Tropical Fruit Fiesta comes to Little White House
With 100-year-old mango and avocado trees on the Little White House property, Grimal Grove founder Patrick Garvey said it was a no-brainer picking a Key West spot for this year’s Tropical Fruit Fiesta. Going into its third year, the event is moving its roots to The Little White House to bring the Big Pine Key grove a little more attention.
“This is the best way to grow the tropical fruit culture,” he said. “Take it on the road.”
In partnership with the University of Florida’s Monroe County Extension, the event started in the ’90s and then took a hiatus after eight years. It was brought back to Grimal Grove a few summers ago and has continued to grow in popularity with locals.
“This is a great way to bring more visibility to the grove,” said Garvey, who founded The Growing Hope Initiative in 2011 and bought Grimal Grove in 2013.
The grove, established in 1955 by horticulturalist Adolph Grimal, fell into near-disrepair after Grimal’s death and Hurricane Georges. What was once a tropical fruit oasis with exotic trees, some found in the United States only at the grove, was overrun with invasive plants until Garvey saw the diamond in the rough.
Garvey’s vision to revitalize the property includes environmental and agricultural innovation, community involvement, “volun-tourism” and entrepreneurship for local agriculturalists.
The fiesta will include fruit tree sales, from one-gallon plants to 25-gallon plants, food from Irie Island Eats, fruity cocktails, Chef Russ Ferstle from Firefly showing off bite sized tropical dishes and recipes, live jazz music, fruit talks about the history of mangos in South Florida and fruit tree disease control, “Plant the Piney” pineapple event for kids of all ages, and a diverse selection of tropical fruits for sale from jack fruit and soursop, to rambutans and mangos.
Tropical Fruit Fiesta
Saturday, June 24
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Truman Little White House
111 Front St, Key West