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1:00 pm - 2:00 pm Main Tent

Topic: Mangoes in Agroforestry


Matthew Reese has been a permaculture practitioner for more than a decade and has designed and developed many agroforestry sites in the state of Florida. He currently manages his own family farm in Punta Gorda specializing in mangoes, bananas, pineapples, and many other fruit crops. His background as a civil/coastal engineer and surveyor have given him a unique vision and skill set to help others develop working systems for themselves.

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12:00 pm - 1:00 pm Main Tent

Topic: Lessons in Grafting.


We're honored to have

Har Mahdeem, an expert on various topics of tropical fruit, at our Farm Fest this year. You won't want to miss this presentation. Har has an entire lifetime of experience with tropical fruit. He grew up in the Amazon region consuming rare jungle fruits and later worked with the famous Zill nursery on their Annona breeding program and various germplasm collection trips.

He has traveled extensively in Florida and has more recently been working with the local mango growers as a consultant on Pine Island.


We Apologize this Topic is Cancelled

Topic: Wild Edible Plant Identification Farm Tour.


Andy’s pleasure is working with plants. His deepest field of study has been with the wild edible and medicinal plants that grace Florida’s wild places. He is author of “Florida Foraging: Volume One: 150 Common Wild Edible Plants of Florida.

In 1993, Andy began hosting wild edible plant walks across Florida. Over 30,000 people have attended these walks, and he leads as many as ten each month throughout the state of Florida. He is the co-founder of YamFest! – the perennial vegetables celebration that was first hosted at HEART in Lake Wales.

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2:00 pm - 3:00 pm Main Tent

Topic: Revisiting the History of the Gatherings Grove Farm; A Personal Perspective.


Steve Cucura, together with Jesse Avalos, has created a Tropical Fruit Paradise with Fruitscapes. With their dedication and knowledge of tropical fruit trees as well as their trusted, informed and well managed staff every tree is cared for from sprout to ripeness.

As a customer you can look forward to all the varieties of trees you have grown to love as well some new ones. A member of the Rare Fruit Council, Fruitscapes Nursery embraces diversity, manifested by dozens of varieties of mango’s and a collection of rare tropical fruits not found anywhere else.

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3:00 pm - 4:00 pm Main Tent

Topic: Managing the Pitfalls of Raised Bed and Potted Plant Gardening.


Jay Reynolds is a dedicated Farm Owner and Operator at Treehouse Permaculture Farm in Bokeelia, Florida on Pine Island.

He has spent the last several years developing 4 acres of a sandy Florida Island into an amazing Tropical Food Forest.

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4:00 pm - 5:00 pm Main Tent

Topic: Starting From Scratch; Building a Sustainable Living Environment in Southwest Florida


Randy and Dana Ryan moved to Pine Island with a vision of establishing an earth friendly living space in Southwest Florida. Randy will be speaking about  their experiences and what they have learned along the way.

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