For those who have always wanted to grow their own longan, lychee, figs, coconuts, mangoes, cherries and macadamia nuts, perhaps their opportunity has come.
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, the Manatee Rare Fruit Council will host its 29th Annual Rare Fruit Tree Sale at the Bradenton Area Convention Center.
The event offers free parking and admission.
“It’s now touted as the largest rare fruit tree sale in the southeastern states,” said Betty Kearns, an assistant with the Manatee Rare Fruit Council, which has held the event for 28 years to raise money for scholarships and to maintain the two-and-a-half-acre rare fruit grove at Palma Sola Botanical Gardens in Bradenton, near Robinson Preserve.
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What makes this year unique is a record number (25) of rare fruit tree vendors and a record number (200) of rare fruit varieties, Kearns added.
“There will be 25 different mango and 10 different avocado varieties and, of course, a citrus vendor,” Kearns said.
Vendors are friendly and don’t mind offering planting and other tips, Kearns added.
Kearns has some advice for first-timers: “Come early because the line is long and bring a wheelbarrow or wagon to put your purchases in.”
Manatee County is in a good growing zone, which makes it possible for homeowners to grow rare fruit such as mangoes, macadamia nuts, avocado, guava, jackfruit, longan, persimmon, raspberries, peaches, cherries, coconut, fig, passion fruit, sugar apples, bananas and more.
If you go:
- What: 29th Annual Rare Fruit Tree Sale
- When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday
- Where: Bradenton Area Convention Center, 1 Haben Blvd., Palmetto
- Admission: Free admission and free parking
- Information: 941-723-9879