New Port Richey, FL (Feb. 24, 2018) – Ecology Florida and Friendship Farms & Fare, with the support of the City of New Port Richey, will host the fifth annual Florida Loquat Festival on Saturday, March 24 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Frances Avenue Park (6156 Louisiana Avenue, 34653) in New Port Richey.
The festival is a learning and sharing event to help expand 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, including 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.
“To the best of our knowledge, the Florida Loquat Festival in New Port Ric
hey, Florida is the only loquat festival in the United States of America. There are loquat festivals in other parts of the world, including China and Japan, but so far we’ve not learned of any others in the USA” said Dell deChant, one of the events organizers.
This year’s loquat festival will have more cultivars and seed-grown varieties than ever before, and perhaps the most ever in any one place. “We have at least two certified nurseries confirmed and we might have a third,” noted deChant.
Pete Kanaris of Green Dreams located in Brooksville, is the owner of the sustainable solutions company that will feature a wide variety of loquat trees, including Golden Nugget, Christmas, Premier and Sherry. Green Dreams and other nurseries will have at least 100 trees at the event.
Joining Green Dreams will be Friendship & Fare from New Port Richey, one of the sponsors of the event. Their trees are all seed-grown, with seeds selected from the best trees in their high-yielding grove, which is part of their urban farm. Friendship & Fare curators report that their trees produce fruit in two to three years.
deChant also added that the trees go very quickly and encourages event visitors to come early. It opens at 9 a.m. and closes at 2 p.m. at Frances Avenue Park in New Port Richey (6156 Louisiana Ave., 34653). The event program begins at 10 a.m., which includes a poetry reading with the focus on the loquat fruit.
The festival will have preserves, seeds, recipes, brochures, lectures, poetry, and fresh fruit. Festival shirts will also be available. For more information about this event scheduled for March 24 (9 a.m. to 2 p.m.), call Marilynn deChant at (727) 849-1626.