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59 The Lady of the Sea Grape herself, Kris Boyden. When humans get a hold of them, the fruits are edible raw or cooked and may be used to make jelly or wine. The nutritional value of sea grapes is thought to be similar to other purple grapes, being rich in copper, iron, potassium and manganese. They are also a good source of Vitamins A, B, C, K and betacarotene. Each sea grape contains a large pit, so the fruit is actually more seed than meat. Sea grape is excellent in a low-maintenance wildlife garden, as it will attract butterflies with its flowers and birds with its fruits. The sap of the sea grape is used in the West Indies and Jamaica for dyeing and tanning. The wood is sometimes used for firewood, making charcoal, and even cabinetry. Kris Boyden, the manager at the island’s Lilly Pulitzer signature store, Palm on Park, is the queen of sea grape jelly around these parts, and her dad is why she does it. Having been born and raised in Englewood in the mid-1950s as a family they went to Englewood Beach. Her parents would put sheets down on the ground under the sea grape trees, and her dad would climb the tree and shake it. Then they would go home and make sea grape jelly. Is the recipe the same? No, she said cryptically. Little did she know, years later she would have a sea grape jelly cult following. She still lives on Lemon Bay in Englewood, in the house she was raised in. As an adult she and her dad made jelly out of everything – star fruit, strawberries, and sea grapes. He died more than 18 years ago from cancer, so when Relay for Life started on the island about 10 years ago Kris jumped right in. She had been to Relays before and participated, but never to the capacity of being a team leader and event coordinator. Right about the time that first Boca Grande Relay for Life was held, the sea grapes were ripening. She didn’t know what to contribute to raise money at the event, but when she saw the sea grapes a plan began to form. “I guess I could make jelly,” she thought. “I could try.” So in the days just prior to her first island Relay for Life, she found herself looking at a grape jelly recipe on the back of a pectin box. It called for more sugar than she liked, so she did some research and found just the right recipe for her. Ironically, it came


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