of the fruit in our area was devastated by a late spring frost, but the hearty Gillet fruit has been totally bombastic for the past month!