Farm Report – May 4

Farm Report – May 4

Week of May 4, 2015

Abbreviated Weekly Farm Report

From Friendship Farms & Fare

A Community Service To the Local Farming Community

For the full Farm Report, go to:

(Star of David, 54; Silver Queen 54), Watermelon (Stone Mountain,27; Chris Cross, 33), Eggplant (Florida High Bush, 54; Rosa Bianca, 54), Basil (Genovese, 24)

Garden Starts: okra, sweet potatoes

Harvest Notes:  herbs, arugula, collards, kale, eggplant, cucumbers


2nd Shipment of Sweet Potatoes Received

Second Set Of Beds Begun

Our second shipment of sweet potato slips from George’s Plant Farm arrived on Thursday (April 30), and we began planting yesterday (May 1)

This shipment was all Beauregards – 100 total.   We planted 20 today, to bring our total to 202 . A total of eight beds have been planted: the two new south beds (East and West), and old beds 5, 7, 10, 11, and 12 – yesterday, we planted bed 4. Look for the first fruits in early to mid-July.

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 of harvest.   We usually place three orders from George’s, one in April, one in May, and one in June. This allows us 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.

Persimmon First Fruitlings

One of our Fuyu Persimmon trees has fruitlings – 2 small fruit. These are the first fruits for this tree, which together with its companion persimmon was planted in 2013. 

Garden Overview

Spring Plantings Continue

(additional details and assessments follow)

We are composting winter plants, 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 most of the south beds and planted with sweet potatoes (Beauregards and Georgia Jets).

Cucumbers and okra are both are doing well. We harvested close to 10 lbs of cucumbers this week. We expect to have more this week, but not close to 10 lbs.. Several okra plants have fruitlings. We expecte okra by next week.

Eggplant shrubs are budding profusely, starting to set fruit. We can offer eggplant this week.

If anyone reading this, would like to help with the SP plantings, just let us know. Thanks to those who have helped thus ar.

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

We still have large quantities of collards.

See the Share Report for all items.

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

Okra Seedlings

Okra is taking off now. Several plants are over a foot tall. Three is less predation than last week. The predation is fine. It toughens the plants, and these plants are the decedents of plants that were nibbled and gnawed and partially eaten by every okra-loving insect in the area. They can take it. This is the way it is done in a permaculture system. The plants are stronger for the predation, and the predators themselves become prey of carnivorous creatures – but only if you leave them on the plants.


26 Harvested

Cucumbers are thriving. The most successful are the Japanese Climbing. We have planted Double Yields, Armenians, Japanese Climbing, and Nippon Sanjaku Kiuri. They are growing in all gardens with those in the blackberry colony doing the best. We’ve harvested 12 this past week (nearly 10 lbs), bringing total to 26.

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.

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.


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.

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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