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Farm Report – December 22nd

Farm Report – December 22nd

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Week of December 22, 2014

Abbreviated Weekly Farm Report

From Friendship Farms & Fare

http://www.fffsite.org/

A Community Service To the Local Farming Community

For the full Farm Report, go to:

http://media.wix.com/ugd/643592_84202aefedfa4012ab95f37e11a411e9.pdf

Holiday and Season’s Greetings to All From Friendship Farms & Fare

On the eve of the Winter Solstice and in the overlapping circles of various holidays and seasonal celebrations, all of us at Friendship Farms & Fare extend thoughts of goodwill, peace, and friendship to all who follow this report.

Planting  & Harvest Notes

Fall Seeding and Garden Starts This Week

Seedings: Broccoli, 3F Gulf Coast Calabrese, 54 in cells

Garden Starts: Broccoli; Kale; Cucumbers

Harvest Notes:  herbs, arugula, eggplant, collards, kale, swiss chard, meyer lemons, kumquat

Garden Overview

Fall Plantings and Harvests

(additional details and assessments follows)

Winter greens are flourishing, and most of the beds are planted. We have good to large quantities of arugula, collards, kale, and swiss chard.  Eggplant is still hanging on, with some small fruit on the shrubs.  Romaine is coming along nicely, and smallish shares are available.

See the Share Report for all items.

We planted more broccoli and kale in the South Garden, and seeded more broccoli.  We are working on the large central bed, the 12th (and last) lateral bed, and the oak tree bed. These are the last beds we’ll plant this season, although we may still do some planters.

Kales, collards, and Swiss chards are doing wonderfully. As expected, the famous Calabrese flourishing, but we’ve had no heads yet.

We are waiting for our swiss chard seedlings to mature for transplanting into the garden.  We expect that to occur this week.

Tomatoes in the South Knoll are coming along nicely.  We just have to avoid a freeze.

For all plantings, we use seeds from our collection or heirloom seeds from Seed Savers Exchange (http://www.seedsavers.org/).

Broccoli

Thanks to those who are following the broccoli saga.  It is such a joy to share this adventure with others.  Here is the latest update:

We have 214 plants in the gardens, which reflects our planting 15 seedlings this week – mostly in the new central bed of the South Garden and the South Knoll.  We have started over 300 seeds, with 100% germination – remarkable.  These are our famous (3F) Calabrese broccoli seeds.

We’ll plant more this week.  We were initially aiming plant 200 broccolis this year – but may up it to 300, at least 250.  Last year, we had 144.

This week we donated some young broccolis to Market Off Main for their restaurant garden.

If you are starting a garden, please check with us first for seeds and seedlings.  Our broccoli seeds are from the Calabrese family, and we’ve been harvesting these seeds since 2008. They are listed with Seed Savers Exchange.  We offer them (and all our seeds) for sale at $3.00 for a packet (with a minimum of 30 seeds).

All our seeds are from our own harvests of heirloom varieties that have become locally acclimated. They are heavy producers with extended seasons.   They typically out perform any commercially produced and packaged seeds.  Also, by acquiring seeds from us (or other responsible local growers), you are keeping resources in the community. All 3F income goes directly back into the farms.  Friendship Farms & Fare operates as a not-for-profit business under the charter of Ecology Florida, a 501 C3 corporation.

Kale

Kale continues to do well.  We will have shares available this week.  Depending on requests, shares may be considerable. Our weekly kale harvests are about twice the size as last year – e.g. last year we used one gallon packing bags and this year we are using two gallon bags, and packing them rather densely.  We may yet have to go back to the gallon size shares, but for now it looks like everyone can get two gallon bags.

Kale orders include leaves from all our varieties– Superior, Scarlet, Lacinato, Siberian, Red Russian, Halbhoher Gruner Krauser, and Dwarf Blue).  The strongest of the kales is the German Kale (Halbhoher Gruner Krauser), followed by the Superior, and then Lacinato.  We have an entire bed of the Halbhoher in the south garden.

Swiss Chard

All varieties of swiss chard are thriving.  We’ll have enough for good-sized  shares for all who desire.  We are planning to plant Gold Silverbeet in the South Garden this week.

Arugula

Arugula continues to thrive.  There is enough for full shares for all.  Our seedlings will be planted throughout both gardens in the coming week.  We donated a pack of 9 cells to Market Off Main for their small garden. 

Blackberries

Ouachita Family

All blackberry vines are healthy, and most are producing new leaves. These are Ouachita Blackberries shared lovingly by Christine Grovenstein of Seeds of Love Organic Farm.

3F  Produce for non-shareholders

Non-shareholders may order shares for $12 per week. For this nominal amount, contributors may request any items they desire from the weekly Share. Although we will assist with transmissions, it is the responsibility of the contributor to make arrangements for pick up of the share.

As always, non-shareholders may request single items from the share list for $5 per item.  A full share for one week (any/all items) is $12.

Just reply using the website contact link if you desire anything on the list.  We suggest non-shareholders start an account to cover costs of items.

The 3F Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Project

Friendship Farms & Fare operates a unique small-scale (boutique) CSA, involving few participants, and using very basic management techniques. We are 100% organic and use permacultrures principles. Our program is recommended for single persons, couples, or (at most) three-person families. The cost of a share is low by typical CSA standards: $300 per garden year (October through September). This works out to a bit less than $6.00 per week.  Donations are also gratefully received, with all donations going to maintenance and improvement of the gardens and groves.

If you are interested, contact:  friendshipfarmsfare@gmail.com

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Visit the Friendship Farms & Fare website for the Weekly Farm Report:

http://www.fffsite.org/#!report/c1tuh

Friendship Farms & Fare is a branch of Ecology Florida, a not-for-profit corporation.  Contributions to Friendship Farms & Fare and Ecology Florida are tax deductible.  To learn more about Ecology Florida, please visit the website:

http://www.ecologyflorida.org/

If you would like to support our mission and individual projects, you may share donations through our website (above) or at our mailing address:

Ecology Florida

PO Box 596

New Port Richey, FL 34656-0596

Friendship Farms & Fare reaffirms, restores, and advances agrarian ideals to reestablish a sustainable culture

Natural, Economic, Cultural…bringing three ecologies together to regenerate a resilient future for all.

PO Box 596 ● New Port Richey, Florida 34656-0596

www.EcologyFlorida.org

Ecology Florida advances the harmonious integration of healthy natural, cultural, and economic ecologies to regenerate a sustainable world

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