Florida Loquat News #17

Aug 10, 2016 No Comments by

Florida Loquat Festival News No. 17
August 10, 2016
Celebrating Florida’s Urban Fruit
An Ecology Florida/Friendship Farms & Fare Annual Event

Growers Update

A New Season Begins As First Buds Appear
The first buds of the 2016-2017 season have begun to appear. A number of trees are budding at both the Friendship Farms grove and the East Madison grove. If you have a tree, now would be the time to begin checking for budding.

Send us reports and images of your budding loquat trees. We’ll publish them in the FLN.

You’ll find images of the first budding of our trees, which you can compare with your own trees. You’ll note that these are just buds. Flowers will appear later. Our trees bud as early as July and as late as November, which is wonderful since it means they also fruit for a long time (usually from December to May).

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

2017 Festival Planning

We are doing advance planning for next year’s festival.

Watch for future issues of Florida Loquat News with news on the dates.

We are planning to have another poetry session, perhaps with a different format. There is also tentative plans to have an art show as part of the event. We are still in the planning stages, but current thinking is to have the show feature artists who take Florida produce as their subjects.

If you would like to volunteer to assist with the event, please let us know as soon as possible. Our greatest desire will be for volunteers to assist with harvesting the fruit – especially the week before the event. We also welcome folks who will donate the harvest of their trees.

We are also looking for folks to prepare and sell preserves. As many of you know, one of the traditions of the Loquat Festival is selling out of all the jellies, jams, compotes, canned halves and slices. That is a tradition we would like to bring to an end next year. In order to do so, however, we’ll need more folks willing to make the preserves. We cannot guarantee sales, but last year over 300 jars were sold in less than two hours.

Subscribe to Loquat News and Tell a Friend

Go to the Ecology Florida website to sign up for Loquat News. If you know of others who might like to learn more about the loquat and our festival, send them the link.

We publish Loquat News on a regular schedule – 6-8 times a year. The News has updates on the festival and the seasonal progression of the trees. We like to share reports from folks who are nurturing trees on their property. From time to time we’ll feature growers, grove curators, nurseries, and preserve producers. You might see an editorial from time to time, and even a little whimsy.

Here’s how to reach us and enter a subscription:

Contact Ecology Florida

http://www.ecologyflorida.org

Festival T-Shirts Still Available
If you’d like a Loquat Festival T-Shirt, let us know. We are asking for donations of $25 for the shirts. Drop us an email if you’d like one, and we’ll get it to you.

Commemorative Brochure
$5.00

A number for folks have asked about acquiring a copy of the 2015 Festival Brochure. If you would like to receive a copy, please send $6.00 ($5.00 + $1.00 postage and handling) to Ecology Florida.

The brochure is a wonderful commemoration of the festival and celebration of the loquat. In it you’ll find loquat history, recipes, facts and data, tips on growing and harvesting, and a copy of the Loquat Day proclamation by the City of New Port Richey.

If you want to share the festival and loquat lore with others, order additional copies. Discounts are offered for orders of 5 or more brochures. Contact us through the website for orders of multiple copies.

To order your copy, send $6.00 to:

Ecology Florida
PO Box 596
New Port Richey, FL 34656-0596

Loquat Archives

We are compiling a booklet with archival articles on the loquat in Florida. The booklet will contain the two articles recently discovered by our researchers – Isabelle Krome’s 1936 article, “Louqats,” and John Popenone’s 1960 article “Evaluation of Loquats.” We have releases on these articles.

We are also seeking release from Winthrop Packard’s reflection on loquats in his famous 1910 book, Florida Trails. As an additional feature, we are including Dell deChant’s essay, “The Loquat’s Cultural Context.”

We expect the booklet to be available later this year, with a suggested donation of $10.00. Let us know if you’d be interested.

Commercial Potential of Loquats

We are convinced that there are real business opportunities available for enterprising folks who want to develop commercial ventures using loquats. Our festival has shown us that there is a market for a wide range of loquat products – from fresh fruit during the season, trees year round, to pies and other pastries (including cookies!) – and of course, preserves of all varieties. Harvesters could also prosper during fruiting season, and growers and cultivators throughout the year.

Loquats may be just the answer for some of the many folks who are looking for more sustainable endeavors, or just meaningful work. There is no question that a market for loquats exist, and it is quite clear that as of now that market has hardly been developed. Let us know if you are planning to pursue the commercial potential of loquats. We’ll publicize your endeavors, and feature your project at next year’s festival.

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.

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.

Did you find this information helpful? If you did, consider donating.

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