Tropical South

January, 2004
Regional Report

Shows & Events

Rare Fruit Council Meetings
The Rare Fruit Council International (RFCI) has several groups around the state. Check on the Internet or with your county extension office for meeting dates and times. Visitors are usually welcome, and these meetings are a great place for tasting fruits. The Tampa Chapter will have a Citrus Celebration as part of the Florida State Fair in the Horticultural Building on Sunday, Feb. 8, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. You'll get a chance to see and taste a wide variety of citrus and related
fruits.

Favorite or New Plant

Mulberry Tree
The mulberry tree (Morus species) is naked for a short time now and tends to be a bit coarse in leaf, but for six weeks and more in early spring it produces delicious berries. Prune drastically after bearing to keep the tree as small as possible. I have a 'Tice' variety that has huge leaves and fruit. Nestled among the citrus, it makes a good contrast and produces well even in light shade. Berries can be used for pies, jams, jellies, or wine, and frozen for fruit shakes. What you don't pick will thrill the birds. Plant where dropped berries will become mulch but not stain the clothesline, patio, or drive.

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