Redland Fruit Fest offers a taste of South Florida
RODOLFO ROMANExotic and homegrown crops will be showcased in a South Florida festival celebrating the richness and flavor of Florida's best fruit.
Published: June 6, 2012
Published: June 6, 2012
The Redland Summer Fruit Fest will showcase crops and plants grown at the Fruit & Spice Park, 24801 Southwest 187th Avenue, in Homestead from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 16 and 17. Admission is $8 and children under 11 years old are free.
Fruit & Spice Park Manager Christ Rollins said it's an appreciation to South Florida crops.
"This event is held in June to showcase the rich bounty and selection of tropical fruit available at that time," he stated in an email.
The Fruit Fest features educational garden and agricultural exhibits and a giant exhibit of more than a 100 mango varieties and tropical fruit from around the globe.
They'll be plenty of opportunities to bring some of the flavors home, as vendors will sell fruit trees, herbs, flowering trees, palms, garden supplies, orchids and native plants.
For those who are hungry, lunch will be available from a variety of food vendors and fresh tropical fruits and vegetables will be for sale. Visitors will have a chance to taste the crops, too.
For children there will be a fishing pond, games and a watermelon-eating contest.
The park is located in the Redland Agricultural Community. It is in an area of warm winter climate and has commercially produced avocados, mangos, lime and papayas for more than 100 years, said Rollins. It has hosted a summer fruit event for the last 20 years, and it dates back to the 1930s, he added.
The 37-acre park grows more than 500 varieties of fruit. They include exotic crops from around the world and many native Florida edible plants.
Lychee, longan, mamey sapote, dragon fruit, guava, passion fruit, banana, sugar apple, star fruit, jackfruit, black sapote, canistel and sapodilla are all recent crops.
"This event provides an opportunity to share the rich lore and tradition of farming and gardening in subtropical Florida," Rollins stated. "These crops have been core to the settlement and growth of South Florida agriculture."
Almost 3,000 people have attended the weekend festival, but numbers are expected to increase, said Rollins.
Those from foreign countries don't have travel far to taste their favorite fruit from their native land.
"Many of the rare and exotic fruit at the Fruit & Spice Park have emerged in the last few years to become important crops," he said. "There are many fruits in the garden and at the festival that still may do so. Markets for new fruits and vegetables have interesting niche markets to health minded, ethnic and resort groups."
Overall, Rollins said it will be an enjoyable time.
"Come out for an enjoyable day, stand in the shade and eat mangos," he said.