49th Street House - Sarasota - 12-29-2018
September 30, 2019
By: Andy Firk

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December 29, 2018 - REPORT FROM THE ROAD: My buddy Eric Lewis and I headed out to Sarasota this morning to buy supplies for the house and garden. On the way out there we stopped by to visit Caitlin McBobcat and her kiddos for a grand tour of their sweet rural homestead in Old Myakka. Caitlin runs Magnolia and Pine ("a small batch slow medicine apothecary, focusing on bioregional herbs, almost entirely homegrown."). It felt so nice to see where Caitlin and her family lives at long last! Getting the tour by her two little kids sure was sweet, and along the way they handed us tangerine sections and a jewles fo opar edible leaf... kids rule! Thanks for the tour Caitlin, Sage and Clay! Later, we stopped by for a tour of the 49th Street House in Sarasota where friends Mike Benjamin and Audra Locicero (Beautyberry Apothecary) welcomed us to their communal house and edible gardens. This house was a well known hippie party spot for New College students not too many years back. Some of the botanical highlights included seeing a CHINESE RAINBELL, aka BAN LAN (Strobilanthes cusia - the source of "Assam Indigo" dye) in full resplendent bloom, a large VANA TULSI HOLY BASIL, JICAMA, ORANGE CRUSH JACKFRUIT, a young ROSS SAPOTE (an incredibly delicious tropical fruit closely related to eggfruit that I used to grow at Bamboo Grove no. 1 in Homestead), a young GREEN CAIMITO, healthy STINGING NETTLES, and MILK THISTLE. I look forward to fishing with you soon Mike! Thanks you two! Also, Eric spotted a large edible-fruited Bunya Pine as we headed home which we checked out. I knocked on the door where the Bunya Pine lived and an older woman answered in a dripping wet bath robe. She was glad that we didn't simply go into the back yard as she happily said that she was hanging out nude in her jacuzzi near the tree. She let us into her property in a most welcoming way. When we went into the backyard, the tree turned out (fortunately) to be a female tree which will hopefully yield huge "cones" in the near future. I knew that it was a female because there were a few crumbling pieces of two to three year old female cones at the tree's base. These trees fruit every one to three, and sometimes to seven, years. When they do..... look out sukkas, I'm going-a-huntin'... they are deeeeelicious!