Loquat News #11 – August 2015

Florida Loquat News

The Newsletter of The Florida Loquat Festival

No. 11

August  30, 2015

Celebrating Florida’s Urban Fruit

An Ecology Florida/Friendship Farms & Fare Annual Event

Growers Update

A New Season Begins As Buds Burst Into Flower

The first buds of the 2015-2016 season have now begun to flower. All five threes at the Friendship Farms & Fare grove are covered with those bright white flowers so beloved by Loquat followers and fans.  

If you have trees, take a moment and check to see if they are flowering.  If not, check for buds (at the tips of branches).  Loquats bud and flower at different times – anywhere from late to spring to late summer.  They will even continue to bud and flower into the fall.

So far, for us, five trees are flowering: the three young trees much celebrated last year, and the two older trees that have been producing for over a decade.  We call them Grandfather (on the domestic estate) and Grandmother in the south garden.  

We are anticipating some more of the younger trees to produce this year, but nothing so far — so we continue to watch all of them very closely.

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

2016 Festival Planning

And New Location

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

The Festival will have a new location this year.  Several options are being considered, including locations in Tampa, Lithia, University of South Florida, and New Port Richey.  We’ll keep you posted, and watch the Loquat News for notification of the new location.  We expect to know soon.

We are planning to have another poetry session, perhaps with a different format.  Speaking of which: If you’d like a copy of last year’s poetry collection (Leaves of Loquat), let us know.  We are about to go to print on it.  You’ll find a later section of the News devoted to the book, along with another poem.

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.

Leaves of Loquat

The Poems of the 2nd Annual Loquat Festival

Public Presentation & Recognition of Poets

October 24, Noon to 2:00 PM New Port Richey Public Library

Leaves of Loquat is now in print!  This one-of-a-kind collection of loquat poems will be made available to the public on October 24, at noon, at a special reading and celebration. This collection is most likely the only poetry publication dedicated entirely to loquats.

Please join us at the New Port Richey Library in beautiful downtown New Port Richey, for the unveiling of Leaves of Loquat. The book is a community-created poetry chapbook celebrating the loquat, Florida’s urban fruit. Poets represented in the collection will share their work at this public reading sponsored by Ecology Florida. All are invited to lend their ears and support at this free reading by coming out to listen and get  a taste of what’s in store at next year’s Florida Loquat Festival. If you care about the environment, personal empowerment by growing your own food, or just love poetry by the people, join us on October 24th.

Copies of Leaves of Loquat will be available to the public at the event for a suggested donation of $5.00.  All funds go to support The Florida Loquat Festival.   Advance copies may be ordered from Ecology Florida for $10.   Write to us at:

Ecology Florida

PO Box 596

New Port Richey, FL 34656-0596

You can reach us by email at:



This collection is edited by Wendy Buffington and published through the support and energy of Ecology Florida.  

Here is another of the 2015 year’s poems to whet your appetite, Shawn Dworkin’s  “The Fruited Conscious”:

The Fruited Conscious

Loquat, so vibrant and there,

the warmness brings your fruit to bare.

Yellow is a nice tart.

Orange is sweet.

The ripeness is here–

it’s time to eat.

Municipal in health

and also in mind, picking

the colors consciously

is by conscious design.

Permeating the Florida soil

with some help from you

and I, coupled with urban farming,

there is no reason to sigh,

sigh in a worrisome way,

loquats and conscious fruiting

are here to stay.

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:



Commemorative Brochure


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.  



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.


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