New Port Richey, FL (March 12, 2016) – Ecology Florida and Friendship Farms & Fare, with the support of the City of New Port Richey, will host the third annual Florida Loquat Festival on Saturday, March 26 from 9:00 to 2:00 p.m. at Frances Avenue Park (6156 Louisiana Avenue, 34653) in New Port Richey.
The festival is a learning and sharing event expanding the knowledge and appreciation of the loquat tree and its fruit. There will be presentations on the cultivation of loquat trees, how to eat its fruit, how to can it and cook with it, and recipes using loquats.
Also featured will be samples for tasting, and a talk on the cultural context of this often overlooked Florida fruit-bearing tree. Trees will be available for sale from licensed Florida nurseries along with fresh fruit, loquat preserves, and other loquat products.
A program, titled “Loquats in planned food producing ecosystems,” will be presented by Taylor Walker of Green Dreams, a sustainable solutions company providing healthy, chemical-free food.
Green Plan Tree Farms located in Brooksville will also be at the festival with loquat trees in several sizes.
A local bakery and three restaurants will join the celebration: Rose’s Bistro Off Main, Leaning Tower of Pizza, Caposey’s Whole Works Restaurant, and That Little Bakery on Grand will all feature loquat-themed baked goods and dishes. Also jams and jellies made from loquats will be available for sale.
Everyone is welcome to come to the festival, which is the only Loquat Festival in the United States. The festival will feature trees, preserves, seeds, recipes, brochures, lectures, poetry, and fresh fruit. Festival shirts also available this year for a suggested donation of $15.
Making a comeback to the festival is “O! Loquat!,” presenting works of local poets. This portion of the event will use an open mic format for reading poetry taking the loquat as subject or central image. All readers are welcome. Official readings begin at 1 p.m. and are to be kept under two minutes (about 300 words).
Anyone interested in submitting a poem may contact Wendy Buffington at firstname.lastname@example.org for details. After the festival and with authors’ permission, readings may be included in future publications of Loquat News. Copies of the poetry chapbook from last year’s “O! Loquat!” will be available at this year’s event.