April, 2020: Meetings postponed until further notice

The club will continue physical distancing until things settle down.
Our gardens are probably happy to have us close by and caring for them.

Stay safe everyone. Your good health is a priority. Take this seriously. It’s no hoax.
See you when we can.

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March 19, 2020–Chris Wenzel: Viral update

From the Pres:

We have to go with the rest of the nation and cancel this week’s meeting.  I’m so sorry to do it, but I see no way around it.  We just can’t be part of the spreading of the virus, so we have to close our meeting down.

I’ll miss the camaraderie and the education, and I’ll look forward to resuming our monthly meetings.  I wish everyone good health,

Robyne Camp

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March 19, 2020–Chris Wenzel: POSTPONED

Topic:   Florida mangos: a farmer’s perspective. 

UPDATE: due to corona virus concerns, we will cancel this month’s meeting entirely. I considered creating a Skype video but I’d rather see Chris in person.
In the meantime, if you want to satisfy your Fruit Club fix, check out some of Chris’s YouTube videos below.

Chris Wenzel is the owner of Truly Tropical in Delray Beach Florida. The farm is more than 100 years old, but Chris began Truly Tropical 20 years ago. The five-acre farm is devoted to growing tropical fruit, especially mangos. 

      Fewer than 20 original trees are still on the property. At last count, the farm has approximately 300 tropical fruit trees, 90% of them are mango trees. Chris is a mango enthusiast and grows more than 80 unique varieties. The primary business of Truly Tropical is selling fruit, but Truly Tropical also has tropical fruit trees for sale. This year, for the first time, Truly Tropical is offering hard to find mango varieties in 1-gallon pots. 

      In addition to keeping up with the farm, Chris has a successful YouTube channel with over 400 videos covering a wide range of topics from top working trees, grafting, mango varieties and even field trips to other interesting fruit farms and to the collections of tropical fruit enthusiasts.

Several of Chris’s videos are linked on this web site:
Stumped Mango graft here,
Topworking a mango here,
(also General mango grafting here
& Pruning a mango here scroll down).

Plant auction: TCRFC members (only) can bring up to 3 plants, preferably something that fruits or is edible. Anyone can bring something for the raffle. Again the preference is edible plants or garden related items.

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February 20, 2020 – Dr. Lorenzo Rossi, Olives

Topic: Olive tree cultivation in Florida: Trials, Tribulations & Opportunities.

UPDATE: PowerPoint presentation

Dr. Lorenzo Rossi is an Assistant Professor at the UF/IFAS Indian River Research and Education Center (IRREC). His main research area is on plant root biology. He is a horticulturist with specific expertise related to root anatomy, dynamics and root system architecture. Dr. Rossi’s research program focuses on improving root health and growth on HLB-affected citrus, leading to the development of environmentally sound and effective citrus management methods. Particularly, his field and greenhouse trials aim to study the root system architecture of HLB-affected citrus root stocks, but also on specialty crops such as peaches and olive trees.

Dr. Rossi coordinates the UF/IFAS Plant Root Science Consortium, under the Center for Stress Resilient Agriculture and develops and provides seminars and field days to students and growers. He is the lead instructor for the “Root and Rhizosphere Ecology” (HOS 6932) and “Advanced Horticultural Physiology” (HOS4341/HOS6932) courses in the Department of Horticultural Sciences. He is also an instructor for the “Planting Roots for the Future” international short summer course (ALS5932), which is held every year in Orlando, FL. Dr. Rossi’s laboratory is equipped with instruments needed for the study of root functions and architecture, root traits, root physiology and root imaging.

Prior to Dr. Rossi’s appointment at UF/IFAS IRREC, he completed two post doctorate positions: Texas A&M University and North Carolina State University. Originally from Italy, he received his Ph.D. Degree in Plant Biology from Italy’s most prestigious scientific university, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Pisa, Italy.

Remember to bring something for the Tasting Table.
Plant auction: TCRFC members (only) can bring up to 3 plants, preferably something that fruits or is edible. Anyone can bring something for the raffle. Again the preference is edible plants or garden related items.

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January 16, 2020 – Mike Meier; Food for Us

Topic: “Food For Us: A Briefing From a Young Farmer” by Mike Meier, Director of Farm Operations for Colab Farms in Martin County and who serves on the City of Stuart Commission. As of December 9, Mike is also the mayor of Stuart. Previously he was the co-founder and head farmer of Ground Floor Farm in downtown Stuart, FL. A Stuart native, Mike moved back to his hometown in 2013 from the New York area, where he was the farm manager of Brooklyn Grange, the world’s largest soil-based rooftop farm company, in Brooklyn and Queens, and then co-founder and field manager of Seven Arrows Farm in Locust, NJ. Mike is an urban farming pioneer, focusing on developing small profitable farm models and working to help change food culture to value local, seasonal, appropriate, sustainable foods.

Plant auction: TCRFC members (only) can bring up to 3 plants, preferably something that fruits or is edible. Anyone can bring something for the raffle. Again the preference is edible plants or garden related items.

Instead of spending too much internet time following the crazy news, explore our web site a bit. From the menu tabs above, check out some of the videos. One is on “Backyard Orchard culture”, which talks about how to maximize fruit tree space in your garden. Under “Q&A”, you can find details about fertilizing mangos and combating diseases that kill mango blooms.

Click the “Links” tab at the top of our webpage and look under “Florida Rare Fruit Clubs” for a new map showing the locations around the state. Or if you are looking for a destination for a weekend field trip, check out “Florida Botanical Gardens“.

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December 19, 2019 Holiday Pot Luck

Our annual holiday feast this year is Thursday, 12/19 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. Please bring a main dish (please note if it is vegetarian or not),  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, fruit, cutting or seedling, more people will go home with something for their garden or table.

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November 21, 2019–Kai Kai Farm

UPDATE: PowerPoint presentation: Kai-Kai Farm Growing Practices presentation (PDF).

Our speakers this month are Diane Cordeau and Carl Frost, owners of Kai-Kai Farm (map) east of Indiantown on SW Kanner Hwy.
The topic is “Kai-Kai Farm Growing Practices.”

Click the Kai-Kai farm (website) photo above for a delightful picture of Diane & Carl
by Food Photographer Libby Volgyes, Libby Vision Studio.

Our meetings include an educational program, a plant auction, plant raffle, and a tasting table of fruit in season. Please bring any extra fruit from your garden to share and give people a chance to experience new tastes and know what fruit they might want to grow.

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October 17, 2019–Mark Ritenour

Topic: Keeping fresh fruit “fresh” after harvest.

Dr. Mark Ritenour is a Professor and plant physiologist with the University of Florida since 1998 and is stationed at Indian River Research and Education Center in Fort Pierce, Florida. He specializes in the postharvest physiology and handling of fresh fruits and vegetables (primarily citrus) with Extension, research, and teaching programs focusing on improving pre- and postharvest practices to maximize delivered fresh fruit quality and ways to overcome potential market barriers (both domestic and international). Continue reading

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Martin County Events

PawPaw is a fruit tree in the Annona family (sugar apple, atemoya, cherimoya, custard apple). There will be a talk on the Florida native–Four-Petal PawPaw by Dr. Anne Cox, presented by the Martin Counter Chapter of the FL Native Plant Society. Details
Oct. 1, 6:30pm – 8pm
Dr. Cox will lead a field trip at Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge on Oct 5.

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September 19, 2019–Mike Luciano: grafting

Past TCRFC president Mike Luciano owner of Trees N More tropical fruit nursery (in Palm City just west of Stuart) will be grafting a hundred Carambola (Starfruit) trees this week. He will bring some to our meeting and demonstrate how to graft, first to the whole group then for smaller groups. Mike specializes in tropical fruit trees; you won’t find a better place to get your trees in the treasure coast.

UPDATE: Grafting success

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