I hope this note finds you well.
Where should I begin? How about a bad hail storm last month and a bad thunderstorm on 4/19/2019 to start? Between these two storms, many developing mangoes have been blown off the trees and some have hail damage to the fruit (see photos). This is certainly going to lower the yield for this year’s crop.
Oh well, there is nothing you can do about Mother Nature.
I’m starting to get calls asking about fruit availability, so let me answer. The short answer is nothing is ready yet. I expect lychees around June followed by mangoes in July. We did have some Nam Doc Mai trees bloom early and the fruit is getting big. It appears that they may be ready in the May time frame which is unusual.
My outlook for 2019 changes after every storm. If we keep having these weather events, it’s going to be a sad year.
So, about the fruit;
Lychee As the orchard matures, we collect more and more data. As of now, it appears that my lychee trees like to fruit every other year. Last year, 2018, was a good year for lychee. The previous year, 2017 was not a good year. I believe only 13 of the lychee trees flowered. This year, even less of my lychee trees have flowered. None of the Brewester or Emperor trees have flowered and there are a minimal number of Hak Ip. There are a few Mauritius and Sweetheart that have flowered and set fruit. I anticipate working with some other local growers to be able to provide lychees this year. It looks like there may be some Mauritius and Brewster available.
Longan It appears that the longan trees are following the lychee trees. Not many flowers this year. Last year, 2018 was a good longan year.
Wax Jambu Have not seen any flowers yet. Perhaps towards July we will see some flowers.
Mango Should be an OK year as long as the storms stop.
Peaches We no longer grow peaches. Most have been replaced with lychee and mango trees.
Avocados They were damaged by the hurricanes and are slow to recover.
White Guava They required way too much labor. Each fruit had to be covered to protect from insects. They were replaced with lychee trees.
About The Orchard
Those of you old timers will notice some new additions.
Video cameras. Due to our past vandalism problem, we have installed video cameras. There is a 100% chance you will be on camera. Don’t worry, Facebook and the FBI already know everything about you.
We are in the process of building a pavilion with a roof to act as our new sales location.
It is located directly across from the big oak tree that we have used for the past several years. The area we used to place the tables and scales will now be parking.
First, I need to tell you what the State of Florida and the insurance company wants you to know… you’ll see this sign again, when you come to the Grove. It’s required by law.
NOTICE OF INHERENT RISK
Under Florida law, an agritourism operator is not liable for injury or death of, or damage or loss to, a participant in an agritourism activity conducted at this agritourism location if such injury, death, damage, or loss results from the inherent risks of the agritourism activity. Inherent risks of agritourism activities include, among others, risks of injury inherent to land, equipment, and animals, as well as the potential for you to act in a negligent manner that may contribute to your injury, death, damage, or loss.You are assuming the risk of participating in this agritourism activity.
Ch. 2013-179 LAWS OF FLORIDA
Now that you’ve read that, let me tell you that if we are able to offer you the opportunity to enter the property, you are going out to a working farm and out into a real fruit orchard. There are things you should keep an eye out for. Most of the things are the same sort of hazards you’d find in your own backyard. In a grove, you can encounter many different things- bees, fire ants and other bugs, snakes or a wild animal, sand spurs or an animal hole in the ground. Just watch where you’re going and be careful.
For their safety, parents keep children at your side at all times and listen to our staff. We love to see small kids, however we are not a playground. Please make sure your kids behave so everyone can enjoy.
Our staff knows their way around and will bring you out to our orchard and show you where to pick. Please stay in the picking area that our staff puts you in. There may be employees working in other areas of the orchard with machinery and they’re NOT looking for you and we don’t want you to get hurt, being where you don’t belong.
Nick’s Island Tropical Fruit reserves the right to inspect returning wagons, strollers and any other item.
Backpacks or large bags/ large purses are NOT allowed out in the orchard.
Please do not bring any valuables or purses out to the orchard.
Nick’s Island Tropical Fruit will not be responsible for loss of any item.
Children must be with a parent at all times.
No eating in the orchard. Please don’t bring any food into the orchard and please don’t eat our fruit while in the orchard.
All sales are final. Pick only what you intend on paying for. You will be charged for all fruit picked.
Payment We only accept cash as a form of payment. This makes things really simple for both of us.
Animals No animals allowed. All animals must stay in your car.
Toilets We currently do not have a restroom facility. Please make sure you take care of things before you reach the orchard.
Smoking We are a non-smoking establishment.
Any questions, call 321-243-2997
You can also follow us on Instagram. #nicksfruit