Friday, April 26, 2024

May Meeting - Florida's Neighborhood Bats by Shari Blissett-Clark

Join us Monday, May 13th, 2024 at 7pm.  

Harlee Building/County Fairgrounds, 1303 17th St W, Palmetto, FL 34221

Florida's Neighborhood Bats
Speaker: Shari Blissett-Clark 

Our May speaker will be Shari Blissett-Clark, President of the Florida Bat Conservancy. Shari has dedicated 40 years to private and public conservation work, including fire management, invasive species management, and natural areas management. She is a long-time member of the Florida Native Plant Society, Xerces Society, Bat Conservation International, Southeast Bat Diversity Network, and the North American Bat Network.

Shari owns and operates Bat Belfrys, a Florida non-profit organization that designs and builds bat houses. Proceeds from bat house sales directly support the initiatives of the Florida Bat Conservancy. The houses are scientifically designed to attract and protect bats, and have been extremely successful in Florida.

Shari’s visit is an opportunity to purchase these bat houses and pick them up at the meeting, saving the cost of shipping them from Shari’s location in Citrus County. However, it will be necessary to pre-order them. Details of the houses, prices, and pre-ordering information are available on pdf at this link: Bat Belfry's. Please consider supporting the bat population and Shari’s non-profit organization by taking advantage of this opportunity.

Shari’s presentation, Florida's Neighborhood Bats, will take us on a journey to uncover the myths and reveal the truth about these amazing flying mammals. We will explore the important roles bats play in insect and disease control, food production, and human health, and reveal the true value these unique mammals bring to our daily lives. The presentation will even include some live Florida bats.

Monday, March 25, 2024

April 2024 Meeting - Bananas - Celeste Welch

Link to Slides from Presentation

Join us Monday, April 8th, 2024 at 7pm.  

Harlee Building/County Fairgrounds, 1303 17th St W, Palmetto, FL 34221

Speaker: Celeste Welch

For April we are pleased to feature one of our own members, Celeste Welch. Along with her husband, entomologist Craig Welch, she owns and operates Sulcata Grove, a tropical fruit farm in north Sarasota County. In addition to fresh homegrown tropical fruit and vegetables, Sulcata Grove produces and markets fruit trees and other plants, seeds, pasture-raised eggs, honey, dried fruit, Sulcata tortoise food, and more. More information is available at the Sulcata Grove website and Instagram page.

Celeste is also an important contributor to the MRFC. As webmaster and social media master for a number of years, she has maintained our ever more important online presence. Sulcata Grove has been a vendor at several of our tree sales, including this year’s, and is active on social media and has produced numerous informative Youtube videos.

At our April meeting, Celeste will speak on one of her favorite tropical fruits, bananas. Her presentation will cover all aspects of banana horticulture for the home grower, including varieties, propagation, and disease management.