Sunday, September 27, 2015

Florida Grown Cherries & More

West Palm Beach, Fla.--"The Connoisseur Garden Tour," by Mounts Botanical Garden is a great way to find new fruit. Several private owners across Palm Beach County opened their gardens to the public for a Mother's Day weekend tour. The cost is $25 per person for a two days exploration and some nibbling from gardens with edible fruit trees and plants.

Florida grown Strawberry Tree berry, Cummings Garden, West Palm Beach
Fla., Copyright 2015 by Helen A Lockey
One such garden was The Cummings Garden owned by Michael Cummings and Lisa Goss. The land was purchased in 1987 but work on its present form didn't start until 1997 when Cummings got together with Goss.

Florida grown Grumichama Cherry, Cummings Garden, West
Palm Beach, Fla.
Copyright 2015 by Helen A Lockey
The standouts of edible fruit at this garden were the different varieties of cherries and berries. The most interesting was the Grumichama Cherry (a.k.a. Brazil Cherry). "It is the closest to the Bing cherry, " said Goss, handing me a small, slightly soft, dark purple skinned fruit. It was very juicy with slight cherry flavor followed by a spruce needle aftertaste.

Florida grown Barbados Cherry, Cummings Garden, Fla.
Copyright 2015 by Helen A Lockey
Another delicious cherry was the Barbados cherry, which was growing in a bush on the side of the house. It tasted similar to a rose hip with a touch of salt but the flesh was juicier than a rose hip.

There was also a remarkable fruit tree named a Strawberry Tree (pictured at the top of the article). It had bright red cherry-like fruit that tasted faintly like cotton candy.

There were many more plants and gardens on the tour. To find out about the 2016 Connoisseur Garden Tour go to Mounts website.

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