What’s in Season
The focus for this installment of What’s in Season is adaptation. This is a word that we have become all too familiar with lately. But adapt we have! The beautiful Fruit and Spice Park is open, and welcoming guests to enjoy the glory of nature, with a few adaptations. For the time being, our admission price has been reduced to $5.00 for adults, and under 12 are free. This eases access to the park at a time we all need a safe, calm place to get some much needed fresh air, sunshine and exercise, and maybe find something good to eat. We do have social distancing rules in place that should be familiar by now. Please visit the main info page for the latest.
We have adapted by offering an easily managed walking tour starting at 11:00 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays entitled “Around the World in an Acre”. We have an area near the normal tram departure spot that allows us to highlight specimens from an amazing variety of places within a relatively small distance.
We are excited to announce that the Mango Café will be reopening on Monday, June 1 for take-out only. Our menu may be limited based on availability of some ingredients, so please have patience while we get underway again. Please call the main park number, 305-247-5727 to place your order and when you arrive, your order will be brought out to you. Is anyone else looking forward to a lobster roll?
Our current situation also brings to the fore the value and convenience of becoming a member of the park. What a bargain it is! Our rates are just $25/single, $50/double, and $75/family. This gives members free, contactless entry to the park year round, and 10% off in the gift shop and café. The only exceptions are externally produced events at the park, but our events like the Blues and BBQ and Summer Fruit Festivals are included.
This brings us around to an event update. Understandably, it has been necessary to cancel or postpone some of our events. Sadly, the Summer Fruit Festival and Mango Mania are not possible this year, and cannot be moved to another time as they revolve around the seasons of the fruit that are unaware of social distancing rules. The Blues and BBQ Festival has been tentatively rescheduled for the fall, but please check https://redlandfruitandspice.com for updates.
Now on to the best part—the wonders of the park. Of course the star of the show is mango, but this time of year brings an amazing array of fruits to enjoy. A standout this year has been the Cashew, Ancardium occidentale. This relative of mango (and poison ivy) is the source of the familiar nut, and also produces a delicious fruit commonly known as the cashew apple. Be careful though, the “shell” of the nut can be caustic—this is why you do not see raw cashews in stores.
I sincerely hope you will visit us soon, and immerse yourself in a world of beauty and purpose. You see, the focus of the Fruit and Spice Park is man’s relationship with plans and nature. Our collection is based on the purpose, or the use, that peoples around the world have found for the bounty of nature around them. We have all had to adapt, but the wonder of the natural world is a constant. One good thing to come out of all of this is a renewed appreciation of the out-of-doors.