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

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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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November 15, 2018–Ira Smith: Annonas

Our speaker this month is Ira Smith, the topic–
“The World of Annonas”.

Ira Smith is a native Floridian and grew up on Singer Island in the 1950’s when the ocean front was dunes, sea oats and sea grape and the lakeside was mangrove estuaries. As a child his hobbies were fishing, diving and collecting and trading mollusks (seashells) with his friends and acquaintances. When Ira was fifteen years old he bought his mother a grafted mango, Kent variety, and has been interested in tropical fruit trees ever since.

Ira did a stint in the Navy from 1962 to 1965, then went to Palm Beach Junior College and Florida Atlantic University. In 1974 began his own business designing Continue reading

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October 18, 2018–Brian Patterson, Hydroponics

This month we learn from the experience of Brian Patterson, who grows heirloom tomatoes and greens using hydroponics. Brian was born and raised in West Palm Beach and found his passion for farming when he purchased some land in Indiantown, Florida in 1994.

“I originally started with fish farming growing tilapia and red claw lobsters. However after visiting a hydroponic tomato farm, I was hooked on this high tech method of farming. I quickly purchased a greenhouse and started to produce red tomatoes for several years. The production was phenomenal, but market prices were low. We then switched over to heirloom tomato production and haven’t looked back since. Continue reading

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