Pasco Agriculture Report – September 21, 2015

Pasco Agriculture Report – September 21, 2015

Weekly Farm Report

From Friendship Farms & Fare

Week of September 21, 2015

A Community Service To West Pasco’s Urban Agriculture Community

For Full Farm Report:

Planting  & Harvest Notes

Winter Seeding and Garden Starts Underway

Seedings:  Kale (Lacinato , 42)

Garden Starts: Georgia Southern Collards

Harvest Notes:  okra, eggplant, herbs, red malabar spinach, Okinawa spinach, sweet potato leaves, and culantro

Vermipost: 5 lbs.

Grand Gardens Coming Soon

Friendship Farms & Fare Teams Up With Other Growers:

Two New Community Gardens Planned in East Madison Neighborhood

Look for news on the opening of the Grand Gardens in New Port Richey soon.  3F is participating with Ecology Florida and other local organic agriculture organizations to establish a substantial community garden just west of the East Madison neighborhood on Grand Boulevard in New Port Richey.

Grand Gardens is one of two new community gardens in the East Madison neighborhood of New Port Richey.  Joining in this 3F and Ecology Florida in the project are East Madison Growers and Nature Coast Real Food Project.

Two property owners have committed to having 3F use their vacant lots for community gardens.  The New Port Richey Environmental Committee has approved both lots for gardens.  We are currently receiving applications for garden plots.

Financial support will be greatly appreciated. If you would like to share contributions with Friendship Farms & Fare in support of the new Grand Gardens or any our other projects, your gifts will be gratefully received.  We’ll share an acknowledgment of your gift and our warm thanks.  We are also happy to report that contributions to Friendship Farms & Fare are tax deductible.

You can mail contributions to:

Friendship Farms & Fare

PO Box 596

New Port Richey, FL 34656-0596

Garden Overview

Fall seeding has recommenced, and we planted our first fall bed – collards in the old north west garden. We started quite a lot of broccoli seeds.

Harvests of okra and SP leaves are declining. Eggplant has slowed dramatically. Sweet potato harvests have been improving, slightly.

Now is the time to begin planning the fall garden, and we are doing that. Try seeding, if you like.  It is still very hot – probably too hot for fall crops.  It is getting late, so we’ll take our chances with starts.  We’ll be planting swiss chard, collards, kale, and (of course) broccoli.  We’ll continue to work with tomatoes and bell peppers.

See the Share Report for all items.  

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

Sweet Potato Update

446 slips planted

First Harvest in Early July

72 ½    pounds harvested

No harvest this week. We stand at  now 72 ½  pounds.

We continue to run behind expected numbers at this point.  We’ve done eight beds and were expecting at least 15 pounds per bed – 120 total.  So, we are about 50 pounds behind.

We can include SPs with all shares.  We have various sizes (medium to fingerling). We’d like to move the fingerlings, so let us know of those are okay.  Most are good quality (A), but not excellent/fancy (AA).  There is a little scaring on some.

We will try to harvest more this week – with Sunday looking like the best day to start.

We planted a total of 446 slips in 16 beds this year.

We’ve staggered the planting to stagger the harvest. Using this method, we’ll be harvesting from well into September, and maybe even into October.

In 2013 we harvested 150 lbs.  Last year (2014) our harvest was 250 lbs.  This year we are still aiming at 400 lbs., although the first rounds are not particularly encouraging.


83  pounds   

Okra has dropped off significantly.  We managed only two pounds this week. Our total is 83  pounds.

We have less than half our original planting still producing. We have identified several for seed saving.  These were heavy producers and thrived despite nematode colonies on their roots.

Shares are advised that okra will be light, and may be woody.

We are doing some advance planning for an Okra Event in mid-June, 2016. Let us know if you are interested.

Eggplant 146

Eggplants are slowing.  We harvested two this week, keeping our total to 146 so far.  The size and appearance is not consistent, and some would not be acceptable at a commercial market. All appear to have good texture and favor.

There is no fruit on the plants and the plants have been weakened by the heat.

Sweet Potato Leaves

Plenty For A Few More Weeks

We are harvesting sweet potatoes now, so the leaves are gradually on their way out.  Sweet Potato leaves are our oldest summer greens, and beloved by many.  Shares that request are getting 2 gallon bags of these delicious and nutritious dark green leafy vegetable.

Try some, if you have not yet. Some folks prefer the flavor and texture of SP leaves to more well-known greens, like spinach or kale.  Here is a site with nutritional information on SP leaves and links to recipes:


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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