Alternative Community Farmer/WPB.FL

  (WPB, Florida)
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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


Tackling the S.Florida DRAUGHT part I: Problems and Solutions-The Rain Barrel and The Water Banking

For the ordinary urban farmer here in S.Florida there are two kinds of challenges.

1-The man made ..

2-The  Nature Made.

Here in Flotrida we have  the EVERGLADES and the once known RIVER of GRASS.Both were the natural feeding water system to the acquifers and water resources.Untill man made canals were dug into the land to carry out and drain the water into the Atalntic and Gulf of Mexico to make room for development .

Now we are crying wolf and rushing to impose fines and water restrictions as water becomes so scarce with the never ending DRAUGHT  !

The climate change is changing theway we do agriculture world wide as water becopmes less available.So man invented a solution :Water banks.

Well , it is not that NEW innovation or discovery as you might change the name of water wells to water banks per se!

I personally use the RAIN BARRELS as an alternative.You might be interested in the Water Banks , here are some sources:


The Chinese proverb goes: It is better to light a candle rather than curse darkness.

Offering and sharing solutions is the positive way to meet the challenges .Have you done your share in sharing some positive thought srecently to convert a lemon into a lemonade?



The REALITY of Climate change -draught as one aspect only-.The problem and the solutions.

After so many years of crying wolf on the global warming, draught and climate change what is new?

I asked myself this question as I keep reading about the dilemma that now is on the agenda of politicians who seek elections and try to appease voters by frelating to their concerns.What had been done to bring solutions if ever we recognize that there is a problem.

I beleive that farmers and food producers in general are the ones directly affected as their crops become the direct hit when mother nature stops cooperating in producing crops.

Comes the flooding and drought dilemmas that hit Russia,Africa,Pakistan etc...More countries who are crop producers are now hiking the prices on wheat,barley cotton and more...Thanks to climate changes drought being one of them.

I was counting the number of days and nights of  no rain recently as the growing season started here in S. Florida.So far couple of days and one single night were rainy for the last thirty days.

The water restrictions alerts are resurfacing again and the local ( and national)news media is again focusing on climate change and drought again .

Back to basics.Here is a question to ask: Why do we call the RAIN FOREST so?Ask your ,self like I did .I am guessing the answer at the end of my article to give you time to reflect on an answer or guess ?


During the depression the most hit were the farmers and people who worked in the manufacturing sector.What is new in 2010?Blaming all evil on the face of a faceless persona like the climate can direct our anger somewhere else invisible and controversial,shall we say?

What matters is the Action we take to remedy a problem that is affecting our lives directly.Humans need food to survive among water and air .Take out food and water ,what remains is air...the only essential for life  without a price tag so far.

I watched the Movie "Wall Streat " recently and what drew my attention is what Michael Douglas says:"Speculation is the root of all evil".The Bible says:Love of Money is the Root of all evil.Combine both Speculation and the love of money you will get a clue about what I am talking about.Not yet?

Almost one million homes have been foreclosed by the banks not to mention farms , a study reveals.There is a vicious circle of withholding jobs,homes,crops and you name it so that more money is made.What about the lives that are ruined of the home owners and the farmers among others?When will the speculation stop?When will the drought and climate change stop...both have no face?

In reality the natural law follows cause and effect.When we cause damage then there are consequences.When we cut the trees and reduce the areas of cultivated land what happens..The cause of our Action is reflected in the effect of less RAIN.That is why we call the RAIN FOREST SO.Trees and green attract rain.Destroy more of the earth farms,trees,forests and nature  and as a consequence have no rain.Period.Reverse the process and the climate will correct itself.Common Sense Makes Sense not Science? 

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