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  What's happening

   at the FarmFest...
 

  • Mango tasting table

  • Guest Speakers

  • Hands-On learning on Agricultural topics

  • Farm tours

  • and more


     

June 23, 2024
2nd Annual Gatherings Grove Mango FarmFest 

Gatherings Grove is hosting our FarmFest again this year after our first event was so well received. We're excited about welcoming everyone back following the devastation of Pine Island from Hurricane Ian in 2022. That is quite a story in itself and maybe some will be interested in what we learned thru the recovery. This FarmFest is "On-Farm" and provides a wonderful opportunity to tour our mango grove, meet vendors, and attend seminars on various agricultural topics.  Live music, fresh food, mango tasting and great people make our Mango FarmFest an absolute "must see!" 

2024 Mango FarmFest Speakers 

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Topic: 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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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 of South America 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.

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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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Topic:  Growing Mangoes and Tropical Fruit in Southwest Florida

 

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 mangoes, avocados and a collection of rare tropical fruits not found anywhere else.

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Topic: Perennial Medicinals

 

Erica Klopf was raised in Naples, Florida and is dedicated to the development of sustainable landscapes in South Florida. Erica has designed gardens as far south as Key West as far north as Orlando, up and down the west and east coast of Florida, and recently virtually in Mexico.  She has designed and consulted for prestigious organizations such as the JW Marriott, Pulte Homes, and the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation.  From 2019-2023, she took time away from designing to gain hands-on experience working in botanical gardens, small farms, and a fruit tree nursery called Fruitscapes, where she is still involved on a seasonal basis for mango season. When Erica isn't designing, she is gardening at her 1/4 acre urban Fort Myers house where she stewards a collection of over 250 varieties of edible and medicinal plants. 

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Topic: Introducing a Selection of Alternative Edible Greens

Jay Reynolds has spent 40 years working as an engineer and in farming. Starting in the Caribbean, then Arkansas, he moved to Florida in 2017 to establish Treehouse Permaculture Farm where he grows tropical fruits and vegetables on 4 acres in Bokeelia, on Pine Island.

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