Wednesday, August 13, 2014



Media contact: Brooke LeMaire
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
305-667-1651, ext. 3392


Fairchild’s curator of tropical fruit, Noris Ledesma, poses next to a jackfruit tree.



Coral Gables, FL, August 2014 – Sweet, fragrant, and delicious are all words used to describe the jackfruit, a tropical fruit tree that is about to get its time in the spotlight at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. What’s most intriguing is its size – one fruit can weigh more than 60 pounds. Join Fairchild in celebrating and sampling this fascinating fruit at the Jackfruit Jubilee, held Saturday, September 13 from 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Whether guests are familiar with the jackfruit or have never tried it, the festival will offer opportunities to learn how to grow it, cook it, and taste it. Chefs will perform live cooking demos, and Fairchild experts will present lectures and gardening demos to show how to care for the trees. Several varieties of jackfruit are available for sampling so visitors can experience the different textures and tastes. Curator’s Choice jackfruit trees have been selected by Noris Ledesma and Richard Campbell, Fairchild’s curators of tropical fruit, who have grown a new generation of hybrid jackfruit well suited for South Florida’s climate. All trees are available for purchase. For children, the interactive L.E.A.F.: Let’s Explore at Fairchild program invites families to learn about edible gardening through crafts, games, and planting activities.

The jackfruit, scientifically known as Artocarpus heterophyllus, is a member of the mulberry family. It is native to South and Southeast Asia, where several jackfruit fairs are held throughout the year. David Fairchild, the garden’s namesake, collected it from Sri Lanka to plant in Florida. It is regarded as an important food source, and a single fruit can feed many people. Its spiky, golden skin covers hundreds of seeds surrounded by the edible, sweet flesh. The flavor is often described as reminiscent of banana, pineapple, and Juicy Fruit gum. A good source of Vitamin C, potassium, calcium, and antioxidants, it can be incorporated into many meals. Thirty varieties of jackfruit from India, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Australia are grown at the Fairchild Farm in Homestead by Noris Ledesma and Richard Campbell.

Admission is free for Fairchild members and children 5 and under, $25 for adults, $18 for seniors 65 and up and $12 for children 6-17. Eco discounts are available for anyone who walks, bikes or takes public transportation to the festival. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is located at 10901 Old Cutler Road, Coral Gables, FL 33156.

For more info, please call 305-667-1651 or visit the Jackfruit Jubilee webpage.

About Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Established in 1938 and comprising 83 acres in Miami, Fla., Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to exploring, explaining and conserving the world of tropical plants. The world-renowned plant collections feature palms, cycads, orchids, tropical fruit trees and more. Fairchild has the largest education program of any metropolitan area, reaching more than 200,000 schoolchildren each year with environmental programs like The Fairchild Challenge. It aims to inspire a greater knowledge and love for plants and gardening so that all can enjoy the beauty and bounty of the tropical world. Special events include Chocolate, Mango, Orchid and Edible Garden Festivals in addition to an annual art exhibition, concerts, plant sales and more. Fairchild is located at 10901 Old Cutler Road, Coral Gables, FL 33156. For more info, call 305-667-1651 or visit www.fairchildgarden.org. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.