Weekly Farm Report
From Friendship Farms & Fare
Week of January 25, 2016
A Community Service To West Pasco’s Urban Agriculture Community
This week’s Farm Report is now posted on the 3F website. For the full report, go to:
Loquat Harvest Continues
Fruit Ripens Early
The loquat harvest continues. We are up to 10 pounds so far. This is the earliest we have begun the harvest. 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.
Winter Crops Thriving
Our primary winter crops (collards, kale, and broccoli) are thriving. The cooler and wetter weather is accelerating the plants’ growth and development. The south garden is particularly lush, with beautiful large-leafed plants stretching from Illinois Ave to the natural sector at the south end of the garden.
Broccoli Slowing But Still Strong.
Broccoli is slowing just a bit. We are at about 30 heads harvested, so far. As with the loquats, the extreme heat probably sped up the maturation process, and led to sizable early harvests. Some heads have begun to flower. Look for small yellow flowers on the head. They add just a touch of sweetness to the distinctive broccoli taste.
Harvests continue to be very good. Last week was our best harvest of the winter. The crops responded very positively to the cooler temperatures and rain.
We harvested more winter vegetables. The loquats are coming in, and we harvested a few pounds of those.
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/).
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.
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.
Florida Loquat Festival
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:
Grand Gardens Taking Off
Promotional T-Shirts Available
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.
Not Too Early to Think About Spring Planting
It is not too early to start thinking about your spring and summer garden. Here at Friendship Farms & Fare we are doing just that.
We encourage readers to begin thinking about their spring and summer garden, and we are pleased to remind everyone that Friendship Farms is a registered seed seller, with plenty of seasonal seeds available – including our prized okra seeds in several varieties. Remember, always acquire seeds and seedlings from local growers and nurseries. The seeds and seedlings will be better than what you can find commercially. Besides, the corporate outlets do not need more of our money, and spending with local sources promotes local economies and ecologies.
Visit the Friendship Farms & Fare website for the Weekly Farm Report:
Contact us via email, at: http://www.fffsite.org/#!contact/cl4l
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:
If you would like to support our mission and individual projects, you may share donations through our website (above) or at our mailing address:
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
Ecology Florida advances the harmonious integration of healthy natural, cultural, and economic ecologies to regenerate a sustainable world