Our speaker in July is Louise King, horticulturist at the Fruit & Spice Park in Homestead. The topic is Mangos and other Stars of the Park. This is Louise’s second visit. She also helped us get fruit for our Taste of the Tropics events this year and last.
The Fruit & Spice park, a 37 acre county park is a Florida treasure with an extensive collection of mature fruit trees, along with herb and vegetable gardens. Our club has visited the F&S Park as a group several times; it is worth a trip anytime, and especially during one of their many events.
Ms. King is a Redland resident and tropical fruit grower for more than 20 years. Louise has had a career dedicated to the enjoyment of the natural world. Prior to coming to the Fruit & Spice Park, Louise worked with the National Park Service, serving in Alaska, Idaho, Minnesota, and most recently at Everglades National Park and Biscayne National Park. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Botany from the University of Maryland.
BTW, this year’s Taste of the Tropics at the PSL Botanical garden had the best attendance ever! People got to try many unusual fruits including several varieties of mango, white sapote, jaboticaba, lychee, an excellent jackfruit from the F&S Park, plus Passion fruit-BBQ jackfruit and jackfruit curry. In addition, visitors were able to buy the fruit tree of their favorite tasting from club member Mike Luciano of Trees n’More nursery / Palm City right outside the pavilion. Many thanks to all the volunteers who helped make the day a great success.
Check the events page for 3 mango festivals coming up–at Fruit & Spice Park this Saturday 6/29, at Fairchild Gardens on July 13 & 14th, and closer to home at Erickson Farms on July 21.
Update: Mike had a scheduling conflict in June, so Jeff Schorner. owner of Al’s Family Farms was able to fill in. We were all glad he was able to speak. He really knows oranges, and yes, there is hope that citrus will grow in Florida again.
Mike Meier is the co-founder and head farmer of Ground Floor Farm in downtown Stuart, FL. A Stuart native, Mike moved back to his hometown in 2013 from the New York area, where he was the farm manager of Brooklyn Grange, the world’s largest soil-based rooftop farm company, in Brooklyn and Queens, and then co-founder and field manager of Seven Arrows Farm in Locust, NJ. Mike is an urban farming pioneer, focusing on developing small profitable farm models and working to help change food culture to value local, seasonal, appropriate, sustainable foods.
Plant auction: TCRFC members (only) can bring up to 3 plants, preferably something that fruits or is edible. Anyone can bring something for the raffle. Again the preference is edible plants or garden related items.
Instead of spending too much internet time following the crazy news, explore our web site a bit. From the menu tabs above, check out some of the videos. One is on “Lychee culture”, which gives another answer to one of the May meeting questions: how to get more Lychee fruit. Also, under “Q&A”, more details about fertilizing mangos.
Click the “Links” tab at the top of our webpage and look under “Florida Rare Fruit Clubs” for a new map showing the locations around the state.
Update: Schedules change: Mike had a Stuart city council meeting he had to attend in June, Jeff was unable to attend in May, so Larry Zimmerman took questions that month: Why did mangos do so poorly for many people this year? Partly due to the extended rainy weather during flowering which allowed anthracnose fungus to destroy the flowers. Usually a copper spray will stop the fungus, but when it rains every day, that washes the copper off. If it happened to your mango you are not alone. Some varieties are more susceptible than others.
Our speaker in
May June was Jeff Schorner from Al’s Family Farms in Fort Pierce at the corner of N. King’s Hwy and Angle Road. Jeff will be speaking about growing oranges. Jeff will also bring his son Matthew, just returned from South Africa where he has studied their citrus agricultural practices.
Our meetings include an educational program, a plant auction, plant raffle, and a tasting table of fruit in season. Bring any extra fruit from your garden to share and give people a chance to experience new tastes and know what fruit they might want to grow.
Have you dreamed of owning a tropical fruit farm?
Open House Saturday 4/27 12:00-3:00.
A few years ago, several of our club members toured this lychee grove in Indiantown with Rosemary Caspary’s Treasure Coast Homesteading group.
Note that even if you don’t want a whole farm, you can get fresh lychees from them soon.
Our 14 acre lychee grove with 3/2 house is for sale in Indiantown, FL. We really need help marketing our farm to the right people…. tropical fruit lovers, like you! This is a great property to live on and manage an established grove whose trees are starting to produce beautifully. Feel free to spread the word and know that our fruit will be available for purchase at $4.00 per pound starting at the end of May!
I wanted to let you know that we are having an Open House this Saturday, April 27 from 12:00 – 3:00. Please spread the word if anyone you know may be interested. Here is our website with pictures and video:
Our speaker in April is Christian Miller, Vegetable and Tropical Fruit Extension Agent, Palm Beach County–Common Fruit Tree Issues and How to Avoid Them
UPDATE: PDF of the presentation.
Those who participated last summer in the Tamarixia radiata wasp release program for homeowners with citrus will be contacted directly. If you did not participate last year, you can do so now.
As you may know, Tamarixia radiata is a biological control for the Asian Citrus Psyllid, which is the insect that transmits the bacterium that causes huanglongbing (HLB) or Citrus Greening Disease.
UF/IFAS St. Lucie County Extension is working in cooperation with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) and the Division of Plant Industry (DPI) and is once again offering a program for residents who have dooryard citrus trees and would like to help employ this control method of HLB.
Pick up of wasps will be Friday April 26, 2019 at the St. Lucie County Extension office from 9am to 1pm. The office is located at 8400 Picos Road Fort Pierce.
Please contact Kate if you are interested in receiving wasps and how many citrus trees you have on your property. You must email or call Kate Rotindo with information/confirmation in order to receive wasps on the pick up day! Cut off day for signing up to receive wasps is April 18th.
Urban Horticulture Extension Agent
UF/IFAS St. Lucie County Extension
8400 Picos Road, Suite 101
Fort Pierce, Fl 34945
Tel: (772) 462-1609
Fax (772) 462-1510
Paula Smith has been a Martin County Master Gardener for 34 years. She and her husband Ira (see our 11/15/18 meeting) grow tropical fruit and vegetables as a way of life on their two acre plot in West Stuart. Paula is an RN, a mother of three and grandmother of three beautiful little girls. She will be speaking on her work with the Indiantown Community Garden.