Our Society held our first meeting in October of 2012, at Selby Botanical Gardens.
Although we are relatively new as a club, we have many old friends, experienced enthusiasts, & Master Gardeners in our fellowship.
Our Meetings are held at Sarasota Garden Club, located at 1131 Blvd of the Arts, Sarasota, FL, the fourth Tuesday of each month. Social time begins at 6:30 p.m., followed by our guest lecturer at 7 p.m. and the raffle and clean-up is at 8:30 p.m. Guests are welcome to attend one meeting before joining the society.
Our Mission Statement:
The Tropical Fruit Society of Sarasota is organized exclusively for charitable, educational, and scientific purposes associated with the propagation, cultivation, selection, improvement or enhancement of superior cultivars of tropical fruits, and the distribution of tropical fruit trees and the associated knowledge necessary for their successful cultivation and harvest, for the benefit of mankind. A 501c3 corporation.
We are a non-profit corporation
We have been granted our 501c3 certification and look forward to becoming an important resource for our community.
Kim Giaccardo, Chairman of the Tropical Fruit Society of Sarasota. Kim has been an integral part of the Society since its inception, and was 2013 vice chairman, then served as Treasurer for the Society in 2014. Kim’s dedication to the Society and its’ programs has been stellar; as she plans and solicits guests for programs, helps prepare tastings and activities. She has continued to exhibit strong management skills and a penchant for fairness that brings the Society many new members.
Tony Hemmer, Vice Chairman.
Darryl McCullough, Treasurer, Acting Secretary
Darryl is a retiree and has participated in TFSS since its creation. He loves growing tropical fruit, and teaches tropical fruit horticulture classes in the Sarasota area. His weekly blog appears at the website of the Manatee Rare Fruit Council, of which he is also treasurer. “The more fruit tree clubs, the better,” he says.
Will Wright, Speaker Selection Advisory Committee Chair.
Will came to tropical fruit gardening after his experience eating unusual fruits while on holiday at various scuba destination outside the States. He has a Master’s in Geological Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and thus knows a bit about dirt and water, two things fruit trees seem to like.
While his favorite fruit is “usually the one that’s in my hand,” he’s particularly partial to mangoes, lychees, and nisperos. He’s never been known to turn down a ripe peach either.
Former Vice Chairman, Former Chairman, current Speaker Committee Chairman.
“I consider this a hobby too vast for anyone to become an ‘expert’, and enjoy the lifelong learning aspect of growing exotic fruits.”
Jeanie Glass, Head of Social Media
Jeanie maintains our growing Facebook and social media presence. Through her diligent posting of photos, events and engaging with our community she helps us continue to get the word out about the tremendous opportunity and joy that comes from growing tropical fruit here in Sarasota. She also assists with procuring guest speakers and with our annual tree sale and much more.
Shayna Teicher + Chris Neetz, Webmasters. Shayna and Chris first joined the club in the late summer of 2014. They are both avid supporters and students of sustainable living, permaculture, growing food and plant-based cooking.
Shayna and Chris developed the club’s new website, launched in the spring of 2016, and assist with any website needs as well as manage our club emails. Shayna served as Secretary in 2015.
We are also grateful for the volunteer services of:
Kevin Hook, Tree Sale Committee Chair
Harry Weaver, Rafflemaster