Alternative Community Farmer/WPB.FL

  (WPB, Florida)
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S.Florida elementary school organic vegetable gardens .How professional,safe and challenging.??? Afield trip observation of a sample school X.

It was my first field trip today to offer observations and ideas from the point of view of an urban farmer with educational and experiential background.

My tour guide was a garden enthusiast mom who have a passion to help start productive gardens at schools .To start with she initiated a pilot program a year ago and tried in vain to gather support from local sources and resources .She contacted me and today we were at the school garden .

My observatuion at the first instance was spotting her child of six years old bear foot walking towards a red mulched terrain.I stopped to comment about how dangerous it is to expose children to chemuicals and syntheic dyes .Red dyed mulch has been studied exposing animals to tread on it and the results were a myriad cases of cancers etc..

I was told that there are no support from school districts that struggle with limited resources and cut budgets.Also it is haRD TO GATHER VOLUNTEERS WHO HAVE EXPERIENCE AND KNOWLEDGE IN THE tropical FIELD OF ORGANIC GARDENING IN S.FLORIDA .SCIENCE tEACHERS OR VOLUNTEERS FROM ENVIRONMENT SCHOOL CLUBS OROM SCIENCE usually fill in the vaccant positions and classes tend to focus on indoor and scientific aspects of gardening while the REAL GARDEN is set to look nice with the help of landscaping companies that rush to use fertilizers and dyed mulch and ornamentals and lawns etc..

That garden looked tiny and the only garden  "plants" were  a struggling tomato next to a cactus and papaya tree  .The horticultural laws of XERISCAPING was so obviously violated.Cactus with SPIKES and THORNS planted in an elementary  school garden next to each others !!!!!

Do not ask me more about the raised beds that were at the same level with the lawn grass !!"I H ave tried to grow and nothing comes out" was my tour guide comment."I want your help", she continued.

My heart jumped at the sincere passion expressed.I remembered all those years I have spent tending to a series of community gardens that went dormant one after another due to lack of funds,support from both local public and private entities.Politics ,opportunists ,job seekers who are not experienced enough or educated enough to maintain or manage a school organic garden and many other reasons yet to be discovered  ...usually  take hold of and the result a failed garden and loss of funds and resources.Who is to blame? I beleive those who are at the recruitment posts should be held accountable because their IGNORANCE or LACK of PRODUCTIVE GARDENNING education or experience is the culprit.So we end up with GREEN WASH culture.

 

Hopefullyh someone there who reads articles of feedback about our school gardens might notice that there must be a different approach to educate our children how to grow food by EXPERIENCED and EDUCATED organic HORTICULTURIST.

There are so much rules and regulations and red tape that will take so long to move on a school productive garden.There so much lack of experiencd LOCAL horticulturists or organic urban farmers to be found.Most quit and give up after so many VOLUNTEERING years while those OFFICE STAFF who hire them remain for years and years reaping high profile salaries and suck out the budget funds on administration overheads while productive school gardens keep on shrinking in size and productivity to say the least...or shall we say desist to exist??

 

I am positive that there are successful school gardens out there but we need more sources,support and more volunteers with passion like my garden friend who also should be rewarded with pay.

 
 

The main stream media catches up on the Family Farmers losses in the aftermath of Irene.

I am so happy to read today in the NYT that finally someone cared about telling the tale of damages to farms and small farmers in the aftermath of TROIPICAL STORM IRENE.Check this out and my earlier blog article on the same subject .

I had the first response in reporting that farmers were hit the most especially in the New WEngland /Vermont?NY/Connecticut...Check this out  :

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/31/nyregion/after-irene-upstate-new-york-farmers-suffer-in-flood-plain.html?ref=nyregion

 

 

 
 

Mean Irene and the less" MAIN SCREAM MEDIA COVERAGE" of losses/damages to FARMERS/farms?

I am reporting this right now from FLORIDA , the home state of REAL HURRICANES and daily TROPICAL storms.Irene was just another normal tropical storm as we felt it here.No flooding or major "city flattening ".There were no "CATASTROPHIC"structural damages , not even tree debris or fallen  branches.Just someone drowned because he was surfing when MEAN IRENE was" flattening the EAST COAST "as the main stream media propaganda, especialy TV stations were reporting LIVE .

They were  keeping us in a PAINFUL PANICK non-stop coverage 24/7!I remembered the gulf war andf Iraq war coverage...they were hammering us about news of weapons of mass destruction while in reality it was news of MASS DECEPTION!

Here is another living example of UNBALANCED MEDIA coverage of the MEAN IRENE.There were so many scare coverage "HYPE" concentrating about losses to property/structures(Business/homes/infrastructure).And if they were documenting news for INSURANCE and EMERGENCY fund$ spending.Here is something no one wanted you to know:Hurricane IRENE was actually a tropical storm to reach NY as just a normal DEPRESSION, contrary to what the media and experts were telling us.

If you need a proof:Read the news of the AFTERMATH of IRENE.SERIOUS FLOODING and FERTILE soil desdtruction Damage is happening  far away from the EAST coast .There are so many farms and small farmers stretched in the NEW ENGLAND zone where Vermont,Massachusets and New Hampshire triangle of small family farmers are steretched and now affected with soil erosion due to flooding !Hello mainscream media.Anyone home?

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?id=51935&src=nhrss

Compare MEAN IRENE COVERAGE and RESPONSE   with the COVERAGE of "CARELESS"  LESS KATERINA COVERAGE/compensation$  .The latter costs were in the aprox 54 billions so far and counting .The former damages for all SIX STATES directly hit by IRENE costs are much  more less than those inflicted by only one(Louisiana)!but more media  fuss! Is it (reporting)for just monetary purposes like reaping more Insurance premium surcharge and emergency fund compensations etc?So far it is early to say but not late to speculate!

Family farms and small farmers are the next thing you will know who suffered most from the flooding as more crops and fertile soil get eroded and gone with the FLOODING.Watch this live i on you tube:

http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/interactive/article/20110829/NEWS07/110829010/YouTube-Flooding-downtown-Brattleboro

There is one thiing  missing in the coverage by the main scream media:Damages and losses to farms and small farmers specifically!

Talking about fair reporting and balanced journalism in the media , why farmers are alweays left behind?Floods and storms do destroy crops as well as flatten cities like the missing pictures portrayed of the aftermath of IRENE.Where are the photos of the damages to the recepients of emergency funds that were prematurely declared to the benefiary states even before IRENE hit their grounds?Was LOISIANA state given same attention before by media etc?

 

 
 
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