The Sanibel Historical Museum & Village became the proud owners of a grapefruit tree and a tangerine tree, thanks to the generosity of R.S. Walsh Landscaping of Sanibel.
"We have two tangerine trees in our Heritage Garden already, but they are old and the fruit they produce, when they produce fruit, is very bitter," said Karl Rodman, a member of the museum's board of directors and caretaker of the garden. "In the past, CROW has been able to use these bitter tangerines to help feed the animals they're nursing back to health."
R.S. Walsh supervisor Sal Montalvo arrived with the trees along with workers Mario Cristobal and Marby Garcia on Aug. 28. Cristobal and Garcia took on the backbreaking work of digging the holes for the 30 gallon trees.
R.S. Walsh Landscaping donated two large fruit trees to the Sanibel Historical Village. Employees Mario Cristobal and Marby Garcia dug the holes and planted a grapefruit and a tangerine tree.
"They worked so well together and had those huge holes dug in no time," said museum manager Emilie Alfino. "Then when the trees were put in place, it was easy to visualize the garden with four beautiful fruit trees, for even our old tangerine trees are still very pretty and sometimes bear fruit. Our new trees will provide some much-needed shade for the garden."
R.S. Walsh staff went the extra mile, too. They fed the newly planted trees and added mulch with a well for watering, so important for new plantings.
"Our visitors in season will now have another taste of Florida at the village," said Rodman. "They always love to eat the fresh fruit off the trees. This year we had watermelon, which I'm told was very sweet, so we'll be planting that again, along with peppers, eggplant, Brussels sprouts, and more. We try new things every year."
"The garden isn't just there to produce food for guests," Alfino said. "It's to demonstrate to visitors how Sanibel pioneers kept truck gardens to help feed their families. It's also a beautiful addition to our picturesque village."
The museum and village, 950 Dunlop Road, is currently closed for the off-season and reopens on Nov. 6 for visitors from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays. Admission is $10 for adults over 18; those younger than 18 and museum members are free.
For more information, visit www.sanibelmuseum.org.