Loquat Low-down

At first glance, one would never imagine that the mild-mannered Loquat (Eriobotrya japonica) might be a member of the same botanical family as its more famous and flamboyant cousins the rose, apple, and pear.

Yet, it is.

Despite being more obscure, the loquat is an attractive evergreen tree in its own right, with its foliage of long, dark green, serrated leaves.  The tree’s upright, symmetrical form is indeed handsome, and its height can often reach some 25 to 30 feet. 

Cultivation of loquats began more than 2,000 years ago in China for the clusters of small orange-colored fruits. The fuzzy, oval fruit is tart to sweet depending on the variety, and must ripen on the tree.  Each fruit contains between one and five brown seeds that should not be ingested.  Sweet varieties make a wonderful addition to fruit salads and ambrosias.  The more tart varieties or slightly immature fruit are recommended for jams, jellies, and pies. 

The loquat is cold hardy and drought tolerant. Here on our farm, we have a number of rain-fed loquat trees that thrive without irrigation.  Obviously, if given adequate water the fruit quality will clearly be maximized, but the key point is that the “low-quat” is about as “low-maintenance” as you can get.

For information concerning edible plants and a diverse selection of tropical and sub-tropical fruits, visit ECHO's Tropical Fruit Nursery.

Simple Gardening Tips To Improve the Environment

Sea level rise, global warming, and excess gas emissions. What is your role? 

In his uniquely approachable way, Eric Toensmeier will share personal insights and expertise related to perennial crop production on Saturday, April 9th from 9:00am- 3:00pm. Imagine growing vegetables that require just about the same amount of care as perennial flowers and shrubs, need no annual tilling or planting, yet thrive and produce abundant and nutritious crops throughout the season. These veggies are less common edibles that will make any garden a perpetual, low-maintenance source of food. Register now.

And in response to the climate crisis, he will also discuss agricultural practices highlighted in his new book - The Carbon Farming Solution - referred to as the linchpin of a global climate solutions platform.

Farm tours led by ECHO staff will be provided in addition to a lunch option. Early registration for entrance and participation is $40, and at the door pricing is $45. Additionally, ECHO's retail plant nursery and bookstore will be open for business.

 

To check out a sneak peek, click below to watch on YouTube.