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‘Taste of Lee’ rare fruit celebration today

By Staff | Jul 18, 2009

There will be no shortage of the unique and the unusual at today’s second annual “Taste of Lee”, a celebration of rare fruit, small farms, and the small farmers of Lee County.
Co-sponsored by the Caloosa Rare Fruit Exchange and the University of Florida/IFAS (Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences) program, this year’s taste is expanding on the surprise success of last year’s event.
Moved from the Riverside Community Center to the First Baptist Church in Downtown Fort Myers, the added space at this year’s taste will give guests the chance to experience everything the event has to offer.
Publicity Chairwoman Rachel Singletary said there will be plenty of fruit available.
“We went to Pine Island and Homestead and got some great stuff,” she said. “We picked for six hours in Homestead … we have some great stuff.”
One of the small farmers taking part on the taste is Ken Ryan, who own Herban Gardens in North Fort Myers.
Like a lot of last year’s participants, Ryan was surprised by how successful the event turned out to be. The Riverside Community Center was packed wall to wall with bodies.
“The sheer numbers were amazing,” Ryan said. “I spoke with a lot of people and heard a lot of feedback.”
Ryan will be featured at a table where he’ll teach container gardening. At Herban Gardens, Ryan uses containers to grow a lot of his herbs. His businesses has been steady and successful for many years.
“I’m going to be explaining to people the process of container gardening, trying to give them as much information as I can.”
Ryan will be but one of many demonstrators, vendors, and volunteers who will make the second taste possible.
Though the tasting table will probably draw the most attention, there will be plenty of information about local growers and how to support their efforts.
Entry fees for the second annual Taste of Lee are $1 per person over 12 years of age, or a can of food, which will be donated to CCMI Food Ministries.