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Posts Tagged ‘gardens’

Tips from Travis: Growing your own spring salad mix at home

By: Travis Mitchell, Community Food Project Coordinator and Coordinator of Porters Community Farm

Fall is a great time to vegetable garden in Florida, and my personal favorite season. The bugs are starting to disperse, weed pressure is lowering and temperatures are starting to fall.

Baby salad greens are one of my favorite things to grow in my fall/winter garden. They are easy to grow, will produce a lot in a small space, and if you are a big salad eater really save you some money at the grocery store.

1455985_479117562201694_518531813_nThe process is simple; first prepare your bed or garden section making sure to work in fertilizers or compost. Next, prepare a seed mix of your favorite lettuces or greens. I use everything I have laying around, a bag of mesculin mix, some red leaf, some oakleaf, some red russian kale, and some arugula.

Then broadcast your seed evenly and relatively thick across your prepared garden bed. I just used my hands but there are a lot of farm tools for broadcasting seed available if you are going planting a lot. To insure you get a real even application you can add some sand to your seed mix to give it a little volume. After broadcasting the seeds, gently work them into the soil by giving them a light brush with your hand or gently scrape the top of soil with rake.

About a month or so later depending on how warm or cold it is (lettuce doesn’t grow much when the temperatures are below 50 degrees) you will have a bed full of yummy little baby greens. You can harvest them as soon as you want but you don’t want them to get taller than about six inches. Harvest with a knife or scissors and cut the leaves about an inch above the ground. The plants will grow back and can be harvested again two to four times until they become bitter.

If you are a visual learner, watch this video explaining the technique.

June Facebook Contest

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Florida Organic Growers Summer Snapshot Contest presents, “Vegetables vs. Flowers”!

This month’s featured prize is brought to you by Popdecors. This Naples based company creates unique vinyl wall art decals that are super easy to apply and look like paint on your wall, but are just as easy to remove as they are to apply. The decal that will be awarded to this months contest winner is called “Sunshine in My Garden.” See it here>>

For more information about Popdecors, you can visit their website, Facebook page, or Etsy store.

The guidelines for this month’s contest are the same as last month: simply take a photo and send it as a direct message to us on Facebook, where it will be uploaded into our “June Summer Snapshot Contest” album. The photo with the most likes wins! So send us your flowers or vegetables for a chance to win one of these awesome wall decals.

Vegetables vs. Flowers! Which side will you take?

5 Reasons Bumblebees are Like Superheroes

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 The following blog post was originally Posted on 

1. Bumblebees are saving the world… from starvation!

No – I’m not talking about honey! It is estimated that at least 30% of all the foods humans consume in North America are from bee pollinated plants.

Take a look at the chart below to see some of the impact bees have on our food crops to see their super powers in action!

Crop Value in billions(2006) % Bee Pollinated
Almonds 2.2 100
Apples 2.1 90
Cotton 5.2 16
Blueberries 0.5 90
Grapes 3.2 1
Oranges 1.8 27
Peanuts 0.6 2
Peaches 0.5 48
Soybeans 19.7 5
Strawberries 1.5 2
from:USDA; RA Morse & NW Calderone(Cornell University)

2. Bumblebees defy the laws of science!

In 1934, French entomologist Antoine Magnan concluded that the flight of the Bumblebee was impossible. Seriously – his calculations never revealed the secret of bee flight and he died still confused with the tiny insect’s superpowers.

Sure – modern scientists have some various ‘theories’ about why bees should be able to fly, but they have yet to definitively prove their understanding of bee’s aeronautical capabilities.

However, much like other superheros bees continue to fly along on their daily missions despite our inability to explain how they do it.

We’ve even written songs to honor the Bumblebee’s flying prowess.

Yeah, I think that’s pretty super.

3. Bumblebees have a secret weakness!

Much like Superman and kryptonite, Wonder Woman and her bracelets being tied together (by a man! Seriously. Sexist much?) or Green Lantern’s ring being weakened by the color yellow (I know lame – right?), Bumblebees have a secret weakness.

And despite their main goal being to help us, like all good superhero stories – Bumble Bees have haters!

They try to keep their weakness a secret so humans don’t use it against them, but someone has figured it out.

As a result, Bumble Bees are mysteriously dying at record rates and scientists are not really sure why. Again – there are theories, but the truth is shrouded in mystery.

We can only wonder about the fate of the planet if the villains succeed in their plot to destroy Bumblebees.

4. Bumblebees just look like superheros!

With their bold yellow and black fuzzy bodies and protruding antenna, Bumble Bees just look like aliens ready to save the world!

Frankly, they also look a little scary. I mean you might not think so, but have you really looked closely at a Bumblebee lately?

Striking fear into the hearts of evil-doers world-wide!

5. Bumblebees are weaponized!

Yes, we don’t like to talk about it much, but bees do have the ability to defend their collective wellbeing.

This takes the form of a HUGE stinger and unlike their honey bee friends – they can sting you again and again.

So next time you sit down to a meal or even look outside and behold the beautiful flowers outside, think about the Bumblebees that made that possible.

And remember, even superheros can’t do it alone. So, consider doing your part to help Bumblebees worldwide.