Labor of love By Maria Sonnenberg
Club members face daunting obstacles when growing tropical fruit trees
sit Ghosh has no problem
directing people to his home.
He just tells them to look for the
mango trees in his front yard.
In the Rockledge neighborhood where Ghosh
lives, his front yard is singular, an oasis of
mangoes. He estimates he has planted more
than 71 trees, 22 of them mangoes, in his
roughly third-of-an-acre lot.
Like many members of the Brevard Tropical
Fruit Club, Ghosh feels there is always room
for one more specimen. When he has run
out of room, he’s been known to head to the
North Merritt Island home of Jerry Hunt, club
board member and a foster gardener for folks
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who just need a little more room to plant that
next enticing variety they have to have.
“A lot of people have left trees with me,” said
Hunt, who, with 5 acres plus a couple more
less than a mile from his house, has plenty of
room to plant.
Such is the attraction of tropical trees. Like
potato chips, they are difficult to stop with
At 82, Hunt oversees a spread of more than
700 trees. The nine goats and donkey that
reside on land previously used for planting
are Hunt’s only acknowledgment that he
cannot commit to as many trees as he has in
After canker and greening have
made growing citrus extremely
labor-intensive, Brevard home
growers have turned to mangoes
as a favorite crop.
RON RINCONES PHOTOS
A favorite with growers, Miracle Fruit is
thus named because when its berries
are eaten, they cause sour foods
subsequently consumed to taste sweet.