October 20, 2016 Nick Larsen – Bananas

nklago200-30pThis Thursday, Nick Larsen of NK Lago Farms in Canal Point will speak on Bananas. Nick has a PhD in horticulture from the University of Florida.  He has worked as a laborer, manager, researcher, certified crop adviser and farmer during his career in agriculture.  Currently, he is the executive director of the International Responsible Farming Council and is spreading the gospel of precision agriculture to all that will listen.

♦ Remember to bring any extra fruit, or anything you think we’d enjoy eating for the tasting table.
♦ If you have any interesting plants you have started from seeds, division or cuttings, or other garden goodies, bring those for the raffle.
♦ Club members can bring up to three plants for the auction.

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September 15, 2016 Alex Salazar: Mango

alex-mango-p55Our speaker this month is Alexander Salazar, owner of Tropical Acres Farms of Loxahatchee. Alex is also the horticultural manager of Sturrock Groves in West Palm Beach, specializing in mangoes, which have been grown on the Sturrock farm since the 1920’s. In addition, they grow many varieties of avocados, as well as banana, black sapote, carambola, guava, lychees, and sapodilla.
Mango season is rapidly coming to a close with late varieties, but now is a good time to decide what your next mango should be. Here’s our short list. And Alex’s.
If you want to learn how to grow the best mangoes, Alex is a great resource!

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August 18, 2016 John Goss: Ginger

UPDATE: Notes from our club trip to Going Bananas in Homestead

The topic this month is growing Heliconia and Ginger varieties, including edible Gingers!
Florida is sub-tropical, even the central areas, so why not let your yard reflect your climate? Ginger root is only one of many related plants that are used for flavor, medicine and tropical beauty.JohnGoss250.p60
Our speaker is John Goss, of JG’s Tropical Plants. You may have seen him at plant shows around the state offering a stunning collection of colorful Heliconia and Gingers. A resident of Florida for more than 35 years, owner John treks the jungles of Central America to locate new and unique plants that thrive in our similar Florida climate. Continue reading

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July 21, 2016 Carol Cloud Bailey – Herbs

Carol-Cloud-Bailey.p60Carol Cloud Bailey writes a regular column for Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers and teaches as an adjunct professor at Palm Beach Community College. She will be speaking to us about growing herbs in the Treasure Coast.

Carol has a Bachelors degree from the University of Florida and a Masters degree from Florida A&M University. She has worked in the gardening industry for Continue reading

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July 2, 2016 Taste of the Tropics Event

Saturday, July 2, we had a good steady croud at our annual Taste of the Tropics and Plant sale at the Port St. Lucie Botanical Garden, 2410 Westmoreland Blvd, Port St. Lucie.

The Tasting Table had Jackfruit, both crunchy and soft varieties along with the cooked seeds; Brewster Lychees, along with three of the best mango varieties: Carrie, Edward and Glenn. Also on display were Canistel, Sapodilla, Monstera, Barbados Cherry, Green Mango salad and more.

Also at the event, Michael Luciano of Trees n’More had fruit trees to purchase, and  demonstrated grafting fruit trees. Melitta Luciano described how to make tropical fruit wine.

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June 16, 2016 Michael Hudon: Mosquitoes!

UPDATE: IRC-Mosquito Control Brochure  Berry Picker (for Barbados Cherry)

It’s that time of year: mosquitoes are out in force. Michael Hudon has been a member of the Vero Beach Rare Fruit Club for many years. He is also a Research Entomologist (insect scientist) for the Indian River Mosquito Control District, and will give us an overview of the pesky critters, what the county does to keep them in check, and what we can do in our own yards to minimize their numbers because if they are biting you, they probably grew up in your yard.

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May 19, 2016 Tropical Fruit self-help clinic Part 2

One of our members suggested we offer periodic self-help growing clinics at our meetings. We have members with decades of practical experience that can benefit all. Even though we bring in outside speakers, sometimes it is helpful to get together more informally and share our experiences, successes and failures, fertilizers, pollination, bugs, pruning, varieties, etc. Last month we focused on figs, banana, mango, and jaboticaba, along with suggested fertilizers for different seasons and plants. This month the clinic continues with more on how to best grow your favorite tropical fruit trees.

Thanks to Bobbi Spencer for organizing our tasting table at the St. Lucie County Master Gardener Plant sale Saturday, May 14. Everything in the display (and more) grows here in the Treasure Coast.
Bobbi Spencer on left, with Larry Zimmerman.

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