Weather Report – January 1st, 2015

Weather Report – January 1st, 2015

Week of December 29, 2014

Abbreviated Weekly Farm Report

From Friendship Farms & Fare

A Community Service To the Local Farming Community

For the full Farm Report, go to:

Happy New Year to All From Friendship Farms & Fare

We are expecting the coming year to be even more beautiful, harmonious, and happy than last year.   We know that is saying a lot, 2014 was so grand, but it is our expectation.  Thanks for joining with us, and sharing our expectation with others.

Planting  & Harvest Notes

Winter Seeding and Garden Starts This Week

Seedings: no new seedings

Garden Starts: Broccoli Kale, Collards, Swiss Chard

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

Garden Overview

Winter 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. Eggplant is FCFS.  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.  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, and the first small heads have appeared.

We planted some of our swiss chard seedlings, which we were waiting to mature.  We’ll plant more 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 (


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 224 seedlings and young plants in the gardens, which reflects our planting 10 seedlings this week – mostly in the new central bed of the South Garden and the Oak Knoll. These are our famous (3F) Calabrese broccoli seeds.

Several of the plants formed heads this week.  This is very late for us, but it means we’ll likely have heads into May or even June. The late fruiting was due to loss of our first plantings in late summer.

We were initially aiming plant 200 broccolis this year – but may up it to 250.  Last year, we had 144.

If you are starting a garden, please check with us first for seeds and seedlings.  It is still not too late to start.  We’ll be planting seedlings through the month of January.

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 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 planted Gold Silverbeet in the South Garden this week.  Remember, when preparing swiss chard, remove the central stem, which is too bitter for most palates.  The stem can be cooked, but should be prepared separately from the leaves.   Here is a good site for information on this fine winter vegetable:



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.

The Florida Loquat Festival: Celebrating Florida’s Urban Fruit
Date Set for 2015 Festival

April 4, 2015

Market Off Main

New Port Richey

We’ve set April 4 for the 2015 Festival.  Mark your calendars, and join us for this one-of-a-kind event.  In the meantime, please spread the word about Loquats and the event.

We starting preliminary work on the festival, and are happy to share our initial plans and visions.

First, we’ve had requests from a number of folks to share their loquat wares.  So, if you are interested in sharing loquats, or loquat products and wares, please contact us.  This is a “Loquat Exclusive” event, so everything being shared (for sale, contribution, or gift) must be a loquat or loquat-derived product. Space is limited, and proposals will be reviewed. Sharing will be contingent on proper paperwork (including disclaimers on foods), fees if any, available space, and commitment to the Festival.

Second, if you have a loquat tree that volunteers can harvest for the festival, please let us know your location (and phone number); we’ll make arrangements for the harvest in season.

Third, our plans to have a loquat poetry have been revived.  By the way, what rhymes with Loquat (besides Kumquat)?

3F  Produce for non-shareholders

Non-Members may order 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 $5 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.

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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