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Things are getting fruity on June 25

A customer takes home a fruit tree at last year’s fiesta.
A customer takes home a fruit tree at last year’s fiesta. Growing Hope Initiative

The Lower Keys are getting fruity on June 25.

That’s when, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Florida Keys Tropical Fruit Fiesta takes place at the Grimal Grove, 258 Cunningham Lane on Big Pine Key. For that day, nowhere else in the Keys can you be in one location and learn so much about planting, common problems and harvesting tropical fruit trees. Many tropical fruit trees you may have never even seen are at the grove.

Some highlights of the festival:

▪ Tropical fruits and trees for sale.

▪ Expert speakers.

▪ Fruit displays and tasting.

▪ Plant clinic with University of Florida experts.

▪ Kid’s activities.

▪ Fruit cooking demonstrations.

▪ Live music .

▪ Sales vendors and non-profit groups.

▪ Silent auction and raffle.

▪ Educational exhibits.

▪ Petting zoo with animals from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.

Speakers will be Patrick Garvey, director of Grimal Grove, who will talk about the vision for the grove; Jeff Wasielewski, UF Institute for Food and Agricultural Sciences, on why fruit might not grow; and Richard Campbell from the Fairchild Tropical Garden in Coral Gables. Lectures begin at 9:30 a.m.

This is a zero-waste event; bring your own water bottle or purchase a Grimal Grove bottle to fill up at a free watering holes. Also, bring your reusable grocery bags to carry home your fruit.

The Florida Keys Tropical Fruit Fiesta is produced by the Growing Hope Initiative and sponsored by the University of Florida/IFAS/Monroe County Extension. Call (305) 923-6663 or send an e-mail to patrickbgarvey@gmail.com for more information.

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