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Big Turnout for Manatee Rare Fruit Council Show at Convention Center


PALMETTO -- At Sunday's Manatee Rare Fruit Council (MRFC) Show and Sell, held at the Bradenton Area Convention Center, vendors did well. A large line had formed by the time doors opened and in six hours, thousands of trees, plants and herbs went out the door almost as fast as they came in.


There were 20 or more trucks that unloaded their product in the largest auditorium in Manatee County, but it took many thousands of strong arms to carry more than half of them out. 

Vendors said they did good trade, with some selling as much as 70 percent of their fruit bushes and trees. Spencer Salser, owner and operator of Aloha Palms in Wimauma, said, "We did good. It is always good when there is little to take home."

Salser, who was once president of MRFC, added, "I love doing this every year. I love seeing these people." 

  Spencer Salser of Aloha Palms in Wimauma setting up prior to the show  

Allen Jones, who was set up across from Spencer, is the son of Ray Jones, owner of Ray Jones Nursery and founder of the MRFC. Allen said they too sold more than half of what they had brought to the show. 

Adam Shafran, owner of Flying Fox Fruits, drove over from Orlando to attend the event. Shafran said he sold about half of what he brought and that he was happy with the day's business.

Mangos, avocados, pear and citrus

Scott Petersen came down from St. Petersburg, where he runs a tropical and subtropical fruit tree business. He was also happy with Sunday's outcome. Petersen is a consultant for special tree-planting requests.

It seems that every year the crowd gets bigger, and the trees become more popular. It looks to be a reawakening of the home garden, and most of those leaving with hands, carts and dollies full of trees and bushes also left with a smile on their face.



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