Alternative Community Farmer/WPB.FL

  (WPB, Florida)
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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
 
 

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

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

A Problem vs B solution approach.

 

I-Private Backyard Previously built by farmer  X:

A-Problem:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

B-The solution-Remedial work:

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

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

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

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

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

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

7-A new irrigation system was put in place .

 

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

TOP FIVE "LACKING" Challenges and "LIKELY"Sollutions for the South Florida Backyard Urban Farming.

As a Florida Certified Horticulturist who is currently involved in offering gardening classes ,consultations,and growing my own food locally , I can attest to the following garden  challenges and solutions for the new comer garden enthusiasts  :

 1-LACKING LOCAL EDUCATION-UNDERSTANDING LOCAL ENVIRONMENT:S. East Florida WARMER climate falls under the tropical regional  category  dominated by excessive heat,rain ,pests,tropical storms,humidity and SANDY ACIDIC SOIL .There is no easy way to garden other than a week end warrior- gardener  .Simply said you need to immerse your hands in the soil and sweat . Hands ON learning is the sollution ..This entails taking garden classes offered by LOCAL certified Florida Horticulturists who have studied the Tropical way of gardening at local schools or colleges like for instance :UF -extension Master Gardeners.Other self proclaimed farmers or gardeners who learned and farmed at a COLDER CLIMATE US-REGION like Alaska  for example will be a risk to take .One of my students was a qualified farmer snow bird from" UP NORTH ",who was hired to be a manager of a productive garden by a REPUTABLE world famous Wellness Health Institute "DownSouth" Florida".He confessed to me that he is having difficulty to GROW  healthy vegetables as he was not familiar with the SANDY SOIL of Florida .He asked for my help to teach him how to ammend and create a fertile organic soil.The IRONY is he posted a vaccancy for a gardener position and when I applied he turned my offer down as he felt that I might be a THREAT to take over his position ,as I have more local know how and experience than him.I laugh at such organizations that lack the common sense of hiring LOCALLY.They sense that their PRIORITY is making money LOCALLY  while hiring from OUT of State or GLOBALLY!! Solution:Learn from a locally CERTIFIED -EDUCATED and EXPERIENCED  gardeners -farmers.Learn from a Local.Grow local.Eat Local.HIRE LOCAL...It is all about local...s.....

2-LACKING LOCAL FERTILE SOIL :Sandy soil is infested with nematodes,debris,fertilizers to say the least.It is lacking HUMUS,worms,organic matter,minerals,beneficial bacteria ,compost and much more.Local farms have long been transformed into gated communities and developments .Alternative solution?New comers ,especially snow birds  with swollen wallets ,flood garden centers and spend fortunes on packaged soil that is ENRICHED with SLUDGE(reconstituted human sewage ),cow manure rich in steroids hormones ,antibiotics ,cow vaccine byproducts,sand contaminated with nematodes to mention a few.You figure out the rest?.Solution:Make your own soil.Take garden classes or research the internet /books to learn how .

3-Lacking local time to garden:People have time to work and make money.It makes common sense to find time to garden and grow your own food to EAT LOCALLY GROWN fruits and Veggies that contribute to keeping you HEALTHY in Body-Mind-Spirit.Unhealthy people working two jobs to pay the bills are actually giving more value to their DOLLAR than to their LIFE..Solution:Budget your time to make more time to grow your own healthy food .What is the use of being RICH with accumulated wealth when you have POOR health ?

4-Lacking local and space to garden:Welcome to S.Florida the land of SAND and DEVELOPMENTS!.Sand sand every where but no Land to grow food.Remember :"Water water every where but no water to drink "??Solution:Join a community garden.Grow a vertical garden at your limited space.Grow food in containers.

5-Growing  Local GREEN FOOD means NOT  going "LOCO" or GREEN "brain"WASHED : :That is the most challenging question.HOW TO BE A REAL GROWER not a VIRTUAL ONE.Get involved .Get your hands dirty not your head or heart.If you live in S.Florida sign up for my gardening classes which offer a lot of REAL LOCAL solutions for LAZY gardeners  .Find more reasons why to do so by reading my blog at:localharvest.org/farms/M20618.

 
 

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

 
 

The importance of the garden in getting us grounded.

 


I am going to share with you how my gardening practice is transforming my life and awakening me spiritually through the  way of Organic Urban Farming.
I have witnessed WHY some of us who are now drawn to start gardens or farms and leave their inward A/C comfort zones to immerse their hands outward into the dirt  and grow their own food for the Body-Mind and Spirit! ? ..
Many of those who came to my gardening classes are a blessing and spiritually awakened .I have and still learn a lot from them as well in my interactive gardening classes.
One of them has recently acquired a farm in the remote mountains .It started with an awareness and a dream that came true!
Another  one has just moved to a new house and wants to start an organic garden .
The spiritual link has never been accidental but always the dotts are connected through an intelligent plan of the UNIVERSE ...where we are simply the DOING dotts!
 
My story .
I am relocating  and looking for a new place for me  and my container garden here in S.Florida? Or  even  to an Organic remote farm to work anywhere away from the S.Florida extreme heat?Any idea?
 
Surrounded by a "hood energy" of drug dealers ,prostitutes and ex-fellons who run on drugs/alchohol and you name it .
I was mugged  and robbed many times in a location that breeds infestation (naming bed bugs is the least)and dark ENERGY THAT SHUNS FROM THE LIGHT  AND LIVES IN THE dark..The place is being transformed into a Sobriety/half house kind of !So I was asked to move to make room..I was so excited to get out while still sane and sober!I am looking for a new place and a new beginning.Are nt we all in the same track?Moving and moving..looking for new  EARTH GROUNDS?Any ideas?
 
Plant and human  lives are connected through a common GROUND:EARTH!When we are grounded in a garden we activate our ROOT CHAKRA. .It is TRUE in Real Life same  as  in REAL ESTATE.The golden rule(Not the same as who owns the Gold :Rules!):LOCATION.LOCATION.LOCATION!What you sow is what you reap.Where you sow is where you reap as well!
 
So!
 
Where we ground ourselves plays a detrimental influence on how our LIFE GROWS.What(Plants) or WHO(People) we surround ourselves with defines Who we are.What kind of food we put in our Body-Mind-Spirit determines how healthy or unhealthy we are.We are all related and inter-related.The garden has a function in addition to grow our food :To help us grow and get grounded as well!Take a deep breath!
 
So!
 
I have uprooted the dead trees and replaced them with edible flowers and guess what happened ?The drug dealers and prostitutes and ex-felons moved out .
 
I surrounded my place with herbs and edible flowers like sunflowers and the robbers looked and went the other way!.
 
But some  did not like the flowers and herbs .They had their own taste for different kind of  stuff to smell ,drink and eat called :ADDICTIVES! !.
 
To make a long story short:We live in a MOBILE culture.Speed plays a role in our lives.Fast food.Fast highways.Fast and quick you name it.We drive and we do not walk as much.We are more obeise and absene , but this is not because we have chosen to.Because ??You tell me?May be:
We have lost the connectivity with our inner  root (Chakra) . We have lost the connectivity with the outer roots(Earth).We have lost connection with each others(See you once a year on Christmass!!).Then comes the Deep-Recession.
More homeless and less Homeostasis.
We are fast moving but slow in cultivating LIVE and INTIMATE communication(without gadgets).
 Moving inwards to meditate and pray is a slow movement but subtle !So, we have slow food and slow money to counter the fast culture!
 
In early history, the garden was the place to congregate and meditate.Our first home was in the garden:The garden of Eden.The Budha moved from the palace to live under the tree.
Jesus prayed in the Garden.Our last home will be in the garden:Six foot under!
The  garden helps us understand the importance of being spiritually and physically grounded through the ROOT CHAKRA ,as we sit to meditate or kneel to cultivate!.One movement as sacred as the other .We kneel to weed and sow and we sit to meditate  .Then we become so so close to EARTH.The seat of the ROOT CHAKRA!
Mohandas Mahatma Ghandi once said:"In order to be able to understand how to build and sustain a mutual human relation ,you should first start to learn the process by developing a relationship with  a plant!
 
India is the same ancient home for Yoga (Functional Movements to stretch the body and cultivate the mind) and Farming( Functional movements to cultivate food and build "human -cultural" or Agri-cultural  societies).Back home we have Native Americans.Their early homes were the Tipis out in nature.Their famous say:We do not own the Earth.Instead:The Earth owns us!
Where do we belong in our fast food /fast highways/fast cyberspace culture? Are we connected ?Are we grounded to Mother Earth?
Let us give Urban Gardening a space in our lives.Let us get grounded .

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Top Ten Successful Productive Garden Golden rules for S.Florida

Why Productive Organic  gardening in Florida is a challenge and what are the solutions?

First it is essential to map the challenges before you  chart the solutions as an ancient Chinese proverb asserts .In other words it will be better to light a candle rather than curse the darkness !

The Florida soil is mainly SANDY.Nematodes and aphids and other bugs florish especially during the raing summer season.Rain floods the land which loses much of its top soil and minerals as a consequence.Excessive heat grills and cooks most of the vegetables that survive the nematode and aphid attack.

TheSuccessful  Golden Garden  rules:

!-PLAN before you plant.

2-Choose the right  location to garden .

3-Prepare your own organic soil .Compost.Be prepared:Wear garden gear,hydrate,check out with your Dr.if you are fit to garden.. etc..

4-Start small , plant your own heirloum seeds .Say no to GMO.Use the right containers  for  seeds and  seedlings that grow best in S.Florida..

5-Choose native and draught tolerant plants.Opt for Rain Barrel harvesting  to save on water bill.

6-Consider Diversity in planting.Use companion herbs as pest prevention.

7-Solarize soil -Unearth debris -Xeriscape the landscape -Evaluate  -Develop -a budget plan and a road map for  action..

8-Talk to local farmers/gardeners.Hire a garden tutor.Do your homework - study and research.

9-Use raised beds to sustain the top soil,avoid erosion and discourage weeds.Containers make best bet to grow fruits and vegetables during the Hurricane Summer Season.

10-Experiment and chack out my Ten Garden Commandments at my localharvest blog on June  22,2009 titled:

"THE GARDEN TEN COMMANDMENTS and HOW ORGANIC EDIBLE GARDENING CAN SURVIVE THE FLORIDA SUMMER."_

 
 

What to expect when the unexpected happen as you strive to farm or garden?

As the Earth Day series of topics goes by , I ponder on the EXPECTATIONS of gardening or farming.Expect the UNEXPECTED to happen!

 

Usually we treat our garden project with some high profile expectations.Here is an example of a NEW gardener- comer's expectations :

1-I want my plants growing  high yields right now.

2-I want to work smart :Meaning that I want to harvest while others will do the DONKEY WORK!

3-I want the weather to be perfect all the time with least frost,storms,heat,draught flooding and so forth.

4-I want to bother not with crop failures or any pest or bugs destroying my crop.

5-I want to make a lot of money selling my crop to the rich.

6-I want my dreams of gardening be fulfilled even though I spend less time ,money,effort working the land.

7-I want to hire cheap migrant farmers to do the donkey work while I watch gardening programs on TV or spend more  time at  my lap top researching and acquiring more farming knowledge.

8-I want to use anykind of fertilizer ,pesticide or miracle  garden panache no matter what sludge or whatever to make my crops look  smarter or bigger .

9-I want to learn the gardening/farming process in one shot class or trial with no errors or delay.

10-I want all of the above right now.

 

Expect the unexpected and accept the unaccepted, but for sure you need to expect the unaccepted and accept it:Gardening or urban farming is a process to learn,apply and harvest.It takes time,resources and most of the time you have to partner with nature not against it!

 
 

Small space organic garden in South Florida:The options,challenges and possibilities for the new gardener in the tropics!!

Florida has just experienced another threat of a tropical storm :Irene.It was projected to be a category 4 Hurricane and it  did not happen !

It ended up heading towards the Carolinas.

Fear and ignorance are the MAIN  negative emotions that keep us away from reaching out to fulfil our goals.Succumbing and giving in to the bad habits of: Stereotyping,hearsay,rumors,he said she said eyc type of "RATIONAL" leads us to same destination of NO WHERE!

So for those who have  phobias , fed by watching TV and reading main stream media news , it is time to break that indoor static oppsessive and OBESIVE habit and head outdoors! It is about time since procrastinating for so long about growing your own food in the tropics of S.Florida !

If I could do  it,so can you!

I say:Flush out your fears first!Then replace your ignorance with AWARENESS organic gardening classes!Here is one class for those who love FREE stuff:

Composting class offered on September 10th at Lake Worth.Where the TROPICS BEGIN!More details at my web link below!

Taking a class on growing your own food even if you have no backyard garden is an important step to come close to your goal of URBAN FARMING.

The Options:

If you live in an apartment or studio :Small space productive gardening in S.Florida might be an alternative to choose instead of buying your expensive organic produce .If you lose your job or home and get evicted , then you may salvage your container garden and take it with you!

Growing herbs and vegetables in containers suits the Home of the Hurricanes state.You can move your container garden to safety if a Hurricane hits!

There are so many ways and places   to garden even if you do not have access for a garden.Here are some options:Your patio,balcony,door entrance,kitchen ,roof top  or at a  community garden near by .I have done so  for the last twenty years and I had lots of food  without even owning a property!

For the small space :You can use trellis,hanging baskets,pots as a portable garden medium.

The challenges:

Lack of organic gardening awareness is the most common challenge especially for new comers to S,.Florida.Take a class on organic gardening and dispel the challenge.The tropical heat,humidity,mosquitos and pests etc  are another challenge from Mother Nature.I can teach you how to deal with them , and turn the Lemon into Lemonade!

 

The possibilities:

Growing your own food is a possibility if you choose to convert the challenges into a solution for your health and financial issues.Can not afford the expensive organic  produce anymore?Try to grow them,  even in your limited space area.I can teach you how this coming Saturday.Be open.Be patient.Be positive!

More details about my classes :Read Natural Awakening PBC Magazine or visit my  below web @:

http//:www.localharvest.org/farms/M20618

 

I have contributed in growing and teaching organic gardening at seven community gardens for the last twenty years .I remember growing organic crops at a community garden land owned by a S.Florida city for 9 years .More than forty families had plots and contributed in transforming the  neglected minority neighborhood and crime infested city plot into a flourishing /organic FERTILE soil enriched  community garden.It  was later on turned into a LAND FILL LOT by the city.In a TWEEK quick WIMP decision ,they cancelled the TOIL of a decade of farming /labor / fertile soil building /for   a dumping site  land fill!

Here is another similar situation to take lesson from and it is just happening right now.Another city is trying to destroy another fertile farm land to build on it a football field:

http://www.savenicksorganicfarm.org/

THIS IS HAPPENING WHILE WE ARE LOSING OUR JOBS,HOMES AND FERTILE FARMS LAND ..JUST FOR THE SAKE OF "BUSINESS AS USUAL"!

 
 

Why :Farming and Gardening offer a cheap counter Stress solution with pay?(Food,therapy, and money in the bank!)

Woonder why most of your family ,friends ,work colleagues and acquaintances etc are hating and halting their love more than ever you could remember?

 

Here are some FINANCIAL reasons why we are stressed out best portrayed in the below :

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/stress

I personally found this solution way back before the deep financial meltdown and debt default debate.I went through the whole process of stress when I lost my job with a multi national multi billlion Hi-Tech corporation.

Now it is your turn to feel the heat of the multi faceted melt down , so you needed to understand why it is happening to you next?

The solution lies in the garden and the farm.Troubled  mind , mental distress ,incessant greed and other negative emotions cease as you switch off all the gadgets ,you stop running after numbers and papers and doing things.Stop , to smell the roses or the herbs if you can not afford roses!Just halt..take deep breath and go outdoors to experience garden therapy!

Gardening was the solution back in the previous depression not just to fill our stomach with much needed and scarce food, but to employ our unemployed hands and empty our heads of anxiety pranks , fears and stress related degenerations ..

 

Read the news papers and the STRESS level goes up skyrocketing ...So ,try something else other than the pills that just are  numbing your nerves for now..Try gardening..and see for yourself..Touch the soil and your spirit and soul will be  uplifted without the need for intoxicating "spirits" or the never ending verbal profanity barrages!!

 

Need more convincing scientific proof? Here we go:

http://ezinearticles.com/?Gardening-is-Good-Therapy&id=45003

 

Happy Gardening therapy!

 
 

The Florida Ten Commandments of Common Gardening Mistakes

"To make and learn from a mistake is HUMAN.To forgive those who err and make a mistake is Divine.Humans who are Earth Keepers and MEEK dwellers of the Garden of Eden are both:Human and Divine"...I think so!!

1-Thou shall : Do your own soil preparation: Florida soil is SANDY and infested with nematodes. Add organic ammendments,compost ,aged manure, peat moss to compacted poorly drained ground.Keep in mind feeding the EARTH to  to improve its structure and encourage root growth by adding ORGANIC MATTERand MINERALS.

2.Thou shall not be : Escaping Xero scaping: The word XERO is of GREEK origin which means:Understand/KNOW. Design with the size of mature plants in mind and the right plant for the right location. Try to avoid overcrowding and check out the soil PH before you plant.Here in S.Florida the soil is more ACIDIC..so choose acid loving plants like tomato for example and always look for native plants like calaloo.

3. Thou shall follow the natural law of Feng-shui and the law of natural attraction.

Take the environment as your partner /friend not your foe .Work in HARMONEY with nature not against it.

4.Thou shall not have:Lack of irrigation AWARENESS: Too much water can be just as damaging as too little. Do a finger-in-the-ground test to ensure that the soil around the roots is moist. Vegetables need about an inch and a half of water per week.Choose drip irrigation sysyem and rain barrel irrigation . Uphold and follow the water restriction laws in place as per your local government ordinances. We are in the DRAUGHT so be considerate in conserving water .

5. Thou shall start not in a:Wrong location/timing/season: Growing conditions follow the hardiness zoning of the USDA.S.Florida falls in the 9-10 zone .It is humid,hot,rainy .Keep that in mind when looking to plant. mature, creating different .Follow local growing table of plants that are draught tolerant,native and non-GMO origin.

6. Thou shall do :Proper Maintenance: Don’t kill the good bugs, like pollinators and lady bug , in an effort to eliminate the bad.. Prevention is best medicine for plants as well. Maintain your garden by being there to observe and prevent. Use mulch .Hand weed. Don’t set your cultivator (or hoe) too deep, damaging plant roots

7-Thou shall apply the correct  body postures of ERGONOMICS while gardening

8. Over-pruning: As a rule, don’t remove more than 30 percent of the foliage from shrubs in one cutting. And don’t “top” trees to control their height. “That reduces their life span rather than improves their health".:My friend/teacher  ,Ryan said so!

9. Thou shall avoid :Botched planting: Choose the right plant depth.Draw a brim around your fruit trees and fill it with water and aged manure.Feed the earth not the plants.

10.Thou shall keep on trying: Failing to start over is not allowed: Gardening is a PROCESS.Planting is a continuous work. Expect crop failiars but do not stop and be discouraged.Experiment and learn from your mistakes.They are common and they are lessons.Be positive and keep busy gardening!Start with a small plot so you can correct mistakes more easily, the experts say. And look to your county extension office for support if you run into trouble. Garden coaches also can diagnose problems and suggest remedies, as can master gardeners and landscape designers.

 
 

Criminal Gardening: Is Growing a crop of Tomato in your own backyard now a crime? Watch the news about this Georgia Farmer getting fined 5000$ for a CRIMINAL GARDENING!

 

http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/1015.html

I think this is not real what I saw _Click  ABOVE LINK to watch it_on YOU TUBE .What do you think? 

I think there is something not true about this thing.

 Sorry for the unintended  rhyme.I am skeptical unless someone calls WH , like they did with the last Georgia firing and rehiring of an African American  Agriculture Georgia state director for something she said but ,actually later on when investigated , itturned out  that she did not .

It was then  EDITED and fabricated by a blogger and later broadcast by a biased  news channel who just beleived his fabricated story for some reasons of its own..May be this TV coverage story  too is fabricated  ,since it is coming again from Georgia like the other story...

We , here in Florida  are SOUTHERNERS too like Georgia our next neighbor and we have our goofs to joke about!,Like ,we are known nationally and INTERNATIONALLY,for the HANGING CHAD or the BUTTERFLY BALLOT and jokes were made about us .LOL!

May be in Georgia they have something else to laugh or make a joke about? Is the "THE CRIMiNAL GARDENING " thing from Georgia one of tghose DIRT jokes?

I really do not know??.

Please , take me serious.I am an Urban Farmer myself and people usually think we farmers are good hearted and sometimes they joke how NAIVE we are..God Bless them .They make me laugh about those farmers jokes!LOL!!!!Keep them coming...May be this coverage story is another JOKE...LOL!

 

I am just posting the link as I received it .May be someone will prove that I am right : this clip about criminal charges for growing tomato is not true?

Do they have similar laws in Georgia like the ones in California about Medicinal Maijuana? May be they thought it was Marijuana ,like the recent raid of a school garden in California by police who mistook Tomato for Marijuana???Well, mistakes happen .

 

If that be the case,which I think IS AN INNOCENT  mistake. then we need to EDUCATE more people about gardening ,for example those who make a mistake like the one in California school garden ,should sign up and volunteer at a CSA or a community garden and do some community service to learn how the tomato look like and take  a course of PLANT IDENTIFICATION.

Gardening education should be obligatory at schools and colleges so that people will have a better awareness about where the food comes from and how to grow your own food in case you lost a job or a home etc..and save on the FOOD STAMP tax payers money!

They say it is better to teach how to fish rather than to give some one a fish...Try that at the garden.

 I am kind of confused what to beleive these days!

 
 

S.Florida Beginners Tropical Organic Urban Farming Classes -Open to the public Now Registering

Come and Learn the Organic Gardening Process from  our four generation Urban Organic farmer ,certified Florida horticulturist and educator with 20 years of Hands On experience in S.Florida .

We are  now accepting new urban farming enthusiasts for the growing season November-May 2011 organic gardening classes(the tropical way) .It is different  but not difficult.Wonder why you have no green thumb? Its the S.Florida' sandy soil dump, not your thumb,at fault.

Our classes schedules feature a range of topics including:

1-Container/raised beds organic gardening .

2-Vermiculture

3-Composting.

4-Organic soil preparation .

5-Organic ammendments.

6-Backyard/patio/community organic gardening.

7-Tropical fruits,veggies and herbs that you can grow easy.

8-Organic pesticides and fertilizers .

9-Edible Tropical organic flowers and "legal" weeds (e.g dandelion.)

10-Garden ergonomics  and more...

Adults full pay.Teens half pay.Children 5-13 free.

Wear garden safety gear:No shorts/flip flops/tanker tops, please.Hand outs available for FREE..RSVP and register two days in advance of classes on Saturday and Sunday 4-6PM.Co-speakers welcome.We offer one time FREE CLASS for non-profit organizations like Schools,churches and wellness centers.We donate to soup kitchens since 2001.We are community  oriented.

Come and tour our container botanical garden/raised beds /mini farm/ pristine pine  forest settings.Take home FREE samples of seeds,seedlings,composted manure,garden starter kit and much more .More info and RSVP details at:

http://www.localharvest.org/farms/M20618.

Bring / tell a friend.Celebrate the coming Hollidays andstart the new year with a new Organic Vegetable garden right at your backyard.

Have  Happy Hollidays Gardening.

 

 
 

Organic Gardening Awareness goes to a Hollistic Mind-Body-Spirit Retreat.How to THINK ORGANIC and TRUTHFULLY treat not trick each others while learning the PROCESS of growing or consuming ORGANIC food ?

This coming Sunday I will be taking my gardening talk  to a different kind of a walk. .Comes a Hollistivc Fittness retreat at a four star hotel this week end, , I will be reaching out with my ORGANIC AWARENESS to a different level of organic gardening enthusiasts.

Physical Fittness or Exercising our muscles and doing functional movements is not a monopoly to the gym or the olymics neither to the rich or the poor,.I have  THE PROOF..

Great Britain has recognized Gardening as sports for all,  lately , proving to the world that Gardeners are among the olympic athlets without portfolio offcourse, , Unfortunately they  will NOT  be competing this coming Clympic games 2012 at the UK for gold medals.!!They will be growing the new found gold:Greens!

No kidding.our competition is not for  winning medals???.Sure, not.It is about winning our BIRTH RIGHT FOR HEALTH by going back to Basics:GROWING our own food through farming and gardening or shall we say Gathering ????.

Lately ,I helped coaching a home owner ,who happens to be living in a multi million property-setting and starting up   an Organic Vegetable Garden. I noticed that there is a pre-requisit to the gardening proces:We need  to open our mind,body and spirit ..first.

I explained :The gardening software  does not come naturally with the garden and she has to LEARN the process(Mind)  and train her muscles(Body) and get into the Spirit of growing food.Most of us get confused when it comes to the SPIRIT thing.They end up doing the most convenient:Hire a gardener and tell him/her to do the Donkey Work ,offcourse,having set a streaotype of farmers after the migrant farmers image .God forbid , no racial profiling / discremination /slavery practices   are intentionally committed!.Mistakes happen , offcourse!

Being spiritual is so hard to understand using our minds.One has to open up the HEART FACULTY/or Chakra to be able to comprehend /connect spiritually with other forms of life:Creator/Holly Spirit /Universe ..or whatever you prefer to name it.Even so ,with a human,plant, or na animal .What comes from the heart ?

Expectations ,intentions,passion, abilities,capabilities,integrity ,honesty , commitments ,prayers are justa few to mention.What makes us fail in making the spiritual connection is one word:LYING -with all our HEART.

We put much faith in  lip service and  words  that change as often as the winds blow or with every single breath or  heart beat.We lie to each others and because we get accustomed to negotiating and or lying  as far as it is good to make money and  business. Gone are our commitments for  ethical  or moral values.

There is a separation from our INNER BEING as soon as we separate ourselves from the TRUTH , especially when we want to commit into a relationship: Whether with a human,a plant, an animal or a HIGHER SPIRIT/GOD/UNIVERSE.The bibles mentions:TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE.FROM WHAT? I guess from :DISEASE,LACK,STRIFE,SLAVERY ,to mention the least!

Ghandi once said: If you want to learn how to have a successful relationship with humans, you need to start to learn the process by getting in touch with plants first.I found out that our relationship with plants is similar to that with the animals and humans :Crush,control,contain.

Guess what happens when we are moody or in a state of hurry :We injur a muscle  ,break communication flow ,obliterate trust and jeoperdize a relationship and the whole process . By just flip flopping and changing our commitments , we withdraw  natural process of creation and meaningful and fruitful  fulfiliment  into a state of static FAILURE :decomposing/degeneration /degradinding to our Body/Mind/Spirit.

Stay tuned to Organic Gardening Awareness .Be TRUTHFULL in and to all our relations.Just like the Native American saying goes  :Aho -Meta-Quee-Yasin.

 
 

Class on Crash Organic Gardening for Survivals at the Lake Worth Resource Center

The Mentoring Center is the managing partner of the Lake Worth Resource Center, which provides job placement assistance ,skills training ,English classes and integration mentoring here in Lake Worth, Florida.

Today,I was invited by the English Class teacher at LWRC  to fascilitate an organic gardening class to her English language students.The class is a melting pot and  mix of Caribean and Hispanic cultures .

I did customize the class to meet the immediate needs of the students who either are unemployed / underemployed or looking for a better employment by improving on their English language communication skills..The economic deep-recession  let a lot of us DOWN  .But, not for the brave and faithful who still beleive in a way UP .When there is a will to turn the lemon into a lemonade then there is a way to DO IT!

I said to myself, it is better to give some one a fishing rod and teach how to fish rather than just give  a welfare fish or a food stamp  . In times as uncertain and defeating like ours, there is nothing more valuable than a POSITIVE ATTITUDE and COURAGE to FIGHT and OVERCOME hardships whatsoever..Education is the key.

Politicians reach out to immigrants and minorities during election times only..Those forgotton and struggling families  barely get help except from churches and organizations like the LWRC . I MARVELLED AT THE SUPPORT AND ENTHUSIASM  of those students who wanted to learn how to grow their own Organic Food and did not have the resources  .Kindness and community spirit and warm relationships can change the face of lack and bring in bounty once we join hands and resources TOGETHER.How many organizations and institutions are reaching out for the unemployed or the homeless to teach them how to fish or grow their own food? How much money would we save on food stamps and medical bills by  turning those neglected lands into organic vegetable gardens that feed the needy and the unemployed?You tell me!

Nothing comes easy.We need to start the learning process by  teaching the importance of   PRODUCING  FOOD rather than CONSUMING IT.

TO SHARE THIS WITH YOU FARMERS AND GARDENERS AND NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS IS TO SHOW THAT : CREATING A JOB IS AS IMPORTANT AS FINDING A JOB...ESPESIALLY when this job is to grow your own food!

THANKS to the English language teacher  LISA GREENE AND LWRC DON WILSON, BOTH GOALS  can be  REACHED :Finding and creating a job!Remeber: When there is a will........there is a way...

 

 
 
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