August 15, 2019–Bobbi Spencer

Bobbi Spencer, TCRFC Founder, Past President, and Master Gardener will give a presentation on the best tropical and subtropical fruit to grow here in the Treasure Coast.

Bring any of your extra fruit or edible treats for our tasting table, and plants or garden items for the raffle.
Members can bring up to 3 plants for the auction.

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July 18, 2019–Louise King: Mangos

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.

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June 20, 2019 – Jeff Schorner; Al’s Family Farms

Update: Schedules change: Mike Meier of Ground Floor Farm 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 mangos you are not alone. Some varieties are more susceptible than others.

Jeff Schorner 1Our 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 spoke about growing oranges. 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: his farm is proof of that. Jeff also brought his son Matthew, just returned from South Africa where he studied their citrus agricultural practices.

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Tropical fruit farm for sale

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.

Hello! Friends

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:
https://shortjoel.wixsite.com/website

Thanks!!

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April 18, 2019 – Christian Miller; Fruit tree problems

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.

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Citrus Greening Control – Spring 2019

Tamarixia radiataThose 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.

Kate Rotindo
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
Email: krotindo@ufl.edu
http://stlucie.ifas.ufl.edu

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March 21, 2019 – Paula Smith, tropical fruit grower

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.

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February 21, 2019 – Ann Marie Gray of Pinder’s

Our speaker this month is Ann Marie Gray from Pinder’s Nursery in Palm City near Stuart. She will speak on edible flowers, herbs and give a demonstration of planting edible containers. She will also bring attractive edible plants from the nursery if people want to buy.

Please bring any extra fruit or other edibles for our tasting table, any interesting plants or something garden related for the raffle. How about easy to start cuttings of edible plants like chaya, edible hibiscus, cassava (yuca, tapioca), Okinawa / Cholesterol spinach, etc. [Links to more information on these & other tropical greens.]
Members can bid on or bring up to 3 plants for our auction.

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January 17, 2019 – David Erickson, CEO of ECHO

If you haven’t visited ECHO near Ft. Meyers, FL: put a tour on your day trip schedule. They have a nursery and shop with edible plants and seeds. But most interesting for our group are the extensive orchard and experimental gardens where they research and demonstrate the best plants and practices for reducing world hunger. This month our speaker is David Erickson, the President and CEO of ECHO. The topic of the talk will be an overview of ECHO’s mission and their work around the world.

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December 20, 2018 Pot Luck Cancelled

Our annual holiday feast this year is Thursday, 12/20 at 7:00 pm at the Port St. Lucie Botanical Garden Pavilion.
UPDATE: Sunday 12/9, we learned that the Botanical Garden will be closed on our meeting night, so we are cancelling this year. Hope to see you all at our January meeting at the regular time.

From the Garden on 12/9: “Sorry for late notice, but the City just confirmed to us that they’re going to be re-staining ALL of the sidewalks at the Gardens Dec 17-22, essentially closing the Gardens and Pavilion to all groups, visitors and meetings during that week. Rare fruit, of course, is on our calendar during that week.  Please accept our apologies for the cancellation of your regular meeting date.”

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