Agriculture Report – June 7, 2016

Agriculture Report – June 7, 2016

Weekly Farm Report

From Friendship Farms & Fare

Week of June 6, 2016

A Community Service To New Port Richey’s FarmNet


West Pasco’s Urban Agriculture Community

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We’ve begun harvesting eggplant.  It is coming in nicely, but the heat and dry conditions are stressing the plants incredibly.  This is a hot spring.  Springs are always dry in Florida, but the addition of a few more degrees really impacts the plants.

Peanuts In Good Shape

Our peanuts are in very good shape. Most are in the East Madison Gardens.  

We’ve planted Schronce’s Deep Black and Texas Red and White. These are from Southern Exposure, a very responsible seed-supplier.  Germination was close to 100%

We also have another variety, Carwile’s Virginia, which we’ll start this week.

Our own variety (which we’re calling Florida Blond) is doing very well.  These are now third generation from an original variety of organic raw peanuts acquired at a local commercial market.

As with sweet potatoes and eggplants, we are going heavier on peanuts this year, than we have in the past – our heaviest planting yet.

Mangos Maturing

Our mango trees are carrying a fair amount of fruit. The fruit is very heavy and pull down the branches.  This is the first season the mangos have produced fruit, and we are looking forward to sharing them in the CSA, and enjoying some ourselves.

Sweet Potatoes Doing Well

We have about 650 slips in the ground at both gardens, and by mid-July we should have our first sweet potatoes – early August at the latest.  We are growing Beauregards, Georgia Jets, Dianes, and Nancy Halls.  The Dianes and Nancy Halls are heirlooms.  Nancy Halls should be cured before serving – curing means keeping then in a cool (above 55 degrees) location for at least 3 months.  

Try the Leaves!

We should have sweet potato leaves by early June, and then through the rest of summer, until September. Vines and leaves are a wonderful warm-weather leafy green vegetable – one of the few available through the summer in Florida.  If you have not tried them, please consider doing so this year.  Many folks use them all summer long.

Grand Gardens and Loquat Festival T-Shirts Available

Grand Garden and Loquat Festival T-Shirts are now available.  Suggested minimum donation for the shirts is $15, additional donations will help us cover production costs and allow us to give more to the students at Gulf Middle School (our school partner).


Through exclusive agreement with Friendship Farms & Fare, Rose’s Bistro Off Main (6238 Grand Blvd, New Port Richey, 34652) will feature fresh, organic, locally-grown okra throughout the summer.

Rose’s Bistro Off Main will receive fresh okra twice a week from New Port Richey’s Community Gardens (Grand Gardens and East Madison Gardens). Okra will be available on Mondays and Thursdays – first come first served.  The okra will be packaged in quart bags and offered for sale at $3 a bag or two bags for $5. Bags will contain a medley of organic heirloom okra, including: Hill Country Red, Silver Queen, Star of David, Red Burgundy, and Rouge Lance.

Okra deliveries to the Bistro will be twice a week, availability will be based on sales – call in advance to confirm availability, (727) 849-4940. While you are there, enjoy a wonderful meal and before you leave you can purchase heirloom organic okra seeds, and grow your own this summer.

This is a great way to support local agriculture, the local economy, sustainability initiatives, and cultural resilience.

Rose’s Bistro Off Main
6238 Grand Blvd. New Port Richey 34652
(727) 849-4940

HOT Peppers

If you like hot peppers, this is your season in this part of Florida.  Besides okra, our most abundant crop right now are hot peppers.  These are not just a little spicy, they are very very hot. If you like your peppers hot, include with your share request.  We have Scotch Bonnets and Habaneros – and plenty of both.  

Be advised: these peppers should be used with caution and in small amounts.

Habaneros and Scotch Bonnets are rated at 100,000 to 350,000 Scoville heat units.  For comparison: Banana peppers come in at 100-1,000, Jalapenos at 3,500 to 10,000, and Tabasco peppers at 30,000-50,000.

Summer Planting Tips

Here are some good plants for summer:

Beans (Lima and string/bush and pole)- we recommend lima and bush




Sweet Potatoes

We recommend these vegetables on the basis of their suitability for our area, our history of growing them, their high-yield, and because they are relatively easy to grow.  Folks are welcome to try other warm-weather vegetables.

We are offering seeds and seedlings of these vegetables to folks in the New Port Richey Farm Network (Friendship Farms & Fare and Grand Gardens) for a contribution.  If you have a plot at Grand Gardens we will gift you seedlings – you can share a donation if you like.  

Folks who desire seeds can acquire them for a donation (suggested $2 per pack).  If we don’t have what you desire, go to Seed Saver’s Exchange website, pick the items you want, then give us your order.  Seeds are offered with suggested donations of $3 or $2 for 3F and GG participants (CSA members, plot holders, and contributors). See the SSE website:

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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.
Friendship Farms & Fare affirms and advances agrarian ideals to reestablish a sustainable culture

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 give online, go to the Ecology Florida website, and use the paypal button

Friendship Farms & Fare affirms and advances

agrarian ideals to reestablish a sustainable culture

Ecology Florida advances the harmonious integration of healthy natural, cultural, and economic ecologies to regenerate a sustainable world

PO Box 596 ● New Port Richey, Florida 34656-0596

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