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Agriculture Report – January 13, 2015

Agriculture Report – January 13, 2015

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Friendship Farms & Fare affirms and advances agrarian ideals to reestablish a sustainable culture
3F Farm Report & Newsletter
January 13, 2016 – 15th 2015-2016 FARM & CSA Report

Friendship Farms & Fare is a division of Ecology Florida, a not-for-profit corporation.
Contributions to Friendship Farms & Fare and Ecology Florida are tax deductible.
If you would like to support our work, please consider sharing a donation.
PO Box 596 ● New Port Richey, Florida 34656-0596
http://www.fffsite.org/

FARM REPORT

62 degrees at 2:00 AM, January 8, 2015
Historic Norm (for 1/11) 70 HIGH, 51 Weather Underground: http://www.wunderground.com/
See the complete weekly weather report later in the Farm Report.

Loquat Harvest Begins
Fruit Ripens Early

We’ve started the loquat harvest. This is the earliest we have begun the harvest, but there is a large quantity of ripe fruit, and the window for loquats is rather narrow – so, to the trees! We don’t usually see this much mature fruit until mid-February.

The early ripening is doubtless due to the record-breaking heat we had in December, and the ripe fruit is small. Our two oldest trees (Grandmother and Grandfather trees) have the greatest amount of ripe fruit, by far. There is a considerable quantity of fruit in various stages of maturity on the younger trees, but very little is ripe.

Shareholders can include loquats in their requests this week. We should be able to fill all requests for this delicious spring delicacy – joining us early this year.

Also, don’t forget the Florida Loquat Festival, – March 26. See details later in the Farm Report.

Broccoli Maturing Quickly
Like the loquats, broccoli has matured early this year – and there are lots of heads. We’ve already harvested close to 20 heads. This is of course our famous Calabrese broccoli. As with the loquats, the extreme heat is probably speeding up the maturation process. Many heads are not ready for harvest, but the heat will likely force bolting, so we’ll watch carefully and try to harvest before the heads flower.

First Broccoli, 2015-2016

Arugula Thriving
Arugula continues to produce abundantly – the big winner so far this fall and winter. The plants are thriving. All are healthy and strong. Shares can request extra quantities if desired. This arugula is from our own seeds, saved for three generations.

Collard greens Abundant
Collards are now abundant. We can easily fill 2-gallon bags for all shares. We can share even more for folks who want to come by the garden. For folks who get deliveries, we can do a “collards only” bag for you. This would amount to two 2-gallon bags, or several pounds. There would not be much room for anything else, but you’d have a lot of collard greens.

You may not know it, but collard greens are a wonderful source of vitamins and minerals, and according to George Mateljan, collards are among the world’s healthiest foods. Here is a detailed account of the benefits of collards, including data on nutrients and minterals: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=138

Collards, Nutritional Note (compared with Kale) One cup of chopped collards supplies 27% of daily calcium, 300% of the vitamin A, almost 60% of the C, and 21% of the fiber. By comparison, kale (often called a super food), comes in with 9% of the calcium, over 300% of vitamin A, 90% of the C, and 10% of the daily fiber. So, collards stack up pretty well against one our trendiest foods.
Kale Doing Better

Kale is doing much better. Smallish kale offerings can be included in all shares, if requested.

Florida Loquat Festival
March 26
9:00 – 2:00
Frances Avenue Park
New Port Richey
Mark Your Calendars
We are pleased to announce the date and location of this year’s Florida Loquat Festival. Mark your calendars and make arrangements now to join loquat fans from around the state in New Port Richey on March 26, 2016.

If you are interested in learning more about loquats (from seed to harvest, and planting to canning), the 2016 Florida Loquat Festival is for you. As always, this is a Loquat exclusive event. Only loquats and loquat-related products will be available. Lectures, demonstrations, and educational sessions will be dedicated solely to loquats.

We have our good friends from Green Plan Tree Farm joining us, bringing a wide selection of loquat trees ready for planting. Black Cat Growers will again be offering wonderful loquat preserves, and maybe some surprises. Jim Kovaleski from Freedom House Farms will share expertise and insight on the contribution of loquats to sustainable Florida homesteading – Jim might also have some of his famous loquat cookies.

The poetry salon at the festival should be even more substantial than last year.

Donations are most appreciated. Volunteers are most welcome.

If you are interested in loquats, this is the place to be. We are the only loquat festival in the state, and probably the only one in the nation. Mark your calendars (electronic and traditional), tell your friends and family. Most of all, join us on March 26 for this one-of-a-kind celebration and learning festival. The Loquat Festival will be March 26 this year. Make your plans now. Click here for the latest edition of the Florida Loquat News:

Florida Loquat News #13 – December

Grand Gardens Taking Off
Promotional T-Shirts Available
Order Now

Together with Nature Coast Real Food Project, and various other organizations and individuals, we are developing Grand Gardens, a major community garden in a food impoverished (“low access”) area. Grand Gardens is located near 3F’s first farm on Illinois Ave, but it is much larger. It occupies a one-half acre lot in downtown New Port Richey, donated by Gary Gann and Steven DeMatos of Creative Institute of Dental Arts.

The beautiful logo for Grand Gardens was created by a 6th grade art student at Gulf Middle School, Park Mylott. The City Council of New Port Richey chose Mylott’s image from a group of three finalists, selected from over 20 submissions from GMS art students. Gulf Middle School is our middle school partner in the project.

As a fund-raiser and promotional collectable object, we are offering a T-Shirt as a premium for contributions to the project. The T-Shirt has the Grand Gardens logo on the front and supporting organizations on the back. We are affirming a minimum donation of $10 for each shirt, and receptive to greater contributions to support the project – which will allow us to make the shirt available to Gulf Middle School students who might not otherwise be able to afford the shirt.

Contributions of over $15 (our cost) will receive formal acknowledgement of contribution (of $5 or more) for purposes of tax deductions.

Make checks to Friendship Farms & Fare PO Box 596 ● New Port Richey, Florida 34656-0596 or go to the Ecology Florida website http://www.ecologyflorida.org/ and click on the donate button.

If you want us to mail you a shirt, please give your size, and mailing address and add a little extra contribution for postage.

Folks interested in acquiring a plot at Grand Gardens can contact us through the 3F site. If you would like to participate, contact Travis Morehead, or stop by Grand Gardens on one of the designated work days: http://eastmadison.org/community-garden-calendar/

Shareholders interested in acquiring a plot may participate for reduced rates.

2016 Organic Seeds Now Available
Rose’s Bistro in New Port Richey
University of South Florida in Tampa
Seeds from Seed Savers Exchange for the 2016 season are now available through Friendship Farms & Fare and our kiosk sites in New Port Richey and the University of South Florida. We are pleased to support the work Seed Savers, which is dedicated to preserving heirloom varieties of fruits and vegetables. Unless we use our own saved seeds or ones from other local gardeners, we use SSE seeds exclusively. Here is a link to Seed Savers Exchange: http://www.seedsavers.org/

Here is a links to Rose’s Bistro: https://www.facebook.com/TheMarketOffMain
And here is one to USF’s Botanical Gardens: http://gardens.usf.edu/

Fresh Honey Harvest From Daddy’s Bees
For those interested in local honey, Robert has just completed a summer harvest, and we have plenty of bottles on hand. 8 oz. bottles for $7.00 ($5.50 for shares).

Please do not purchase or use insecticides with neonicotinoids. Here are reliable sources on the neonicotinoids, and the commercial “home and garden” insecticides that contain them.

Are Neonicotinoids Killing Bees?


http://www.xerces.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/NeonicsSummary_XercesSociety.pdf
http://www.xerces.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Are-Neonicotinoids-Killing-Bees_Xerces-Society1.pdf

FEATURE: Make Meadows Not Lawns for Honey Bee Colony Health

WEATHER
Cooler and Wetter This Week – Finally!
It is being reported that 2015 will be the hottest year in recorded history – replacing 2014 as the hottest year on record (since records have been kept, 1880)

http://www.cnbc.com/2015/11/25/2015-to-be-hottest-year-on-recorduntil-next-year-wmo.html
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/11/2015-set-hottest-year-record-151125154306485.html

62 degrees at 2:00 AM, January 8, 2015
Historic Norm (for 1/11) 70 HIGH, 51 Weather Underground: http://www.wunderground.com/

Historically, the average high temperature is now 70 degrees (the lowest average high of the year [70]), and twenty degrees lower than our highest average [90]). Our average low is now 52 degrees, twenty-four degrees lower than our highest average low of the year (76), and one degrees higher than lowest average low [51].

Average highs and lows continue their annual decline, which lasts until January, when we reach our lowest average temperatures – 70 and 51. Thus far for the fall, we have been well above normal.

This past summer Hottest Ever Recorded: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NASA, and Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) data indicate this past summer (June-August, 2015) was the hottest in recorded history. NOAA also reports that July was the hottest month in recorded history. We at the 3-F Farm Report are not surprised. See this story.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/summer-2015-hottest_55fae2bfe4b0fde8b0cd408e

It is now being reported that 2015 will be the hottest year in recorded history – replacing 2014 as the hottest year on record (since records have been kept, 1880). Ocean and land temperatures were at their all time highs. 2014 was also the warmest winter on record in the Arctic, and May 2015 was the hottest May on record.

Looks like December will join this list.

Know the Science:

This is no great surprise to us. Temperatures have been running well above normal most of the year here at the farms; and for the past few years, our highs and lows have typically run a bit higher than historic averages. Last year the trend continued, and so far this year, it is still continuing. Although humans may enjoy unseasonably warm weather, above normal temperatures stress plants and animals.

According to NASA, 97% of climate scientists agree that global warming and resultant climate change is a reality and most likely due to human activity. http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus/.

Here is NOAA on the human causes of climate change and global warming. http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/pd/climate/factsheets/howhuman.pdf

Last Week (1/1-1/7): We finally found a little winter weather. It was still mild by usual standards, but this has been an unusual fall and winter, so it seemed pretty cool. Overall, we were above normal three days, and below normal for four. The cool days were all in the 60s for highs and low 50s and high 40s for lows. We ever had a little rain. All in all, this was the best week of weather we’ve had since the start of fall.

This Week (1/8-1/14): The coming week will follow a pattern similar to last week, with a little more rain. WU forecasts three days of above average temperatures, and four a bit below. Rain is expected over the weekend. The cool days will be in the 60s with lows in the 40s and low 50s.

Garden Overview

Harvests were good last week. The crops responded very positively to the cooler temperatures and rain.

We harvested more tomatoes and broccoli. The loquats are coming in, so we harvested a few pounds of those.

Swiss Chard was pulled and composted – too much heat and heat-inspired predation. We replaced the chard beds with kale.

Arugula, sprouted from our own saved seeds, is doing very well.

See the Share Report for all items.

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

====================================================================

Habanero Peppers
Habaneros are fairly abundant now – numerous blossoms, and plenty of fruit. Order if you like this week. Remember: These are among the hottest peppers around.

Scotch Bonnet
Here is a new fiery hot pepper for our shares – the Scotch Bonnet. This is a Jamaican-bread pepper, which reportedly is similar to Habanero. Our Bonnets are larger than our Habaneros, which might be the result of some cross pollination with our bell peppers. Crosspollination would also explain their relatively milder taste. Make no mistake these are fiery hot peppers. Ours are just a little milder than our Habaneros.

Here is little comparison of the Bonnets with the Habaneros. http://bostonjerkfest.com/the-tale-of-two-peppers-what-makes-the-scotch-bonnet-different-from-the-habenero/

Sweet Bell Peppers
Our Carolina Wonders and Charleston Belles have slowed a bit. These are delicious sweet bell peppers. We’ve not had Bells in significant numbers for a while, but this season is looking pretty good. Bell peppers will be available only by request this week – and hopefully we’ll have some.

Eggs
We are still hoping to have eggs from Juan’s Farm soon. Health issues have slowed down the farmer. Thoughts are with Juan and family.

Honey: Local honey is available. We have a fresh harvest available now. Our bee husbander, Robert, has been very successful with recent harvests. We support Robert’s work, which is as much about sustaining and regenerating bee populations as it is about honey distribution. Robert’s bees live in West Pasco County, near New Port Richey, they pollinate wild flowers, domestic fruit trees, and vegetables. Honey is available in 8 oz. bottles for $7.00 a bottle, $5.50 for CSA Shares.

Herbs: Herbs are in pretty good shape, but still no cilantro. We have good quantities of basil, tarragon, and oregano. Consult the share list for other herbs, and other available items.
The Share
January 11, 2016 (15)
* larger quantity available if desired
FCFS = limited supplies, early submissions given preference
Tampa Transmissions TBA
Vegetables
Arugula*
Broccoli – small quantities, heat-accelerated heads
Collards
Kale
Lettuce – select individual leaves (Red Romaine)
Peppers – Sweet Bell – in recess
Peppers – Habanero (burning hot)
Peppers – Scotch Bonnet (burning hot)
Spinach – Okinawa (not a true spinach) – small quantities
Sweet Potato Leaves – likely

Fruit –
Loquats – first of the season (some may be tart)
Grapefruit (Old Florida, Duncan White) in recess but more to come shortly

Herbs (* larger quantity available if desired)
Basil – Italian
Basil – globe (in recess)
Basil – Red Basil (in recess)
Chives (in recess)
Cranberry Hibiscus *
Cilantro — light
Culantro (tastes like a strong cilantro) – light
Mint
Oregano
Parsley *
Peppermint (in recess)
Purslane (small quantities)
Rosemary*
Tarragon

Medicinal
Aloe

Cottage Foods & Samples

Eggs: Still no eggs. We remain hopeful that Juan’s Farm will be producing again soon. We cannot guarantee feed is organic. Fowl are humanely treated and free roaming: $6.50 ($5.00 for shares). Here is a link to Suncoast Acres Poultry Farm (which is the egg and fowl division of Mandy’s Monster Farm) http://www.mandysmonsterfarm.com/Poultry.html

Honey: Local West Pasco honey from Daddy’s Bees is available in 8 oz. bottles for $7.00 ($5.50 for shares).
Daddy’s Bees just harvested their summer honey. Ready for shares, if desired.

Red Panax Ginseng (liquid, tonic) 3.5 oz bottles (10 bottle box) $6.50 ($5.00, shares)

COMPANION FAUNA
Winter Report
Animal companions are fewer and less active

Leopard Frogs: Leopard frogs are still doing fine. We’ve not seen them for several days, but we’ve heard the songs on several occasions.

No sign of eggs or tadpoles.

Here is good site for information on Leopard Frogs
http://www.wec.ufl.edu/extension/wildlife_info/frogstoads/rana_utricularia.php

Swifts: No swifts.

Tree Frogs: One in north cistern

Bald Eagle: None this week

Raccoon: None this week

Opossum: One in north garden

Citrus Rat (also called Roof Rat): None observed this week. These visitors have been with us for years, but not in the dwelling.

The rat that was in the human dwelling may have left. These are not the Norwegian Brown Rat.

Here is the IFAS report on these rats (“the worst rodent pest in the state of Florida and most abundant”):
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/uw/uw12000.pdf

Florida Ringneck Snake: None at 3F Farm.

Florida Green Grasshopper: None at 3F Farm.

Mediterranean Gecko: None this week.
http://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/nonnatives/reptiles/mediterranean-gecko/

Owl: No owls or calls this week.

Greenhouse Frog: None this week. The greenhouse frog is the only North American frog that lays its eggs on land.

Eastern Blue Bird: No blue birds


http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Eastern_Bluebird/id
http://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/eastern-bluebird

Southern Toad: None this week.

Sweet bees: Several observed at loquat flowers.

Pileated Woodpecker: None this week.

Here is a good site for the Pileated :
http://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/pileated woodpecker?gclid=Cj0KEQiA4OqnBRDAj9aazvPji9ABEiQANq28oLTa9kUEg7khhIiQxXQSzXno1KGGEkjlUYhQcrnafj8aAnMP8P8HAQ

And here is a video:

Florida Black Snake: None

Honey Bees: Several observed at loquat flowers.

“If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would have only four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.”
– attributed to Albert Einstein.

Please do not purchase or use insecticides with neonicotinoids. Here are three reliable sources on the neonicotinoids, and the commercial “home and garden” insecticides that contain them.

Are Neonicotinoids Killing Bees?


http://www.xerces.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/NeonicsSummary_XercesSociety.pdf
http://www.xerces.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Are-Neonicotinoids-Killing-Bees_Xerces-Society1.pdf

Bumble Bees: None

Hawk: None.

Earth Worms: Several in beds being planted

Sphinx Moth: No sphinx this week. Here is Youtube video of a Sphinx Moth feeding at 4 o’clocks, very much like the moth at the 3F farm. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaTfKLO96gE

Pygmy Rattlesnake: No pygmy rattler this week. Here is a good site on the pygmy rattlesnake from the University of Florida: http://ufwildlife.ifas.ufl.edu/pdfs/Pygmy%20Rattlesnake%20Info%20Sheet.pdf

“Nocturnal Garden Spider” – Still plenty – like stars in the ground.

“Asian Tramp Snail.” None this week.

Woodlouse – None Usually not seen at this time of year, the warm weather has brought the little louses back to life.

Marine Toad (aka: Brazilian Cane Toad, Rhinella marina, Giant Toad): None.

Marine Toads are destructive of ecosystems and poisonous to mammals. They are omnivorous, aggressive, and drive out native and assimilated frogs and toads. A survey of several professional sites found none that recommended killing the frogs, although this has been advocated by several folks in the area.

Here is the Extension Office’s website on the Marine Toad (which includes an audio of its call): http://www.wec.ufl.edu/extension/wildlife_info/frogstoads/rhinella_marina.php

Here is a very detailed, professional study of the Marine Toad, also from the Extension Office. This site has instructions for humane euthanizing of the creatures:
http://www.egovlink.com/public_documents300/winterhaven/published_documents/Winter%20Haven/Lakes/Backyard%20Wildlife/Animal%20Information/Frogs%20and%20Toads/Marine%20Toads%20UW04600.pdf

Cats: Neighborhood cat, Frankie, appears regularly. Lady Gray also now a regular.

Planting & Harvest Notes
Winter Seeding and Garden Starts Continue

Seedings: none

Garden Starts: kale, broccoli

Harvest Notes: broccoli, collards, kale, loquats, and all herbs that were mature

Vermipost: None

3F Stories, Events, and Policy Updates

Programs and Plans
We often receive questions about the Friendship Farms & Fare project. We are happy to send an information brochure with details on our mission and our various programs. Here is a brief sketch of our programs:

We offer heirloom organic seeds, including seeds from plants acclimated to local climate and soils. We have a good stock of several types of okra (including the much desired Red Burgundy), robust arugula, and our famous Calabrese Broccoli. Friendship Farms & Fare is a licensed seed dealer in the State of Florida, and a member of Seed Savers Exchange (with several listings in the SSE Yearbook).

Seed Kiosk Friendship Farms & Fare also sponsors a sales kiosk featuring organic seeds from Seed Savers Exchange at the Market Off Main, in New Port Richey. We never offer seeds from for-profit commercial seed sellers, and we discourage others form doing so as well. Acquiring your seeds from local seed dealers supports local ecologies and economies, and will usually result in stronger, healthier plants – and seeds for next season!

Organic seedlings are available throughout each growing season. We use our own seeds from previous years whenever possible, and otherwise, we use only organic seeds and heirloom varieties when available. We never use seeds from for-profit seed sellers, and we do not offer seedlings grown from such seeds. Friendship Farms & Fare is a licensed nursery in the State of Florida.

A developing area of our mission is our fruit tree project. At present, we offer loquat and avocado trees, with a few native flowering shrubs. We are a state-registered nursery, and among a small number of nurseries in the region offering loquat trees. We also are pleased to host (along with Ecology Florida) the Florida Loquat Festival, held each spring in New Port Richey.

Our original project, and still our central focus is a Community Supported Agriculture program. This is a small (“boutique”) CSA, featuring organic produce from our gardens and local cottage industry foods. We are 100% organic and have a no-kill policy. Our program is recommended for single persons, couples, or (at most) three-person families.

When quantities are sufficient, we offer produce to the general public through local markets, such as Tasty Tuesdays and Market Off Main in New Port Richey. Folks can also make requests through our website. Non-members can request any and all items on the share list for $20.

Our newest project is a community garden, dedicating a portion of the 3F farm for use by others in the community. The community garden is located in New Port Richey, and operates through the City’s urban agriculture ordinance. The 3F community garden follows the standard policies of Friendship Farms & Fare. We are 100% organic, non-GMO, and have a no-kill policy. With the exception of the predatory Marine Toad, no animals are harmed on our farm. We follow permaculture principles, and working with and within our natural systems.

If you would like to know more about any of these programs or would like to volunteer to share in our mission, just let us know. Folks interested in the Friendship Farms & Fare project can contact us through our website. http://www.fffsite.org/ See the “Let’s Talk” section for an email connection.

Contributions to Friendship Farms & Fare are now tax-deductable. If you would like to offer financial support, your contributions will be a wonderful enhancement to our project – and they will be tax deductable.

2016 Seeds Have Arrived
3F, Ecology Florida, Rose’s Bistro, and USF Offer Seed Savers Exchange Seeds

Through a cooperative arrangement with Friendship Farms & Fare and Ecology Florida, Rose’s Bistro, in New Port Richey, and the Botanical Gardens of at the University of South Florida offer a wide range of organic, heirloom, non-GMO seeds exclusively from Seed Savers Exchange.

This is a trend-setting achievement for the Bistro and the Botanical Gardens, and another verification of Friendship Farms & Fare and Ecology Florida’s leadership in ecological stewardship, sustainability, and resiliency. These two locations are the only location on the West Coast of Florida offering these high quality packaged seeds.

Ecology Florida advances the harmonious integration of healthy natural, cultural, and economic ecologies to regenerate a sustainable world
http://www.ecologyflorida.org/

Seed Savers Exchange is a non-profit organization dedicated to saving and sharing heirloom seeds. Since 1975, our members have been passing on our garden heritage by collecting and distributing thousands of samples of rare garden seeds to other gardeners.
http://www.seedsavers.org/

USF Botanical Gardens
http://gardens.usf.edu/

Rose’s Bistro
https://www.facebook.com/TheMarketOffMain

Next Workday: TBA
If you would like to join us for a workday, we’ll have a lot to do. Please send your best Saturday(s) in January and February. See also designated work days on the calendar for the Grand Gardens: http://eastmadison.org/community-garden-calendar/

2015-2016 Nursery Certification and Registration
Friendship Farms & Fare
48015239

Friendship Farms & Fare is a registered nursery in the state of Florida. Our registration number is 48015239.

Our successful re-certification and registration renewal is another step in the development of the Friendship Farms and Fare sustainable urban agriculture project. As most of you know, we are also a registered seed seller. The nursery certification is an important expression of our farm’s mission and our commitment to responsible community development.

If you would like to support the work of Friendship Farms and Fare and help us cover expenses related to the project, please feel free to share a contribution. Friendship Farms and Fare operates under the umbrella of Ecology Florida, a not for profit corporation, so your contributions are tax deductable.
2015-2016 Renewal
Seed Dealer License & Registration
Friendship Farms & Fare
S009451

We are also a licensed Seed Dealer License for 2015-2016.

3 F is a licensed Seed Dealer, through the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which issues these licenses that are required to sell seeds to the public.

We renew in July every year. Through our friendship with Ecology Florida, we apply for the license as a subsidiary of Ecology Florida – a federally sanctioned Not For Profit organization.

Want to buy some seeds?

To explore the Ecology Florida project, see: http://www.ecologyflorida.org/

Grand Gardens Project
Folks interested in acquiring a plot can contact us through the 3F site.

Together with East Madison Growers and other organic agriculture organizations we are developing a new community garden plot on Grand Blvd. in New Port Richey. If you would like to participate, contact Travis Morehead, or stop by Grand Gardens on one of the designated work days: http://eastmadison.org/community-garden-calendar/

Shareholders interested in acquiring a plot may participate for reduced rates.

Farm Tours (Local Urban Gardens)
If you would like to schedule a tour of local urban gardens in New Port Richey, please let us know, and we can make arrangements. Our tours are experiential, informational, educational, and fun. Donations are greatly appreciated.

Typically, and depending on the season, participants will spend an hour or so in two or more gardens, learn about organic farming in an urban environment using permaculture philosophies and practices, observe and learn about urban wildlife and helpful plants, and enjoy samples of live produce. Tours are structured on the basis of participants’ interests and background.

Please note that an appropriate contribution for the tours and learning sessions will be suggested when tours are scheduled.

There are four categories of tours:
* Urban Farming, Permiculture and Soil development
* Urban wildlife and helpful plants
* Seasonal produce, from seed to harvest
* General (including two or more categories)

Please note that an appropriate contribution for the tours and learning sessions will be suggested when tours are scheduled – typically, $100.

3F: A Florida Friendly Farm
The 3 F gardens are certified as a “Florida Friendly” environment – a certification we have held for over a decade.

Florida Friendly recognition is given to environments (typically residential yards) that support and enhance natural ecosystems. Certification is given in three categories (bronze, silver, and gold) based on a point system rating various features of the property and practices followed by the property owner. We received a high score but only a silver rating because of some changes in the program of which we were unaware.

Attention is given to features such as water-retention, native and drought tolerant plants, diversity in plant species, responsible irrigation systems, and amenities for native pollinators. Positive practices include minimal use of fertilizers (with organic preferred) and little or no use of poisons, groundcovers rather than turf, composting, and rainwater collection systems.

We encourage all our members and friends to pursue Florida Friendly designation for their properties. It is a wonderful way to learn more about Florida’s natural ecology and what you can do to create a healthy environment right where you live. It is also a great way to go green.

Folks who wonder what they can do be more environmentally responsible are encouraged to review the Florida Friendly checklist. If you can change even one thing about your yard or your landscape practices to bring it into agreement with the guidelines, you will have a made a difference. Even if you do not apply for the designation, reviewing the criteria will be an enriching educational experience. Putting the guidelines into practice will make a definite difference. Here is the website for the program:
——————————————————————————————————————-
Other News and Reports
==
COMMERICAL PRODUCE REPORT

Our Commercial Produce News Report is currently in repose.
We will resume when time and talent allow.
If anyone would like to volunteer to collect market prices, please let us know.
OTHER PRODUCTS FOR THE CSA FAMILY

3F Produce for non-shareholders: Non-Members may order items for $10.00 each, shares for $20 per week, or $50 per month. For this amount, contributors may request any and all 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-CSA Members may request single items from the share list for $10 per item. A full share for one week (any/all items) is $20, and $50 for one month. Annual shares are recommended, at $300 per year. Five-month shares are $200.

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.

EGGS. Prices are $6.50 a dozen ($5.00 for shares), and $4.00 a half-dozen ($3.00 for shares). These prices are a bit higher than prices for organic eggs at commercial grocers. Acquiring eggs from local farms keeps resources in our community, supports local farming, and directly benefits a local farm family.

As required by our policies, our suppliers are local, follow organic principles, practices compassionate husbandry, and allows chickens free range. If you would like to be included on the egg list, please start an account ($20 suggested), and make requests accordingly. Eggs are from humanely treated chickens, and fed non-GMO feed.

Honey: Local West Pasco honey is available in 8 oz. bottles for $7.00 ($5.50 for shares).

Seeds: If you would like organic vegetable seeds for your garden, we will order them for you. Seed packs are $4.00 each, 2 for $7.00, and 5 for $14.00. Just tell us what you’d like. Be sure to send your mailing address. No charge for shipping.

Seedlings: We are also happy to start plants for you. Just give us the word on the plants you want us to start, and we’ll do the rest. Starter plants in cells are $2.00 per plant ($1, for shares), $3.00 for 2, $5.00 ($4) for four, $8.00 ($6.00) for nine. When available, small plants are $3.00 ($2.40) each, and medium plants are $5.00 ($4).

Let us know if you want to acquire seeds or starts for spring and summer.

Trees: Young Loquat trees are available in small (half-gallon) and medium (gallon) pots – $10.00 ($8.00 for shareholders). $20 ($18) for two-gallon pots. Larger trees in five-gallon pots are $50 to $70, depending on the size of the tree.

Vermipost and Worms: For folks interested in organic gardening, we have the best all-natural soil amenities you can find: Vermipost and Worms! Vermipost is compost that has been broken down and enriched by Red Worms. We also have the worms themselves. Vermipost is available in 32 oz containers for $2.50 each ($2.00 for shareholders), with discounts for orders of five or more. Vermipost containers will most likely have some worms in the mix. We recommend mixing the vermipost 1 to 1 with regular soil, and 1 to 3 or 4 with organic soil. Remember, if you use synthetic chemicals (such as fertilizers or pesticides), the vermipost will be compromised. Pesticides will kill the worms and synthetic fertilizers will kill the worms or drive them away.

Worms are available in 32 oz containers for $7.50 ($6 for shareholders). We cannot specify the exact number of worms in a container, but there should be 30-50. By the way, if you are developing an organic garden, always look for the OMRI seal of approval on fertilizers, soils, and insect deterrents.

Seeds: Shareholders are entitled to samples of seeds from our seed bank – three types of okra, arugula, and our famous Calabrese broccoli. Our seeds are organic and derived from heirloom stock. They are listed with Seed Savers Exchange, and also available at the New Port Richey Library Seed Exchange. Let us know if you are interested – additional packages of seeds for $4.00 ($3.00) a packet (of 30). We cannot guarantee germination, but in our tests germination rates are close to 100%.

Heirloom, organic seeds from Seed Savers Exchange are $4.00 each ($3.00 for shares). You may order Seed Savers seeds from us. Find the seeds you desire on line, and let us know, and we’ll order them for you.http://www.seedsavers.org/onlinestore/ Florida Central West Coast acclimated Broccoli seeds are offered by 3F: $3.00 for 30.

Local Markets and Growers’ Sites Open to the Public
Endorsed by Friendship Farms & Fare

Rose’s Bistro Off Main: We encourage folks to patronize Rose’s Bistro in New Port Richey, and other local produce markets. The Bistro often has organics, usually has local produce, is locally owned, and is a distributor of Seed Savers Exchange Heirloom Organic Seeds . Here is the facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TheMarketOffMain

Tasty Tuesdays: Visit the New Port Richey Library Tuesday (10:00 AM – 12:00 noon) for a good selection of locally grown organic vegetables. New Port Richey Public Library, 5939 Main St, New Port Richey, FL

Freedom House Farms: Open to visitors on Saturday afternoons. Featuring freshly harvested produce available for purchase. 5642 Virginia Ave., New Port Richey

First Farm: Receptive to visitors on weekend afternoons. Featuring seeds, seedlings, Loquat trees, and select produce in season. Call for appointment afternoons or evenings: (727) 849-1626. New Port Richey.

To Return to our website, go to: < http://www.fffsite.org >

Friendship Farms & Fare
An Urban Farm Community, CSA, Seed Saver, Community Garden, and purveyor of seeds, seedlings, fruit trees, and organic cottage-industry foods.

Friendship Farms & Fare Community

Cadle’s Cove Farm
Black Cat Growers
Freedom House Farm
Friendship Farms & Fare: First Farm
Good Chance Farm
Hart’s Family Farm
Seeds of Love Organic Farm
Tarry Lane Tasting Station

January 11, 2016– 15th report for the 2015-2016 Garden Year

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.
If you would like to support our work, please consider sharing a donation.
PO Box 596 ● New Port Richey, Florida 34656-0596

Friendship Farms & Fare affirms and advances agrarian ideals to reestablish a sustainable culture

Ecology Florida advances the harmonious integration of healthy natural, cultural, and economic ecologies to regenerate a sustainable world
PO Box 596 ● New Port Richey, Florida 34656-0596
www.EcologyFlorida.org

Ecology Florida, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization, with 501(c)(3) designation. Contributions to Ecology Florida, Inc. are tax deductable under section 107 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Ecology Florida is a registered charitable organization in the state of Florida. Registration number, CH 33333. A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REIGSTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE (800-435-7352) WITHIN THE STATE. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMEDNATION BY THE STATE.

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