Agricultural Report – February 29

Agricultural Report – February 29

Weekly Farm Report

From Friendship Farms & Fare

Week of February 29, 2016

A Community Service To West Pasco’s Urban Agriculture Community


First Spring Seedings At Gardens

Seeds Available for Your Gardens

That’s right!  We’ve started our first batch of seeds for our spring (and summer) garden.  

The okra we seeded last week has germinated – except for the Red Burgundy.  Rouge Lance was close to 100% germination, and Hill Country Red was nearly 80%.  The others were between 50 and 70%.  None of the Red Burgundy sprouted. The lower germination rates were directly related to the cold andwet conditions.   We’ll re-seed all the cells that did not germinate, and we’ll expect to see close to 100% germination.

We’ve also planted eggplant and arugula.  The cold and damp conditions will likely inhibit germination, but we’ll watch and report.

If you would like seeds for okra, please send us a request.  We’d be delighted to receive a contribution of $3 for a seed pack, so please think about that.  We have the five okras noted above as well as arugula.  These are all seeds saved from the 3F gardens and farms, some for over the course of 10 seasons/generations.  They are acclimated to the Springs Coast Watershed, and the central Gulf Coast, generally.  

We also have a wide variety of heirloom organic seeds from Seed Savers Exchange.  Let us know what you would like and we’ll accommodate your interests.

Winter Crops Thriving

We had another large harvest last week.  We are again 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 – just call in advance so we can be sure someone is at the farm.  

The primary winter crops (collards, kale, and broccoli) are thriving. Swiss chard is also finally making an appearance. 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 Prolific

This is our best broccoli season in years. We are over 120 heads harvested, so far, and we may have that much or more still developing.  Some of the secondary heads are as big as primary heads.

We are harvesting quickly, and collecting double and triple shares. Even so, some of the broccoli is flowering – which is great for the bees, but maybe surprising to folks familiar only with commercial broccoli.  Like other plants, broccoli flowers when the plant is mature, and ours is no exception. Remember, the flowers add a touch of sweetness to the distinctive broccoli taste.  

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.

We are especially welcoming of volunteer harvesters

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 January 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.

Grand Gardens Promotional T-Shirt

Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large

Suggested donation $15

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 $15 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 for purposes of tax deductions, if requested – with actual value being $10.  

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.


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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