Agriculture and Farm Report – February 8, 2016

Agriculture and Farm Report – February 8, 2016

Weekly Farm Report

From Friendship Farms & Fare

Week of February 8, 2016

A Community Service To West Pasco’s Urban Agriculture Community

This week’s Farm Report is now posted on the 3F website. For the full report, go to:

Winter Crops Thriving

We had another large harvest last week.  We are encouraging everyone in the CSA to request shares this week. We should have enough collards, kale, and broccoli for all shares.  Any shareholders who desire to come by the farm can pick up double shares of collards.  The primary winter crops (collards, kale, and broccoli) are thriving.  The cooler and wetter weather is accelerating the plants’ growth and development.  The south garden is particularly lush, with beautiful large-leafed plants stretching from Illinois Ave to the natural sector at the south end of the garden.

Broccoli Very Strong

Broccoli is coming on strong.  Every day we find new heads. We are over 60 heads harvested, so far.  Some growers will notice that their broccoli has begun to flower – we’ve had few.  Look for small yellow flowers on the head. They add just a touch of sweetness to the distinctive broccoli taste.  

Garden Overview

Harvests as a whole continue to be very good, and better than recent years. The crops continue to respond very positively to the cooler temperatures and rain.

We harvested more winter vegetables last week, sharing with neighbors and all shareholders.  The loquats are coming in, and we’ve harvested all the ripe ones in our grove. The majority of the fruit is still on the trees.

See the Share Report for all items.  

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

Collard Greens Abundant

Collards are now abundant.  We can easily fill 2-gallon bags for all shares.  We can share even more for folks who want to come by the garden.   For folks who get deliveries, we can do a “collards only” bag for you. This would amount to two 2-gallon bags, or several pounds.  There would not be much room for anything else, but you’d have a lot of collard greens.

Collards, Nutritional Note (compared with Kale) One cup of chopped collards supplies 27% of daily calcium, 300% of the vitamin A, almost 60% of the C, and 21% of the fiber.   By comparison, kale (often called a super food), comes in with 9% of the calcium, over 300% of vitamin A, 90% of the C, and 10% of the daily fiber.  So, collards stack up pretty well against one our trendiest foods.

Florida Loquat Festival  

March 26  

9:00 – 2:00

Frances Avenue Park

New Port Richey

Mark Your Calendars

We are pleased to announce the date and location of this year’s Florida Loquat Festival.  Mark your calendars and make arrangements now to join loquat fans from around the state in New Port Richey on March 26, 2016.

If you are interested in learning more about loquats (from seed to harvest, and planting to canning), the 2016 Florida Loquat Festival is for you.  As always, this is a Loquat exclusive event. Only loquats and loquat-related products will be available.  Lectures, demonstrations, and educational sessions will be dedicated solely to loquats.

We have our good friends from Green Plan Tree Farm joining us, bringing a wide selection of loquat trees ready for planting. Black Cat Growers will again be offering wonderful loquat preserves, and maybe some surprises. Jim Kovaleski from Freedom House Farms will share expertise and insight on the contribution of loquats to sustainable Florida homesteading – Jim might also have some of his famous loquat cookies.

The poetry salon at the festival should be even more substantial than last year.

Donations are most appreciated.  Volunteers are most welcome.

If you are interested in loquats, this is the place to be. We are the only loquat festival in the state, and probably the only one in the nation.  Mark your calendars (electronic and traditional), tell your friends and family. Most of all, join us on March 26 for this one-of-a-kind celebration and learning festival.  The Loquat Festival will be March 26 this year.  Make your plans now.  Click here for the latest edition of the Florida Loquat News:

Grand Gardens Taking Off

Promotional T-Shirts Available

Order Now

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 of contribution (of $5 or more) 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.

Spring Planning

It is not too early to start thinking about your spring and summer garden. Here at Friendship Farms & Fare we are doing just that.  

We encourage readers to begin thinking about their spring and summer garden, and we are pleased to remind everyone that Friendship Farms is a registered seed seller, with plenty of seasonal seeds available – including our prized okra seeds in several varieties.

We also usually have seedlings available for donation.

Remember, always acquire seeds and seedlings from local growers and nurseries.  The seeds and seedlings will be better than what you can find commercially.  Besides, the corporate outlets do not need more of our money, and spending with local sources promotes local economies and ecologies.

Stop by Rose’s Bistro for an excellent assortment of seeds from Seed Savers Exchange.  We encourage seed purchases from Rose’s Bistro. Doing so supports the local economy, and the local ecology.


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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