Alternative Community Farmer/WPB.FL

  (WPB, Florida)
[ Member listing ]

Wishing You ALL:Happy THANKSGIVING! HAPPY HARVEST!

I am an Urban Farmer and I believe in the MEANINGS of the  Hollidays , whichever you believe in or not! For me personally ,THANKSGIVING,is  a Time to celebrate the PHYSICAL FALL  HARVEST together as a family of growers(illegal   migrant farmers or legal  family  farmers alike) or ALL workers  who produce! .
Next follows: CHRISTMASS or HANUKAH or DIWALI or.. you name it Holliday you celebrate (All having  common celebration of THE  the  LIGHTS).. ,together we celebrate the SPIRITUAL BIRTH/ ENLIGHTENMENT /AWAKENING  !   I look at the Hollidays as opportunities to COME TOGETHER as one  HUMAN Family and  REACH for EACH others >Mostly to those who  out for those who have struggle or suffer both physically or Spiritually and say or do something GOOD to LIFT THEM UP .Those who have less or don't have or who lost what they had ,  like the homeless.jobless,sick, elders,veterans,abused,hungry..and who you name ?
In times of tribulations whether  socio/economic man ,made disasters like wars  or NATURE  Made disasters like Flooding  :We humans awake to the fact that we are VULNERABLE!

This THANKSGIVING , I remember my first blog at LOCAL HARVEST back in 2009.It was something new for me to blog for the first time .I did not know where to start or what to say.Local Harvest suggested I say or write something about THANKSGIVING..I still hesitated for I was really struggling after I lost a land I was farming and my van ..It was the first time I felt so  vulnerable with a double dip  deep-recession churning and draining  away my savings  .While the economy continued the down dipping  to the present day .I asked myself whats new to say or write about before the Hollidays??/Whats new for  farmers ??
I tried to remember  the challenges back in 2009 the first time I blogged ,  and compare with today,s upgraded challenges. I fell upon  this blog:
"A  WISH LIST to SANTA":

http://www.localharvest.org/blog/roller-ui/authoring/entryEdit.rol?weblog=20618&bean.id=6a5f88f2-b152-42cf-aff0-40e853d35c1a

Today I wanted to blog and say or write something  on the meanings of the  Hollidays . I fell upon this article at the Palm Beach Post that really inspired me  , check it out:

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/local/two-of-palm-beach-countys-oldest-churches-to-celeb/njBxx/

 I fell upon another GIVING DEED which inspired me as well to share with you, please check it out :


http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/11/23/gift-giving-church-members-each-get-500-to-do-good-around-world-or-close-to/

As I sit down and try to spell more words on Thanks giving and Christmass and..I remember YOU!

I just wanted to say THANK you for contributing in GOOD words and deeds to the cause of URBAN FARMERS or helped in any  way to support local FARMERS .I watched a movie lately :   'INTERSTELARS ".THE TRAVELERS BETWEEN STARS!Go and watch it . I guarantee you will like it and give it at least , four stars! IT started and ended the scenes talking about farmers , the much needed even more than ENGINEERS...Does this sound a bell?How is your food garden doing or growing , by the way?

Food for thoughts as we contemplate those words before the Hollidays , let us come HOME together as one Human Family and  eat dinner and GIVE THANKS .Take heed from the President and PARDON a turkey! Or better  forgive and GIVE to  a human being who is less fortunate than you! .
HAPPY HARVEST!
Happy Thanks... GIVING.

Tony ..You local Urban Farmer
localharvest.org/farms/M20618

Tags:
 
 

The Future of FOOD and INTERSTELLER MOVIE..A FARMER point of VIEW!


My " Predictive thoughts on  food shortages ",  could be traced  back to  the 1980's.

 I took pro-action , I encouraged one of my younger brothers to  consider  AGRICULTURE as a profession  .BHe did so following my advice and  graduated as Agriculture -Engineer with a a PHD in Food Technology Nutrition.
Back then: I sensed that there will be some kind of  climate change that might cause  a catastrophic impact on food production. I just sensed it .How weird it is unfolding!Are you still procrastinting to take one of my gardening classes that teach you how to," grow food not lawns"??

Back to our present:It was never late for me to go back to school even at an older age to graduate as a Certified Master Gardener ,  even after having my  BA degree in Arts and Science . Deep inside me there was an INNER  voice calling and  urging me to work the land for a living and teach the living how to  grow their own food.

It wasn't  until yesterday after watching a movie"INTERSTELLAR" , that I got some kind of OUTside confirmation ,  that we are heading towards a future serious challenge growing our own food ..Enter: Intersteller Movie!!!

"Intersteller movie" is a must see for farmers , leaders  or even ordinary  lay men /women who  are considering  farming as a  career..

How could it be that:Farming for Food on Earth will be a challenge for the future generations?? Watch this before you answer:

https://www.google.com/search?q=intersteller+movie+trailer&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&channel=fflb


Thanks to the INFORMATION age of GADGETS  like computers and  smart phones  IT ,our hands and fingers t6hat were dialing are now  busy texting and working the keyboards rather than the fields of tomatoes or what have you of crops!
That kind of manual or menial job, working the fields and  DIRT, we have passed on "migrant farmers".Those workers make us remember the Chinese rail road workers who were shipped from China back in late 18th and early 19 century to build the rail roads but were not accepted into society and housed in camps rather than our towns..just the way we uprooted the Native Americans and confined them into RESERVATIONS when they refused to be our farmer slaves..Then we imported the slaves from Africa and you know the rest of the story..Now what???..

The story is same but some different finishes..we got paid slavery or illegal migrant farmers growing our food!

but with different subtitles language , that we dont even want them to be part of our society hence the "IMMIGRATION STANDOFF" that want them out after   We have lost the touch with Mother Earth and therefore lost the food chain LINK that kept us a HUMAN SPECIES together .We are now trained , specialized as INDIVIDUALS and  living our separate independent  INDIVIDUAL lives in contrast to living together as one HUMAN FAMILY or one community or one HUMAN SPECIES !

Agriculture was the first job man/woman has performed on EARTH .

WE lived off the land and founded farms that grew communities of farmers who then founded towns and cities,  states and then COUNTRIES!!!.

Our founding fathers like Jefferson and Washington were farmers.

Our earlier FIRST legal ( but  illegal? according to Native Ammericans narrative ) immigrants were  from Europe .They populated and worked the land for a living .They were the first  pilgrimages/  farmers..

"Intersteller movie" , portrays  this FARMING  dilemma  as an ESSENTIAL FUTURE CAREER  far MORE  wantedthan ENGINEERING...It casts LIGHT into our darkness and even magnifies this through a camera lens .A Movie / of future food shortage or human species survival challenges  through a  sci-fi prediction PROJECTED at silver screen >It is an  EYE opener !

Love is the mystery that connects the dimensions and us to the future .Most FAMILY  farmers like the COOPERS at the Movie , are an entity  of LOVE enterwoven together ..up from the grand father down to the grand daughter ..all connected and interconnected in an INTERSTELLER mesh, of LIFE ,Daeth and LOVE as a carrier key to the MYSTERIES just like gravity is between time and other dimensions ,that penetrates into the fifth dimensions taking us across  the galaxies beyond our own solar system where we encounter other forms of life planted on planets by us or by them..THEY are the ones who built the dimensions so that we can connect ONE DAY ..and get together? date  unkown or known??tHE mOVIE ..ends with  lives  SCATTERED LOST AND FOUND beyond AND WITHIN  the limits of garvity and time OR OTHER DIMENSIONS..It is all about love if you could comprehend the depth of the story!lOVE IS IN THE AIR SO TAKE A DEEP BREATH AND GO GROW YOUR OWN FOOD MY FRIEND TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE mYSTERIES OF love!

Man has manipulated and adulterated Mother Earth and the dirt will come back with a revengful storm abolishing all manipulated/engineered crops the last of which a corn crop at the movie! the food and family farmers were replaced with GMO MONOPOLY BIG AGRI - business of mono crops replacing  the small  FAMILY FARMING of CROP  DIVERSITY  !

Here is the movie trailer to watch and a reminder about my class schedule:Mark your calender!

Organic Container Gardening 101
Nov 9, 2014 - Nov 12, 2014


Basic Organic Backyard Farming -101
Nov 13, 2014 - Nov 15, 2014

Thrift Organic Container Gardening for Beginners and lazy gardeners!
Nov 16, 2014 - Nov 19, 2014

As a Thanksgiving GIVE BACK Holliday Gift to you , You are Cordially invited to a FREE Container Gardening class on November 29 at 1:30...Ask me where and directions ??Bring/rtell a friend.
Tags:
 
 

South Florida new comer gardeners:Its the start of the Fall growing season.Its time to LEARN how to AVOID the most common commited garden mistakes"-Part II

HOWDY!! ! The fall growing season is HERE.. Are you ready???
How is your organic food garden doing???My garden is flourishing and bet it is doing better than yours!!!Just teasing you (lol).
 I started prep last September .The climate change and the economy are adding extra challenges ,and more are quitting to attend two jobs while the main JOB of Keeping our BODY/MIND/SPIRIT in Optimal Health to be able to carry out the bread and butter jobs are being compromised.that's why I am here to help you outsolving garden mysteries and DRAMA!
Lets play dirt and GONE GARDENING!!!!!No one likes to admit doing a mistake. Big Ego is hear..have no fear!!
Tony is here to share with you my dear garden enthusiasts ,S.Florida Garden  COMMON MISTAKE !
Avoid spending more money learning the EXPENSIVE way going it ALONE giving yourself the usual EXCUSE:I am going through the "Learning Curve!"
Well. I know a lot who have done so much damage to their body /mind/spirit working hard gardening the wrong way and ended up quitting prematurely!


Personally, I prefer to learn from my , and your ,mistakes .Believe me , I do garden mistakes too!I admit that I am not the PERFECT GARDENER!
The best way to LEARN with lesser pain and damages is to LISTEN ,Observe and Ask questions,  when in doubt ask the experts as they say!!!Here we go :

 Gardening Mistake No. 1: Starting Out a productive garden without taking a first hand ORIENTATION Theory and Hands On GARDENING CLASS on growing own local food in S.Florida.
Know before you Grow I sum it up in a nut shell. Which veggies/herbs etc are in season , locally  compatible with the Tropical agricultural zone ??It is Good to
Know before you Grow!
Welcome to South Florida garden : Now start learning  the Tropical Language of productive gardening in the TROPICS. Craving to grow UPNORTH cold zone  fruits and vegetables like apples and kale ??? Switch gear , instead, to S.Florida Natives like CALALOO,COLLARDS  vegetables , Papaya fruits and Cuban Oregano herbs!!!!We are not asking you to learn Spanish or Chinese, but rather simply to KNOW which are best to GROW !!To ask questions before you shoot and not the reverse! Check draught tolerant local native plants first!
Here in S.Florida gardening is  different but NOT  difficult! .Simply open up your learning channels and be open minded to learn without much emphasis on the EGO side!!Best is to consult with   a local harvest urban farmer near you, example: www.localharvest.org/farms/M20618

It’s difficult to resist those tempting photos and web sites of self proclaimed "farmers" who preach such jargon of being TRAINED under such and such farmer "celebrities/gurus" swearing by  PERMACULTURE and what have you to trap your wallet! Local farmers should present local certifications of Horticultural education for example: Certified Florida Master Gardeners are graduates from University of Florida Horticultural Extension Programs .They are a good source to consult LOCALLY!
 
Mistake number 2:. Planting too large a garden is a mistake that can place too heavy a BURDEN  on YOUR BODY/MIND/SPIRIT AND OFFCOURSE wallet! MEGA  gardens lead to frustration and burnout. Instead , start SMALLat the RIGHT :LOCATION .LOCATION . LOCATION. For God's sake do not plant a garden under a tree or in a flooding prone area or worse: Next to your animal farm ,letting loose chicken ,dogs and Horses harvest and trample on your vegies!!!

A better gardening strategy is to start small in the first year and plant only a few of your favorite veggies( I suggest you plant S.Florida natives and draught tolerant like everglades tomato, Florida Calalo Spinach ,papaya, collards ,Cuban oregano etc...). This will allow you more gardening success , less maintenance,and a greater feeling of accomplishment. In succeeding years, as practice builds your gardening skills, you can increase the size of your garden each planting season. Don,t forget to keep adding organic matter and garden amendments as you go like composted manures,blood meal etc..)

Gardening Mistake No. 3: Gardening in the SANDY and acidic , nematode infested ,depleted soil of your property!
Without good soil, no vegetable garden can thrive. Any preparation that the soil needs must be done before planting. Once those seeds begin to establish a root system, the soil cannot be disturbed without endangering the tender, young plants. The soil is best when prepared from COMPOSTED organic matter, composted permitted manure,mineral and nutritive rich organic ammendments like bone/bloodmeal etc.. 

Prepare the soil as early in SUMMER for the Fall growing season,using compost and organic matter plus necessary amendments as needed.. Let the soil rest for a little while then plant NITRIFICATION ground cover to boost the soil with nutrients such as Nitrogen. An example of nitrification plants: Sweat potatoes and beans!. Then you can plant your vegetable garden and watch it spring to life in the fall growing season starting October .

Gardening Mistake No. 4: The Use and abuse of Chemical pesticides and Fertilizers. I am not sure who is abusing who.???.Personally I switched to ORGANIC fertilizers such as Composted horse manure!!! I am not going to force you to do the same and your FREE choice will tell you which is best for you! Another reason why I switched to Organic fertilizers and Organic pesticides:
No one label will tell you when you buy your seedlings from a commercial nursery  or garden center about what is in the SOIL and what has been sprayed at the plant??Think about it, how could the plant at the store survive in such a container enduring  S.Florida excessive inclement weather with less maintenance??
The answer is the chemical fertilization of NPK 20-20-20.Your store bought plants are saturated with chemical fertilizers ,pesticides and God knows what of hormones and additives , to let them survive and endure  a long  shelf life at the garden store.You will start experiencing wilting and diseases once they are transformed into your backyard and suffer  diseases which compels you to go back and buy more fertilizers and pesticides to "TREAT" the plant. A vicious cycle of spending more money!!!.I am here to tell you : Grow your own seeds and seedlings and save on the vicious cycle!
 For example, all plants require nitrogen, and high-nitrogen fertilizer will produce vigorous top growth—which is what you want for leafy green vegetable . That same amount of nitrogen, however, will create such vigorous top growth that it can hold back ripening. Last but not least:
Recent studies have linked chemical fertilizers and pesticides to various kinds of cancers!!!Going and growing organic and spraying with organic pesticides like NEEM oil is the alternative!!!


Gardening Mistake No. 5: Xeriscaping and irrigation!
Plants need water to metabolize nutrients and grow, but different types of vegetable plants need different amounts of water. Too little water will cause plants to dry up and wilt. Once seriously wilted, most plants will not recover, even if watered, so do your best to keep your vegetable plants from wilting. Too much water can rot the root system, and only healthy roots can absorb nutrients from the soil and hold the plant upright. Once rot afflicts the root system, the plant is done for.

Most vegetable plants prefer a good, deep watering one to three times each week. If you water too shallowly, the roots will grow near the surface instead of downward to seek water.

If you don’t water your vegetable garden deeply and thoroughly, you might end up with shallow roots that cannot tolerate any drought at all.
My favorite watering system is Rain Water .One more thing you need in S.Florida when Gone Gardening: Learn more about Native plants .They are draught tolerant and require less maintenance. Remember that to plant the Right plant in the Right place. Meaning some plants that are water loving , plant them in areas prone to flooding and more  watering accessability.


Gardening Mistake No. 6:Correct planting techniques-know how .Its not a rocket scientist high tech procedure to know how to launch  a plant/seed/seedling into the soil.But use your common sense to avoid common mistakes of shallow or wrongful planting.KNow before you grow.In Florida the safest planting oerocedure of planting seeds is not direct into the soil but rather into a small container first .Most new comers from UP NORTH fall into the trap of planting directly into soil as if there is REALLY a GOOD SOIL (remember sandy and nematodes infesrted soil is the name of of the game !!).Still if you insist on planting direct into soil, then I suggest you follow the below suggestion:
In general, the larger the seed, the deeper it prefers to be planted. Seed packets offer information on the back about how deeply to plant the seeds. Pay attention to this information, because planting too deeply will cause seeds to fail to sprout or tire out the young seed sprout before it’s able to reach the surface and receive needed sunlight.

On the other hand, planting seeds at a too-shallow depth can cause the seed to dry out quickly and fail to sprout—or cause the young plant to dry out or fall over because of poor root growth. Some vegetable seeds, such as lettuce, actually need to be close enough to the soil surface that sunlight can touch them and trigger sprouting.

Gardening Mistake No 7: Planting Too Closely—and Not Thinning
If you plant your seeds or transplants too closely, you’ll create too much competition for the nutrients in sunlight, soil and water. Seed packet instructions include advice on plant spacing, but it’s tempting to ignore it because seeds seem so tiny when you’re planting a patch of bare soil. It’s difficult to imagine how much space the plants that sprout from those seeds will need once they start to grow.

Not every seed planted will germinate and not every sprout will survive, so it’s OK to plant seeds closer than the spacing needed by mature vegetable plants. It’s important to thin the patch or row when plants are a few inches tall, removing enough of the seedlings to make room for the remaining plants to grow. Many vegetable plant thinnings are edible — young carrots and greens are tender and delicious—so enjoy your thinnings in an early-spring salad. Vegetable plant thinnings also can be left on the soil around remaining plants to serve as light mulch.

Gardening Mistake No. 8: Letting Weeds Grow Unchecked.
The best time to pull a weeds is when they are tiny and the root system is small. Pulling weeds at that stage of growth won’t disrupt the roots of your vegetable plants.Another smart way to avoid weeds altogether is MULCH.

The longer you let a weed grow, the stronger a root system it will develop and the more nutrients it will steal from your vegetable plants. Keep weed growth to a minimum by mulching soil around your vegetable plants or disturbing the surface of the soil by regularly hoeing between your plants.

Gardening Mistake No. 9: Over mulching or is it  Under mulching!!???
Mulch is a good thing, but too much of a good thing usually isn’t good.Sounds like a puzzle of the chicken and egg which one came first?? Using MULCH with organic matter—like straw, dry leaves or grass clippings—helps keep weeds from sprouting, retains moisture in the soil, keeps the root zone cool and provides nutrients for the plants as the mulch decays. One counter indication for over mulching is that both plants and mulch will be competing for NITROGEN. So learn how to mulch with BALANCE adding more organic nitrogen rich matter the more you add mulch..

A light mulch is fine after planting, but don’t mulch too deeply or seed sprouts might not be able to push through into the sunlight. To retain soil moisture and discourage weeds, gently add more mulch as the plants grow. After mulching, draw the mulch back 1 inch or so from the stems of the young plants so it doesn’t create too much heat as it decomposes or trap dampness against the stem and cause rot.

Take special care when using green mulches like fresh grass clippings, as these materials produce heat while decomposing, which can harm the plant and even kill it. Green mulches are very rich in nitrogen, which they release as they decompose. This nitrogen boost will fuel top growth in vegetable plants, which you might not desire.


Common gardening mistake number 10: Garden Ergonomics- body garden work positions abuse!
Learn how to use your body in a safe way while at the garden. Put on proper garden gear. Hydrate and most important:
Learn garden ERGONOMICS.
This is the MOST COMMITTED MISTAKE NO ONE WANTS TO HEAR!...

Most gardeners and farmers abuse their body lifting, pulling, pushing, shoveling etc...the wrong way.What is the RIGHT way? Come to attend my ongoing classes and ask me .I will let you know.I am a certified Florida MassageTherapist as well,  and I specialize in"massaging my plants only"

A lot of gardening questions become common sense to a gardener after a few seasons of experience. There’s a lot to learn along the way. Thats why I got ONGOING GARDENING CLASSES!! When and where and how much??/Please click on the web site down below for a quick answer!Tell/bring a friend. Support a local farmer near you. Go GROW GREEN!

Happy gardening , with the compliments of ..

Your local Urban Farmer

Tony
 
 

Urban Farming Challenges and Solutions in South Florda-Part II

This summer we have witnessed record heat temperatures in South Florida, besides the decrease in the precipitation and increased challenges of the  Climate Change.
To tackle the challenges to Urban Farming in S. Florida one must seek the answer first from within to basic questions, among others:
Did we  do our part to be PREPARED to grow our own  food?Are we preserving the Florida Agriculture FARM  land of precious muck and fertile soil for the future generations to grow food ?Do we have the EXPERIENCED LOCAL  people on BOARD to provide farming expertise advice?
 
To start with one must admit that the agrarian/fertile land in S.Florida is shrinking tremendously every year .In the absence of laws and regulations to protect Agriculture Fertile  land , the assault by DEVELOPERS  to replace FARMS  with CONCRETE BLOCKS like  gated communities, mansions ,malls etc..Money talk.They have the upper hand. To find out , please read your local newspaper or  google articles on  "Mento west Wellington development" plan ,"Developing the Agri reserve","contaminated well water in the Acreage". ..

Unfortunately :More  fertile agriculture farm  land is  being considered for/transformed into DEVELOPMENTS  .Visit to learn more:
http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2014-03-30/news/fl-development-surge-palm-20140330_1_agricultural-reserve-minto-west-college-campus

http://www.mypalmbeachpost.com/news/news/massive-sugar-hill-development-proposed-across-pal/nhB4D/

Urban Farming Reality  on paper:
 
Florida is a TRANSIT  state. Lots of newcomers arrive to retire .It is also in a TRANSFORMATION state from  Agriculture land to Developments land.
  As more DEVELOPERS build transforming fertile soil into concrete blocks of "Malls, Gated "communities and what have you.Imposing own rules to RESTRICT and curtail Productive  Urban Farming .Where will the future farms come from?
Russia has invaded Ukraine and the secret why is The FERTILE BLACK SOIL of EUROPE BREAD BASKET COUNTRY , in addition to the huge natural gas reserves of the Crimean Peninsula  sea !Whereas the baffling reality here is we in USA at the same time here are replacing fertile soil and farm lands with developments at a fast pace rate ,without even giving a chance for regulators to preserve the Historic Farm land for future generations to gro own food...
Now we are stuck with the dilemma of growing food on demolished structures , given the example of few community gardens created or earmarked to be created on a mixture of soil . concrete debris,and God knows what of hazardous chemicals in between????

The Plight and Fight.Who cares ? Going it  alone?

Reading the daily news about Urban Growers attempting to grow sometimes is discouraging.Too many challenges and too little support.Take the example of a story I read in the local news yesterday ,still fresh:
http://www.mypalmbeachpost.com/photo/news/local/west-palm-beach-asked-to-pay-for-water-hookup-for-/pCN3m9/

You may sprinkle some heavy metals like lithium,mercury,rocket fuel,pharmaceutical and manufacturing hazardous chemicals.Some of much more were/ are being detected on many soil grounds not to mention the water pollution .We stand still in shock .Are we alone fighting for survival of the fittest farmer /or fattest pocket??
Why no one cares about local fertile soil,urban growers,farms and farmland any more???Let us ask ourselves what have we done to ensure that we invest in
urban farmers,community gardens.backyard farming and such  in S.Florida .What we witness quite the opposite in some cities that have either demolished existing community gardens, or try to discourage urban growers by withholding support or by excessive
  regulations to  CONTROL and CURTAIL growth of Urban Farming projects preferring good  looking manucured  landscape of expensive water wasting inefficient  grass over  edible plants that produce food !
 Big Agri-business controls agriculture in S. Florida, supported by mainstream media and special interest lobby centers.So , what to do in the absence of support and fertile land? Where and how to grow our own food?The answe lies in our BACKYARDS!
Backyard farming is the new trend .Urban Growers are the new generation of farmers like the community garden is the new version of the Victory Garden.But who is listening or showing interest to DO IT???Who will help us confront the many challenges from climate change,disappearing fertile soil land,lack of financial incentives  or educational opportunities to promote  Organic Urban  farming ,white fly infestations, to  name the least!!
Lots of my garden enthusiast come to me with so many questions lamenting failed crops or lack of know how etc.." How to successfully grow my own food on my backyard that is sandy ,infested with nematodes or fruit trees infested with white flies , not to mention the buried God knows what of hazardous debris of chemicals and sort or the polluted water!!

Urban Farming challenges On the GROUND .

Lately I was approached  by a new Urban Grower seeking advice.,He was attempting to farm on less than couple of acres at a combo of   demolished structure- transit  land .I advised him to test the soil and refrain from using cement block for raised bed structure .He found  deposits of LITHIUM (Battery chemical) after the soil test .Instead , he told me he might be switching to container gardening for now !
Another example, agroup of new comers urban farmers, rented some  acres land next to a nursery , but were confronted with challenges ranging from soil deficiency of nutrients ,organic matter ,sandy soil infested with nematodes, excessive heat .They were facing a potential failed crop in addition to the above ,add  lack of experience and knowledge on farming in the S.Florida Sub-Tropical zone.
The stories of attempted Urban Farming and failing, or struggling to be less negative ,continues to surface as we tend to reach out for help and speak out .The future will show whether how much  as more new comers flood the new found  industry of Urban Farming continues to swell.

The Solutions:
Here are some 10 FARMING  " COMMENDEMENTS "  to successfully grow your own food in the sub-tropical S.Florida and turn your "lemon 'Challenges  into" lemonade" solutions:
1-Consult an expert who has been there HANDS ON growing and consulting on the matter of growing local fruits and veggies.Take classes offered by local Urban Farmers who have extensive education and LOCAL EXPERIENCE. Beware fake fraudulent farmers.Ask for certifications,experience and current projects,web sites, reviews etc..
2-Test the water and soil , prior to commencing to work the land.
3-Start small. Small :space,containers and budget,
4-If you are growing from seeds or cuttings ,create a mini backyard  nursery to EXPERIMENT .Chose area NOT exposed to EXCESSIVE HEAT,with adequate shade, away from pets and traffic or  pollutants.
5-Solarize the soil to prevent weed and nematodes from taking over .I personally use a combo of vinegar, epsom salt, and hot water to spray away weeds, instead of using "WROUNG UP".
6-Start preparing for the Fall Growing Season RIGHT NOW at SUMMER, rather than waiting for last minute preps! Grow seeds indoors if it is too hot outdoors.
7- Take your time to learn and apply.Farming and gardening is a PROCESS.BE PATIENT!
8-Learn garden Ergonomics" and switch to night time gardening if the HEAT and bugs bother you!
9-Hydrate and wear garden gear while gardening.
10-Take my ONGOING gardening classes .I am a certified Florida Horticulturist with more than 15 years of Hands On experience ..as well Heads on education..Or pick up offered by local Urban Farmers who have extensive education and LOCAL EXPERIENCE. Beware the fake fraudulent farmers.Ask for certifications,experience and current projects,web sites, reviews etc..10-
By the way..The growing fall season is next around and NOW is the time to be PREPARED.Take the first step and sign up for an ongoing gardening class of your choice or a home garden consultation.More details at:
www.localharvest.org/farms/M20618
Tags:
 
 

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!!!

Tags:
 
 

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 ,

Tags:
 
 

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 .

<iframe src="http://embed.live.huffingtonpost.com/HPLEmbedPlayer/?segmentId=52cdd59dfe344430a80001e8" width="480" height="270" frameBorder="0" scrollable="no"></iframe>

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.
 
Tags:
 
 

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!!!

 
 
RSS feed for Alternative Community Farmer/WPB.FL blog. Right-click, copy link and paste into your newsfeed reader

Calendar


Search


Navigation


Topics


Feeds


BlogRoll