Alternative Community Farmer/WPB.FL

  (WPB, Florida)
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Farming and gardening as an act of CREATING BALANCE and HOMEOSTASIS within and without!!!

When will you and me wake up to the natural LAW of BALANCE???
Our society ,our lives,our relationships,our acts , our you name it???..are they in BALANCE??
It is said that the Hurricanes are created with a soft  blow of a feather at the other end of the world...True or not but most of Hurricanes that blow out in America are created at the other end of the  coast of African Sahara ...Watch out for Hurricanes and Saharan heat this summer..Be prepared .Be balanced!

Drink a lot of water and hydrate.Learn how to  keep the inner balance of HOMEOSTASIS!!!!

My gardening classes are  all about bringing back balance  by getting GROUNDED at the GARDEN!!

Check them out at:

Natural Awakening PBC-Magz "Mark Your Calender or visit:

www.localharvest.org/farms/M20618

Why stop to smell the roses ,and take a gardening class, at my garden?

It is all about getting in touch with MOTHER EARTH through gardening!

When you are immersing your hands in the garden soil , you are creating balance with Mother Earth relation.You are getting connected to the source of our food.When you take off your shoes and walk bare foot at your backyard garden you are creating balance doing nothing other than smelling an herb or a flower nad observing nature .Concentration and balance is ruled by our nervous system.Look how many of us are out of balance reaching out forn opiate drugs,alcohol,smoke..you name it addictions trying to relax and have peace within borrowing from without things !

Our home is the EARTH..Let the garden be your sacred place for prayers,meditation for inner balance and peace rather that the opiates family..
Read the article : Health grows in a garden published by the local newspaper:Sun-sentinel:

http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2008-04-10/news/0804100053_1_community-gardens-soup-kitchen-two-plots
The earth is a space ship hanging out in space in balance..we humans when we lose our balance in Body-Mind -Spirit...we create havoc and hurricane like effects in our life.Watch out for what you do to OTHERS ..Native Americans pay attention to FEATHERS...Could it be what the QUEEN OF BALANCE Myioko Sako is trying to tell us through her acts of balance??

Seeing is believing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6rX1AEi57c

Prof. Manfred Max Neef  "everything is just one whole in which we are inseparable part." Like the insects in our environment play their own role in keeping our planet alive. Therefore, if we were to destroy them all we do not know what might have happened to us. Well, as you pay attention to this video, please take notice what happen to the balance when Miyoko Shida removed the feather. The world is assembled the same way, we do not know for sure what is holding us together therefore we cannot eliminate that which we know nothing about. "
 
 

Grow/Buy Locally Grown!4th of July FOOD INDEPENDENCE DAY (Imported food from : China and Mexico)

As a producer.Imagine your produce is : Locally Grown  and Harvested.. /Synthetic fertilizer/Pesticide/DDT/ARSENIC/You name it toxins FREE! Now try to find out :Where to sell it? Farmers markets in the summer , most are gone for summer break and closed down in S.Florida .. If found , they are missing REAL local farmers .If not, they are required to pay high fees ,to sell their local produce..(In general Farmers markets/green markets are  overloaded with imported fruits and veggies from either  south or north of our borders, mainly Canada, Mexico and China).

Here is my case : I have mango trees , I  tried to sell mangos locally but found no available  help to local farmers marketing their produce at local government or health food stores level. .I called  and talked to managers of local stores and they either turned me away or wanted to buy real cheap.

What to do ?Where to market locally grown produce by small farmers in the absence of local markets in S.Florida without going through middle man or similar third party like co-ops etc????

"They"  say we will help local farmers sell produce ,but in fact it is impossible to make it happen , especially for small local farmers..

 Now as a consumer. 

Imagine that you are not dependent on Imported Foreign Food any more?

 Where to get your "REALLY " locally  grown and harvested Organic produce/food? Green market or farmers Market? If you know of a REAL one please let me know.

I haven't met a real local farmer ,  nor a real Farmers Market around here so far..Plenty of Merchants selling imported fruits and veggies from out of state or from overseas..

 

The local Main Stream  media  covers, Big Agri - Business and publish articles and interviews , as  pay offs for Ads. It is not a surprise that  most of the organic food is out of state or country like the produce or products :Made in China,Mexico etc...Take Garlic for example..It is imported all the way from China..and guess what it is treated with?/God knows what..like most of the herbs and other packaged food from China treated with chemical  preservatives to survive the 2000 miles long distance travel..

 

In reality , imported food is ripe with  unchecked GMO/Pesticides and is chemically treated by GOD knows what ?(Consider this for Example :Long time ago US - FDA  banned DDT /Arsenic/Asbestos/lead..etc.. from being sprayed or used on our food -paint-gasoline etc.. only when produced /made in in USA.. standards and regulations exist! .. Is it Likely or Unlikely when produce or food is food imported ???Imported food is it  according to our own regulations and American  standards ????.

We feel safe consuming locally grown produce and food , because we have our own regulating system. Imported food is only regulated according to foreign countries of origin own regulation standards ,that do not necessarily copy American regulatory standards.They are  saturated with unkown/unreported chemical  Pesticides/fertilizers  !!!

 

 Take this Natural News and FDA  studies and press releases and learn more about what is  is in our imported food for example , and make your own judgements.Knowledge is power.

Learn more at:

 

http://www.naturalnews.com/040266_food_fraud_China_heavy_metals_contamination.html

 

 http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm271595.htm 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

Happy Fathers Day..Now start teaching your family how to grow your own food.This is why?/ Keep on reading...

Once upon a time , I asked a 4-H  eight years old , who was taking one of my gardening  class session-   :"Where do the Tomatoes come from?"
His answer was: " P" Supermarket!!!  He did not say the farm or garden ,because he grew up in a city.He never before saw a tomato growing on a vine at a farm or garden!!


Back to the NOW:There are rumors news circulating  by the main stream media about this subject ." Publix trying to buy Whole Foods"..
Is it for real..I do not know??? But is it  worth checking from a farmers point of view? Yes!.

First read  the first hand  news as per the WPB POST regarding the alleged Publix  acquisition :

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/business/report-publix-may-be-trying-to-buy-whole-foods/ngGHR/

Going back into the nineties where I remember there were a cluster of Health Food Stores, here in South Florida , either run by Pop and Mom / family owned/small business enterprenuers or even relatively smalerl companies  like: Wholy Harvest,Wild Oats ,Bread of LIfe ,Nutrition World etc..They are now history and no more .Surprisingly enough the majority were and some were sold and  acquired by Whole foods giant or simply went out of business !

I remember also those pioneer farmers/vitamin -family owned or small businesses like:Shaklee , Solgar , Solary etc..They disapeared or were  acquired  by a giant corporation : Nutracueticals!
Some one might say , nort totally true as we still have them around..Correct.They are still around as the original name was kept but the acquuisition took place while you are unaware and  still so???

Enter the end of small and family businesses /diversity , and the beginning age of HEALTH  FOOD /VITAMINS  monopoly in the Organic food industry !

To back up my statement about the disappearing MOM and POP Health Food Stores, I will mention one that used to exist in Delray Beach for 38 years.Nutrition Cottage is the one I am talking about.The owners are Mark and Karen a Pop and Mom..They had to close down the store as they could not afford the  increase of rent .How many cared or noticed? I did .Mark was a big supporter of LOCAL Organic Farmers.He even invited me several times to give Organic Gardening Seminars at his Health Food Store.Not only did I lose a supporter to local farmers but we all lost the only Health Food Store in Delray Beach..and on top 15 jobs were lost.

Talk about a growing job market and  economy, just add more misinformation   baloney by the main stream media.By the way, Mark told me that he called all local main stream media to do a coverage , none showed up!!!



Lately , I read in  a localharvest newsletter how we as Farmers , are losing grounds as more farms and farmers disappear :
http://www.localharvest.org/newsletter/20140529/

  I noticed that  more AGRARIAN land is being \transformed into  by developments here in south Florida and beyond ,please refer to my previous article onEarth Day/ Everglades Ag. Reserve :
http://www.localharvest.org/blog/20618/entry/celebrating_the_coming_earth_day

Why are we so silent and reluctant to stand up against the disappearing farms and farmers???
Why are we not active at claiming our responsibilty to protect the agrarian and fertile soil?
Why are we not teaching  our children and grandchildren the farming and gardening skills that we have learned from our fathers .Our country was built by pilgrims who were farmers.Our founding fathers  like Jefersson and Washington were farmers.
Why are you not a PRODUCING gardener / farmer but rather  a consumer who rushes to the supermarket to buy rather than grow your own food???

It is not a secret anymore  that  Russia invaded Ukraine because it is the Bread Basket of Europe:http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?page=43&t=717050

Quote:" The eastern part of Ukraine bordering Russia is home to more than 15 million ethnic Russians and remains literally the bread basket of eastern Europe, with some of the richest soil on earth. In 2009 Ukraine was the world's third largest grain exporter after the USA and EU, and ahead of Russia and Canada.[1] Ukraine's famous black soil, chornozem, is considered the most fertile in the world, and covers two-thirds of Ukraine.[2] The area around the rivers Dnieper and Dniester is the only place in the world where the width of the so-called ‘sweet’ black soil reaches 500 km. This soil is exceptional in providing very high quality harvests and belongs to the national wealth. Western agribusiness companies such as Monsanto, Cargill, ADM and Kraft Foods are reportedly salivating over the prospect of an end to the internal Ukrainian political stalemate in hopes of exploiting these resources. " Unqoute.

By the way do you know who owns some of the  the big Agri-seeds/food industries in the US?

Monsanto  and ADM and KRAFT and ...OH...Who owns KRAFT? Your famous cigarette /tobacco company REYNOLD  ROTHMANS  ...Off course you know who owns Monsanto??



Do you need more motivation to start growing your own food?Just do it for the sake of yourchildren if not for your own sake !


Happy Fathers Day...Go Grow a Productive FOOD  Garden....You fail only when you STOP  trying!!Need help? Contact a farmer near you in South Florida :localharvest.org/farms/M20618
 
 

A Course of "Miracle" Organic Productive Container Gardening Class as


Life is a MIRACLE.Nourishing and nurturing human life with food grown at home with love , makes it bountiful,healthful, and more meaningful.Enter the Organic Productive Container  Garden of  "Eating" Healthy and Locally!!!


What would it be like to attend one of my "Theory and Hands On" Productive Organic Gardening classes ?

I leave the answer to one of my exceptionally talented observer and garden enthusiast"student :Michele aka " MITCHY" "..Read what she had to say in words and pictures..Very impressive and expressive...

I quote an excerpt from her article published at her website :




I Quote an excerpt  Michele's article :

"Changing your Brown Thumb to a Green Thumb.I needed to learn how to garden!!  The Brooklyn in me kills almost everything I try to grow!  I didn’t know where to start and did not  know how to go about it.  Yes — there are a ton of Youtube videos, but I wanted a hands-on experience.  Enter You tube: Tony Dagher – Urban gardener!

I subscribe to a website called Local Harvest.org/farms/M20618.

 For about a year now, I’ve been getting weekly emails from then announcing the local gardening classes in my area.  I noticed Tony’s classes back then, but have not had the opportunity to sign up until now.  I made it a family effort and brought both my daughters and one friend.  We spent the day outdoors, in the sun . . . one with nature!!!   Here’s a quick synopsis of our day with Tony!  Tony’s also listed in Natural Awakenings. Unquote.

Read more  about what Michelle observed through  the eye of her lens  camera impressions,and the invisible INTUITIVE  third eye expressions .Simply , simply click on the below web link  to read and see more:
I am  not a believer of self attestation or praise  .Bragging makes one look fake!..Quite the opposite: I believe  in feed backs and interactive discourse as delivered by independent third party observers , in this case , the students who come to attend my gardening classes.
Read more reviews as posted by students who attend my gardening classes ,at my web:localharvest.org/farms/M20618.
Listening to what my students have to say is an integral part  is part of my teachings..I learn as well as I teach...Communication is a two way path.
Thank you Michele for your feedback.Quite a learning experience to me.

Why the "Hands On "Productive Container Gardening Classes?

By doing interactive gardening classes right at the "Source"..We all connect with Mother Earth and Father Sky! The OUTDOOR  LOCATION , at the garden: The gardener, the enthusiast garden student come  all together in unison to INTERACT at the source to learn by INTUITION starting from within by smelling the aromas of the garden plants and touching them and immersing the hands into the the living soil...The living soil awakens the AWARENESS within..therefore a FREE flow of information starts eminating from within our cells within us, therefore the coined word INTUITION or FREE learning in CONTRAST to TUITION or learning as you pay by credit hours!!!

The most valuable things in LIFE are FREE: Spring Water,Home grown food,Backyard fresh AIR,and Natural Awakening Words of Wisdom published and Available for FREE !
where The Garden poses as :The   ESSENCE.THE TEACHER! While we all are the students !
At the garden :We all learn from each others as we connect and awaken our intuitive innate faculties,to be partners with the living soil and plants, working together to produce our food.In the beginning The Garden was the place we called home and learned how to grow our own food.

We have forgotten to be PRODUCERS in the AGE of CONSUMERISM and MANUFACTURED PACKAGED FOOD AT  LABORATORIES rather than farms or gardens!.At the Productive Garden:We THE LIVING  learn how to COEXIST with Mother Earth and produce our own LIVING FOOD!Minus

Growing our own food starts with a class then  with baby gardening steps .It  starts  a  CONTAINER, even if we are living in an apartment or a studio or efficiency lacking a backyard or  a land to grow our food .Even if we  are financially  struggling  amidst an economic down turn storm  churning away our jobs,savings,homes and gardens! Container gardening is the best place to start because it is the easiest and simplest way to learn the gardening process especially in South Florida the land of Tropical Storms and Hurricanes!
Container gardening could be  traced back to the ancient  Agri-Cultures of the Ancient Egyptians, the Ancient Somerians of Mesopotemia and the Ancient  Incas and Aztecs of North ,South and Centro America...

Back into our present ..We have  evolved to live in cities and eat canned and packaged food produced from Genetically Modified Organisms and adulterated with chemical pesticides and fertilizers.We have evolved to live in skyscrapers and travel by supersonic planes and communicate via cyberspace and internet gadgets etc..We have become a developed nation that is so advanced and OVERFED with   FAST GMO  FOOD and INFORMATION  , but so health  ignorant  and crippled with DISEASES and MALNUTRITION!

"What do we gain if we win the world but lose ourselves ..?"I qoute from the scriptures.

Back to basics..we are now learning the lost and found ART of Urban Farming/Gardening  :One garden,one student,and one containerat a time!!!

Happy gardening!

Tony Dagher BA CFMG CFMT
 
 

Garden Ergonomics,Anatomy and physiology for farmers and gardeners !


 
 

Honoring our Mothers on MOTHER DAY

In memory of my mother who passed away on January 30,2013 I write this article .She was 98 when she went to the other side.

I feel how special she was .Thanks to her I am a farmer, a writer ,an educator, a vegetarian personal chef , a massage therapist and last but not least an artist .She was the light that inspired me to endure , seek  and love.

She taught me how to forage for dandelion and other wild crafted  herbs .

This May 11th I am offering a special workshop on herbs to commemorate her one year absence from Earth.

Buy one class get one FREE and bring a friend who is unemployed so they can learn how to grow their own food.

As the Scriptures mention: Better to teach one how to fish rather than give them a fish! Or in other words :Teach them how to grow food rather than hand them FREE food!

Last week we celebrated Earth Day ..Mother Earth is the mother of ALL, that lives forever.

I take those moments to remember what my mother taught me besides gardening and cooking.

She was an inspiration of love, forgiveness and aspiring for a better future through education. She was illiterate herself but wanted all her children to have education.

I fulfilled her dream and got a BA besides another brother who also got a BA and another a PHD..

One hot summer  day a stranger was invited into our home .He was  fed and given refreshments .When he left I questioned how could one such person be invited to eat our food ?She replied : One day my son you could be a stranger in a strange land and you will remember me as you will be  will fed and given shelter , though being a stranger in a strange land.

Life is a circle so what ever goes around comes around!

 

Mothers are fountains of love and compassion. Make sure that you remember to honor your mother before she goes to the other side.

 

Giving love and compassion will make us look more HUMAN and will bring us closer to our creator who is LOVE and MERCY!

Happy Mother Day...every day!

Love you mom!!!

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Celebrating the coming EARTH DAY with more respect for Agrarian Fertile Soil and family farmers!

Anatomy and Physiology Of Urban Farming in South Florida-Thinking Globally and Acting LOCALLY :One Garden at a Time! By Tony Dagher-BA Certified Florida Master Gardener .

The UN ( United Nations) has declared 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming) , and 2015 as “ The International Year of Soil.What does that mean? The UN declarations ,quotes respectively”: The 2014 International Year of Family Farming (IYFF) aims to raise the profile of family farming and smallholder farming by focusing world attention on its significant role in eradicating hunger and poverty, providing food security and nutrition, improving livelihoods, managing natural resources, protecting the environment, and achieving sustainable development, in particular in rural areas. The goal of the 2014 IYFF is to reposition family farming at the centre of agricultural, environmental and social policies in the national agendas by identifying gaps and opportunities to promote a shift towards a more equal and balanced development. The 2014 IYFF will promote broad discussion and cooperation at the national, regional and global levels to increase awareness and understanding of the challenges faced by smallholders and help identify efficient ways to support family farmers.” International Year of Soils 2015 - IYS 2015 “After two years of intensive work, 2015 has been declared the International Year of Soils by the 68th UN General Assembly (A/RES/68/232). The IYS aims to be a platform for raising awareness of the importance of soils for food security and essential eco-system functions. The objectives of the IYS are: to create full awareness of civil society and decision makers about the fundamental roles of soils for human’s life; to achieve full recognition of the prominent contributions of soils to food security, climate change adaptation and mitigation, essential ecosystem services, poverty alleviation and sustainable development; to promote effective policies and actions for the sustainable management and protection of soil resources; to sensitize decision-makers about the need for robust investment in sustainable soil management activities aiming at healthy soils for different land users and population groups; to catalyze initiatives in connection with the SDG process and Post-2015 agenda; to advocate rapid enhancement of capacities and systems for soil information collection and monitoring at all levels (global, regional and national). “Unquote. Bringing all of the above into perspective on the ground will take a lot of work to be accomplished by both private and public sectors. In order to interpret the above on the ground , how can we translate virtual reality of gardening from Paper into the ground ??.What kind of GREEN ACTs in other words can we take to support Family Farming and protect THE EARTH’s SOIL? I would start personally: 1) As a fourth generation Urban Farmer with more than Twenty Years of Hands on experience as a grower in South Florida. 2) As an educator - certified Master gardener involved with more than Eight local Community Gardens and having assisted a significant number of South Florida Home owners /enthusiast gardeners , I would say :Start small from scratch . Learn then Apply ONE STEP AT A TIME! Gardening in the Tropics is different but not difficult. Do your home work first and be aware where to shop, what to shop, and whom to consult!!! A-Anatomy of an Organic Urban Garden in Tropical South Florida: When we talk anatomy we mean STRUCTURE.I like being simple, let’s start with :SOIL When I hear someone calling SOIL Dirt , I wonder what is on their MIND? April is the month we celebrate EARTH DAY.. So,I like to talk “dirt” I mean SOIL first and explain what does it mean ? The Latin word ” HUMUS” will be the best to borrow to explain the real meaning in English. Please do not confuse this word with HOMMOS my favorite dish from the Middle Eastern Cuisine! When people ask me where I come from I answer: From Mother EARTH ! We all come from EARTH and will end up where we came from: EARTH. We are the HUMUS-APIENS or in other words : INHABITANTS(APIENS) OF EARTH(HUMUS)!!! Now we are talking, EARTH not DIRT! Let us give RESPECT to our MOTHER EARTH by keeping the living soil unadulterated with pesticides, chemical fertilizers and other man made pollutants , you name them!. Soil in South Florida is mainly SAND. In order to garden one has to make sure what to plant according to the Tropical Climate Zone of South Florida. NEW and revised USDA Zone Map defines South Florida to be at the zone range from 10a to 11 (temp above 35 Fahrenhite). I personally make my own soil from scratch incorporating the following: Composted organic matter, composted aged and approved manure, spaghnum peat moss, organic amendments as needed, inorganic minerals amendment as needed and MOST of ALL beneficial soil micro-and macro organisms such as MELLIPEDES .A healthy soil makes healthy garden and crop. Rushing to buy ready made soil in bags has its dcons and pros. I prefer to make my own soil from scratch to save on spending money on spraying with organic pesticides /buying soil amendments and spending more on high garden maintenance. Challenges to S. Florida soil are unending besides the climate change we have to guard against: Nematodes , industrial, pharmaceutical chemical and bio- hazards dumped in land fills used as ground structures for home developments ,

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Super Foods: Herbs and Flowers you eat that can beat garden bugs !

USING HERB and FLOWER SUPER POWER in PROTECTING OUR FOOD , BODY and GARDEN!!!

 Mother Earth will be putting on a HAPPY colorful Mantel of wild flowers inviting snow birds, pollinators ,butterflies, and bees .Other garden   visitors will also swarm and invade the PRODUCTIVE garden: Beneficial and NON-Beneficial pests and gritters such as aphids , nematodes, racoons and other bug family members . Already South Florida gardeners and farmers are combating existing challenges such as the climate change the White Fly infestation , to mention the least .They need no more bad news . The good news is :There are Flowers and Herbs that could be summoned to rescue against garden pests and spring flu!! If you are an avid gardener or simply a beginner who invested time and money in growing your own food , then you will be scrambling to the garden center to buy pesticides , herbicides ,fungicides to protect your crop from being harvested by the NON-Beneficial pests. Think twice before you do so! Please: No fungus among us and No Roundup around!! Here are some Organic alternatives to consider.

Amazing LOCAL Non-GMO South Florida Super foods : ( NON POISONOUS) Herbs - Flowers you can Ever EAT , BEAT Garden Pests and never be Under the Weather!!!!: I-TROPICAL HERBS :

  1-Neem TREE (Indica officinalis) : I personally grow NEEM trees , eat and spray with NEEM products , to guard against myriad pests and gritters to name the least: White Fly- Racoons –mosquitos , westnile fly etc.. Neem oil and tea extracts work as Anti-Retro Viral agent that disturbs the incubation and further prevents multiplication of invading pests like the white fly for example. It does NOT KILL .It Prevents. It is safe to use around vegetables ,humans, animals and beneficial pests like the Lady bug. I also add neem leaves into my favorite salads and rice pilafs and soups! The taste is bitter… My mother used to say to me: “Bitter herbs like neem and dandelion are Better for your Liver. Eat and drink bitters during SPRING season to detoxify and purify your body-mind-spirit”. I have added bitters like NEEM to purify my garden from the non-beneficial pests!!!Use Neem Oil to prevent white fly aphids, mealy bugs,mites,scale,

2-Cuban Oregano: There is an old saying:” When in Rome dress like the Romans”. I have added: “When in the TROPICS GROW AND EAT what is TROPICAL LIKE NON-GMO “CA LA LO” or Tropical Spinach! ALSO BEAT THE TROPICAL PESTS WITH TROPICAL HERBS LIKE CUBAN OREGANO! Monsanto has patented GMO veggie/herb/fruit seeds like the conventional non-organic ones you buy from your garden center, and produced pesticides like Agent Orange and Round Up. Look for alternative Tropical and locally grown / harvested veggie/herb/fruit seeds like Everglades tomatos. cuban oregano , calalo and papya for example !

Remember your grandpa advice to eat" local honey and bee pollen.."!! The same applies to all other food you eat. The reason:Your BODY DNA identifies and relates to locally grown FOOD DNA!!!I will add this up:"GROW and Eat local or go LOCO!!!!"

Just say” NO to GMO” by simply using alternatives to chemical pesticides like neem products to combat nematodes .Grow Tropical non-GMO heirloom local super food green veggies like ” CALALO” .Spray with locally grown tropical Cuban Oregano extracts .Where to find them? I give away FREE SAMPLES for those who attend my Organic Gardening Classes and mention my AD at Natural Awakening “Mark Your Calender ”! Most valuable things are FREE like: Love, spring water , Air and wild flowers and herbs .. Born FREE in Nature !Never sold adulterated like in a plastic bottle: Always Hand Picked Fresh LOCALLY GROWN BY MOTHER EARTH!!! Gardeners and farmers posing only as EARTH KEEPERS!!!Be one of them!!

3-Garlic Chives(ALLIUM TUBEROSUM) :

 My ONLY problem with garlic is: IT smells “GARLICKY”. Everything else works GREAT magic to repell garden pests, intestinal parasites, COMPLAINERS/negative folks , spiders , vampires .I spray with garlic oil, tea/ extracts to repell most aphids / winged pests like the WHITE FLY .I discourage nematodes that attack the root system by planting garlic CHIVES around my veggie plants .It attracts beneficial insects and dispels the non beneficial ones! I eat garlic raw .I learned that when I worked at Hippocretes Health Institute! It is definitely a super food , besides being a pest control and an aphrodisiac as well!!! Ehem ..ehemmm! Also, I sprinkle bits of Cuban oregano and neem LEAF herb into my salad ,soups and add it to my spaghetti marinara. I also juice it and use tea /extracts to spray my vegetable garden and chase the garden pests away .My skin loves the oregano oil /neem oil when I use it as bug repellent/antioxidant to guard against aging .I HAVE A GARDEN MOTTO:" IF I CAN EAT IT ,THEN MY PLANTS CAN AS WELL USE IT TO BEAT PESTS!" Experiment . It is the best way to learn , and BELEIVE it WORKS!!

II-UNIVERSAL FLOWER POWER. Cheap Super food: LOCALLY GROWN AND HARVESTED AT YOUR BACKYARD PRODUCTVE GARDEN :

  1-Marigold:

They come in variegated golden colors and shapes. Grow them from organic seed source. Good to combat many aphid pests . I personally sprinkle ORGANIC marigold flowers on salad and brew them as tea.

2-Nasturtium (Tropaelum majus ):

My favorite as appetizer , in salad and pest control/ prevention. Has glucotropaeolin- anti bacterial properties as known to native tribes of Peru who used them for medicinal purposes as well as a pestcontrol .

2-Sunflower(Helianthus annuus):

 Native Americans ( Lacota tribe/North-South Dakota ) grow them for snack food as well as to purify soil from unwanted heavy metals .I grow sunflower at my gardens to attract birds /pollinators .I snack on the seeds myself and buy sun flower butter as an alternative for peanut butter(www.sunflowerbutter.com).It is loaded with minerals such as phosphorous,manganese ,iron .. Another hidden cheap super food !

3-Echineacea (Echinacea purpurea):

 May be you recognize this flower from your Health Food Store Immune System Boosters herbal remedies. Make no mistake: This super food herb is also edible. You can eat it and use its power to beat the garden pests as well. I use the flower in my salads and brew it as tea !I grow it to buffer and protect my garden from garden winged bugs and pests :You name them !!!

Miscellaneous Safe Organic pest control treatments:

1-DIATOMACEOUS EARTH(DE): I have some of my garden students who used the edible food grade version and swear by its anti-pest power .If you have children and animals around at home and garden , this is a safe product to use to battle myriad pests and bugs. You may google it and learn more about how to use it or take it as food to chase away parasites and other pests that attack humans!!! 2-Borax: Safe to use indoors/outdoors to combat roaches and ants. 3-Corn grits: Use it to fight fire ants. Native Americans used it at their Sweat Lodges /INIPI to ward off ants!! 4-Natural PYRETHRUM ( Please ,do not use SYNTHETIC PYRETHIUM); use to fight flea beatles, aphids.. 5-Insecticidal soaps:I personally use diluted mix against amny aphids and oyher plant pests along with neem oil to interrupt the egg layning cycle of pests and therefore prevent them from multiplying.

 
 

Farmers and Gardeners:KNOW about the WEATHER before you GROW.

South Florida has a surprise visitor : Polar Vortex .

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Now scramble to protect your garden from the Polar Cold Fronts or just ignore it as the warm weather is back. One day cold next day warm! What is going on Mother Earth and Father Heaven?

 
 The garden plants are confused , stressed out and can not decide what to do?
 How about you are you confused and know what to do to protect yourself and the garden from severe inclement weather and climate changes?
gardeners and farmers used to refer to the OLD FARMERS ALMANAC for answers .Check this out:
 
Back to basics:Man or Modern Human Society in particular has been meddling with Nature in many ways not to mention all , here is a sample:
Quote:"The science of climate change is complex, but everyone should know the basics: the Earth is heating up because gases produced from vehicles, power plants, deforestation, and other sources are building up in the atmosphere, acting like a thick blanket over our planet.

We can all reduce climate change by doing our part to decrease the emission of heat-trapping gases to the atmosphere. Read below to learn some more facts about climate change!

The Facts About Climate Change
  • FACT: Average global temperatures increased by about 1 degree Celsius over the 20th century.
  • FACT: The United States contains only 5 percent of the world's population, but contributes 22 percent of the world's carbon emissions.
  • FACT: 15 percent of carbon emissions come from deforestation and land use change.
  • FACT: The Golden Toad (Bufo periglenes) is thought to be the first species to go extinct because of climate change.
  • FACT: Personal cars and trucks in the United States emit 20 percent of the United States' carbon emissions.
  • FACT: Air conditioning and heating account for almost half of electricity use in the average American home.
  • FACT: Climate change is linked to stronger hurricanes, more drought and increased coral deaths from bleaching.
  • FACT: Climate change is linked to an increase in disease-carrying pests that lead to the increased spread of diseases such as dengue fever, malaria, lyme disease and West Nile virus."** Unqoute.

 

What we can do is bring back the garden and the farm into our modern day living before it is too late.Remember the RAIN FOREST? It is called so because the FOREST attracts RAIN...and buildings and roads attract draught...To prove this simple hypothesis here is an example:
 
The deserts when transformed into gardens they attract rain and prevent soil erosion .Check this out:
 
Plant a TREE and let that tree be a productive one that feed the living.
 
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Organic Gardening TIPS:How to protect your vegetable garden from cold fronts and POLAR VORTEX in South Florida and other valuable suggestions for the productive tropical zone gardens.


Happy New Year ..gardeners and farmers .
Stay warm by working out at your garden/farm "inclement  COLD "weather permitting!!!
Better safe than sorry: Are you ready to protect your garden against the cold fronts and Polar Vortex now to hit the gardens in S.Florida ??
Best EASY and handy way  to protect your Tropical garden against COLD FRONTS / FROSTS and LOW TEMP is : Use a special thermo thick cover that protects plants (Frost Cover).You will find it  at major garden centers and nurseries in S. Florida.
Meanwhile use common sense and your water hose to spray the plants during the day.Water temp is always warmer than air temp..says a Rocket Scientist!!!Well it is a cheap way but not enough though to safeguard against frost and severe cold fronts.
More tips and cold weather protection advice at:

Other S . Florida  garden tips to keep your garden thriving:


MULCH ...MULCH.. MULCH  , to insulate root system against extreme cold or heat temp , besides to keep soil moisture  IN and weeds OUT!!!Best garden advice for the LAZY GARDENER who loves LOW maintenance and less garden work!!!

Spread manure or compost over the garden and plow it under, if you did not do so in the fall, then wait for the summer season to enrich your SUBSOIL by adding organ8ic matter and composted manure , such as: Composted  chicken or horse manure..

Remember to refrain from adding FRESH MANURE into the soil as it will BURN THE ROOTS.

Compost manure prior to adding to soil as rule of GREEN THUMB>

Plant hardy vegetables and other cool-season crops NOW , such as lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, beets, carrots, radishes, turnips, spinach, peas, and cauliflower.

Start seeds of warm-season vegetables indoors for the coming SPRING growing season,such as eggplants ,peppers and basil,,.etc..

Make successive plantings of vegetables so that you have a continuous harvest throughout the growing season.

Get WOOD/Natural untreated lumbar for  plant beds or seed boxes ready for growing plants such as tomato, pepper.

Go native and plant CALALOO (S.Florida Spinach) .

Wooden raised  beds give protection against excessive heat or cold as they insulate root system.

Deadhead flowers to encourage new blooms.

Refrigerated bulbs should now be planted in prepared beds. Provide a layer of mulch for protection from cold temperatures.

Plant cool-season annuals such as marigold and nasturtium, in the garden beds to BEAUTIFY the vegetable garden and invite butterflies and bees pollinators

You can start seeds of warm-season flowers now to have transplants ready for spring.

Plant any trees and shrubs now. Water until established.

Fertilize established fruit trees using Organic FERTILIZERS ONLY such as composted horse or chicken manure.. Cover manure with top soil. Always!!!

Prune any damaged or dead branches from your trees and shrubs.

To control scale on fruit trees, apply horticultural oil like NEEM OIL  while plants are dormant and NOT at HOT TEMP direct sun..

Ensure that your garden is watered if it is getting less than 1 inch of rain per week.

You can apply dormant oil spray to deciduous fruit trees. Prune dormant fruit trees if needed.

Use lukewarm water to wash any dust off of your houseplants; check them for any diseases or insects.

Replace any chemical pesticides to kill weeds by using alternatives such as VINEGAR.

Happy and Healthy Gardening while staying WARM!!!

 
 

It is good to know before you grow and other farmers : Holliday, Mellody,DREAMs and Reflections...

Back then farmers used "Farmers Almanach" to predict  and learn more about the weather before they grow their crops. .
Now what do we use ?Computers and gadgets that have predicted fourteen tropical storms including  four major  Hurricanes in Florida, but there was none.

They had to shut down the Weather Prediction Center in Colorado .I wonder why?

It is the Holliday spirits that we are living NOW . No one wants to spoil it with bad news .I want to believe and experience  a Happy Holliday Now  .HAPPY ???  hOW MANY TIMES WE SAY THIS WORD THESE DAYS BUT WE ARE STILL UNHAPPY DEEP DOWN BECAUSE WE ARE DISTRACTED AWAY FROM OUR REAL BEING AND INSTEAD WE ARE BUSY RUNNING TO BUY A GIFT OR A thing THAT WILL FILL A SPACE ON A SHELF AND COLLECT DUST INSTEAD OF feelings!

 

 Happiness is something that we feel. Helping others make us feel happy(GOOD) . Loving others make us feel Happy(GOOD) .Forgiving others as well. In fact we do not pay attention to our inner being and instead we are so busy working on our outer being (Image)!!LOOKS!!!


 Hormones  trigger stress which triggers physical and mental dis-ease   or  ILLS. Traditionally , we revert to ALLOPATHIC medicine to treat DIS-EASE and mask it with pills .Think good, say good and do good teaches the Christ and the Buhda ,  to create a GOOD KARMA and feel GOOD ourselves ,so we can appreciate the vibrations of LOVE and LIFE .
God is not an IMAGE we create with our hands or minds. God is a being WITHIN us .An invisible SPIRIT . God is a four letter word : GOOD! The  loving act when mutual ,back and forth ,generates a SPARK of LIGHT call it a SMILE that lightens our face and jumps our hearts that makes us  FEEL GOOD.

when we  help and love others we connect  with our inner self and feel GOD within us .Love, peace and happiness are sources within us that need to be excavated with our ACTS. Gifts are objects from without  given away .Presents are gifts  ..to keep..as they have emotional value.

They are from LOVED and BELOVED  ONES! F E E L I N G S ? Does it ring a bell?

The present is NOW . Living gifts are those that we offer by BEING PRESENT NOW  in proximity to the ones we LOVE.I watch how cats and dogs show their love when they come closer and sit next to us as long as it takes without even uttering a sound. Giving ourselves as presents by showing a feeling of Love or even compassion to others, triggers a similar response  in reciprocation  with PRESENTS,WORDS and ACTS  that make us feel HAPPY. Let us cherish our dreams with LOVE  and nurture our  resolutions with RANDOM ACTS of KINDNESS to one another first .


Going back to basics , starting with the Garden to grow our own food with LOVE  .NO GMO .NO PESTICIDES.    Let us take   the dirt road and let us immerse our hands in the dirt again like our fathers and grandfathers did back at the VICTORY garden not long ago and teach our children to love the land and live off the land .Lest there comes back a REPEATED HISTORY of economic double  dip -dip- ression!

 

 2014 is a few days away from today. Are we ready to make a GREEN dream come true or are we doomed into another  BLACK economic crash?.I am ready to garden and grow my own food .I have a GREEN DREAM .Are you ready? 
 
We will be soon revisiting the VICTORY GARDEN  and learn from history even as we learn that China will be producing food for us, like chicken nuggets  for example .We will be sending frozen chiken meat to return back as finished processed food from China soon. I am not predicting this but rather I want to quote a fellow farmer who has just witnessed it:
 
 
 
I want to  believe NOT what my eyes were reading  at this spontaneous MONEY NEWS WEB which I suddenly bumped at today ,had it not for a DREAM two nights ago.
 
I woke up last night , so depressed, remembering a black dream . I saw it  in black and white (I dream at night and therefore my dreams are dark no colors!).  I  saw  more economic crashes and more people losing homes and jobs .I picked up the newspaper in the morning and lo and behold: News papers are talking about how the economy is RECOVERING  and rebounding .Whom shall I believe??
 
Believe not my black dream  but those FACTS  of people who have economic credibility in their bank accounts and educational background like TRUMP ,SCHIFF and others .Check this article on Massive Wealth Destruction  and be your own DREAMER  :
 

Know  and do your math and  economics ,  as you learn how to grow your own food .It is good to know before you grow ! 

 

Happy New Year 2014 

 
 

AN urban farmer wish list for Santa...

DEAR SANTA:

Here I am still waiting for my wishes come true..As an Urban Farmer who lost his land ,his car and still in business only to prove that Santa one day will come with a Christmass Tree and lots of unwrapped gifts for farmers like me:

1-Bring me "A small  farm or land" to grow food for the needy and those who have lost their homes and jobs and now labelled as Homeless!Instead of giving one a fish teach one how to fish or garden and grow their own food.

2-Bring me a truck to haul compost and horse manure and load up garden accessories who wish to transform their lawn grass backyards into bountiful organic gardens that feed them and their families and help save on the grocery bill!

3-Bring me stability so I can get grounded rather than keep moving around rent

4-Bring me students ,volunteers and avid gardeners who wish to  learn how to grow their own food and have a land to experiment on what they have learned at my classes.

5-Bring me job opportunity in Sustainability or at a farm  to work ,grow,teach and spread the awareness of Urban Organic Farming .

 

6-Let there be peace on earth and let it start with me and my garden or simply you and yours if you have already added your wish to Santa's Christmass list !.

 

7-Revise and Publish my Urban Gardening Book !

Have a Merry Gardening

Ho Ho Ho

 

Merry  Christmass

 

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My "Observations Series "on Common Gardenning Mistakes in S.Florida !Problems and solutions.

Here are some of my Observations from lately doing a consultation to a Raised Bed Garden both at a community garden and a private backyard .

A Problem vs B solution approach.

 

I-Private Backyard Previously built by farmer  X:

A-Problem:

1-Raised beds RB were built six inch high on top of plastic cover sheet to deter weeds and roots.

2-Land topography was sliding a downward slope. No action for correction of sloping ground initially.

3-RB Location was surrounded by trees,shrubbs and lawn grass .Underground roots were rampant.

4-Tree branches were blocking sun and covering the sky space above the raised beds .Leaves and debris were falling at the Raised bed garden and disturbing plant growth.

5-Soil ground was not dug to excavate roots and debris.

6-RB added soil mix lacked :nutrients,organic matter,friendly soil worms organisms and loaded with perlites and weeds seeds.

7-Irrigation system used was  decorative/ornamental rather than practical.

B-The solution-Remedial work:

1-New raised beds were introduced by adding extra height to the existing RB structure .This was necessary to protect top soil nutrients from overflooding and secure more room depth for root system .Before RB looked like a BONSAI compartment with plants like ELEPHANT plants dwarfed in a BONSAI way due !

2-Land to topography was corrected to secure and establish RB base and prevent loss of soil nutrients  irrigation deviation  and provide more structural balance.

3-Raised beds were relocated and rearranged to asuitable location.

4-Trees were trimmed,and some RB  raised beds were relocated to sunny and less invassive ground .

5-Ground was dug below the Raised Beds and invassive roots and debris were removed.

6-Organic matter and nutrients were added to enrich the soil. Weeds and debris and roots were dug out.

7-A new irrigation system was put in place .

 

It was a second hand attempt remedial work to a raised bed designed and executed with so many flaws initially by a professional X who collected a good sum of money and left the homeowner with a raised bed garden with lots of weeds to say the least!

. My consultation advice to new comers to S. Florida: Do a professional background check on whoever you hire to set up an organic garden prior to blindly .Find out about education and experience and ask for samples of previous work !

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

Garden Therapy..A rediscovered ancient healing art for the Body-Mind-Spirit.

Are you contemplating a healthy Body-Mind-Spirit  resolution for 2014.???
There are so many people who dream or plan but never DO Follow up on the
garden grounds . Off course you are NOT one of them .That is why this
article is catching your attention!Start the new year with a RESOLUTION
to take BACK your physical and mental Health by simply turning your
BACKYARD into a  PRODUCTIVE ORGANIC GARDEN.

Are you a procrastinator? Are you  harboring  such thoughts as  : I have no
Time to garden. I have no backyard . I have a backache . I am on Therapy.I
live in an apartment .I live in my car.I have no experience . I have a wife
and family.I am  old .I am  sick. I kill plants. I lost my job/house.I am
broke .I am on food stamps. I am ..you name it...
Guess what ?Food stamps federal budget has been reduced by almost  40
BILLION for the next ten years.. Wait a minute. Growing your own food can
be a Solution for your Physical and Mental challenges and struggles.
Gardening is a FREE THERAPY..! No Health Insurance payments and no
experience required! Here are two main major Physical and Mental  Effects:

 
A-The Physical (Body)  Benefits.

 Consider Growing an EDIBLE GARDEN in your backyard, at a community garden
and at your wellness /community center !! .

1-Growing your own food will enable you able to save your body and on  your
pocket .. Organic produce prices are  so expensive !Take this for example:
One pound of Organic  tomato costs $5 at your local Health Food
Store!!!.Your cost: FREE when grown in your own garden  !Your body will
live longer love to get nourishment of locally home grown food devoid of
pesticides and chemical fertilizers etc.. Besides:
If you grow one tomato plant at your garden , you will have an average of
40 pounds of tomato  produced at home, multiplied by 5$ per pound will
equal $200 in savings on your grocery bill!!!. Simply speaking,saving this
much on one food category only !Do the math for the rest of other organic
produce that you buy from the store which you can grow at home and witness
the difference??

2-You will lose weight and save on the gym bill money 100% on the  Gym
bill.You will  build   muscles and lose fat , while  growing and harvesting
FREE  fruits and veggies .. No garden experience necessary or membership
FEES required!
3-You will reduce your medical bills by 100% by taking food as medicine
from your garden , following the prescription of Hippocretes THE FATHER OF
MEDICINE. Grow food for FREE ,without additives , chemical fertilizers and
pesticides,the extra salmonella !! .When you do so:You will  add more years
to your life , spend more time at home with your family ,smell more roses
and aromatic herbs , breathe fresh outdoor garden air and enjoy
eating  SAFE food that is produced at home ,few yards away from your
kitchen compared to the 1500 miles distance when being shipped and grown
overstate /overseas!


B-The Metaphysical (Mind-Spirit) Benefits :

What is driving us CRAZY are the medical bills from the ER, for instance
one ER stitch cost $500!!!. Check out this article from NYT
:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/03/health/as-hospital-costs-soar-single-stitch-tops-500.html?_r=0
What is driving us crazy is  the culture of abusive behaviours that is
tainting our society as a side effect of our  work-oh-hloic and
drug-oh-holic and family of oh..holics  and other addictions :You name
it!!! .
As a consequence of the above "oh-holics" family  we suffer mentally  and
succumb to take a pill here and a pill there.. A pill a day will keep the
doctor in our way while an Apple from Mother Nature a day will keep the
doctor away .They say!!. Pun intended! In other words why not call on Doctor
"Nature" for a second opinion therapy . The Ancient Chinese ,Greeks and
Romans  reverted to find cures ,for both physical and Metaphysical , in
Nature: Example Water baths or Hydrotherapy , Homeopathy and  Naturopathy
.Why cant we do the same?
Through out history and civilizations , gardening was considered as a
THERAPY . Recently ,Japan and Sweden for example have innovated ways of
using  gardening as Horticultural Therapy at Hospitals and Rehabilitation Medical Centers
by simply creating Gardens for their patients to improve on their
health. . Check out the below sources and
resources for more
details.
Change your motto from "going bananas" in to "growing bananas" and see the
difference in your  Mental  and Physical HEALTH !!

The effects of Horticultural Therapy on the Brain :
http://wacong.org/icmed/23/1.pdf

http://greenheritagenews.com/horticultural-therapy-interview-with-deborah-denome/

Humbly speaking I did not coin the word Horticultural Therapy. Simply I
believed in it and started using it at my community gardens. It was back in
2008 , when "Garden  Therapy" made the headline news  at a local major
local  news paper :Sunsentinel interviewed me and I spoke my mind.. Hail
and THANKS to Sunsentinel exceptionally  inspiring writer / columnist De La
Cruiz ,who spent an almost day investigating my work following me around my
community garden and chasing me to the horse ranches  where my horse manure
came from etc..Garden Therapy made its way to the mainstream media .Check
it out:
http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2008-04-10/news/0804100053_1_community-gardens-soup-kitchen-two-plots.

Here are some more sources to check out:
 
http://ahta.org/horticultural-therapy
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012/02/17/147050691/can-gardening-help-troubled-minds-heal
*https://www.google.com/search?q=garden+therapy&rls=com.microsoft:en-US:IE-Address&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=CjuiUsLsFcLekQemvYA4&ved=0CFoQ
< https://www.google.com/search?q=garden+therapy&rls=com.microsoft:en-US:IE-Address&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=CjuiUsLsFcLekQemvYA4&ved=0CFoQ>*
*sAQ&biw=1920&bih=911&dpr=1*
http://www.marksdailyapple.com/gardening-therapy/#axzz2mjS100s4
 
 Happy Gardening...Therapy!!

 Tony Dagher  BA CFMG, CFMT
 
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