Farm Report – April 20, 2015

Farm Report – April 20, 2015

Week of April 20, 2015

Abbreviated Weekly Farm Report

From Friendship Farms & Fare

A Community Service To the Local Farming Community

For the full Farm Report, go to:

Seedings: Cucumber (Nippon SK, 35), Marigold, 18; Cilantro, 18;

Garden Starts: okra, sweet potatoes

Harvest Notes:  herbs, arugula, collards, kale, loquats,

Vermipost: 15 lbs.

Sweet Potato Slips Arrive

Planting Begins

Our first shipment of sweet potato slips from George’s Plant Farm arrived on Friday. We’ve ordered 100 Georgia Jets and 100 Beauregards. These are the traditional varieties for Friendship Farms & Fare, and shareholders have been enjoying them for years. We found time to get 25 slips planted on Friday and we are aiming to get the rest planted by Sunday evening.

If you would like to acquire slips for your summer garden, let us know. We will share some of ours for a modest donation.

We acquire our slips from George’s Plant Farm in Martin, Tennessee. George’s is a family farm, with a wonderful story. To learn about the Dellinger Family and their farm, here is a link to their website:

Last year we had 300 slips in our two gardens, and total production of 250 pounds. This year, we are looking to increase the planting to 400 slips, and we are aiming for 400 pounds.   We usually place three orders from George’s, one in April, one in May, and one in June. This allows to distribute the planting over three months, which means we are also distributing the harvest over three months. Those who were following the Farm Report last year remember that this method worked very well, and allowed us to have sweet potatoes through October.

Don’t forget, Sweet Potato leaves and vines are a delicious warm weather green. We’ll have those listed in the share report very soon. 

Good Bye to Two Old Friends

Two of the three ancient Duncan grapefruit trees in the south grove have made transition. It is sad to see them go, and see the empty spaces in the grove where they stood for many years. They were there longer than anyone in the community can remember. Ray, who has been living in these parts the longest, observed, “they’ve always been there.” They have long been our companions, and they are missed. The third Duncan is still with us, although it appears weak – and old.


Perhaps the Duncan seedlings from Bartlett’s Forgotten Grove will one-day stand where these generous providers of food and beauty stood for decades.

Okra Planting Picks Up

We picked up the pace on the okra planting, but are still a bit behind where we’d like to be. We have some of all varieties in the New South Garden, about 20, all told. We would have liked to have 60 in by now – but life is good.

Garden Overview

Spring Plantings Continue

(additional details and assessments follow)


We are composting winter plants quickly, and trying to accelerate our seeding project. Even the summer seedlings do not like the high 80s (and now, 90s) we are getting.


We’ve cleared and remulched four of the south beds – getting ready for sweet potatoes.


We’ve planted cucumbers and okra – both are doing well. We received our sweet potato slips this week (yesterday, April 17), and planted 25 right away.


Eggplant shrubs are budding profusely, and setting some fruit.


If anyone reading this, would like to help with the SP plantings, just let us know.


If you would like SP slips, let us know. We’ll share for .50 per slip.


We still have large quantities of collards, and kale.


Swiss chard, arugula, and broccoli are spent.


See the Share Report for all items.

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

Loquat Harvest Continues

110 lbs total

The loquat season is almost over – and what a season it has been! This past week, we harvested 1 more pound, and included small quantities in two shares.


Total harvest this season: 110 lbs (LY 75 lbs)

The season is passing, and some trees no longer have fruit. Others will have fruit for at least another month.


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) to very large (5 gallon pots, 5 feet+), and other sizes in-between. Suggested donations, $10 – $50, depending on size.

Broccoli Season Ends

323 heads harvested

Composting continues

Prized plants flagged for seed saving


We topped out at 228 broccoli planted this season.


We are not listing broccoli this week for the first time since the season began. There are still some florets, so if you have read this far and would like the very last broccoli of the season, just list it on your share request.


We harvested 6 heads last week, for a total of 323 heads for the season. Last year, our harvest totaled 164.


We are continuing to compost the spent plants and flagged about a dozen for seed saving.



Cucumbers are thriving. The most successful are the Japanese Climbing. We have planted Double Yields, Armenians, and Japanese Climbing. They are growing in the front garden, and the New South garden, next to the blackberries. We’ve harvested 5 so far, and observed many more fingerlings.


Tomatoes and Peppers

We had a significant failure with tomato and pepper seedlings– not sure why. The likely culprit is the soil mix, which seemed to hold more moisture than usual.



Kale is past peak. It wilts everyday. We may have kale for another few weeks.



Arugula is past peak. We won’t be listing it this week. 


The collards continue thrive – as hardy now as in mid-winter. Please stop by for extra large shares of our three varieties, Georgia Southern, Georgia, and Vates, are large, lush, and ready for harvest.


Ouachita Family

The blackberry vines flowering profusely, and the first immature berries are appearing. These are Ouachita Blackberries shared lovingly by Christine Grovenstein of Seeds of Love Organic Farm.

Habanero Peppers

Habaneros are coming back very nicely now, and bearing abundant blossoms – and the first fruits.



Eggplants are now flourishing, producing flowers, and a few fruit! These are exciting times for the eggplant colony.

Viticulture (Grape) News

Vines are putting out first leaves – and the first tiny bunches.

Jamming with the Cat: Black Cat Growers Offers Jams To 3F Family

As reported last week, we are delighted to announce that Black Cat Growers has joined the 3F family. Black Cat is a small local grower, cottage food producer, and designer of edible landscapes. Some of you may remember the wonderful assistance of Black Cat Growers shared during our Loquat Festival last year.


Our work with Black may well evolve over time, and for now we are happy to list their line of outstanding local organic jams. Shares can acquire these for $5.00, for a ½ pint container, which includes their CSA discount.


If you would like a sample of any of the jams, let us know in your share request this week. If you would like to order some for holiday gifts and parties, now is the time to order.

Nursery Certification and Registration Renewed

2015-2016 Nursery Certification and Registration

Friendship Farms & Fare



We just received the good news that our nursery registration has been renewed for 2015-2016.


Friendship Farms & Fare is a registered nursery in the state of Florida. Our registration number is 48015239.


Our successful re-certification and registration renewal is another step in the development of the Friendship Farms and Fare sustainable urban agriculture project. As most of you know, we are also a registered seed seller. The nursery certification is an important expression of our farm’s mission and our commitment to responsible community development.


If you would like to support the work of Friendship Farms and Fare and help us cover expenses related to the project, please feel free to share a contribution. Friendship Farms and Fare operates under the umbrella of Ecology Florida, a not for profit corporation, so your contributions are tax deductable.

Seed Savers Seeds Available Through Friendship Farms & Fare


Please buy your seeds and seedlings from local growers or suppliers committed to organic, heirloom seeds.


3F is pleased to offer the highest quality organic, heirloom seeds to the community. You may order several locally-acclimated seeds from our own collection as well as Seed Savers seeds from us. Seed Savers seeds are the only ones we use at Friendship Farms, unless we use our own 3F seeds saved from previous years. This year 3F is offering these locally-acclimated seeds: okra (4 varieties), broccoli, and arugula.


If you’d like to order Seed Savers seeds form us, 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.


Please buy your seeds and seedlings from local growers or suppliers committed to organic, heirloom seeds.


See this story on the damage caused by “big box stores”:


See also, 10 reasons to support local commerce:


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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