Monday, August 19, 2013

August 2013 Meeting - Oddball Fruits in the Lowcountry

Lowcountry Fruit Growers Society Meeting Minutes
August 18, 2013
Topic: “Oddball Fruits in the Lowcountry” (presentation here)

Announcements and Business:

·      Changed article 4 of group constitution regarding the officers of the group and their election cycle.
·      We elected a new vice president and treasurer:
o   Kathy Woolsey is vice president
o   Zennie Quinn is treasurer
·      Fruitmania GS
o   Malcolm Manners talking about peaches and stone fruits
o   Stan Mackenzie talking about citrus
o   Steve Parsley from Abide-A-While talking about annual fruits
o   Darren Sherrif talking about unusual fruits
o   vendors:
§  Stan McKenzie (citrus)
§  Dwane Ward (sells pomegranates, apples, figs, etc.)
o   There will be door prizes
o   all day for $25, which includes admission to Cypress Gardens
o   there will be a fruit jam and jelly people's choice awards
o   Camellia garden club is bringing chili (meat and vegetarian), drinks, and cornbread, otherwise you can bring your own lunch
o   we're going to set it up online ticket sales
o   there will be a fundraiser for sponsoring the event
o   we need committee chairs, particularly for fundraising
§  Chris Carnevale will try to orchestrate a bare root sale
§  Kathy Woolsey will organize vendors
·      Ideas for other vendors to include:
o   Roots N Shoots
o   Angel Oak Nursery
o   honey vendors

Presentation on Oddball Fruits by Darren Sheriff (presentation here)

·      native to southern China
·      can be grown in most temperate climates with adequate summer heat
·      hardy to 10 degrees
·      here was a big kiwi farm in Awendaw before Hurricane Hugo
·      they fruit just before Christmas
·      they have a lot of vitamin C
·      also known as Chinese Gooseberry
·      they don't like wet feet, but not dry either
·      be careful with fertilizer--it can burn the kiwis
·      you need a male and female plant to get fruit; the male must be within 50 feet of the female vine; 1 male for every 8 females.
·      they grow rampantly and need very strong trellises (i.e. with 6"x6" posts)
·      kiwi can live 50 years
·      they fruit on previous year's growth; so prune annually in winter
·      they will fruit after 3 years; full production after 6 years
·      Darren got his vine from EdibleLandscapes

Prickly Pears
·      native to Southwest US and Mexico
·      they propagate from pads, just stick the pad into some soil and they will
·      you can grow them from supermarket pads
·      they don't like wet feet
·      no pest problems
·      flower in yellow, red, and orange
·      some varieties are tastier fruit than others; also some are seedier than others
·      if you want more fruit, don't add nitrogen; if you want more pads, give it nitrogen
·      harvest when spines fall off; twist the fruit to get it off; you can add the fruits to a bag and shake it up well to take the spines off
·      the juice stains like crazy

·      native to Southern China
·      they have been cultivated for 1,000 years
·      they need full sun or partial shade
·      they need good drainage
·      they are drought tolerant but will fruit better with watering
·      too much nitrogen fertilizer will give you lots of foliage but not as much fruit
·      they are susceptible to fire blight
·      fruit is high in pectin

·      introduced to Texas in 1875
·      tolerates a wide range of temperatures and rainfall
·      they can handle down to 5 degrees
·      the fruit doesn't ship well
·      needs full sun
·      fruit ripens in late summer
·      fruit when less ripe tastes more like an apple; when more ripe, it's more like a date
·      H & L Market in North Charleston sells dried jujubes
·      Darren got his tee from EdibleLandscapes
·      no pest problems except root rot
·      can handle drought and wet feet for a while
·      doesn't need much babying; but if growth is slow, then add a bit of nitrogen
·      there's a nice specimen in the back of Abide A While

·      50% plum, 50% apricot
·      first hybridized in the 1920s by Luther Burbank
·      salt water tolerant
·      self-fruitful
·      full sun, well-draining soil
·      follow horticultural practices similar to plums or apricots
·      there are also pluots (75% plum, 25% apricot) and apriums (75% apricot, 25% plum)

·      pomegranates are one of the oldest cultivated fruits int he world (records go back at least 4,000 years)
·      can handle down to 10 degrees
·      can grow easily from seed
·      root easily from cuttings in January and February
·      there are dwarf varieties for container growing
·      there are ornamental varieties and fruiting varieties
·      they can be prone to root rot--they don't like wet feet
·      they love heat
·      they don't need much fertilizer, just periodic composted manure
·      there is a great book about a pomegranate Gregory Levin Pomegranate Roads
·      someone got a really nice fruiting variety from Hyams
·      they are self-pollinated, but production increases with multiple trees
·      fruit is ripe 6-7 months after flowering

Pineapple Guava
·      somewhat tolerant of drought and salinity, but fruit production
·      they're ripe in about October
·      don't pick fruits off the tree, let them fall to the ground and pick up from the ground
·      the flowers are edible, tasty, and beautiful; squirrels eat the flowers
·      self-fruitful, but more than one will give you better fruit set
·      they grow and spread but they can be pruned in late winter/early spring

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