Citrus greening control

Summary: If you have citrus trees, you can get predatory wasps that help control the insect that spreads citrus greening. Schedule: end of July 2018. Survey participants will be notified.

If you are interested and would like to be part of the wasp release program, please take this brief survey (http://bit.ly/HLBsurvey) for us to be able to know your interest. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact St. Lucie Extension Office at 772-462-1660, Dr. Garima Kakkar or Kate Rotindo.

The UF / IFAS – St. Lucie County Extension requests homeowners to join hands in fighting against the destructive citrus disease, huanglongbing (HLB), or better known as citrus greening. We are coordinating with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), Division of Plant Industry for the release of Tamarixia radiata; a wasp known to control Asian citrus psyllid responsible for citrus greening in Florida. Continue reading

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

Our speaker this month is Dr. Ann McMullian, professor and department chair at the Agricultural Department of Indian River State College, Pruitt campus in PSL. She grew up in Surinam 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.

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May 17, 2018–Nathaniel Reed, Florida Conservationist

Update: Nataniel Reed passed away July 11, 2018
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 Continue reading

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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.

Continue reading

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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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