Meeting Archive

An archive of past Lowcountry Fruit Growers Society Meetings

For those meetings with links, click on them for notes and presentations 

LFGS Meeting Minutes, October 19, 2014


·      Membership:
o   We are holding off membership dues until the new year. It is $10 per year. We will always renew memberships in January of each year to keep things easy.
o   Sandee Bauer is becoming the membership chair to keep track of memberships
·      Refreshments:
o   We are stopping doing “official” refreshments, but everyone is welcome to bring anything they want to bring
·      Cypress Gardens Lunch & Learn:
o   the upcoming Cypress Gardens Lunch & Learn will be a permaculture presentation by Nick Tittle, who managed a tropical nursery in Thailand
o   Master Gardeners get continuing education credit
o   You can bring a dish to share
·      Fruitmania 2015
o   January 17, 2015
o   Stan McKenzie will be bringing plants for sale
o   Speakers are TBD
o   There will be a fruit jam & jelly contest and an “other” category contest
o   Admission is capped at 125
o   We will give some free tickets for students
·      Southeast Citrus Expo 2015 will be at Cypress Gardens next year, November 20-21, 2015
o   Friday, Nov. 20 is the citraholic dinner
o   Saturday is the expo and conference

Officer Election:
  • Darren was re-elected president
  • Kathy was re-elected vice president
  • Chris was re-elected secretary
Topic & Discussion
·      Clean up leaves & debris, etc. and replace with mulch
·      Make sure your mulch really well. It will help insulate the roots.
·      Kathy says that citrus likes bare ground in the summer, but mulch in the winter. Don’t hoe, dig, or cultivate weeds or soil around citrus roots.
·      You can protect your cold-sensitive plants over winter by pulling up some mulch or leaves up around the base of the plant, especially around the graft if it is a grafted tree.
·      You should go ahead and get your over-wintering area ready now (greenhouse, sunroom, garage, etc.) so that it is cleaned up and ready to go in case a freeze sneaks up.
·      Garden centers put a lot of stuff on clearance during the late fall, so you can stock up on some things.
·      Frost protection:
o   If freezing temperatures do occur, make sure the plants are well watered in from the trunk of the tree out to the edge of the drip line.
o   There is a frost protection fabric that you can drape over your plants. You can get it at WalMart in Mt. Pleasant or Lowes—a product called FrostProof.
o   You can get sheets at a thrift shop like Goodwill—you can get king-size sheets for just a few dollars.
o   You can set up Christmas lights around your plants to stay on over night and keep them warm.
·      If you get freeze damage, don’t prune it off til it wakes up in the spring.
·      Other winter stuff to do:
o   Sharpen your tools
o   Fix up your birdhouses

LFGS Meeting, August 17, 2014

I. Fruitmania 2015
a.     Will take place January 17 at Cypress Gardens
b.     We will come up with committees with chairmen
                                               i.     Publicity
                                              ii.     Registration  
c.      You can nominate topics, speakers, or vendors—speakers don’t need to be PhDs etc.
d.     Other ideas:
                                               i.     Mike and Sandee say, keep food separate from tickets 
II. Southern Fruit Fellowship is having its conference in Florence, August 21-24
III. Irvin House Vineyard is having its annual Grape Stomp, August 23
IV. North Charleston Plant Swap is coming up, September 27

LFGS Meeting, January 19, 2014
28 people in attendance

Presentation on Integrate Pest Management by Zack Snipes, Charleston County Clemson Extension

·      Types of controls:
o   Cultural Control
§  Fertility practices, sanitation, reflective mulches
o   Biological Control
o   Chemical Control
·      Insects
o   Pests vs. natural enemies
o   Pests-in-order for the system to work, pests have to be present
o   Natural enemies
§  Predators—actively hunt pests. Generalists and fairly specifc hunters.
§  Parasitoids—most effective natural enemy. Larvae declop inside of host to prevent them to getting to maturity.
·      Fertilization program
o   Increased nitrogen is attractive to phloem feeding insects
o   Healthy plants are less susceptible to attack
·      Biological controls
o   Provide habitat for beneficials
o   Need plants with small flowers
o   Beneficial insects have small “tongues”
o   Adults need pollen to complete thir life cycle
o   Brassicas, umbelliferae or apicaeae, and elderflowers
·      Chemical Control
o   Protect beneficials
o   Caterpillars
§  Bt—Bacillus thuringiensis
o   Insecticidal soaps
§  Physically smothers insects
o   Neem oil
§  Chewing and sucking insects
o   Broad spectrum insecticides cause problems
·      Spotted Wing Drosophila
·      Spotted Wind Drosophila—Drosophila suzukii
o   Not a true fruit fly
o   Infects sound fruit; not rotten fruit
o   Female ovipositor deposits eggs into fruit
o   Thick skinned fruit is less susceptible
§  Muscadines, peaches, apples
o   Have been reported in blackberries
o   Management practices are currently being developed
·      Spider Mites
o   Pest—two-spotted spider mite
o   Predator—red mites and some species of thrips
·      Aphids
o   Will see aphids on a variety of fruits and vegetables
o   High infestation needed for action
o   Lady bird beetles are a very effective natural enemy
o   Parasitic wasps
·      Recommendations
o   Increase beneficial insect habitat
o   Avoid using broad spectrum insecticides
§  Look at active ingredients
§  Avoid using broad spectrum insectidies
·      Look at active ingredients
·      Avoid pyrethroids, neonicitinoids, and organophosphates
·      Spray late in afternoon if spraying is necessary to not spray pollinators
·      Avoid using same active ingredients in successive applications
§  scout, scout, scout
·      dispose of pests manually
·      Disease needs three things—a conducive environment (humidit
·      Botrytis gray mold
·      Powdery mildew
·      Downy mildew
·      Anthracnose
·      Cultural practices to avoid disease:
o   Sunshine
o   Drip vs overhead watering
o   Select varieties with disease resistance
o   Grafting
§  Watermelon-fusarium wilt
§  Tomato-southern blight
§  Peaches-armillaria root rot
o   Prune to achieve increased airflow
o   Sanitation
§  Remove diseased fruit, leaves, buds, limbs
§  Pick fruit when they are ripe
o   Rotation
o   Take care of plants post harvest

Update from Kathy on Fruitmania:
·      We have 33 tickets sold and some fruit trees: in total, we’ve raised about $1,000
·      Most people who have bought tickets are not LFGS members
·      We’ve gotten the word out in all sorts of ways
·      On the afternoon of Fruitmania, Dr. Manners is going to do a presentation on roses, which is one of his specialties. It will cost $10 extra for the rose presentation. Call Cypress Gardens to reserve a seat for the rose program.
·      We need to come up with thank-you gifts for our speakers
·      The schedule is:
o   9:00 – 10:00 Stan McKenzie
o   10:00 – 11:00 Malcolm Manners
o   11:00 – 12:00 Steve Parsley
o   12:00 – 1:30 Lunch
o   1:30 – 2:30 Darren or Jim
o   2:30 – 3:30 Darren or Jim
o   3:30 – 4:00 All-speaker Q&A panel
o   4:00 – leftover door prizes, announce jam contest winner
·      there will be 10 minute breaks in between each presentation; with door prizes given during each break

For February LFGS meeting, we’ll meet at Cypress Gardens and have a class on bareroot plants

Across from the big parking lot, there’s an area for greenhouse, event deliveries, etc.

We will meet at 1:00 pm.

August 18, 2013
Topic: Oddball Fruits in the Lowcountry

June 19, 2013 Minutes


    •    we have the magazine exchange.  Please feel free to borrow magazines and bring in material to lend.
    •    spread business cards for LFGS
    •    no meeting next month (July)
    •    next meeting will be August 18
    •    if you haven't paid your dues yet, please do.  They are just $10/year.
    •    Fruitmania GS (Garden School) is coming up in February 2014... get excited!!!
    •    Southern Fruit Fellowship newsletters are in the magazine exchange.  Consider joining the Fellowship for just $10 per year.  More information here.

Presentation on beekeeping by Jim Strohm.  See photos here. 

May 19, 2013 Minutes

   •    Next month's meeting will be on the third Sunday even though it is on Father's Day
    •    Dues are $10 per year, please pay
    •    Fruitmania GS is coming up in February 2014... get excited!!!

Presentation on growing citrus in the Lowcountry

April 21, 2013 Minutes

    •    Plant Swap - 120 people; 2,500 plants exchanged
    •    GrowFood Carolina work day -
    •    Plantasia - went well; LFGS was represented there
    •    April 29 - Darren will be at the Horticultural Society to talk about fruit growing; 10 am
    •    Southern Fruit Fellowship - memberships are $10

Presentation on general fruit growing:
   •    moist, good draining soil
    •    lots of sun
    •    reputable plant source
    •    blackberries
    ⁃    two types: erect and semi-trailing
    ⁃    semi's are thornless.  ereect could be either
    ⁃    both varieties handle zero degrees
    ⁃    drought tolerant, can be grown in containers, need extra water during fruiting
    ⁃    lack of water will produce small, hard, immature fruit
    ⁃    fertilize blackberries in early spring and then again right after harvest
    ⁃    use a complete fertilizer, 10-10-10 or 16-16-8
    ⁃    will grown in different soil types, but avoid heavy clay
    ⁃    pruning in early- to mid-spring
    ⁃    disease control
    ⁃    plant disease resistant cultivars
    ⁃    practice good weed control
    ⁃    use only fungicide that is specifically approved for the fruit
    ⁃    destroy plants if heavily infected
    ⁃    avoid overhead irrigation. Water in morning if possible.
    ⁃    oragne rust
    ⁃    fruit rot
    ⁃    erect:
    ⁃    cheyenne
    ⁃    cherokee
    ⁃    shawnee
    ⁃    kiowa
    ⁃    semi-erect:
    ⁃    gem
    ⁃    black satin
    ⁃    hull
    •    raspberries
    ⁃    "golden" raspberries
    •    blueberries
    ⁃    rabbit eye and southern high bush
    ⁃    early, mid-, and late- season varieties available for both
    ⁃    rabbiteye
    ⁃    adapted for all of SC
    ⁃    most productive and pest tolerant
    ⁃    southern high bush
    ⁃    hybrid of northern and southern natives
    ⁃    lower chilling required (look for 600 - 800 hours)
    ⁃    greater tolerance to high summer heat
    ⁃    better drought tolerance
    ⁃    self-fertile but you'll be better off with cross-pollination
    ⁃    excess fertilizer will burn roots
    ⁃    little pruning is needed in first 5 years, just dead or damaged shoots
    ⁃    netting is good for keeping birds away, but shiny objects aren't necessarily

March 2013 - Native Fruits
 29 in attendance
Meeting minutes:
  • Reading of minutes from previous meeting
  • Announcements:
    • GrowFood Carolina is continuing to have weekly Saturday morning work parties at their demonstration garden at 990 Morrison Drive, downtown.  Darren will be helping with fruit matters at the garden on Saturday, March 30 at 9:00 am.
    • The Bee and Honey Expo will take place on April 7 at Cinebarre in Mt. Pleasant, hosted by Charleston Area Beekeepers Association.
    • The North Charleston Plant Swap is April 20 in Park Circle, starting at 10:00 am.
    • Lowcountry Fruit Growers Society had a great day at the Carolina Yard Garden School yesterday, met dozens of people and sold about a dozen blueberry plants to raise funds for the group.
  • Presentation by Katie Ellis - "Native Fruits"
    • There are lots of benefits to planting native plants
    • Some of our best fruits are native
      • Blackberry
      • Blueberry
      • Paw Paw
      • American Persimmon
      • etc.
    • Places to buy native plants:
      • SC Native Plant Society bi-annual plant sale
      • Spring Island plant sale
      • Church Creek
      • Roots & Shoots
    • Other resources

February 2013 - How to Grow Your Own Pineapple Fruit
 19 in attendance
Pictures Here
Meeting Minutes:
  • Reading of minutes from previous meeting
  • Presentation by Kathy Woolsey - "How to Grow Your Own Pineapple Fruit"
    • See her handout on how to grow pineapples here.
  • Announcements:
    • Carolina Yard Garden School, March 16
      • We will have a booth there and are selling blueberry bushes on consignment from Darren's nursery
      • The LFGS has a banner that will be on display at our booth there
      • Darren will be giving demonstrations on how to make permanent aluminum tags
    •  Cypress Gardens Flower Show, March 1
      • the theme is "Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow"
    •  GrowFood Carolina (990 Morrison Drive) is having a work day on an upcoming Saturday
    • Native Plant Society plant sale, March 16 at Charlestowne Landing
      • they will have blueberries, paw paws, and other native plants
    • Charleston Permaculture guild meeting, Tuesday the 19th at 7:00 at GrowFood Carolina (990 Morrison Drive)

January 2013
Growing Figs in the Lowcountry

November 2012 - Introductory Meeting
Meeting Minutes

18 people in attendance
  • we are a new society, so bear with us as we get on the ground
  • we will be about everything fruit
  • we will talk about what fruits grow well here and where to get them
  • we will have workshops on topics like beekeeping, grafting, integrated pest management, how to preserve fruit, espaliering & training growth
  • If you give us your email address, we'll keep you up to date on upcoming events, etc.  You won't get a lot of spam, etc.
  • On the registration form, you are asked what types of fruit you are interested in so that we can offer the correct workshop subjects, etc.
  • Dragonfruit cuttings and Meyer Lemons were given away--this group will be a good opportunity for sharing fruit and propagation materials
  • we can do mini-plant swaps, raffles, etc.
  • Darren has brought in a bunch of American Fruit Grower magazines--we can have a magazine exchange
  • Website update
    • can we set up a "Caution" section on the website so that we can warn each other about bad varieties or nurseries, etc.?
    • let's set up a "favorite fruit recipes" section of the site
  • Logo--does anyone have graphic design skills?
    • Jennifer Tolentino might be able to help 
    • Jennifer can draw something by hand
    • Ray Wilson can help with digitizing and tweaking on the computer
  • Buying Club
    • Dominick & Shirley have put together a buyers club
    • we could buy plants, soil amendments, frost protection
  •  Newsletter - we could get people's personal stories
  • Meetings
    • let's change the meeting time for 3:00, instead of 2:00
    • let's meet monthly, instead of every other month
  •  Membership
    • what will we do with the dues? 
    • pay a little something to guest presenters
    • we can bring snacks for the meetings
    • Pam will volunteer to be the refreshments coordinator
  •  Darren shared about cheap, simple, greenhouse construction
    • 2 x 4s, poly plastic, electric heater on a timer
    • sliding glass doors from Habitat ReStore can be a nice way to go
    • something even easier is to make a PVC 
    • trash cans, pickle barrels to fill with water and use as thermal mass
    • Jennifer Tolentino says that she has some single pane windows that she can share with the group
  • Other ideas for the group: 
    • maybe everyone could bring their favorite recipes for fruits in season to meetings
    • we could do field trips to growers
    • for fundraising, we could set up a plant sale where we order in a batch of bulk plants and have a plant sale
    • we could tie the group to Garden Clubs of South Carolina and we could piggyback off of their nonprofit status.  Trish is the officer we would deal with there if we wanted to do that.  Insurance/liability is another issue for hosting events.  We could get that through the Garden Clubs of SC.  The state garden club connects with the national Garden Clubs.
    • Arbor Day events--we could plant a fruit tree at a local school.  Local schools have gardens that we might be able to help 
    • Palmetto Pride has grants available for public plantings, etc.
    • Carmen [Hamline?] might have money available for projects like planting trees at schools.  
  • Next meeting January 20 at 3:00 here at the Armory building

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