Florida Loquat News #16 – March

Mar 14, 2016 No Comments by

Florida Loquat News

The Newsletter of The Florida Loquat Festival

No. 16

March 2016

Pre-Event Edition

Celebrating Florida’s Urban Fruit

An Ecology Florida/Friendship Farms & Fare Annual Event

FLORIDA LOQUAT FESTIVAL

March 26

Frances Avenue Park

New Port Richey

Getting There

The 3rd Annual Florida Loquat Festival is fast approaching.  If you are planning to join us, here is a map to the location, Frances Avenue Park in New Port Richey.

Directions to Loquat Festival

Directions to Frances Avenue Park and the Florida Loquat Festival

Click here to view the map on Google Maps

The map gives directions from major highways – US Highway 19 and State Road 54. We are working diligently to get temporary directional signs installed on major routes leading to the park.  If you are using a GPS, use 6156 Louisiana Avenue as the destination.  If not, get to Main Street in New Port Richey, take Main to Madison, take Madison to Louisiana, then go East on Louisiana three blocks – Frances Avenue Park is on the right (south) side of Louisiana.

PROGRAM

This year’s educational features will be better than ever, and the cultural lecture will address the relevance of loquats to Florida in an era of Citrus Greening. Of course, you’ll find fresh loquats, and we may also have some loquat specialties from local restaurants.   Here is the program

10:00

Welcome and Introduction, Dell deChant, Ecology Florida

Supporters’ Recognition

followed by

Special Presentation

10:30

Loquats and Permaculture Applications

Jim Kovaleski, Freedom House Farms

11:15

Loquats From Farm To Table

Sue Andreski, Black Cat Growers
12:00

“The Tree Itself”

Loquats in planned food producing ecosystems

Taylor Walker, Green Dreams

12:30

Loquats and the New World, Dell deChant, Ecology Florida

1:00

Loquat Literary Festival: “O! Loquat!” – Wendy Buffington, Facilitator

1:45

Concluding Comments

Supporters’ Recognition and Thanks

BRING YOUR OWN SEATING

IF POSSIBLE

We expect to have a small number of chairs for folks attending the educational programs, but we are encouraging everyone to bring their own seating, if possible.  Folding chairs or lightweight lawn chairs will be best.

Fruit at Friendship Farms & Fare

What to Expect

As always, this is a Loquat Exclusive event. Only loquats and loquat-related products will be available.  Lectures, demonstrations, and educational sessions will be dedicated solely to loquats. The poetry salon at the event will also focus on loquats.  At the event, look for:

Fresh Loquats

Trees (from young saplings to 6-8 ft. trees – grafted and seed-grown)

Fertile Seeds for planting

Loquat food-products

Educational Programs (cultivating, harvesting, canning, cooking)

Culture and Humanities (poetry, history, philosophy)

Literature (recipe booklet, commemorative brochure, poetry chapbook)

Event T-Shirt, with distinctive Loquat Festival logo (we are affirming for advance contributions to create this unique commemorative artifact)

This year we’ll feature two nurseries – Green Plan Tree Farm and Green Dreams.  So, we’ll have plenty of trees of all sizes.  We also expect to have a number of different varieties this year.  We’ll have preserves, as always, but come early to be sure to get some.  

Our nurseries will have seedlings, young trees, larger trees, and some very large trees.  Our harvesting teams will have fresh loquats of various varieties.  Local cottage food producers will have loquat preserves (jellies, jams, compotes, and preserves).  As always, we’ll give away loquat seeds to the first one hundred folks who show up – and more if possible.  

The educational programs will be better than ever, and the cultural lecture will address the relevance of loquats to Florida in an era of Citrus Greening. Of course, you’ll find fresh loquats, and we may also have some loquat specialties from local restaurants.  

Bring a poem or a poet to the event because we’ll again have our loquat poetry festival. The poetry session will use an “open mic” format, like last year, and poets of all backgrounds, ages, and skills are welcome. We’ll also have the first edition of Leaves of Loquat, the collected poems from last year’s poetry session.  

New this year, will be festival T-shirts.  The shirts will feature the beautiful Loquat Festival logo on the front (did you know that the background of the logo is a map of the city of New Port Richey?), and on back we’ll have the sponsors and supporters of this year’s event.

Green Deane’s Great Article on Loquats

Here is a one of the best articles on loquats we’ve come across in quite some time.  Ann Scott, Associate Director of the New Port Richey Public Library, shared this with Loquat News. The article was written by well known food-activist, Green Deane, and appears on his website, Eat the Weeds.  

As Ann says, it is fun and interesting.  That it surely is. There are also a number of recipes.

http://www.eattheweeds.com/loquat-getting-a-grip-on-grappa/

Harvest Tally

100 lbs.

Last year our harvest tally here at the Farms was about 100 pounds. All told, we harvested an estimated 800 pounds.  We are at about 100 pounds, total, and about 30 at our grove.

Early Harvest

Know Any Good Trees?

The Loquat Festival is looking for a few good trees – actually, quite a few.  If you have a tree (or trees) whose fruit you’d like to share, please let us know.  See contact information at the end of the newsletter.  

If you know of others who have fruit-bearing trees, please ask if they will share their harvest with the festival.  We are looking to harvest in the West Pasco area, but if we have teams or even lone-harvesters elsewhere, we’d be delighted to welcome their harvest into the mix.

Growers Update

Fruit Reaching Maturity

Check your trees.  Most trees in the area will have some (if not many) ripe fruit on them.  

Here at our groves, there are few flowers remaining (but there are some!), and most of the fruit is ripe or nearly so.

Just as a reminder, remember, we observed our first ripe fruit – two bright orange nuggets on December 12.    We expect fruit to be coming in through April, at least.  With the trees still flowering, we will possibly have fruit into the early summer. That’s at least four months of fruit, and maybe closely to six!  Few other fruit-producing trees have such a long fruiting season. What stamina!

If you have trees, take a moment and check to see if the fruit is mature.

Loquats bud and flower at different times – anywhere from late to spring to early winter.  They continue to bud and flower well into the winter.  Also, another wonderful gift of the loquat is that the fruit production cycle (flower, bud, fruitling, mature fruit) of a single tree is usually staggered, so that fruit clusters become mature over an extended period.  

Stay tuned for further updates, and please send us your stories and images.

Harvest Teams Coming Together

~ Join a Team or Start Your Own ~

So far, we have two harvest teams assembled.  We’d love to have several more.  Let us know if you would like to participate in a harvesting event.  Harvest teams will visit trees in designated areas, and harvest fruit that has been dedicated to the Loquat Festival by home and property owners.

Weekly harvests will be made available to our preserve producers for preparation of the delicious preserves (jellies and jams) that are so popular at the festival.  Team members will receive a portion of the harvest for their own enjoyment.

If you would like to join a harvest team, please let us know.  We are looking to establish teams in West Pasco, but would be happy to welcome folks from the entire Tampa Bay Region – and beyond!

If you are interested in being part of the loquat harvest this year, please send your name and contact numbers. Send to:  http://www.fffsite.org/#!contact/cl4l

Know Any Good Trees?

The Loquat Festival is looking for a few good trees – actually, quite a few.  If you have a tree (or trees) whose fruit you’d like to share, please let us know.  See contact information at the end of the newsletter.  

If you know of others who have fruit-bearing trees, please ask if they will share their harvest with the festival.  We are looking to harvest in the West Pasco area, but if we have teams or even lone-harvesters elsewhere, we’d be delighted to welcome their harvest into the mix.

Support Opportunities Available

If you or your business would like to support next year’s festival, please let us know, and we’ll send you our supporter package.  You can contact us through the Ecology Florida website. If you leave a phone number, we’ll give you a call.  

http://www.ecologyflorida.org/contact-ecology-florida/

http://www.ecologyflorida.org/

Thank You

Your interest and support of loquats and the Florida Loquat Festival is appreciated. Thanks for being part of our mission to increase awareness, appreciation, and use of “Florida’s Urban Fruit.”

Please share this newsletter with others you know.  For information on supporting our work, see the contact addresses and link earlier in the newsletter, and below.

See you at the 2106 festival:  

March 26 2016

9:00 – 2:00

Frances Avenue Park, New Port Richey

——————————————————————————————————————–

Friendship Farms & Fare is a branch of Ecology Florida, a not-for-profit corporation.  Contributions to Friendship Farms & Fare and Ecology Florida are tax deductible.  To learn more about Ecology Florida, please visit the website: http://www.ecologyflorida.org/

Friendship Farms & Fare website is http://www.fffsite.org/

If you would like to support our mission and individual projects, you may share donations through our website (http://www.ecologyflorida.org/) or at our mailing address:

Ecology Florida

PO Box 596

New Port Richey, FL 34656-0596

Friendship Farms & Fare affirms and advances agrarian ideals to reestablish a sustainable culture

http://www.fffsite.org/

Ecology Florida advances the harmonious integration of healthy natural, cultural, and economic ecologies to regenerate a sustainable world

http://www.ecologyflorida.org/

Ecology Florida, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization, with 501(c)(3) designation. Contributions to Ecology Florida, Inc. are tax deductable under section 107 of the Internal Revenue Code.  

Ecology Florida is a registered charitable organization in the state of Florida.  Registration number, CH 33333.  A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE (800-435-7352) WITHIN THE STATE.  REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.

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