Farm Report – March 3, 2015

Farm Report – March 3, 2015


Week of March 3, 2015

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: None this week

Garden Starts: Japanese cucumbers

Harvest Notes:  herbs, arugula, eggplant, collards, kale, swiss chard, loquats, kumquats, broccoli

Broccoli: Nearing Peak

174 heads harvested, so far

We topped out at 228 broccoli planted this season.

We harvested over 40 heads this week, for a total of 174 heads so far this season.  Last year, our harvest totaled 164.  As the season continues, readers will notice that the total number of heads will far exceed the number of plants planted.  This is because Calabrese (our famous heirloom!) produces secondary and sometimes tertiary heads.

There are probably another 20 good-sized heads in the gardens, and another 30 plants yet to produce any heads.  The cooler temperatures are accelerating the development of heads.  Paradoxically, the warm spells have caused some broccoli to flower.

Garden Overview

Winter Harvests

(additional details and assessments follows)

If anyone would like to come by the farm, extra large shares are available. Bring bags or boxes.  All the winter greens are at peak (and should be through into early March).  We’d love to share as much as possible.  Please let us know if you’d like to stop by for an extra large share.

We are getting ready for spring planting, and have extra cucumber seedlings available.  We still have some winter seedlings available, and if you’d like to plant some late winter greens, we have a nice collections of collards, broccoli, and a few swiss chard.  We’ll share these for contributions to the farm.

It is probably too late to plant winter greens, although some collards and kales may do well until it gets really hot.   We won’t be planting any more winter vegetables, and do not recommend other do any planting.

We have large quantities of broccoli, arugula, collards, kale, and swiss chard.  Eggplant shrubs were damaged, and we harvested all fruit before cutting the plants back below the freeze line.

See the Share Report for all items.

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

Black Cat Growers Announce New Market Project

3F Supports the Cat and Market Off Main

Friendship Farms and Fare will be joining with Black Cat Growers and West Pasco Fresh Market to provide fresh locally grown produce to a local produce market – Market Off Main in New Port Richey.   MOM is offering sales space to Friendship and the Cat.

Our colleague Sue, delivered our first harvest of naturally grown, organic greens this past week: Swiss Chard, Kale assortments, Collard Greens and Arugula are all bagged and ready for sale.

The first sale was made before Sue had left the market.

As always, we encourage our readers to support local urban farmers, micro farmers and gardeners, and a local business dedicated to building, promoting and providing a sustainable, resilient local community of fresh foods. Market Off Main is a great place to start.

East Madison Growers and Friendship Farms & Fare Team Up:

New Community Garden Planned in East Madison Neighborhood

3F has teamed up with friends and supporters to develop a new community garden in the East Madison neighborhood of New Port Richey.

The property owner has committed to having East Madison Growers and 3F use a vacant lot for a community garden.  There is still some paper work that needs to be reviewed and signed, but the project looks to be solid.  We’ll have more about this exciting new development in the future Farm Reports.

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

9:00 – 2:00

Market Off Main, New Port Richey

Program Established

Nursery Selected

Dried Loquats added to product line-up – with demonstration 

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

We should have information cards, and posters available in the next week or so.  If you know of locations where a small number of information cards could be left or a poster put up, please let us know.  We’ll share some with you.

We’ve just added another item to the product lineup: dried loquats. These are dehydrated version of our favorite fruit, produced using a solar powered oven by featured presenter, Jim Kovaleski, from Freedom House Farms.  Jim will also demonstrate how the process works.

We have established the program for the festival, and to assist your planning for the day’s events, here it is:



Welcome and Introduction, Dell deChant, Ecology Florida

followed by
The Journey of the Loquat (origins and history), Shelby Smith and Brittany Connolly

USF Religious Studies and FARM

Loquat Cultivation, Permaculture Applications, & Drying Techniques

Jim Kovaleski, Freedom House Farms

Loquats in the Kitchen, Sue Andreski, Black Cat Growers Kitchen

Loquats and Culture, Dell deChant, Ecology Florida


Special Announcement: Local Economy & Local Ecology Project

Travis Morehead, Nature Coast Real Food Project


Loquat Literary Festival: “O! Loquat!” – Wendy Buffington, Facilitator

We have also selected the featured nursery for the festival – Green Plan Tree Farms in Brooksville.  Green Plan does not have webpage, but here is their facebook page:

Although we cannot be certain, it appears that Green Plan has the largest loquat grove in this part of the state – perhaps even the largest in the entire state.

Travis from the Nature Coast Real Food Project and a volunteer from Friendship Farms & Fare visited with Green Plan’s proprietors (Steve and Joan Marie) last Monday (2/9), and enjoyed a tour of the grove.  There are at least 200 trees in the grove, and maybe more.  Green Plan will have a large number of loquat seedlings and young trees at the festival. Green Plan will also have several large trees, which are already bearing fruit.

Look for a feature article on this grove in the Loquat News.

As for the festival itself, here are some details:

This is a “Loquat Exclusive” event, so everything being shared (for sale, contribution, or gift) will be a loquat or loquat-derived product. We will have seeds, seedlings, young plants, several large plants, fresh fruit, jellies, jams, and pies.  No citrus here.  We will also have lectures and educational events on planting, cultivating and harvesting; eating, preserving, and recipes; and the history and cultural context of loquats. This year, we will have loquat literary offerings (see below).

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.  Getting a “stable” of trees is very important to the festival.

Third:  Volunteer opportunities. If you would like to volunteer to assist with the event, please let us know.  At present, our interest is in folks who could help with tree spotting, and assisting with harvesting in advance of the event.  If you’d like promotional cards to distribute, please let us know.  We are happy to get the cards out into the community.

Fourth: This year’s festival program includes a session on loquat literature – “O! Loquat!” The program will present short literary offerings (poems, narratives, prose poems) about loquats or prominently featuring the fruit or tree. We’ll use an open mic format on the day of the event. We’re excited about this addition!  Here is a link to an announcement on the literary event:

You can find flyers at these locations (which we thank for their support of the good news of our favorite fruit and its festival):

Temple Terrace

Urban Place Apartment
On50 Apartment
Naga Tea
Comfy Kids
Grace’s Hydroponics*
Temple Terrace Public Library
Chuck’s Natural Food Store (Tampa location)*.

New Port Richey

Market Off Main

Loquats in the 3F Grove

Harvest Continues

10.5 lbs total

Compared to Green Plan’s giant grove, our grove is quite tiny.  We have a dozen trees, all told, five of which are producing this season – up from two last year.

This past week, we harvested 3 more pounds, and included small quantities in many shares.  Be sure to order if you’d like some this week.  Shares will not be large, but we should have enough for everyone to receive a few.  Quantities will increase in the weeks ahead.

Total harvest this season: 10.5 lbs  (LY 75 lbs)

If you have trees, check them now for your own fruits.  They are coming in.

One of the many benefits of the loquat is its long fruiting season, with fruit maturing over a four-month period.  We’ll harvest our first fruits in January and keep harvesting through April.

As noted previously, in addition to fruit, 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.

If you would like to order a tree for your own yard, garden, or food forest, just let us know.  We have all sizes from small (1 gallon pots, 1-2 feet $10-20) to very large (5 gallon pots, 5 feet+ $50 and up).

Seed Savers Seeds Available Through Friendship Farms & Fare

3F is pleased to offer the highest quality organic, heirloom seeds to the community.  You may order Seed Savers seeds from us.  These are the only seeds we use at Friendship Farms, unless we use our own 3F seeds saved from previous years.  Find the seeds you desire online, let us know the type(s) and quantities, and we’ll order them for you.

Cost: $4.00 per packet ($3.00 for shares).  We’ll include them in your share or mail them  to you, if you give us your address.


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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