Farm Report – December 7th, 2014

Farm Report – December 7th, 2014

Week of December 8, 2014

Abbreviated Weekly Farm Report

From Friendship Farms & Fare

A Community Service To the Local Farming Community

For the full Farm Report, go to:!report/c1tuh

Seed Savers Exchange to list 3F Loquat Seeds and Exciting News About Young Trees

On December 6, Seed Savers Exchange listed 3F loquat seeds on the Yearbook website.  They will be included in the hard copy of the 2015 Yearbook, due out early in the new year.   These are the only loquat seeds listed in the SSE Yearbook, and this is the first time loquat seeds have been listed in the SSE Yearbook.

Watch for additional coverage in the Loquat News.  If you would like to be added to the mailing list for Loquat News, please send us your email address, and you’ll be included in all future mailings.   You can reach us at!contact/cl4l   Here is a link to the November issue:

Remember, 3F and Ecology Florida host the annual Florida Loquat Festival.  Join us April 4, 2015 for the next celebration of Florida’s Urban Fruit.

We are also excited to report that the young trees that flowered for the first time this year (at 2½ years of age), now have fruit on them.  The parent tree has a lot of “fruitlings,” and the youngsters now have their own offspring offerings.  By their third birthday (this spring), we’ll be looking for the first harvest from the young trees.  Remember, literature reports that loquats grown from seed do not produce fruit for 8-10 years (as reported by Perdue University, among others).

This past week, we again observed large numbers of bees at the loquat trees.  This is heartening.

Planting  & Harvest Notes

Fall Seeding and Garden Starts

Seedings: Lettuce (Red Romaine, 54, Yugoslavian Butterhead, 54); Swiss Chard, Gold Silverbeet, 18; Collards (Vates, 44, GA Southern, 53)

Garden Starts: Collards; Broccoli; Kale; Tomatoes

Garden Overview

Fall Plantings and First Harvests

(additional details and assessments follows)

Winter greens are coming in stronger. We have arugula, collards, kale, and swiss chard.  We are not listing eggplant, but there are some small fruit on the shrubs.  Eggplant will be FCFS.

Romaine is coming along slowly, and some smallish selections are available.

See the Share Report for all items.

Seeding and garden starts slowed a bit this week.  The farmer had a number of professional obligations this week, so garden work was minimal.

We’ve planted most of the South Knoll – broccoli, romaine, tomatoes.

Kales and collards, which are maturing nicely.  Swiss chard is doing well, and we can harvest the first leaves. As expected, the famous Calabrese is doing well, but we are behind in getting seedlings into the gardens.  Arugula is thriving.

We would like to have more swiss chard to plant, but our seedlings are not yet ready for the garden.

Tomatoes will be testers only, and we planted four in the South Knoll.

For all plantings, we use seeds from our collection or heirloom seeds from Seed Savers Exchange (


Thanks to those who commented on the broccoli report.  Here is the latest update:

We have 139 seedlings and young plants in the gardens, which reflects our planting 44 seedlings in the new 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 have plenty of seedlings, now, probably moving to the new South East Bed, which is near the blackberry shurbs.  We are aiming to have 200 planted this year – but may up it to 300, at least 250.  Last year, we had 144.

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.

Swiss Chard

The swiss chard has strengthened significantly.  A number of plants have large healthy leaves. We’ll have enough for small shares for all who desire.

Last week we seeded more of the out of date, Gold Silverbeet.  All germinated.

We are looking for more SC seedlings. Ours are still too young to plant in the garden.


Kale continues to do well.  We will have shares available this week.  Depending on requests, shares may be considerable. Let us know if you would like a larger share than usual.  We are catching up on in the amount of kale we’d like to have ready for harvest, but still not where we’d like to be.

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.


Arugula continues to thrive.  There is enough for full shares for all.


Georgia Southern Collards are trendsetters for the fall garden, and the Vates are coming on strong now.


The “American” spinach seeds have germinated, at about 80%.  They are maturing slowly.  Everything is, right now.


Cucumbers are not a typical fall crop, but we’ve had success before, so we are trying again this year.  These are a Japanese variety, Suyo.  We also sprouted some Longfellows.  We’ll be planting both as companions to our blackberries.  They can train on the blackberry trellises.


We are going with a good producer from previous seasons – the Wapsipinicon. This is a peach tomato, with ancestry going back to 1890.  We planted four in the South Knoll this week.  These are a bit larger than cherry tomatoes, and yellow to almost white.  They have a wonderful flavor.  We are going with the Wapsipinicons because they have proven to be the most resistant to blight and septoria.   So far, those we planted are thriving. Now, if we can avoid a freeze!


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:


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

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

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

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