Sunday, January 2, 2011
We've planted carrots.
We've got some lettuce.
Here's some broccoli.
And, finally....here's some cauliflower.
It's surprising how much you can grow in a simple (and inexpensive) 4 feet x 8 feet above ground grow bed. A deeper bed would be better and allow for growing more egg plant and squash. Our efforts for those have suffered and the best I can tell, it's due to the soil depth being too shallow. Below the above ground bed, it's just ordinary Florida soil which in my yard is about 65% sand.
We're planning to add an additional above ground bed for next season. With a little organization and fore thought we can plant something every two weeks and have fresh vegetables to eat for four of five months during the winter and spring. Since our prime growing season begins in September, we'll have plenty of time to add lots of compost material to build up the soil fertility.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
The site has a lot of square foot gardening advice and resources for all things gardening.
There are even some links and pictures of 1,800+ lb pumpkins grown in BiotaMax treated soil.
Monday, February 8, 2010
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
A short quiz (answers below) --
1. Where does salmon come from?
2. Where do artichoke hearts come from?
3. Water chestnuts?
5. What about mushrooms?
1. Thailand or Chili, 2. Peru, 3. China, 4. Mexico, 5. Indonesia, 6. Mexico
Granted these represent only a few brand names and two aisles in the entire 24 aisle store, but I purposely chose brand names to validate the point that a heck of a lot of food you and I eat every day is imported from who know's where. I suspect the scope of the problem would be magnified if I checked more foods and more aisles. This is a MAJOR grocery store chain folks. How does this make you feel?
The squash and peppers are prospering and the broccoli, collards, and cauliflower have grown significantly. The coconut coir mulch, perilite, compost, and worm castings has proven to be a very viable growing mixture.
We've survived our first pest attack. We added some fly strips and used a minimal amount of OMRI listed Organicide on some of the individual plant leaves, but all appears to be well now.
"U.S. food imports grew from $41 billion in 1998 to $78 billion in 2007. The growth has come in consumer-ready foods, such as fruit and vegetables, seafood and processed food products. It has been estimated that as much as 85% of the seafood we now consume is imported, and depending on the time of the year, upwards of 60% of the fresh produce we consume is now imported. Officials from the FDA have stated that about 15% of the average American diet is made of imported food products." Read more at Huffington Post.
I first became aware of imported beef from Canada, but more recently seafood, fruits, and vegetables. I think this is a very dangerous proposition since most of it is untested. The volume simply prohibits it.
An online acquaintance of mine and publisher of a popular bbq forum posted an item last week regarding his experience with canned fruit from a Midwestern grocery store. The respondents were generally apathetic about it (except for a very small minority).
Has it come to this? Does the prospect of eating dangerous and harmful imported food that is not inspected for contaminants not concern the average American? It definitely should.
Here are some of the measures we have taken to reduce the amount of imported food we eat:
1) joined a local CSA for purchasing vegetables
2) support a local food buying club to purchase locally raised eggs, pork, beef, and bison
3) planted a backyard garden to begin growing our own squash, cauliflower, broccoli, peppers, and collard greens
4) joined a Meet-up Group to learn more about locally grown food
5) exploring online information about farming at Florida Farm Link
We plan to add more as we learn about them. If you'd like to learn more about sources of local food to help avoid food imports, please visit LocalHarvest.org
Saturday, October 24, 2009
The farm has a large variety of hydroponically grown vegetables with weekly harvests beginning within the next couple of weeks. It was eye opening to see the large quantity of strawberries, egg plant, lettuce, okra, squash, and so many others that are available.
There is also a sister farm - Geraldson Community Farm - located closer to Bradenton, Florida.
If you are concerned about the way your food is grown, then check out your local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms. Local Harvest.org provides a search function to help you locate a farm nearby your home.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Hydro Harvest located in Ruskin, FL grows, markets, and sells produce via hydroponic methods. The video above demonstrates how you can also grow hydroponic produce in your own backyard.
Buy your own system from Vertigro.com.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
This same basic design could be used for an aquaponics growing system.
Simply Hydro also has some pictures of home buildable systems that might provide some ideas if you decide to build your own system.
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Linda has been urging me to set up the camera on a tripod and use the remote control to take some bird photos for weeks now. Last week she set it up herself with pretty good results. A faster lens would have taken even better photos, but for complete shade and a slow 300 mm 4 - 5.6 lens I thought these turned out well.
I spent five minutes on Photoshop and came up with this "cleaned up" version of the 3rd photo above.