Help Stop an Invasive Pest

July 24, 2018

Florida avocados are known as “green skins” or “alligator skin” due to their vibrant green color and texture.

This fruit was first planted in the state in 1833.

Currently, they are grown on nearly 7,000 acres in south Florida. Miami-Dade is the leading avocado producing county in the state, with an economic impact of $54 million to the regional economy.

Florida has seen a decline in trees since the emergence of laurel wilt disease in 2011. An invasive redbay ambrosia beetle is responsible for farming a fungus that quickly spreads through the tree, causing it to wilt and die.

Florida residents and visitors can help stop the spread of the beetle by not transporting firewood from place to place, burn wood on site or purchase local firewood at your destination. Read more about the ‘green skins’ in the July issue of FloridAgriculture.

Fresh From Florida Recipe: Florida Avocado Guacamole

  • 1 large Florida avocado
  • 1 tsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1/2 small onion, minced
  • Dash kosher salt
  • 3 dashes hot sauce (I used Tabasco)
  • 1 Tb. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp. mayonnaise (to taste)
  • 1 small tomato, seeds removed (pieces patted with a paper towel)
  1. Cut avocado in half; remove pit and peel.  Place flesh in a medium glass or ceramic bowl.  Run a sharp knife through the pieces to break them up and create soft chunks (try to not have mashed pulp).
  2. Sprinkle with lime juice.
  3. Peel garlic.  Use a press or mince with a chef’s knife, then add to bowl, along with onion, salt, hot sauce and cilantro.
  4. Mix gently, then carefully fold in mayonnaise until incorporated (you may need to adjust the amount, depending on how large your avocado is – start with 1/2 tsp. and work from there); add tomatoes and stir gently again.
  5. Season with more salt and/or lime juice, if needed, then serve.