Alternative Community Farmer/WPB.FL

  (WPB, Florida)

Posts tagged [backyard]

An Organic Urban Farming class at a Firefighter family and friends backyard-Have Shovel Will Travel Series!!

I fascilitated an Organic Gardening class to a grouip of Fire Fighters and their families and friends two weeks ago and guess what ..It was a big hit!

Fire fighters are among the elite of our community when it comes to putting their lives on risk to save our homes and lives when a fire catches up .It was a time to givbe back at a backyard where children ,teanagersand adults sat together to learn and practice a hands on organic gardening class .

This motivated me to target other groups in our community that work silently to GIVE and be a role model in the progress of our local communities.This week I will be working in a backyard of a Boys Scouts Leader who is gathering her scouts to learn another survival skill:Growing your own food...

Next move will be starting a class in Miami and Homestead area ...As the word goes by:Have Shovel Will Travel.It always sytarts with a desire to serve our community especially during a Holliday Season.Growing our own food is now in GREAT DEMAND ..I am filling the niche and fascilitating "MOBILE"classes and your help is appreciarted to pass on the word to your schools,churches,wellness centers and non-profit organizations .Working together to start urban gardens in our backyards to keep the Earth A Living and safe Place for the Living is another NEW YEAR RESOLUTION we can add to our Santa Clause Gift List to our loved ones.

Wishing you all a Happy Hollidays and may your days  be  GREEN and Flourishing like a Bountiful Garden.

Ho Ho Ho   Santa "Gardener" is Coming to your backyard ..Town!!!


Ho Ho Ho


HANDS ON Organic Gardening Classes going to our BACKYARDS. From a vision to a visual !A Happy Earthday ..par example!

Transforming our backyards into bountiful productive gardens is just a class away.

Organic Gardening Awareness classes can now unite friends and families together to learn how to transform their backyards from an inefficient lawn grass to an efficient fruit and vegetable garden.

Children and adults alike now can learn the process without even going to school.Simply bringing the classes to a potluck gathering with a local urban farmer could be the alternative.Here are some samples and examples in pictures:

It was said back in old times:"It takes a village to raise a child."We can add into this :It takes a productive fruit and vegetable garden to nourish and nurture a child as well!

In the wake of the never ending economic crunch and as an alternative to spending hard earned dollars on imported food that travels the 1500 miles before it reaches our tables, we now can grow our own food and save money just by turning the backyard into a mini farm that creates FOOD PRODUCING jobs and teaches our children the skills of sustainable living,

It is better to teach one how to fish rather than give a fish.Voila:Imagine how nuch we can save on taxpayers money given away as food stamps!?


The new generation of farmers can be found at a nearby productive backyard garden near you.

Farming one backyard and one family a day keep the doctor away as it is a proven THERAPY as practiced in Japan and Scandinavian countries!Also, it can transform our inefficient neglected lands into bountiful productive gardens and beautify our cities and towns .Not to mention protecting our environment  our families and preserving the EARTH as a safe place to live and make a LIVING for our  future generations .


Reaching out to teach parents and their kids how to grow organic fruits and vegetables


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(NHOA)Non Homeowners Association Backyard Front yard farming VS HOA Back/Front yard Farming

Check this out .Hot news from the front....yard ...farming or shall we say framing?



 Now let us ask ourselves some simple questions:

Do home owners who live in HOA controlled space have rights to plant  in their yards ?

Can  they chose to grow organic vegetables instead of lawn grass or flowers or just  whatever the HOA dictates?

If not ,then it is time to introduce a Home Owners (HOA )Bill of Rights!



Starting an organic vegetable garden in your own backyard is not a bad idea .

Here in S.Florida the GROWING season has laready started .You are not late to join the early bird gardeners.What you need is to learn the basics .Remember that the soil in S.Florida is SANDY.So your best bet is to prepare your own soil.


Learning the tropical backyard farming is important to start with.

I have classes available at your own backyard as well as mine.You pick the place and time.


We can help .You can learn and do it! One step and one day at a time!


More info, visit:

Find us at:Natural Awakening PBC edition -S.Florida Leading Hollistic Magz.





CREATING AGRICULTURAL JOBS IN THE USA! Sharing Your Backyard:Project Grow Food not Grass!

The media is buzzing with news about JOB CREATION.The president hires a General Electric ex - CEO to run the JOB CREATION campaign .

 In a GLOBALLY oriented ecconomy, business as usual does not look at nationality but rather at PROFITABILTY.It does not matter for MULTINATIONAL BIG BUSINESS where the dollar is coming from ,as  long  as it keeps on coming .What about Creating jobs locally , not just in Manufacturing, but also in AGRICULTURE!????

On the LOCAL level our GNP is growing with less than 2%.In Arizona UNEMPLOYMENT is near to the 1929 DEPRESSION unemployment level of 23%.INacting laws to punish illegal migrant farmers  ,for example, is now  backfiring !Look at  what has  happened in GEORGIA?

Wonder why crops are rotting in the fields and produce prices skyrocketting? Wonder no more:

We can creat jobs by starting to transform our inefficient "LAWN "grass/ water consuming backyards, into PRODUCTIVE VEGETABLE GARDENS.The price of LOCALLY GROWN ORGANIC VEGETABLES is so lucrative to  start  growing PRODUCE locally !!The MEXICAN government is encouraging AGRICULTURAL OUTSOURCING and the movement of US Farm Business into MEXICo.Their Agticultural ecconomy is booming selling produce to US and EUROPE , while our ecconomy is in JEOPARDY and a big mess!Farm workers wages and land are DIRT cheap in Mexico, so why not??

NOW WITH THE CRACK DOWN ON ILLEGAL MIGRANT FARMERS, the exodus of American GROWERS is as rapid as well.MEXICO offers a farm worker cost of 10$ per DAY  versus the 10 $ per hour pau in USA!

When Money talks  , everybody listens.So, hello, anybody home?

The news of the growers  exodus are buried so far, not as much as for the migrant farmers news anyway!! 

Will we be  tasting our own medicine soon as price of produce keep on rising?.Blame it on climate change,flooding or whatever you like .The facts and numbers speak for themselves.We are losing the PRODUCE BATTLE to MEXICO .



Activate Operation "Backyard Farming".That will definitely help to create more jobs in the US that produce" PRODUCE"!May be we can compete with Mexico by selling more Organic produce to Europe or keep our dollars at home  buying our own locally grown crops!!Foreigners are taking our jobs , yes?? . Start growing and   picking onions and tomato .Farming is a JOB that we need to bring back home !


Applying :Restore-Recycle-Reuse-Reduce Formula to the Backyard Organic Garden.

The christmass trees are lying at the curb waiting for the trash truck.I could not resist the natural gardener instinct , so I grabbed them and now they are being used as mulch in my new backyard garden.The plastic containers ,the bed wood frames,the discarded poinseta christmass trees ,the kitchen metalic shelves and much more that I picked from the trash bins and curbs follow suit.

I do recycle , reuse ,reduce and lately I added RESTORE to the universal composting formula.

Yesterday , I attended a neighborhood association meeting .I was so much impressed by the spirit of community .City officials ,business owners and common residents came together to work  to restore and beautify our neighborhood.

Personally , I was involved with community gardens that were transformed from neglected and crime infested grounds into beautiful gardens that are PRODUCtIVE.I used to donate the extra organic produce to a soup kitchen when I was a community Garden Co-ordinator for eight years .Not any more when that garden was re assigned as a dumping sight for land fills.

Now I have a vision to convert the challenges we face at our neighborhoods, especially with abondoned and neglected lands , into productive Organic Gardens.With no money or any financial support I started collecting materials from the curb and building a backyard garden that grows vegetables and flowers.

My new restored garden is located at the corner of NE 9th street and federal Highway in LW.An example set to prove that we do not need mega money to restore our neglected lands.My neighbor came and asked me for help and I gave him a hand and ideas to create an edible flower landscape  and a Zen garden .

A business owner of Studio 205 stepped in to donate some flowers to my garden and recycled compost from his juice bar.Thank you Mr.Andy Amoroso.

Now imagine that we create a center for FREE mulch and garden  supply materials recycled from the christmas trees , wood frames,vegetation  and plastic containers from restaurants /juice bars refuse to build more productive vegetable gardens!

The ecconomic crunch has forced so many of us to lose homes,jobs,cars etc..I took that challenge to CREATE a JOB instead of the usual attitude of looking to FIND  a job.

Creating food for our community is in fact a GREEN JOB.Productive Vegetable gardens can be added to the menu of REBATES to encourage residents to convert their inefficient water consuming grass lawns into vegetable gardens is an ecconomically lucrative GREEN idea to be taken seriously.Thats why I jumped in to help last June at the composting pilot program by the city of Lake Worth.

I applaud the GREEN efforts of Mr.Joseph Kroll the director of the Utility Department in KIND by just lending him a helping hand.

I can feel the appreciation and the community spirit through the acts the city are demonstrating as a LEADING EXAMPLE to transform our community into a leading GREEN CITY!

Working together and applying the universal composting formula can prove that we can transform our environment into a better place to work and live.Leadership makes a difference.Thank you for bringing us together Mango Grove Neighborhood Association.

As a reminder: Please visit my web link below to find out about my Ongoing Gardening Classes and read my blog @:

Another example of my community gardening work: watch SCG at You Tube:


Happy Community Gardening




Seek Basic Backyard Farming Awareness prior to starting an organic vegetable/herb/fruit garden in S.Florida.

There is a growing demand to start a backyard organic garden in an ecconomy that is driving us all down financially.People come to me and ask me to help them but they themselves are not ready to cope with the idea of a productive garden that needs resources to happen. The basic requirements to be ready can be summarized in the following.

A) Structural awareness and preparedness:

 0-Make a plan a) and b)for the garden process .Consult a local professional horticulturist prior to mobilizing for the garden project.Choose the most affordable and workqable plan first.

1-LOCATION:Make your mind which location you want the garden be set up at.Always consider sunny space that is not accessible to pets or animals .Check out the topography and avoid slopes.Choose areas that are not in proximity to trees , poor drainage and traffic .

2-Budget: Structure a budget before you start building a structure .Consult with your partners and accountant prior to summoning a professional gardner to help you set up.

3-Design:Determine what shape and size and kind of garden suits you best: a)Single family,extended family etc. b).Rectangular ,circular shape etc.. c)Large,medium or small size.. d)What type of garden :Raised bed,trenches etc..

4)Materials:What type of wood,seeds,seedlings,mulch,soil,plants,irrigation system etc..

B) Functional awareness and preparedness:

1-Determine who is going to be in charge of setting up,growing,maintaing ,harvesting your organic garden.

2-Be prepared to have the necessary garden tools , equipent,shed etc.. on hand prior to starting the garden.

3-allocate time to work,maintain,manage etc.. the garden.

4-Make sure that the human resources allocated to set up ,build,maintain ,harvest ,water etc.. are available and able physically to function as per planned ahead.

5-Set a timetable to start and finish the garden process.Allocate phases for construction,beautification,completion,improvement etc..

 6-Establish a log book, organizational and follow up procedures to implement what is planned.

C)Execute and proceed accordingly in building the garden. There are always challengs and obstacles .Meet them with a positive attitude and mind set to resolve and find solutions.

Treat your human resources with dignity and respect.Do not trick,abuse or take advantage especially of the people who come to offer you help.Be generous ,patient,cheerful and supportive.

The spirit of community is not that much practiced in the cities where people live their lives behind closed and gated communities.Indulge in building relations with the people who come to help you by sharing what you have in exchange for their sharing what services,skills and work they offer.

If you are not comfortable with strangers stepping into your sacred space and property :Take time to train your heart ,mind and spirit ahead of time prior to summoning those strangers to help you start your backyard garden .How can you do that?

Your turn to come up with a way that suits your personality and communication skills.Accepting others as they are is not a bad idea to start with.Good luck.

Tony Dagher BA,CFMG,CFMT

Florida Master Gardener


Have you wondered what kind of toxic chemicals are in your well water or your backyard veggies?Check out alleged cancer clusters and toxic wonderlandfills from the Acreage in Florida

Welcome to Florida .Now if you live in the Acreage, start testing your well water before you drink it or use it to irrigate  your vegetable garden!The story of cancer cluster now is going to a tv near you  after a national  coverage that was hosted lately by  Oprah concerning the Cancer Clusters here in the Acreage ,Florida.More info  at the  Palm Beach Post article by John Antigua . I qoute excerpts from The Palm Beach Post article of John Antigua on Sunday March 7, 2010 for quick reference.To read the whole Front page article please go to link:

Qoute :"Anxiety in The Acreage over demolition fill with little public safety monitoring

 RSM or
Allen Eyestone/The Palm Beach Post
Sun Recycling plant, 6911 Wallis Road.

— For years, Joe Gagne worried about the fill he saw dumped on properties around his in The Acreage.

A veteran of the solid waste disposal business, Gagne would stop his car and run his fingers through the material being hauled in, dump truck after dump truck. Used to build up low-lying properties, it was mostly soil. But in it he found nails, screws, wallboard, wood, plastic, glass, insulation and Styrofoam.

Gagne knew the fill came largely from demolition and construction sites, and he had concerns. But the stuff didn't appear to be doing any harm and he didn't make waves.

Then last year he learned that an unusual number of local children had been diagnosed with brain tumors. Gagne, who has a 13-year-old daughter, attended a public meeting. While most residents voiced concerns about the well water, he raised his fears about the fill.

"At first I kept my mouth shut," he says, "but now it's gotten personal."

He wasn't alone. At another meeting, surveyor Ken Osborne, also of The Acreage, held up a plastic bag brimming with fill.

"I own a tractor and a neighbor who bought this fill hired me to spread it for him," Osborne later said. "After a while the tractor got a flat tire. I fixed it and it got another flat tire. I got out and started running my hands through this stuff and it was full of all kinds of junk. At one point I found a crushed hypodermic needle.

"I told him and I told my neighbors around here that I wouldn't put that stuff down," Osborne recalls. "It's insane to have that stuff around any water supply, and we all use well water."

County officials have tested soil at school sites in The Acreage and have not reported any connection between it and the cancer cluster. State investigators are now processing soil samples from 150 sites in The Acreage, including some taken from homes where children have been afflicted with cancer. Results are expected in April.

Comprehensive testing of fill for an extensive number of contaminants — known as baseline testing — is done infrequently, sometimes not for several years. It is usually conducted when the kind of material being processed changes significantly.

Testing for specific "chemicals of concern" identified by the state is done more frequently, on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis, depending on the number of tons produced by a facility.

Those chemicals include arsenic, chromium, cadmium, copper, lead and nickel. The first three, if distributed above accepted limits, may cause cancer.

The lab reports must be made available to inspectors. The company also must also keep thorough records of where recovered screen material is dumped. No RSM can be deposited in a body of water, including wetlands.

The DEP delegates an institution in each county to monitor the companies and review test results. In Palm Beach, it is the county health department.

Laxmana Tallam, air and solid waste supervisor for the county's division of environmental public health, says the county reviews RSM records three times per year and has never issued a violation to Sun Recycling regarding its RSM distribution.

The company has not done as well in Broward, where the county's department of environmental protection is the watchdog. Starting in 2001, Sun has received 20 notices of violation, many of them involving RSM deposited on dozens of separate properties.

The violations were for distributing RSM without approval; processing painted and pressure-treated wood, which can produce high levels of arsenic; depositing RSM in a regulated aquatic area or wetland without a permit; not documenting RSM deliveries; and distributing RSM in which pieces of plastic, wood and metal exceeded the permitted size. Some of those violations involved waste that was produced in Broward but dumped in West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens and Loxahatchee." Unqoute

Now , we come back to the backyards where most  non suspecting gardeners take it for granted to grow their veggies on what is there in their yard .REALLY!Just do not do it!Check out what is in your back /front yard soils first .Double dig for debris and demolition fill contaminated with pcb,heavy metals,chemicals or whatever ..just dig first and extract any contaminants before you plant.

We have areas that are prone for flooding so make sure to use rised beds and for more safety precautions :Make your own organic soil.The secret is :COMPOST.COMPOST.COMPOST.

We have learned our lessons from using store bought ready made soil ,some of which contain sludge or  chemical fertilizers . Now is the time to recycle your own kitchen scrap and yard vegetations etc..

Composting saves on your wallet ,on the environment and on your health.You can do it.

Come to our  on going saturday classes ,if you need help on Organic Gardening in the TROPICS.It is different but not difficult.

To learn more:Visit our blog and web link at :

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