Six Decades with Tropical Fruit: Retrospect
"Rare Fruit Council, A Tropical Fruit Study Group"
The year 2019 marks the beginning of the sixth decade of The Rare Fruit Council International, Inc. (RFCI). Sixty-four years ago, the purposes of our Council were set by ten founders who met on March 11, 1955 to establish an organization for the promotion of tropical pomology in areas of suitable climate. A tropical fruit study group was formed, and later named Rare Fruit Council by Julia Morton, of the Morton Collectanea.
These early visionaries dreamed of obtaining rare fruit species from many foreign countries, improving quality, and selecting desirable varieties. Since that meeting, hundreds of dedicated members have fulfilled many of the purposes set by RFCI’s founders to provide the community with these rare species, publications and lectures for the education and pleasure of Florida’s fruit enthusiasts.
2019 has also found the Rare Fruit Council challenged by funding constraints. As with many non-profit, self-supporting organizations, creative effort directing by building a strong financial foundation is crucial for continued survival.
Council membership is now in transition. New members are encouraged for the younger generation to become more active in studying tropical fruits. Recent arrivals whose interests are broad and their talents abound are the most direct means to the end, which is vital to the survival of the RFCI.
As we embark into our sixth decade, our user-friendly website will hopefully inspire renewed interest in tropical fruits, new fruit introductions and sharing horticultural knowledge to make Miami the next garden of Eden.
Let’s remember those visionaries that paved the way with their knowledge and bountiful harvest of rare tropical fruits.
The Rare Fruit Council International, Inc. (RFCI)
Mr. Seymour Goldweber, Mr. Kendall Morton,
Mrs. Julia Morton, Dr. Roy Hartness,
Dr. Bruce Ledin, Dr. George Ruehle,
Mr. Duffield Matson Jr., Mr. William F. Whitman,
Mr. Salvatore Mauro, Mr. Seymour W. Younghans