Alternative Community Farmer/WPB.FL

  (WPB, Florida)
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Start to be self sufficient growing your own food.Here is why?

It is not too late to learn how to grow your own food and medicinal herb garden.
Now people are rushing more than ever to learn the process of being self sufficient after being hit hard in their pockets.
We have ongoing organic gardening classes that suits your budget and we can help you jump start a garden from scratch !
Are you still procrastinating and hybernating ?
Here is one reputable web site to WAKE YOU UP and convince you why it is important to start a garden and grow your own food:
Take it from a horticulturist expert .It take time ,effort,space,budget,and LEARNING to start a garden.Rushing to the garden center to buy accessories and materials will not be enough.First you need to learn the Organic Gardenning Process of growing food in the TROPICS , especially if you live in South Florida.
Here are the basics that you need to consider:
1-Start small , preferably growing in containers from seeds.Shoose HEIRLUM seeds  or buy seedlings from a local Urban Farmer or a reliable source that does not use chemical fertilizers .If you have no access for land check out a community garden near you.For a listing of community gardens in Palm Beach County contact us for suggestions and advice.
2-Sign up for an organic Gardenning Class offered by  a local  urban farmer near you.We offer ongoing Organic Gardenning Classes .More details at "Mark Your Calender" -Natural Awakening Magazine-PBC edition , or simply visit:
3-Look for recycled containers before you buy new ones.Here are the best recycled containers to choose from:Municipal old recycling bins-used nursery pots-old bath tubs-old terra cotta.Best purchased containers are: Half wine barrels or natural non treated wooden boxes-Remember thatS. Florida is a tropical region with exessive heat and best for your root system plants are wooden containers that retain moisture and cool the root system.
4-Prepare your own soil:Use mainly composted manure,compost recycled from your yard and kitchen.Add ammendments to enrich soil and add nutrients from Organic sources like:Bone and blood meal.sea weed,horse manure ,coffee grounds ,fish emulsion,worm castings etc ..
5-Soil testing for proper Ph:Plants usually prefer a nutral Ph to grow between 5.5 and 6.5.Usually the soil at the coastal areas are acidic .Add calcium and lime to offset the acidity and make the soil more alkaline .I beleive that we need to focus more attention on TRACE MINERALS like Magnesium,sulfur,boron,zinc stc..What we have learned from the mainstream horticultural schools and Agri-business is to utterly deal with N-P-K formula of Nitrogen-Phosphorous-Potassium.In Europe they have been paying more attention to minerals and we need to heed the new approach by the Europeans!
6-The Golden Rule usually is :Those who have the gold Rule??Right..Well, it does not work that easy when you want to follow the Organic Gardenning process which rules that Natural Laws Rule.Among these laws are to use Organic sources especially to keep adding ORGANIC MATTER...The rest is keep MAINTAING the garden and never abandon it .Plants are like people.They demand ATTENTION and TLC.Try to neglect a loved one and see what follows???

State of the Community Garden II: What are the PROs and the Challenges?


From an experienced horticulturist  point of fiew(20 years of community urban farming in S.Florida), I asum up the Pros and challenges as follows.

A:The Pros-

1)Urban Farming as a THERAPY:I have been interviewed by the Sun-sentinel back in 2008 and the topic was :Gardening as a THERAPY!People who grow their own food have access to  fresh food which supports nutritional health, decreases susceptibility to illnesses and overall reduces the burden on the health care system ,inhancing IMMUNE SYSTEM and offcourse shrinking  the doctors and grocery bill by reducing STRESS.

 2)Spreading GREEN AWARENESS and SUSTAINABILITY!I have fascilitated classes on Organic Urban Farming at colleges(Palm BeachState College-Green Expo 2011,Cities,Churches,Wellness centers,Firefighters group,Scouts,Homeowners etc..).I am indebted to Natural Awakening Magazine and for their support .You may find out about ongoing classes by by checking out the Natural Awakening Magazine-Palm Beach edition"Mark your calender".The community garden has inspired me to reach out for those who want to grow their own food and did not have access for land , just like myself.Swinton Community Garden is the latest community garden I am involved with and it has been a great experience for the last four years and going.Thank you SCG!

I fascilitated Composting classes at the city of Lake Worth from 2010-2011.The composting program was was created to reduce waste especially coming from the kitchen and the GARDEN INTO THE lAND FILL  AND RECYCLE IT INSTEAD INTO COMPOST AT THE BACKYARD GARDEN .

3)Community Urban Farming can create GREEN JOBS:I personally MADE A LIVING FROM 2001 TO 2008 from ONE OF MY LARGER  COMMUNITY GARDENS   and created a network of CSA back then , before it was turned into a LAND FILL in 2009!

Community gardens can be a significant source of food and income for members. This is especially helpful for families and individuals without JOBS or  land .


 4)Community Gardens are a venue for cultural DIVERSITY and PRODUCTIVE community social interaction between local  officials and the public.

Community garden projects give community members the opportunity to work side-by-side, regardless of cultural background ,ethnicity,nationality,religion etc...

Studies show that legal immigrants  produced traditional crops that are otherwise unavailable locally.Community gardens does not have a generation gap ,mixing youth and adults together. 

Community gardens bring officials and local residents closer.In a recent volunteer work ,two weeks ago ,at the Hollywood community garden project, I met a local commissioner Mr.Pete Hernandez.Upon explaining to him that the soil is lacking nutrients and full of pebbles and debris , he invited me to accompany him to chose a fertile soil which he donated into the garden as a good will gesture to help improve the status of the community garden under construction. Studies have shown that areas with above average green vegetation have less graffiti and littering, and lower crime rates .People caring for their neighborhoods learn how to care about each others from growing their own food to beautifying their community with flowers and greenery.I personally experienced that while volunteering at the Chief Sitting Bull garden in Lake Worth and Carver Community Garden IN Delray.Both gardens do not exist anymore unfortunately!

5)Community gardens can turn neighborhoods infested with crime, into safe communities.They can be a good food source for soup kitchens.I personally donated crops from my community garden to the Caring Kitchen from 2001 till 2008.Giving back to our community through volunteering at community garden and donating crops to soup kitchens help enrich our community spirit and nourish so many who are in dire need for food.

B)The Challenges-

1-Out of 10 community gardens I tended for the last ten years two are still existing while one  was  available for sale and the other one  has already downsized!Many reasons among the short term life of community gardens among which:Sale for developers,repocession by owner,failure of members to maintain the garden,lack of funding ,convert site into landfill,abandonment,etc.. 

2-Community gardens being used as platforms for political agendas.Some join to boost their community Organization resume references,others to assume and boost a socialist profile,and many just to experiment their green nostalgia then quit after finding out that it takes sweat and gets their hands dirty...



The Swine Flu and You! .What are the symptoms and how to fight back HERBALLY!!!??

Locally speaking:This is the first time I come across so many sneezing and coughing , may be because I am taking more trips on the bus and the train..How about you and the Flu?Have you noticed that there is a scare going on GLOBALLY ,but not locally!!!.

With the absence of health insurance to many especially farmers and the unemployed or underemployed, one needs to gaurd his or her health .Knowledge and courage play an important role by spreading the AWARENESS and stressing the HERBAl SOLUTIONS.The  fight or flight response to sustain life naturally directs us to look for NATURAL solutions ESPECIALLY USING herbal medicine .FARMERS , GARDENERS AND HERBALISTS NOW  can educate the public from their experience with growing herbs and using them as FOOD   that help the immune system,beside vaccination offcourse!.Disclaimer:The information listed here is for educational purposes only and not to treat ,prevent or diagnose any disease .Consult with your health provider who is the only authority to help you incase you seek treatment for any medical condition.

To start with the EDUCATIONAL AWARENESS:Here is  what the MedWeb  tells us about the Symptoms of the Swine Flu FYI: I qoute:"

H1N1 Influenza (Swine Flu) - Symptoms

The symptoms of H1N1 flu are a lot like the regular seasonal flu. They can include:

  • Fever or shaking chills.
  • Cough.
  • Sore throat.
  • Body aches.
  • Headache.
  • Extreme tiredness (fatigue).

alan="">Some people also have vomiting and diarrhea. Most of the time, the illness is not serious. But in some cases, H1N1 flu can be severe and can lead to pneumonia, serious lung problems, and death

.Swine Flu FAQ


The H1N1 swine flu virus appeared in the U.S. in April 2009 and never went away. After sweeping the globe, U.S. H1N1 swine flu cases surged as schools opened in the fall. What is H1N1 swine flu? What can we do about it? WebMD answers your questions. What is swine flu? What are swine flu symptoms? Who is at highest risk of H1N1 swine flu? Help! I've been exposed to swine flu. What should I do? If I think I have swine flu,...

Read the Swine Flu FAQ article > >

Some people are more likely to have serious problems from H1N1 flu, including:

  • Pregnant women. The developing baby also is at risk for problems if the mother gets H1N1 flu.
  • People with long-term (chronic) health problems such as asthma or diabetes.
  • People with a weak immune system.
  • People who have serious heart or kidney disease or some diseases that affect nerves and muscles.
  • People younger than 25 years old.

Incubation and contagious periods

The time between getting infected with H1N1 virus and feeling sick (called the incubation period) is usually about 2 days but can be from 1 to 7 days.1 You can infect others starting 1 day before your symptoms start. And you may infect others up to 12 days after you get sick, although most people are infectious for about 6 days.1

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 02, 2010." Unqoute
The Solution: There are controversy about vaccination so I will leave it up for each individual to decide on their own.Personally ,I choose HERBAL  FOOD solution for  building up IMMUNE SYSTEM  .It is affordable if you do not have medical insurance and RELIABLE too!!.Here are some HERBAL  SOLUTIONS  to consider :
1)The China (TCM)solution:
2)The India (Ayeurveda)  solution:
Check out for many herb growers and herbalists who offer locally grown herbs that are helpful as well.

Old farmers Folk Medicine recipes to beat The Flu...No Shots necessary.No Kidding!!!

I am an ardent reader of the Old Farmers Almanac and The Natural News.Com.To take the preventive way to avioid the flu and prevent it, I am loading my diet with on Calamantine citrus,vitamin C,Chiken soap,Lemon grass,GARLIC,Rose hips and carrot juice!!!

I read The New York Times  today and they were reporting about how  they are MONITORING ,screeening visitors from Chicago at the South Korean Seaol Airport for gues what?Not illegal drugs,not arms...Simply THE FLU?

An ounce of prevention is worth more than a ton of merdications as they say in old..We farmers have no luxury for insurance so we take our medicine from the garden and the food we grow organically offcource!By the way this information is presented for educational purposes only and it does not intend to diagnose or treart any disease and in doubt please check with your health practitioner and conside rall this educational material presented as science fiction or old folk medicine that has been labelled as QUACKERY  before ...and may be still considered so!But it is good to know anyway!!

Have you seen ,touched or smelled a flu  near you?Noticed someone sneazing or coughing? Are you concerned and do not favor  a flu shot because you are allergic to needles and hate pain feeling of needles penetrating your body, and would consider some Natural Remedies so easy to swallow or ingest instead?.Here are some flu fun suggestions from the OLd Farmers Almanac:

More to know about combatting the flu?




For the new comer Organic Gardener Beginnners,  South Florida has its special approach .It is different but not difficult.What to expect from the learning process is to be prepared to implement "HANDS ON"what you learn.

1-There are new USDA zones now in place of the OLD Hardy Planting USDA zone ...Thanks to the climate change we have new guidelines of USDA Hardiness  zones .Check them out at:

Remember to list and locate what are the best options for the draught tolerant plants,temp,etc..for your S.Florida Hot Zone garden and not to look for or apply an out of state USDA zone  like where you come from say for example UPSTATE NEW YORK!!!??

2-Plan a location in your garden and divide it into different parts like for fruit trees,vegetables,herbs etc...Remember to apply the XERISCAPING the right plant in the right for example do not plant a water loving tree in an area that is so dry  or prone to draught and no access for water !!

3-Make an educated choice in choosing the type of garden:Raised beds with frames-Raised beds without frames-Container garden-Trenches-Hydroponic etc..Remember to adhere to Natural Laws in gardening.Natural laws are not man made or mandated.Get close to nature with an open mind to learn what is best as determined by the plants,climate and your location.

4-Be creative.Experiment.Ask questions.Work with other farmers and exchange experience and knowledge.

5-Check out the SOIL Ph of your garden..Most soil in South Coastal South Florida is Sandy and acidic...Leaern more about preparing your own soil if you do not want to struggle against nematodes and fight soil diseases or soil lack of nutrients.

6-SOIL.SOIL .SOIL:Make your own.Add organic ammendments.Add humus and organic matter.Add beneficial worms like mellipedes etc and keep your soil ALIVE .

7-Use PREVENTION in combatting plant disease rather than chemical and synthetic PESTICIDES.Remember to apply LIVING methods of AGRI- cultur .After all CHEMICAl fertiliZERS AND PESTICIDES HURT THE ENVIRONMENT AS WELL OUR HUMAN BODY.BE AWARE OF USING GREEN WAYS IN GROWING YOUR GREENS!


8-Sign up for as many classes with  a LOCAL URBAN FARMER who teaches classes OUTDOORS in  the garden and not just in a classroom.Gardening is a HANDS ON approach , so learn it the hands on way..and be prepared to get your hands dirty into the SOIL .

9- Start small.Check with a health practioner before you do any pysical work.Hydrate.Wear garden gear.Be safe.LEARN and UseGARDEN  ERGONOMICS

10-Volunteer in community gardens.Donate food to soup kitchens.Share the harvest with neighbors and the needy. Support local urban farmers. on any way you can.

NB:If you live in S.Florida and you need help to learn the Tropical way of gardening or start a backyard garden, check out our classes and web blog at:

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