August 17, 2017 John Fedock–Compost Tea

How to improve the quality of your soil to optimize the health, vigor and productivity of your fruit trees and other plants in your garden is our topic this month. We will have a compost tea making workshop taught by John Fedock. John will share one of his passions: the art of “compost tea” making. A great alternative to chemical fertilizers; less expensive and much better for your plants, the environment, and ourselves.

7:00 pm at the Port St Lucie Botanical Garden.

Some topics John will discuss and demonstrate:
— What is compost tea?
— How to use compost tea to improve your garden.
— How to make compost tea.
— How and where to apply compost tea.
— How to build your own 5 gallon compost tea brewer.
— Microscopic video view: See for yourself what the soil life looks like in good compost tea.

John Fedock’s Bio
John considered opening an organic fertilizer, lawn/garden spraying business. In preparation for this business he constructed two compost tea brewers, a 15 gallon and a 70 gallon unit.

He is mechanical engineer by trade, receiving his Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 2005, and a Masters in Mechanical Engineering in 2008 from the University of South Florida with his primary field of study being renewable energy and solar power technologies.

In 2013, his search for a more sustainable life lead him to earn a Permaculture Design Course (PDC) certificate from Geoff Lawton and the Permaculture Research Institute (PRI) of Australia.

Today, John continues to “engineer” his life to be more sustainable by designing solutions to improve everyday life: a solar attic fan – battery backup system, parabolic solar hot water heaters, custom 70 gallon stainless steel compost tea brewer and monitoring system.. currently he is working on plans for a solar powered shade house for growing veggies during the Hot summer months.

Thanks to all: We had a great tasting table and raffle table last month!

• Bring any extra fruit or a fruit-based recipe for the tasting table.
• Bring any interesting plants for the raffle table.
• Members can bring (or bid on) auction plants (maximum of 3)

Posted in meetings | Tagged

July 20, 2017 Har Mahdeem–Sapotaceae

Our speaker this month is Har Mahdeem. You might meet him if you visit Truly Tropical in Delray Beach to find mangoes. Har has extensive experience with tropical fruit and it is always a pleasure to hear him speak on the subject. His talk will be on Sapotaceae, a rare, hard to find and delicious family of fruit that includes Sapodilla, Canistel, Abiu, Caimito, Miracle Fruit, Green & Mamey Sapote.

Don’t forget we are now meeting at the Port St Lucie Botanical Garden on SE Westmoreland Blvd. just south of Saint Lucie Boulevard halfway between the turnpike and Highway 1.

Posted in meetings

June 24, 2017 Taste of the Tropics

Descriptions of tropical fruit can never give a full picture. Only by tasting it yourself can you experience the amazing variety of tropical fruit. If you don’t like mangoes because you have only eaten them from the supermarket, you are in for a pleasant surprise (why is that?). Apples and oranges are great, but there is so much more to be experienced. Living in south and central Florida gives the opportunity to grow the best varieties in your own yard of rare fruit you will never see in the store, or which are never at their best when grown by industrial farming.

Our annual Taste of the Tropics & Plant Sale will be held at the Port St. Lucie Botanical Garden, on Saturday, June 24 from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM. After guests taste the fruit, they will have a chance to buy their favorite tree from club member and past president Mike Luciano of Trees n More, just outside to the north of the building. Continue reading

Posted in events

June 15, 2017 Mango Tasting with Alex Salazar

Last September, Alex Salazar of Tropical Acres and manager of Sturrock Grove in West Palm Beach, spoke about mangoes to the club. He is returning to our club this time with some of his great mangoes for us to taste, and will be able to answer questions about the best varieties and how to grow them.

We will also be bringing more varieties from Trees n More and other nurseries and orchards so we have as many different great varieties as we can find this time of year. If you have any extra mangoes, bring some to share so we can all experience the diversity of mangoes. Continue reading

Posted in meetings | Tagged , ,

Change of venue starting June 15, 2017

Those who attended the meeting in May know the story.
( If you know someone who is interested and not on our email list–or does not use email–please let them know of the change. )

Since we had for several years participated in their general spring plant sale, as well as our own early summer Taste of the Tropics and plant sale at the Port St. Lucie Botanical Garden, we asked them if we could hold our meetings in the main building where we hold our Taste of the Tropics event. We agreed that having the Rare Fruit Club at the Botanical Garden was a good fit. It is now official. We will now be meeting, same time, same day, the third Thursday every month at the Port St. Lucie Botanical Garden at 7:00 pm.
.    Port St. Lucie Botanical Garden
.    2410 SE Westmoreland Blvd.
.    Port St. Lucie, FL
It is located just south of SE Port St Lucie Blvd. and two miles west of Hwy 1. Continue reading

Posted in Information, meetings

May 18, 2017 Rose Caspary: Edible Plants–Beneficial Uses and Cultivation

UPDATE: Rose’s blog (also see club member pages in Links)
Learn about the culinary and medicinal uses of plants from Rosemary (Rose) Caspary, an avid edible gardener. Gain insight on how to create a sustainable edible garden.  Focus on many edible plants best suited to grow in South Florida.  Plus, Rose will share recipes, new and exciting healthy cooking ideas packed with more flavor and aroma.

Rose Caspary enjoys edible gardening, healthy home-cooking, making body products, and creating art.  She started two local groups, the Spicy Herb Group and Treasure Coast Homesteading.
Rose earned a masters degree in nutrition and is a former dietitian.

Over years of use and study, she enjoys the many beneficial qualities of plants especially culinary and Continue reading

Posted in meetings | Tagged

April 20, 2017 Dr. Tim Motis: Seeds and seed storage

Our speaker this month is Dr. Tim Motis, Agriculture Technical and Research Director at ECHO. One area of research for Dr. Motis has been how to best save and store seeds for maximum viability over time. He will be sharing his research at our April meeting.

If you are interested in a more in-depth course in seeds and seed saving, ECHO is holding a 5 day in-residence seminar at their Ft. Meyers facility May 8-12. The course fee includes meals and dorm housing. Information here.

Continue reading

Posted in meetings