Farm Report – January 5, 2015

Farm Report – January 5, 2015

Week of January 5, 2014

Abbreviated Weekly Farm Report

From Friendship Farms & Fare

A Community Service To the Local Farming Community 

For the full Farm Report, go to:

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, grapefruit

Garden Overview

Winter Harvests & News

(additional details and assessments follows)

Duncan Grapefruit: Fresh Harvest

We have plenty of Duncan (Old Florida, White) Grapefruit this week and next. A few of us visited Bartlett’s Forgotten Grove last week, and found the trees just as tall, strong, and productive as ever. We harvested more than last year. This type of grapefruit is no longer commercially grown, being replaced by the more glamorous Red and Pink varieties. Folks who may remember these from their youth, will find them a happy taste of the past. If you’ve not had them before, give them a try. They are hard to find today, and will likely disappear completely in the next decade or so.


First Fruits Blush

The first loquat fruits of the season blushed this week. These are not yet ripe, but their flesh has the happy orange hue of the ripening fruit. If you have trees, check them now for your own first fruits.

As noted previously, the trees are now putting forth new growth. Look for radiant virescent leaves, soft and tender to the touch, with sharp tips pointing to the heavens.

Florida Loquat Festival: Celebrating Florida’s Urban Fruit
April 4, 2015

Market Off Main, New Port Richey

April 4 is the date for this year’s Florida Loquat 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. Join us for the Festival (April 4). Here is a link to a little story about the event:

Winter greens are abundant. We have significant quantities of kale, collards, and swiss chard – two gallon bags on the first two, and one gallon bags on the swiss chard. We have Nagami kumquats (the tart variety). The Meyer lemons are done for the season. In the Farm Report, you’ll find note of another 3F favorite now available for share requests.

See the Share Report for all items:


The second planting of romaine is ready to harvest. The weather has been just about perfect for romaine, and there is more in this planting than the first. The third seeding is now up, and we’ll want to get it in the beds as soon as possible. If you’d like extra romaine this week, just let us know.



Thanks to those who are following the broccoli saga. Here is the latest update:

We have 228 seedlings and young and mature plants in the gardens, which reflects our planting 4 seedlings this week – all in the South Garden. These are our famous (3F) Calabrese broccoli seeds

Several of the plants have harvestable heads. 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 is thriving. We will have ample shares for all this week. 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.

Organic Seeds available at Market Off Main in New Port Richey

Good gardens require good seeds, and Tampa Bay now has access to the highest quality seeds. These are Seed Savers Exchange heirloom, organic seeds. Friendship Farms & Fare has joined other groups committed to sustainability in sponsoring a Seed Savers Exchange seed kiosk in New Port Richey.

Through a cooperative arrangement with Friendship Farms & Fare and Ecology Florida, the Market Off Main, in New Port Richey, now offers a wide range of organic, heirloom, non-GMO seeds exclusively from Seed Savers Exchange. Market Off Main is at the corner of Lincoln and Main, just south of Sims Park in beautiful New Port Richey.

The Market has a wide assortment of winter vegetable seeds. It also has seeds for spring planting for those who want to be prepared for spring planting. Spring will likely come early this year.

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 in any topic presented here, 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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