Agriculture and Farm Report – December 21, 2015

Agriculture and Farm Report – December 21, 2015

Weekly Farm Report

From Friendship Farms & Fare

Week of December 21, 2015

A Community Service To West Pasco’s Urban Agriculture Community

For complete Farm Report, go to:

Happy Winter

Cold Season Begins Monday

December 21

The Winter Solstice is Monday December 21 – the “shortest day of the year.”  Daylight has been shortening has since the summer solstice – June 21, the day with the longest period of time between sunup and sunset during the year.  December 21 is the shortest period between sunup and sunset.  Beginning on December 22, the first day of winter, the days will begin to lengthen. This will continue through the Vernal Equinox (when day and night are equal), until the Summer Solstice (June 21), when the days will again begin getting shorter.   

Typically, winter brings the coldest temperatures of the year, and we expect that to be the case this year as well – despite Global Warming.  So, expect colder temperatures, and maybe even a freeze, in the coming months.

Grand Gardens Taking Off

Promotional T-Shirts Available

Together with Nature Coast Real Food Project, and various other organizations and individuals, we are developing Grand Gardens, a major community garden in a food impoverished (“low access”) area. Grand Gardens is located near 3F’s first farm on Illinois Ave, but it is much larger.  It occupies a one-half acre lot in downtown New Port Richey, donated by Gary Gann and Steven DeMatos of Creative Institute of Dental Arts.

The beautiful logo for Grand Gardens was created by a 6th grade art student at Gulf Middle School, Park Mylott.  The City Council of New Port Richey chose Mylott’s image from a group of three finalists, selected from over 20 submissions from GMS art students. Gulf Middle School is our middle school partner in the project.

As a fund-raiser and promotional collectable object, we are offering a T-Shirt as a premium for contributions to the project. The T-Shirt has the Grand Gardens logo on the front and supporting organizations on the back.  We are affirming a minimum donation of $10 for each shirt, and receptive to greater contributions to support the project – which will allow us to make the shirt available to Gulf Middle School students who might not otherwise be able to afford the shirt.  

Contributions of over $15 (our cost) will receive formal acknowledgement for purposes of tax deductions.  

Make checks to Friendship Farms & Fare PO Box 596 New Port Richey, Florida 34656-0596 or go to the Ecology Florida website and click on the donate button.  

If you want us to mail you a shirt, please give your size, and mailing address and add a little extra contribution for postage.

Folks interested in acquiring a plot at Grand Gardens can contact us through the 3F site. If you would like to participate, contact Travis Morehead, or stop by Grand Gardens on one of the designated work days:

Shareholders interested in acquiring a plot may participate for reduced rates.

First Ripe Loquats

Festival March 26

Frances Avenue Park

New Port Richey

In another example of Global Warming, we observed our first loquats. This is the earliest we’ve ever seen them – December 12 for those keeping records.  This is about one month earlier than the earliest previous date.

The Loquat Festival will be March 26 this year.  Make your plans now.

Arugula Doing Very Well

Arugula, is abundant – the big winner so far this fall.  The plants are thriving.  All are healthy and strong.  Shares can request extra quantities if desired.  This arugula is from our own seeds, saved for three generations.

Collards and Kale Making Progress

Collards and kale are doing very well.  The cooler weather this weekend (12/18-20) will be helpful.

The heat has been hard on the both kale and collard – but harder on kale.  Small kale offerings can be included in all shares, if requested.

Seed Savers Exchange

2016 Organic Seeds Now Available

New Port Richey

Seeds from Seed Savers Exchange for the 2016 season are now available through Friendship Farms & Fare and our kiosk sites in New Port Richey and the University of South Florida.  We are pleased to support the work Seed Savers, which is dedicated to preserving heirloom varieties of fruits and vegetables. Unless we use our own saved seeds or ones from other local gardeners, we use SSE seeds exclusively.  Here is a link to Seed Savers Exchange:

You can order seeds directly from Friends Farms & Fare. See the mailing address, below, and send a check for $3.00 for each see pack desired.  Please add $1.00 to cover postage.

Here is a links to Rose’s Bistro:

Garden Overview

Harvests were good last week.

Most of the New South Garden is now planted. We added more collards and broccoli. We harvested several tomatos last week, and quite a few small bell peppers.   

Kale is doing much better, but Swiss Chard is still struggling.  There has been a lot of predation of the Chard.

We started Kale, Swiss Chard, and Arugula last week.  We’ll do another round of broccoli this week and more Kale

See the Share Report for all items.  

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



Visit the Friendship Farms & Fare website for the Weekly Farm Report:!report/c1tuh

Contact us via email, at:!contact/cl4l

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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