Posts Tagged ‘Florida Organic Growers’

Join FOG and the OTA on October 12th in Homestead, Florida Florida Organic Growers (FOG) and the Organic Trade Association (OTA) cordially invite you to a Farmer Town Hall Meeting to take place on October 12, 2012 from 1:00 to 5:00 pm at the Miami-Dade County Extension building in Homestead, Florida. FOG is looking for farmer input regarding a number of critical issues that can affect or benefit sustainable and organic agriculture in the state of Florida. FOG’s Executive Director Marty Mesh and OTA’s Executive Vice-President Laura Batcha will be the there leading the discussion.

Topics on the agenda: Organic Research and Promotion Program, an update on the Farm Bill, an update and discussion on Food Safety issues, a listening session of growers’ challenges and needs in terms of producing and marketing crops, how to use Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) programs to help your farm, and FOG’s new farmer’s market initiative.

For more information call 352.377.6355 or e-mail jose@foginfo.org.


UF/IFAS Extension Office
18710 SW 288th Street
Homestead, FL 33030-2309

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Florida Organic Growers (FOG) is organizing a Free Organic Farming Workshop at LNB Groves and Bee Heaven Farm in Homestead, Florida. The event will take place on Thursday October 11th 2012 , from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm. The workshop will provide practical information and advice about organic tropical fruit and vegetable production, sustainable soil and weed management, marketing, and organic certification. The workshop is designed for current and prospective farmers, as well as service providers who are interested in learning and sharing about organic farming.

Marc Ellenby from LNB Groves and Margie Pikarsky from Bee Heaven Farm, along with FOG, will lead this workshop in these two locations. Marc Ellenby manages about 160 acres of tropical fruit groves in South Florida. He’s currently transitioning 15 acres to organic management. Species in production includes sapodilla, mamey sapote, black sapote, jackfruit, and dragon fruit. Marc will share with participants his insights into tropical fruit species and variety selection, weed management, organic certification and marketing. Marc will have the assistance of Tropical Fruit Crop Specialist Jonathan Crane from IFAS’ Tropical Research and Education Center.

Later in the day workshop participants will move to Bee Heaven Farm (about 1 mile away from LNB Groves) to learn about intense organic vegetable farming. Since 1995 Margie Pikarsky has managed Bee Heaven Farm, a five acre certified organic vegetable, herb and fruit farm. Bee Heaven Farm produces prized avocados and heirloom tomatoes, along with a wide variety of crops. Additionally the farm created a multifarm CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program that has grown tremendously. Margie will lead participants into an interactive tour of her farm and will share insights into managing organic vegetable production on limited acreage, soil management, organic certification and her CSA program.

The Farmer workshop is organized by Florida Organic Growers (FOG), a non-profit organization established in 1987 in Gainesville; and supported by a Specialty Crop Block Grant administer by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. FOG’s Education and Outreach Program promotes organic agriculture and healthy and just food systems, informing producers, consumers, media, institutions and governments about the benefits of organic and sustainable agriculture.

Space is limited and registration is required. Mail your completed registration form to Florida Organic Growers, P.O. Box 12311, Gainesville, FL 32604, fax to 352.377.8363, call 352.377.6355 or e-mail jose@foginfo.org. For more information visit www.foginfo.org/workshopsDownload registration form here

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Saturday October 13 and Sunday October 14, 2012
10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

GrowFest! 2012  is about connecting the dots between the farm or garden and the dinner table. We want to engage you, encourage and give you the tools you need to grow some of your own, and gain a better appreciation of what it takes for our farmers to produce the food we all eat, and whet your appetite for the best and freshest produce.

Start your gardens! Get your seedlings, fruit trees and companion plants. Bee Heaven Farm will have over 80 varieties of heirloom tomato seedlings, several varieties of eggplant, hot peppers, basil, arugula, chard, kale, Asian greens and perennial herbs like garlic chives, curryleaf, and lemongrass. Other vendors will have fruit trees, native and companion plants to promote beneficial insect habitat and gardening supplies. SNAP/EBT dollars can be used for buying veggie seeds and seedlings. And those dollars will stretch twice as far, courtesy of Urban Oasis Project/Wholesome Wave Foundation’s double-value program, to get those gardens growing!

Questions about growing? Answers here for backyard growers, urban farmers, small and big farms. The UF/Miami-Dade County Extension Office is our local source for growing information tailored to our subtropical South Florida climate. Check out their presentations and demos. There will be special emphasis on organic and environmentally friendly practices, and establishing building blocks for healthy eating.

“What’s Organic About Organic?” Florida Organic Growers & Consumers will be here to answer your questions, and will feature the documentary “What’s Organic About Organic?” in the classroom building, along with other presentations and demos. Here’s your chance to learn what it really means to be organic, why it’s important to strive for sustainability, and how locally-grown produce helps keep farms in business and boosts our local economy.

Want to learn how to prepare healthy food and kid-friendly snacks? See local chefs use fresh local ingredients to create fun and tasty dishes, school lunches, and snacks.

Enjoy fresh, great food and drinks! Tired of that same old fair food? We’ll have a great selection of healthy foods showcasing locally-grown Fresh From Florida and Redland-Raised ingredients. Local cottage food and artisanal producers will share their stories and sell their goods. Want to be a vendor or exhibitor? Click here for GrowFest! 2012 Vendor application http://tinyurl.com/GFvendor

Explore the park! The only tropical botanical garden and public park of its kind in the U.S., the Redland Fruit & Spice Park hosts over 500 varieties of tropical fruits, vegetables, spices, herbs, nuts and edible plants. If you’ve ever been to the park, you know what a nice place it is to visit and learn about the amazing variety of edible plants you can grow in South Florida.

$8 advance purchase, $10 at the gate (cash) – children under 12 free
Get your advance tickets now! http://tinyurl.com/GFTickets

Redland Fruit & Spice Park
24801 SW 187th Avenue, Redland, FL
(corner of Coconut Palm Drive & Redland Road)

GrowFest! 2012 is a fundraiser for Florida Organic Growers

Call 305-247-8650 or email GrowFest@beeheavenfarm.com at least 7 days in advance to request materials in accessible format, a sign language interpreter and for information on access for persons with disabilities.

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