Now is an excellent time of the year to join a horticultural club in your area. We, at the Rare Fruit Council International in Miami, are gearing up for peak fruit season.
As the warmer months approach, our gardens experience renewed opportunities to welcome new plants, and enjoy new fruits. Take a look around your neighborhood, we bet you will see many trees flowering; mango trees are in full bloom right now. Come summer, they – along with sugar apples, avocados, and mamey – will be covered in deliciously delightful fruit.
While you wait for the fruit to bear, plan to attend members only workshops and field trips; through the council Read More
In recent years, Monstera plants have become a star of our Instagram and Pinterest feeds. This tall, tropical
plant, also known as the “swiss cheese plant”, has perforated leaves, a vibrant green color that
resembles its natural habitat in the jungle, and is well recognized as a house plant. But here in South Florida, we know this plant is as popular inside as out; we often find it anchoring landscapes.
There is so much to love about this plant. From its “delicious” sounding Latin name (Monstera deliciosa), to its iconic leaves, there’s something in it for everyone. What you may not realize, however, is this familiar plant also provides us Read More
If there’s been one positive outcome from the pandemic sheltering it’s the returned focus many home gardens have received. Perhaps, having finally completed that horticultural honey-do list, you now find yourself with a perfectly packed landscape. And maybe, just maybe, you’re itching for your next challenge. If so, let me introduce you to Garcinia mangostana, or mangosteen, as they are more commonly known.
While mangosteens are a tropical plant, natively grown in rich soils close to the equator, Bill Whitman did successfully first fruit one in Miami in 1977. Mangosteens occasionally make appearances at Miami-area fruit sales, but it’s not without a herculean effort.
The well-drained, alkaline soil of south Florida Read More
Saturday, March 14th, 2020 was field trip day for members of the Rare Fruit Council. We ventured south, deep into Monroe County, and landed at Big Pine Key’s Grimal Grove with the intent to plant some rare fruit trees.
Grimal Grove is an interesting place. Adolf Grimal established the grove in 1955, the same year we established our club. It was Adolf’s exotic journeys and fruit collecting trips that helped us establish southern Florida as the place in the continental US to cultivate rare fruit species. We are thankful for Adolf’s lifelong membership.
Today Grimal Grove is owned and directed by Patrick Garvey who, as a member, maintains the Grove’s Read More
Do you know anyone who has just one orchid? Personally, I know many people who have precisely zero orchids, and, among my friends in the rare fruit council, a great deal of people who care for quite a few. But I can’t think of anyone who owns just one orchid, and Dr. Alan Chambers – the RFCI’s most recent guest speaker – bets that you can’t either.
Dr. Chambers considers orchids to be one of those plants that quickly become an obsession, and they certainly did for him. As an assistant professor at the UF Tropical Research Education Center, Dr. Chambers focuses on identifying economically viable crops for southern Florida and Read More
On August 14th, 2019 at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden (FTBG), the Rare Fruit Council Int’l. (RFCI), Miami had the pleasure of hosting Counter Culture, a boutique kombucha company headquartered in South Florida. Buster Brown, one of Counter Culture’s founders, along with Laura Sutton represented the brand and shared a great deal of information about fermentation, the health benefits of kombucha, and their philosophy on tropical fruit flavorings. As a home brewer myself, I found the discussion particularly enlightening, and it made me wonder if perhaps making kombucha is more art than science.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s a fair amount of science in play because kombucha, by definition, is a Read More
It’s mango season and we just can’t get enough of them. Small, big, yellow, green, mangoes comes in so many shapes and sizes; there are over a thousand varieties of mango, each sporting a unique look, feel, and flavor. With all the variety, it’s no wonder some regard mango as the king of all fruits.
Mangoes originated over 4,000 years ago in India where they are considered a symbol of life, and were introduced into Southeast Asia about 2500 years ago. Today you will find both Indian and Asian cultivars of mango available for sale worldwide.
Those of you lucky enough to have Read More
If you grew up in the tropics you know: a guava is perfectly ripe when you can smell it without even putting it to your nose; some you can detect from across the room. They taste is uniquely tropical, almost a combination between a strawberry and a pear. The soft flesh surrounds hundreds of hard little, edible seeds - don't bother to chew them. Its juice is frequently referred to as "the nectar of the gods."