Loquat News #9

Florida Loquat News

No. 9

May 21, 2015

Celebrating Florida’s Urban Fruit

An Ecology Florida/Friendship Farms & Fare Annual Event

Here is Your Post-Festival issue of the Florida Loquat News

Florida Loquat Festival: Celebrating Florida’s Urban Fruit 

Loquat Festival Draws Large Crowd

Education, Economic, and Cultural Impact Significant

The annual Florida Loquat Festival was a big success. Estimates are that over 400 persons attended the April 4 event, and judging from sales, that number seems accurate. Over 150 jars of preserves were sold, and over 300 pounds of fresh fruit. Green Plan Tree Farm sold over 200 trees. The educational program was very well attended and the poetry festival stole the show.

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In addition to the poetry event, this year’s festival featured loquat cookies, halves in light syrup, attendance by the mayor of New Port Richey and one of the council members, and proclamation from the city declaring April 4, Loquat Day in the city. We had a number of folks from outside the area join us, with confirmed visitors from Sarasota, Brooksville, Tampa, Gulfport, and St. Petersburg. Recent immigrants from South Asia, Central Asia, and Europe also attended.

Loquat Festival
Workers fill bags with pounds of loquats to be sold during the festival

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:



Dell deChant Loquat Festival
Professor Dell deChant speaks at the 2015 Florida Loquat Festival

Thanks To Supporters and Volunteers

Every year, we are so thankful for the support of the community and the many businesses in the area who participate. We could not do the festival without this support. In this spirit, we are happy to share sincerest thanks with these groups and individuals (with note of their role in the festival):

The Market Off Main – Host

Ecology Florida – Co-Founder

Friendship Farms & Fare – Co-Founder

Black Cat Growers – Featured Cottage Industry and Participant

deChant Public Relations – Media Relations

NewsPortRichey – Promoter

Rock the Boat Productions – Promoter

USF Food Activists Revolutionizing Meals – Volunteers

Green Plan Tree Farms – Featured Nursery

City of New Port Richey – Municipal Host and Resolution Provider

Nature Coast Real Food Project – Featured Harvesters and Seller

Cadle’s Cove Farms – Friends of the Loquat

Green Commerce Association – Friend of the Loquat

New Port Richey Public Library – Friend of the Loquat

The West Pasco Fresh Market – Friend of the Loquat

Hudson Middle School – Featured Public School and Harvest Donor

East Madison Growers – Featured Harvesters

Kacey Atkinson – Friend of the Loquat and Harvest Donor

Kira Atkinson – Friend of the Loquat and Harvest Donor

Sue Andreski – Friend of the Loquat

Amber Blais – Friend of the Loquat and Harvest Transporter

Andrea & Paul Brzeski – Friends of the Loquat and Harvest Donors

Wendy Buffington – Friend of the Loquat and Poetry Curator

Don and Cindy Cadle – Friends of the Loquat and Harvest Donors

Brittany Connolly – Friend of the Loquat, Volunteer, and Presenter

Dell and Marilynn deChant – Friends of the Loquat

Jim Kovaleski – Friend of the Loquat and Presenter

Faye Kropik – Friend of the Loquat and Tree Spotter

Shelby Smith – Friend of the Loquat, Volunteer, and Presenter

And many others.

Loquat Festival
Loquat leaves are easily identifiable

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.

Leaves of Loquat

Our poetry chapbook is almost ready for publication. This collection of poems presented at the 2015 festival is edited by Wendy Buffington and published through the support and energy of the New Port Richey Public Library, and Ecology Florida.

Leaves of Loquat is a one of a kind book, and most likely the only poetry publication dedicated entirely to loquats.

A public presentation of the book is planed for later this year, and we’ll notify readers Loquat News readers of the exact date when we have it. We’ll have readings of the poems, reflections by authors, and our editor, Wendy. Books will be available for acquisition. We don’t have a suggested donation yet, but we are thinking is will be $10.

It will be helpful to our planning, if you can let us know if you’d be interested in a copy.

Here is one of this year’s poems to whet your appetite, Carmella Guiol’s “Loquat Morning” :

These days

I wake up with loquats

on the brain.

With my basket in hand

I visit the loquat trees

like old friends.

Which golden globes are ready

for me today?

On my tippiest toes,

I reach for those

highest bundles.

I will leave many

in the sky,

turning from pale green

to the sweetest yellow–

sunlight transformed.

Because who minds sharing

with the birds.

There are more than enough

for us all.

Next Year: Already?


Loquat Festival 1

Opportunity to Participate

We are already planning next year’s festival, with a tentative date of the first Saturday in April. That would make it April 2, 2016.

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 150 jars were sold in less than two hours.

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.



Growers’ Update

If you are growing loquats, your harvest for the season is probably over, and new leaves are beginning to mature. That’s the case for us.

Here at Friendship Farms & Fare, we harvested our last loquats on May 1 – literally, the first day of May. We have harvested as late as June, but not this year. We estimate 100 lbs from the old south tree. We also harvested about 20 lbs from the new trees in the north garden.

Your results may differ, and we’d love to hear about your harvesting experience – and really anything related to your trees and their features.

The trees have their summer foliage now, and should do just fine without much irrigation. For archival purposes, we note that we do not irrigate our trees after they are established (about a year). We also do not fertilize, although we know those who do. Our experience is that loquats thrive without extra water or fertilizer – this is part of what we find so appealing about Florida’s Urban Fruit.

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.


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


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


Ecology Florida, Inc. is a notforprofit organization, with 501(c)(3) designation. Contributions to Ecology Florida, Inc. are tax deductable under section 107 of the Internal Revenue Code.



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