June 21, 2018–Dr. Ann McMullian, Professor, IRSC

Our speaker this month is Dr. Ann (Anke) McMullian, professor and department chair at the Agricultural Department of Indian River State College, Pruitt campus in PSL. She grew up in Brazil and is knowledgeable in tropical fruits.

Anke will speak about horticultural education at IRSC, their teaching garden, and the types of training programs we might be interested in.  In addition, she will offer practical advice on how we can grow our gardens better–common mistakes and how to correct them–what is easiest to grow vs. what requires more skill and is best left to experienced horticulturists.

At IRSC Dr. McMullian counsels agriculture and horticulture students, oversees all Agriculture programs including the Aquaculture program, and teaches a variety of Horticulture and Biology classes.

7:00 p.m. at the Port St. Lucie Botanical Garden, 2410 SE Westmoreland Blvd. PSL

Don’t forget our Taste of the Tropics and plant sale featuring Mike Luciano of Trees N’more at the Botanical Garden on June 16th, 9 am to 1 pm.

• If you have any fruit to spare, or a new recipe you want to share, please bring something for the tasting table.

• Don’t forget to bring items for the raffle table, or seeds for the seed-sharing table.

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May 17, 2018–Nathaniel Reed, Florida Conservationist

It is an honor to have as our speaker this month, conservationist Nathaniel P. Reed.
The topic is The politics of agriculture in Florida.
(CBS Interview on saving the Everglades)
It is impossible to overstate the contribution Nathaniel Reed has made to transforming the culture of Florida.  When he arrived more than six decades ago, Florida was continuing a long-held belief that Florida, its land, water, wildlife, other natural resources with few exceptions, were commodities to be used and disposed of at the will of the current generation of state residents.  Nathaniel and a small band of his disciples in less than a decade evolved Florida to a new definition – a treasure for which each generation has a responsibility to protect for future Floridians.Amazon book review

Nathaniel Reed received a B.A. from Trinity College in Connecticut and served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force military intelligence throughout Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Upon returning to Florida, he became Vice President and then President of the Hobe Sound Company, a real estate and holding company, which owned the Jupiter Island Club. Mr. Reed is best known as the Chairman of the Commission on Florida’s Environmental Future. He also served as Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish and Wildlife and Parks in the Nixon and Ford administrations. He is a founding member of the Everglades Foundation and a member of the Board of Hope Rural School, a school for the children of migrant workers. Mr. Reed is a former board member and Vice Chairman of the National Audubon Society and the Nature Conservancy, board member of the National Parks & Conservation Association, American Rivers and serves as emeritus on the boards of the Natural Resources Defense Council, National Geographic Society, Atlantic Salmon Federation and 1000 Friends of Florida, which he helped form.

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April 19, 2018–Garima Kakkar, U.F. citrus agent

Our speaker in April is Garima Kakkar. The topic is the work UF does on citrus problems and possible solutions.

Ms. Kakkar has been a part of University of Florida/IFAS since 2008 when she started her master’s degree program on integrated management of horticultural pests at the TREC-University of Florida in Homestead. Her research was focused on invasive whitefly and thrips management on several important vegetable crops including beans, cucumber, pepper, squash, and tomatoes grown in Miami-Dade area. On completion of MS program, she proceeded with her doctoral research at FLREC, UF focused on the management of Formosan subterranean termites. During her brief Post-doctoral research period at USHRL, Ft. Pierce, she worked on vector-mediated plant diseases of tomatoes and beans in South Florida. Currently, she is stationed at St. Lucie UF/IFAS extension office and her primary responsibility is to help citrus growers in Indian River and St. Lucie counties.​

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March 15, 2018–Louise King of Fruit & Spice Park

Our March speaker is Louise King, a staff member at the Fruit & Spice Park in Homestead. The topic is how the Park prepares for hurricane season to minimize damage and how we can apply the principles to our own fruit trees. The 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.

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February 15, 2018–Darryl McCullough of Sweet Song Groves

A former math professor at Oklahoma University, Darryl McCullough planted a few varieties of fruit trees in 2012. By 2016 it had grown to 150 fruit trees on just two acres and he launched Sweet Song Groves. Now the treasurer of the Sarasota Garden Club, he eats great things for breakfast, lunch and dinner, does a lot of public outreach, and is living the dream. Darryl also conducts 3-hour Fruit Tree Paradise Workshops each spring and fall to help new-to-intermediate growers avoid some of the pitfalls of growing tropical fruit trees in the Sarasota area. Click the workshop link for the current version of his notes and a basic-info spreadsheet of fruit commonly grown in our region. Darryl will condense his workshop for us and promises to provide something for everyone–philosophy, technique, and ideas for making the world better. And lots of photos. In addition, Darryl regularly conducts a one-hour walking tour of his fruit farm in North Sarasota County. Oops; just missed the one on Feb. 4th. Check his website events page for more.

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January 18, 2018 Dr. Ronald Cave: UF Research

Ronald D. Cave, PhD {bio} is an entomologist (insect scientist) specializing in biological controls, an Associate Professor and now the director at the University of Florida Indian River Research & Education Center in Fort Pierce (where we used to meet each month). He will talk about the activities at the Center that affect us as growers of tropical fruit.

Remember to bring your best fruit and treats for the tasting table, and also bring any extra plants for the raffle.

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December 21, 2017 Christmas Feast

Our annual holiday feast this year is Thursday, 12/21 at 7:00 pm at the Port St. Lucie Botanical Garden Pavilion. As usual, it is open to club members and their immediate family. Guests can also attend for $10. The club will provide the main dish of ham and turkey. Please bring a main vegetarian dish, kosher meal, appetizer, vegetable, side, salad, drinks or dessert. Let us know if you will attend, how many in your party, and what you plan to bring so we can coordinate and plan the main dish quantities and so we know how many tables to set up.  RSVP to TCRFClub@gmail.com. Thanks, and hope to see you there.

We will not have an auction, but we will have a door-prize raffle (one ticket per guest). The club will bring some special prizes, but if everyone can bring an interesting plant, cutting or seedling, more people will go home with something for their garden or table.

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