Florida Loquat Festival News – No. 22

Apr 03, 2017 No Comments by

Florida Loquat News

The Newsletter of The Florida Loquat Festival

No. 22

April 2017

2017 Festival Edition

Celebrating Florida’s Urban Fruit

An Ecology Florida/Friendship Farms & Fare Annual Event

THIS COMING SATURDAY, APRIL 8

9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

FLORIDA LOQUAT FESTIVAL

Frances Avenue Park

New Port Richey

Getting There

The 4th Annual Florida Loquat Festival is less than a week away.  If you are planning to join us, we’ll be at Frances Avenue Park in New Port Richey.  This is the same location as last year.

Directions

Frances Avenue Park

6156 Louisiana Ave

New Port Richey

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 south to Louisiana, then go East on Louisiana three blocks – Frances Avenue Park is on the right (south) side of Louisiana.

BRING YOUR OWN SEATING

IF POSSIBLE

We expect to have a small number of chairs and benches 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.

PROGRAM

This year’s educational features will be better than ever, and the cultural lecture will address the relevance of loquats to Florida in a time of cultural change. Of course, you’ll find plenty of trees, preserves, and some special new cottage food specialties.  Fresh fruit may be a bit less than previous years due to our very hot and dry winter.   Here is the program:

10:00 a.m.

Welcome and Introduction

Dell deChant, Chair, Religious Studies Dept., University of South Florida

Proclamation & Welcome to New Port Richey

Rob Marlow, Mayor of New Port Richey

The Florida Loquat Festival Story & History

10:30 a.m.

Supporters’ Recognition & Comments

10:45 a.m.

Our Local Trees & Growing Your Own

11:00 a.m.

Loquats From Farm To Table: Canning & Beyond * Sue Andreski, Black Cat Kitchens

11:30 a.m. -12:00 noon

Loquats & The Florida Homestead * Jim Kovaleski, Freedom House Farms

12:00 – 12:15 p.m.

Special Announcement: New Port Richey FarmNet

Anne Short, FarmNet and Jake Pieterse, Habitat for Humanity

12:15-12:30 p.m.

Special Guest

12:30 p.m.

Loquats & Our Changing World * Dell deChant, USF

1:00 p.m.

Loquat Literary Festival: “O! Loquat!”

Ryan Cheng and Lacie Meier, MFA Program, Dept. of English, USF, Facilitators

2:00 p.m.

Concluding Comments

Supporters’ Recognition and Thanks

Festival Items: Suggested Donations

Festival T-Shirt $15.00

2017 Commemorative Brochure $  5.00

Leaves of Loquat 2015 (poetry collection) $  5.00

10 Seeds From Seed-germinated trees $  1.00


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.


Loquat Festival

Harvest Team at Friendship Farms & Fare, March 2017

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 literary festival at the event will also focus exclusively on loquats.  At the event, look for:

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

Fertile Seeds for planting

Loquat food-products (jellies, jams, preserves – and  few surprises)

Educational Programs (growing, harvesting, canning, cooking)

Culture and Humanities (poetry, history, philosophy)

Literature (commemorative brochure (with recipes, poetry chapbook)

Event T-Shirt, with distinctive Loquat Festival logo

Fresh Loquats (somewhat limited this year due to early harvests)

This year we’ll feature two nurseries – Green Dreams and Friendship Farms & Fare.  So, we’ll have plenty of trees of all sizes.  We will also have a wide variety this year.  

Our nurseries will have seedlings, young trees, larger trees – some over five feet tall.  Our harvesting teams will have as much fresh fruit as possible.  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 in a time of cultural change. 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 open mic.  We’ll also have several poems submitted through USF’s MFA program in literature. We’ll also have the first edition of Leaves of Loquat, the collected poems from 2015 year’s poetry session.  We may even have Leaves of Loquat, vol. II, with our 2016 collection.

We’ll have new festival T-shirts, featuring 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.  This year, the shirts will be yellow – very striking!

Loquat Festival In The News

If you missed the local articles on the festival in the Tampa Bay Times and the Nature Coaster, here they are for your review.

http://preps.tampabay.com/features/homeandgarden/diggin-florida-dirt-florida-loquat-festival-celebrates-a-fruit-tree-worthy/2315282

https://naturecoaster.com/florida-loquat-festival-48-feature-variety-loquat-trees/

Harvest Tally at Friendship Farms & Fare

Over 300 lbs.

Festival Total: close to 800 lbs.

Last year our harvest tally here at the Farms was about 200 pounds. All told, we harvested an estimated 800 pounds from the area.  We are at over 300 pounds here at the Farms and close to 800 pounds for the region.

Loquat Festival

Early loquat 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’ll add them to the list for 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.  

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 2017 festival:  

THIS COMING SATURDAY, APRIL 8

9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

FLORIDA LOQUAT FESTIVAL

Frances Avenue Park

New Port Richey

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

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