Alternative Community Farmer/WPB.FL

  (WPB, Florida)
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Super storm Sandy and the wake up call to remember our relationship with Mother Earth Soil and water!

Is it a coincidence that Sandy Super Storm chose New York /New Jersey  vver populated regions to send a message to the modern man of the big cities:Bring back the trees and other Natural settings uprooted by development and modern life of mobile phones and motorized living.

Here in S.Florida we did not learn our lesson yet after so many Hurricanes that washed onshore zillion tons of water and waste to man made structure.The river of grass has become gated communities and the farms that once thrived are now home for cemented structures and asphalt ..

Yet , we forget and want to learn how to grow our own food suddenly after we experiment with GMO food,fertilizerrs and other man made chemicals added to our food..When we become sick then we feel the heat and try to correct our diet by going back to the backyard to grow our own food.Surprise: The soil in S.Florida is SANDY!!!

Hardly a sandy soil can grow anything abnd if it did then the nematodes will step in and abort .So , people flocking from the upnorth regions to the sandy beaches of Florida want to learn how to grow their own food?They try for years and fail..simply because they do not know how to relate to the local soil,plants and climate.They spend money on books and classes.They spend money on stuff from the garden center.Still they are bound to fail .Why not unlearn the cold region way of farming and try to learn the hot region of Florida?

Best bet is to take one on one classes right in the garden and let their hands be immersed with the sandy soil of Florida without forgeting to ask help from a local urban farmer who has nothing to sell other than his horticultural experience and expertize working the Florida SANDY soil !

 
 

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:

http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/georgias-new-immigration-law-leading-to-crops-rotting-in-farmers-fields/:

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 .

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa?threadID=1459040

 

The SOLUTION?????

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 !

 
 

Learning HOW to GARDEN the ORGANIC WAY .Grow a GARDEN ! Organic produce prices are set to SOAR!

Organically speaking , in order to learn HOW to grow your own food NATURALLY, you must first shift your mind ,body and spirit into the ORGANIC gear mode!

Nature grows fruits and vegetables in a PROCESS.So , you need to slow down and be patient while working with  the elements and tackling the garden challenges.

Next step is to hook up to a local organic gardening network ,community garden,local urban farmer  to learn from their experience.

Taking a series of Organic Gardening Classes from certified and experienced HORTICULTURIST is  HIGHLY recommended!

From my experience teaching Organic Gardening classes ,here in the TROPICS, I found out that people have a WISHFUL THINKING  DESIRE to grow their own food and $ave, but they take their time and procrastinate before DOING IT!

The prices of organic produce have been sky rocketing lately due to inclement weather ,like flooding,draught etc..

Remember that spending big money on expensive classes that teach you THEORIES and overwhelm you with BLA BLA BLA ,is not enough.

Hands on and practicing what you learn in class is of the ESSENCE, especially  on one on one!

Small group classes give you an opportunity to interact and ask questions in addition to practicng  what you learn right in the GARDEN!

Planning ahead of time for a garden budget,classes,garden work schedule and a small area to start with your experimentation , is of extreme importance.

Practice makes perfect as they say.This is your chance to apply what you have learned.I prefer that you hire a gardening coach to walk you through the gardening process.Learning garden ergonimcs helps you keep your back on track and..your farm firm body out of harm way!

Start small with baby steps .Rekindle  your  zest by reconnecting with MOTHER EARTH!Go grow a productive  garden!Go GREEN and SAVE on GREEN BUCKS before too late.Produce prices are set to SOAR as per study:

 

http://www.produceretailer.com/produce-retailer-research/organics_set_to_soar_123000273.html

 Stay tuned and learn MORE @:

localharvest.org/farms/M20618!

 
 

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?

 

 
 

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:

http://westernfarmpress.com/management/underground-water-banks-tackle-drought

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/27/science/earth/27waterbank.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=water%20banks%20&st=cse

 

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 new agricultural paradigm: New hardy zones to accomodate the Climate Changes and New home grown Farmers!

The supreme court UPHOLDS  an Arizona 2007 law to hire only legal status employees.Check oput the New York Times front page headlines of today.Fourteen restaurants were raided and the owner fined 10 million for hiring illegal immigrants.Learn more about the article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/28/us/politics/28immigration.html?_r=4

 

Also ,Check out :

http://conservativenewjersey.com/justices%E2%80%99-decision-on-illegal-immigration-emboldens-states

This is good news for the American work force who want to work menial jobs in restaurants/construction/farms with less pay and no insurance and benefits.Now let us find replacements for the ones fired to avoid more business banckruptcy!Now let us send more unemployed to work in the farms and restaurents targeted employing illegal immigrants.Now let us bring more opportunities for the LEGAL IMMIGRANTS who WANT to WORK in RESTAURANTS?HOTELS?FARMS...etc..

 

Canada has an immigration policy that attracts EDUCATED IMMIGRANTS.They have opportunities to fill for those who arrive to work and follow the law of the land.Why not follow  Canada's immigration steps that enrich the ecconomy with skilled /educated immigrants .I beleive the Obama Administration is doing the right thing by targeting employers who hire illegal immigrants and break the law by doing so.The Administration is sending a message by hurting the law breakers at their pockets!

There is CHANGE in the AIR!

Climate changes are now adding more hardships to farmers and gardeners.In addition to the unprecedented current floodings/twisters-tornadoes that are destroying more of towns and structures, the impact on crops production is not that better either.More crops are lost as the inclement weather harvests / destroys the crops as well as the homes!

 

There is now a new map on the works for new Agriculture Hardy Zones to replace the old one.We need more helping hands reaching out to the small farmers community.Your voice counts in the coming elections.Vote for small farmers in office who REALLY stand up for the farmers and not for the LOBBIESTS of BIG AGRI-BUSINESS!! 

 
 

New year RESOLUTIONS , COMMUNICATION ,STRESS and the Organic Vegetable Garden.Is there a connection between growing a healthy body , mind and spirit and organic gardening?

Happy New Year.Now start digging and gardening .

The new year started with  a  new vegetable and flower  gardens that sprouted in my front yard and at my neighbors' as well.Gardening is contageous..once one garden sprouts , then another one potentially gets into the mind of a neighbor..It is used as a THERAPY in Japan and Sweden.Why not here?Let us start TALKING  first.

Communication is one of my favorite topics .Most people look at it as " only MY ONE WAY  or THE HIGH WAY" ...Meaning : They like to TELL  you and TALK to you without LISTENING to you!

I noticed that people in the city ( I live in one small town/city)communicate less with their hands and more with their handsets gadgets .Hand shakes and home visits are rare may be during the HOLLIDAYS!.

So there are lot of anger and holding back of potential correspondence .Few bears and fist fights start flying around, a different kind of a hand shake which I do not mean or like!

Ignorance paves the way to stereotyping and many other bad habits..you name them!.

Ignore your neighbor and treat them with IGNORANCE(OPPOSIT TO GNOSIS in GREEK) , then expect trouble !Do the right thing and KNOW(GNOSIS) their names and  be friendly with "THEM" and happily you will live thereafter!

My neighbor "A" wanted to borrow our ladder ,so she paid us a visit and introduced herself.Before that:She wanted to borrow our trash bin and no one was home.So she took it.Once we met at our new  garden , we shook hands and confessed the "borrowing"!She  promised to bring it back.

Meanwhile she left  behind a half dozen of potted flowers for  our new garden project .She knew that we are gardeners by trade and unemployed !

She related to the struggle and wanted to give a helping hand .By trade she was a medic .She had a lot of compassion and appreciation to share .Before that she loathed the fact that the other neighbor who do not speak English had a different attitude when she borrowed his  trash bin.(He emptied her trash into her backyard out of  his borrowed  bin!)

Shaking the hands brought us closer and the garden broke the ice of communication.She came first to admire our new vegetable garden .That was the triggering good intention.After all we are beautifying her neighborhood with flowers and edible vegetables which she liked so much!

On the other side of the road is a complete different story:

Another neighbor saw us working at our new garden.He approached  and aggresively asked for our help.We were starving for some paid work .So we accepeted the offer with a good hearet expecting same!?

 The experience and  communication was a lot different With Neighbor "B".

Quite the opposit  to say the least:aggressive, offensive, ego driven and oppressive to mention the least.By trade you know whom I mean , if not make a guess!?

What I want to say...When we communicate we do that according to our  emotions.When in STRESS or (SICKNESS)),ANGER and FEAR we communicate with bullets and YELLING.When in JOY  or (GOOD HEALTH),PEACE and LOVE we communictae with hugs ,hand shakes and kisses.

 

Farmers and gardeners touch the soil and their sould are charged by the enegy of the LIVING and LOVING  EARTH.That is why when you meet a farmer ( I mean small/urban ones!!) you  experience so much love,generosity,help,compassion,down to earth positive attitude .Why ?

 

It is the CHI ENERGY that flows from the flowers and  green fields of the EARTH...Is the ANSWER my friend flowing with the WING!Does LOVE in THE AIR rings a bell?

 

 

Happy gardening and COMMUNICATING!

 
 

How to grow an Organic Community Garden?Where to start: At a home owner/church backyard?.Here is an example at SCG and some challenges and solutions!

Here in S.Florida Sandy soil is king.Challenges are plenty to mention the least:Finding a home for a community garden.That's where you need to start .

From my horticultural  education and hands on farming experience, more than twenty years ,of growing organic vegetable and fascilitating classes /workshops at  seven community gardens : I came up with  a personal TRUE story to share  .

Those of you who are contemplating to start their own community gardens .especially in a back yard\,I  have a visual to support the narration of my true story.Check it out down below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I01Qd9b7YT4

 

My last half an acre  started with a 10x2 plot  at a community garden .The land was initially a neglected area that was infested by crime and drug dealers.It was  provided by a local city 'X".

DADS(Dads  Against Drugs were the ones who came up with the idea ) .The idea became a garden with more than 20 active members at its peak.It sprouted and survived and became a food source for working class families and a neighboring soup kitchen that catered to the unemployed and those who silently struggled   ..

The garden was pronounced dead when the city decided to convert it to a land fill back in 2009.I lost all my nine years of hard work converting the sand into a FERTILE  top soil through composting and hauling truck loads of organic soil . Not to mention the tools,neem trees , equipment garden supplies etc..that were removed/hauled away without me being notified to salvage any!

I grew NEEM and Papaya trees,Organic vegetables. I created a JOB for myself as an URBAN FARMER growing Organic Local food that found so much demand back in 2001 and onwards...in the absence of Organic Farms or CSA back then in the area. 

I displayed my greens at local Green Market single handedly with the help of a volunteer from Head Start who beleived back then, just like me ,that Growing our own food could support the local ecconomy by creating jobs versus finding a job.

To  convert neglected lands or  inefficient lawn grass back/front yards into a productive vegetable garden is by itself a JOB that PRODUCES FOOD.

Community Gardens:It is something that stimulates local economies besides combating crime by diverting the attention into a positive productive paths !I never gave up my passion for organic gardening despite the sbsence of support or any stimulus money to help Urban Farmers.

Now I am gardening at a community garden at a private home owner backyard.It is available for sale.Here we go again .Looking for another home for my garden. I contacted a group of small churches and here I am  gardening at the backyards of a church group that feeds the disadvantaged and has a  Hunger Project.End of story.

Suggestions and Solutions:

1_Start Small.Make sure that you will not ne evicted suddenly or without a notice.Sign a time for use agreement(Ten years minimum)

2_Stay focussed on a PURPOSE related to growing the food for (Spell out the purpose and protocol in PRINT....)

3_Stear clear away from politics and those who want to use the garden as a protege or a stepping stone to their personal aspirations or hidden agendas.

4_Expect challenges and create out Solutions.Involve more of those who are active in their working hands and  muscles on GROWING ,and less of those who enjoy being spectators,commentators etc..Gardening is a HANDS ON experience for those who dare to touch the soil ( Never call it dirt).

5_Get an educated/experienced Organic  Urban Farmer on board to give guidance on Organic Urban Farming  through Awareness classes.

7_Gardening is a PROCESS.So give yourself time to learn,understand and implement.

8_Start  COMPOST piles/bins and learn/implement : recycle-reuse -restore.Know what are the ingredients of the soil you are buying?

9_Exchange /harvest/grow local and NATIVE  seeds.If you can not afford  organic seeds.Look for Heirloums .Say no to synthetic chemicals &GMO!

10_Share your harvest with a local soup kitchen.Display your harvest at a Green Market/Church market etc...Let Diversity be  your choice for community membership or planting practices.Giving back to the community through community gardens is the PRACTICALand PRODUCTIVE  way to SAY: THANK YOU

 
 

Teaching ORGANIC GARDENING TO CHILDREN at schools and community gardens.

There is a child care  close to where I live.Sherry who runs the small day care has a physical disability but loves to garden.I visited her yesterday with some seedlings donations and started a small vegetable garden at her backyard.NO CHARGE!A HAPPY NEW YEAR GIFT!I wanted to start the  year by doing something different to my NEIGHBORHOOD that makes a difference in peoples lives.Children and the disabled skip our attention in our daily marathon to make the buck.We are addicted to so many foods,beverages,malls,relationships,commodities,gadgets and you name it : THINGS .We are busy doing things or talking about ourselves and forget about who are our neighbours or at least :"WHAT ARE WE DOING TO OTHERS"? as Dr.Martin Luther King Jr. once wondered!

Children need our LOVING attention more than the China  TOXIC toys we buy for them to keep them busy and feed their ego with commodities and candies.How about starting a small veggie garden for your little ones in your backyard to teach him or her the basic CREATIVE art of COLORFUL and BOUNTIFUL PRODUCTIVE ORGANIC GARDENING?

There is an outcry of MUCHO illegal immigrants of MIGRANT FARMERS in our backyard and we need to fix this by sending them back home.Good.What about the replacements ?Who is going to pick up the tomatoes and do the DIRT JOB in the field?We are leaving to our children a huge inheritence of  DISORDERS(ADHD). TRILLIONS in DEFICIT and DEBT , MILLIONS of UNEMPLOYED,LACK of HEALTH INSURANCE to the poor and unemployed, to mention the least .How about reversing our  acts or the LACK of it.Starting a veggie garden at a KINDERGARDEN is not a bad idea.I worked once with the 4-H program and the 4-H co-ordinator once brought the little people to the community garden and guess what? They love to touch and play with the soil and plant tiny seeds with their tiny fingers.

ASTHMA,ADHD and other health disorders are now being traced to lack of outdoor FRESH AIR  activities to our children(THEIR BRAINS ARE STARVED FOR OXYGEN) .Wonder why children fail science and math tests and disdain them?Their hands are being tied into the INDOORS CLOSED WORLD of keyboards and TV /computer virtual video games.Instead ,we need to employ their hands in the garden and teach them the art of growing food.The time is ripe NOW with double digit unemployment to start creating ORGANIC  VEGGIE GARDENS and FARMING JOBS in our communities and SCHOOLS .

Hello,anybody home?Are you looking for help to start a veggie garden at your school?Home?Take note of the Organic VEGGIE garden at the White House..There is a positive message from the garden to you!Start Growing your own organic food at home!

Once upon a time I was approached by a director of a Day Care center to be hired to start a veggie garden.I was impressed by the LOOKS and IMAGES that the director portrayed to me about her school but in the end guess what? She hired a lady who arranged for a free donation from a UN program that is 100% fertilizer based soil in plastic containers .Imagine those tiny kids fingers being immersed in chemical fertilizer base soil?It was the BOTTOM LINE which mattered for that school and NOT the PRINCIPLE of SUSTAINABILITY  which they were preaching.LOOKS always FOOL YOU.IMAGE IS NOT EVERYTHING contrary to what the media tries to brain wash us with.There are a lot of OPPORTUNISTS out there who do not walk their talk.Be MORAL VALUE inclined when it comes to selecting what is GOOD for our CHILDREN rather than following the MONEY VALUE !The BOTTOM LINE in such situations could bring our children DOWN TO THE BOTTOM !

 
 

TOP TEN FREE ORGANIC GARDENER'S HOME MADE RECIPE to QUIT SMOKING - SELF HELP for NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS SERIES-Part I

Once upon a time , I was a chain smoker .It was back in the EIGHTIES.I did not smoke after quiting and recently I  met a friend smoker who challenged me that I can not quit smoking NOW in the 21 century due to the high ADDICTIVE ADDITIVES in the cigarretes.I accepted the challenge and STARTED smoking .I did that for the first  three weeks in November and told my friend I am ready to STOP and QUIT SMOKING.He did not beleive I could do it.Here is what I did to quit smoking.Note: I did not smoke for the last one week of November and forward HOLDING GOING STRONG SMOKE FREE.Here is HOW I did it:

IMPORTANT NOTE AND DISCLAIMER:Below is a narration that represents a personal OPINION and NOT A PRESCRIPTION or an ALTERNATIVE TO SEEK MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL HELP. TO QUIT SMOKING YOU HAVE TO CHECK OUT WITH A HEALTH PROFESSIONAKL .NOT A GARDENER OFFCOURSE! I DO NOT ENCOURAGE OR DISCOURAGE ANYONE TO SMOKE.IT IS YOUR FREE DECISION TO MAKE .THIS ARTICLE IS WRITEN BY AN ADULT AND ONLY FOR ADULTS EYES.IF YOU ARE A TEENAGER UNDERAGE PLEASE QUIT READING THIS ARTICLE NOW as you were supposed to be NOT SMOKING AFTER ALL!!

1-I first started by alternating my ciggerettes from different brands.I choose the forgien full flavor ones like the "made in XYZ FOREIGN COUNTRY"

They contain less additives and addictive chemicals , by the way..I did not choose the MINT ones because some one told me they have fiber glass added to mimmick the COOL feel of mint!

2-I played a "BREATHING"  trick on my LUNGS.I found out that the lungs of people who choose to smoke usually are not FULLY expanded- due to their short breaths habits.In general , people who are stressed out take less breaths and or hold their breath more or take short ones.So smoking makes one take a DEEP BREATH ,with CO fumes offcourse!We stop fuming and become less agressive and less stressed for a moment.So we have a good time for a second followed by all the eczyma and lung cancers for LATER.NOW , I take DEEP BREATH WITH FRESH AIR FULL FLAVOR INSTEAD!EHEM!EHEM!

3-I am using my bike instead of my car to commute in town.I am going more to the movies and taking more trips using the bus instead of my car.(Smoking is not allowed there!).I am switching alliances to friends and family members who are non-smokers to hang around!

4-I am eating more green grapes to FEED MY CRAVINGS for a ciggerrete in my mouth!

5-I am drinking more spring water to quench the burning for a fire smoke in my head.

6-I am spending  more hours outdoors, and smelling more roses and flowers to replace the addiction of smelling cigerretes carbon monoxide fumes!

7-I am sweating the smell stuff out of my lungs and skin by working out more HOURS  at the GARDEN.

8-I am EATING  more salads and ORGANIC LOCALLY GROWN GREENS(Rich in LIQUID soluble and NATURAL Vitamins and minerals) .That will help the body to absorb and assimilate- especially when PH balanced!

9-I am DRINKING more green VEGETABLES.Mainly WITH :Dandelion,Collards,Parsley,Carrots included and FRUITS:Mainly included  WITH CITRUS  and APPLES JUICES (Rich in Vitamin C).

10-I am SAVING my HARD EARNED MONEY to be spent HEALTH-WISELY,not on my FUTURE MEDICAL and HOSPITAL BILLS (I have no Health Insurance)TO TREAT THE VOLUNTARY  SELF INFLICTED DISEASES from SMOKING CO- a by product of cigerrettes and known to cause health HAZARDS! 

 

HAPPY HEALTHY NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS!

 
 

CHALLENGES AND SOLUTIONS TO COMMUNITY GARDENS-Part I

In my work experience as an URBAN ORGANIC FARMER here in S.Florida, I have co-founded and closely helped out in establishing four community gardens.Two of those gardens cease to exist .

I like to share my observations and feedbacks to help out  in the future revitalization and remediation work process to  organic community gardens .

The Challenges.

A-POLITICS IN THE COMMUNITY GARDEN:

Personally , I advocate non-political approach to growing ORGANIC FRUITS and VEGETABLES in community gardens.Unfortunately , the situation at the ground is otherwise.I noticed that some of those gardens I tended attracted members who were POLITICALLY MOTIVATED in the first place.Their work mainly at the garden was only to extend /show their political aura or to enrich their resumes and social status as community organizers or activists .

This trend also entrenched some active or retired officials in addition to local figures of some organizations to partake just to appeal to the media and local public opinion.Others were involved through educational institutions /non-profit organizations etc , to apply for grants,bolster their community stance , keep the influence of donated GMO seeds and seedlings- FREE soils derived from treated  sludge - fertilzers and pesticides ammendments-active at the garden .Little  actual gardening work  was  done   by some of those occasional members- visitors-spectators, who mostly show up at events.

The solution:

The spirit of VOLUNTARY COMMUNITY SERVICE through productive planting and harvesting of ORGANIC PRODUCE should be the main MOTIVE.Donating to local soup kitchens and needy families must be emphassized especially NOW.Encouraging the membership of struggling families and the financially disadvataged should be a priority in enlisting members.Diversity in membership should be equally stressed along with diversity in gardening.Social dialogue through pot locks and workshop events must be introduced to enrich the communication between diverse groups of the neighboring community.Solutions to the challenges remain impotent without actual involvement with the HANDS ON learning process:ORGANIC SOIL - CLASSES and WORKSHOPS-POTLUCKS-HARVESTING and SHARING of HARVEST-SEEDS EXCHANGE.Active members must adhere to the rules and regulations set for the garden.

B-Allocating and preserving more lands for growing organic produce locally.

Some of those community gardens took decades to build their organic soil and with a change of heart are destroyed to be new locations for developments or other use.

The solution:

Advocating for the placement of new laws to protect and  preserve FERTILE agricultural lands / urban community gardens that have irreplacable organic top soil.

C-Lack of Local Programs to EDUCATE and Graduate: Organic Community Gardeners /ORGANIC URBAN FARMERS at the local school level and beyond.

Attention should be redirected from the current home-owners mentality of growing ornamentals and shrubs using fertilizers and pesticides  for the purposes of landscaping only.So many home owners are having their homes forclosed and now are renting or are displaced.

The solution:

Vouchers for continuing education and local community plotsshould be issued. Jobs for organic urban farmers should be created and promoted through educational and vocational local programs.Growing food must be the new mood instead of growing JUST GRASS! 

D-Lack of support ,recognition and appreciation to organic farmers.

Migrant farmers with their illegal status has driven the farming jobs down to its bottom.No respect and discremination are rampant.wages  and benefits are so low.Organic Community  Agriculture Educational programs are non-existing below the university level.Big Agri-Business domination of the market .

The solution:

The community garden can be the new venue for raising the awareness level by providing organic horticultural educational programs and  marketing opportunities to small farmers or community urban gardeners.A FREE green market at a Community Garden to sell and display produce can be used as an example in supporting the local economy through marketing of locally grown produce .This kind of market exists in Europe, but at a different location:The village markets or -Thursday markets.The now available farmers /green markets levy high fees and charges here ,in general  . who affords to sell at those markets are merchants of grocerystores who rent spaces to sell conventional imported produce from other countries or different states.The farmer has been replaced by the merchant at the farmers market at least here in S.Florida ,with some exceptions , offcourse!

 
 

UNAUTHORIZED TOP TEN LIST TO DO on "EARTH DAY"... the ORGANIC WAY or(The non -invasive/hippocretes way!)

1-Recycle your and "their" -to be trashed PRODUCE/KITCHEN FOOD SCRAPP.Ask your local neighborhood health food store/supermarket/barn/restaurant etc,if they like to save their unwanted food scrapp ,for you to  compost. Otherwise...you know what to do!

2- Commute on foot/on a bike/in a bus/car pool.Take a break from your car.Give a break to the  earth.Do not burn fossil fuel!Do not smoke.Do not drink and drive.

3-Give away your unwanted:Absolete/idle/stored/dust accumulating treasures like old shoes, old refrigerator,bike,clothes.In this Economic meltdown ,there are hidden lines of "HAVE NOTS" displaced human beings.So, give them a hand .I suggest Garage sales or Church Rummage for better affordable delivery!

3-Replace your inefficient lawn with a productive veggie garden.Or even join a community garden if you have no back/front yard.Garden in containers , the least, if none of the above exist! 

4-Install the following:

 a) A rain barrel irrigation system to save on the water bills and survive the draught in S.Florida.

b) A solar panel electric and water heating system.Green energy is the new fashion.Wear it!

5-Buy locally grown produce ,if possible  switch to ORGANIC!

6-If you are a farmer, fascilitate a workshop or attend one on promoting the awareness of green energy/organic and locally grown produce .

7-Volunteer at a local community garden/soup kitchen/church/csa/farm/earth day or green events.

8-Do no harm to yourself/others/environment by following the NATURAL ONE AND ONLY ONE LAW: LOVE.An avallanche of laws were created as we broke this one law...Business as usual is not THE motto for EARTH DAY.GREEN and SIMPLE LIVING IS!

9-Do NOTHING .BUY NOTHING.SHUT OFF ELECTRIC.TURN OFF TV.Switch off your cell phone.GO OUTDOORS .TAKE A NAP in the garden.Spend the day in NATURE.HUG A TREE,a friend ,a stranger.Use eye contact to connect!WE ARE ONE WITH THE EARTH .IT IS OUR HOME for now and for later ,when we depart to the other side!Our first HOME was in the garden so will be our last one!RESPECT the soil by refraining from polluting with your hands/mouth or any other means!

10-Reward yourself .Be with your family at the  dinner table,at a park or visit a family member/friend .Schedule a massage treatment to yourself or a loved one. LEARN HOW TO RELAX...in NATURE.TAKE A LOT OF DEEP BREATHS...BE CALM!BE GOOD!

 

Have A Healthy Happy Earth Day

 

Tony :)

 

Alternative Community Farmer

 
 
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