Eat Local Guide :: Sarasota Edition


For Sarasota Fruit and Nut Society, Every Day Is Exotic

VALERIE J. DIMOND (The Ledger — September 27, 2012)

Elizabetta Braithwaite and Michael Seegert share a Southgate home where fruit-bearing trees, vines and edible plants flourish throughout their garden. The local growers are among more than 100 members of the Sarasota Fruit and Nut Society.

Just a few yards away from a bustling, well-traveled Sarasota street, Michael Seegert and Elizabetta Braithwaite share a little peach house with a red steel roof nestled behind a thick, fragrant cover of edible and ornamental trees, plants, vines, shrubs, tinkling chimes, babbling fountains, angelic statues, birds, butterflies and critters.

Winding stone paths intersect banana and avocado trees, jasmine, lemongrass, berry patches, tomatoes, figs, hibiscus, grape vines, potted mangos, bamboo, bougainvillea and more — much more — so much that the couple is hard-pressed to tell exactly how many different things are germinating in various stages on their nearly quarter-acre patch of paradise.

“We don’t really know,” Braithwaite said, pointing to a green leafy tree with long seed pods hanging from its branches.

“Few people have this one,” she said about the tree, a native of India known as the “Miracle Tree” that the World Health Organization promotes as a nutrient-rich food. “We eat the leaves every day.”

Braithwaite bought the seeds from an online grower but several of their plants and trees also come from the local people they have met through the Sarasota Fruit and Nut Society, a group of more than 100 members who are gearing up for their annual Rare Fruit Tree Sale on Sunday.

View the complete article at The Ledger

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