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Posts Tagged ‘workshop’

Organic Spinach Production System Workshop

Interested in growing organic spinach? Want to learn more?

Don’t miss the Organic Spinach Production System Workshop on Thursday, February 9!

Held at the University of Florida Plant Science Research and Education Unit in Citra from 1pm to 4pm, this FREE workshop will cover all things spinach, including:

  • Organic spinach production challenges
  • Nutrient management using compost and organic fertilizer
  • Growing spinach under high tunnels
  • Fall and spring production comparisons
  • Microbial loads and postharvest decay
  • Postharvest handling and storage

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn! Be sure to reserve your spot today, space is limited! Register here!

This joint Kansas State University-University of Florida research & extension project is supported by the USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Food Security Competitive Grants Program (Award # 2014-68004-21824).

Lake Alfred Town Hall Meeting

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November 06, 2012; 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

at the Lake Alfred Citrus Research and Education Center

Florida Organic Growers (FOG) and the Organic Trade Association (OTA) cordially invite you to a Producer Town Hall Meeting to take place on November 06, 2012 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm at the University of Florida’s Lake Alfred Citrus Research and Education Center. FOG is looking for farmer input regarding a number of critical issues that can affect or benefit sustainable and organic agriculture in Florida. FOG’s Executive Director Marty Mesh and OTA’s Board of Director President Matt McLean will be coordinating this meeting.

Topics to be discussed:

1. Organic Research and Promotion Program. Marty and Matt will introduce to you a promising initiative for the organic sector, the Organic Research and Promotion Order. This initiative has the potential to provide support for organic research and marketing in the long term. After the presentation of the program, Marty and Matt will ask for your valuable input, so as to understand whether or not you are supportive of this initiative. As organic farmers and/or processors your input is crucial.

2. Marty Mesh will provide an update on the Farm Bill and the potential consequences for conservation and agriculture.

3. Marty Mesh will provide an update and lead discussion on Food Safety issues, including a new FOG project that will offer food safety certification cost-share for small farmers in Florida.

4. A listening session, where you will freely express your challenges and needs in terms of producing and marketing your crops and or products. This information will be critical so that FOG can prioritize and identify the projects that are most relevant and beneficial to you.

5. Other announcements and information, including how to use Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) programs to help your farm, and a new FOG’s farmer’s market initiative that will equip about 20 markets across Florida with EBT Technology and incentives for specialty

Your input is key to the success of this event, come ready to talk and share!

Refreshments will be provided.
Address: 700 Experiment Station Rd. Lake Alfred, FL 33850. Telephone (863) 956-1151

RSVP REQUESTED. For more information or to RSVP, please call 352.377.6355 or e-mail

Upcoming Organic Farming Workshop in Vero Beach

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Florida Organic Growers (FOG) is organizing a Free Organic Farming Workshop at Osceola Organic Farm in Vero Beach Florida. The event will take place on  November 5th 2012 , from 8:30 am to 2:00 pm. The workshop will provide practical information and advice about organic vegetable production, sustainable soil and pest 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.

Long time organic inspector and experienced organic vegetable grower Kevin O’Dare has been running Osceola Organic farm since 1993, and obtained organic certification since 1996.  Kevin successfully markets his produce through a farm stand, area restaurants and farmer markets. He’s an expert grower interested in promoting a new generation of farmers.

USDA Researcher Dan Chellemi & organic farmer Kevin O'Dare inspect a raised vegetable bed that is being solarized in Vero Beach. Photo by Randall Smith, USDA/ARS.

Kevin will lead participants through an interactive farm tour of his diversified 7 acre vegetable, herb and edible flower farm. Kevin will touch on all aspects of organic production, including fertility, soil and pest management. One of the highlights of the tour will be the discussion on soil management. The host farmer and USDA researcher Dr. Dan Chellemi will share with growers the exciting results of more than 10 years of study related to soil solarization. This innovative technique has promoted healthy and successful crops at Osceola Organic Farm.  Dr. Ariena Van Bruggen, from the Emerging Pathogens Institute at UF and also an expert researcher on organic agriculture, will also share with growers her insights into creating healthy soil ecosystems.

Another interesting element of the tour will be the participation of Dr. Bob Adair and Matt Adair, from the Florida Research Center for Agriculture Sustainability, who will share with growers the outgoing results of a research study in which beneficial insects have been introduced at the farm to manage leaf miners, Asian psyllids and other insect pests in the citrus orchard.

Chef Christopher Bireley puts the finishing touches on a dish at the Osceola Bistro.

Additionally Chef John Farnsworth of Johns Island Club and Chef Chris Bireley of Osceola Bistro will speak about the marketing opportunities that small organic local farms have in the area. Details will include the volume, quality and timing requirements in order to market to restaurants in the area, and other marketing strategies. These chefs are important potential buyers for family farms interested in the organic market in the region.  Finally the FOG staff, along with the host farmer will briefly discuss the requirements, benefits and challenges of the organic certification process.

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.


Click here to view the workshop agenda>>

Click here to download the workshop registration form>>


Space is limited and registration is required. Mail your completed registration form to P.O. Box 12311, Gainesville, FL 32604, fax to 352.377.8363, call 352.377.6355 or e-mail For more information visit .

GrowFest! in Redland Florida!

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South Florida, this one’s for you!

If you’ll be in the Miami area on the weekend of October 13-14, don’t miss the first ever Redland GrowFest! Come celebrate organic farming from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm Saturday and Sunday at the Redland Fruit & Spice Park, located at 24801 SW 187th Avenue in Redland, Florida, on the corner of Coconut Palm Drive & Redland Road.

GrowFest! 2012 is about connecting the dots between the farm or garden and the dinner table. The goal of the event is to engage and encourage gardeners. Attendees should expect to develop the skills needed to grow their own food,  as well as gain a better appreciation for what it takes for our farmers to produce food on a commercial scale.



Start your gardens!

Farmer Margie Pikarsky, Bee Heaven Farm

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. Gardening supplies will also be available for sale. Due to the generosity of the Urban Oasis Project and the Wholesome Wave Foundation, double-value coupons will be available for EBT customers. This is great news for EBT customers, whose dollars will buy twice as many veggie seeds and seedlings. Let’s get those gardens growing!

Questions about growing?

Whether you’re a backyard gardener, an urban farmer, or a small or large-scale farmer, we’ll have answers for you! UF/Miami-Dade County Extension agents will be on-hand to give presentations and demos throughout the weekend. Special emphasis will be placed on organic and environmentally friendly practices in subtropical climates.

“What’s Organic About Organic?”

The documentary film “What’s Organic About Organic?” will be featured in the classroom building, along with other presentations and demos by Florida Organic Growers & Consumers, Inc.

WHAT’S ORGANIC ABOUT “ORGANIC?” delves into the debates that arise when a grassroots agricultural movement evolves into a booming international market. As the film moves from farm fields to government meetings to industry trade shows, we see the hidden costs of conventional agriculture.  We also see how our health, the health of our planet, and the agricultural needs of our society are all intimately connected.  The film compels us to look forward, towards a new vision for our culture and encourages us to ask, “How can we eat with an ecological consciousness?” More>>



Enjoy fresh, locally-grown food and drinks!

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.

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.

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.


For more information, call 305-247-8650 or email

Please contact the organizers at least 7 days in advance to request materials in accessible format, or a sign language interpreter.  This event is ADA compliant.




GrowFest! 2012 sponsored by:


Tropical and Sub Tropical Organic Production Webinar – May 31st

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Live Webinar explores organic production in tropical and subtropical regions through virtual tours of organic farms in Florida and Puerto Rico.

Florida Organic Growers (FOG) will lead short virtual tours of certified organic operations in Florida and Puerto Rico as part of a live webinar being broadcast on Thursday, May 31 at 1:00 PM Eastern Time. The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) plans to host the webinar as part of a multi-partnership project which includes sustainable and organic organizations from around the United States.

Each organic grower will touch on the philosophical and practical aspects of growing organic crops in semi tropical and tropical regions as they lead participants on a virtual tour of their agricultural system. Among the topics discussed will be; production challenges and successes, natural resource management, and conservation. Presenters will also spend time identifying areas in which they need support to increase their resource conservation. Although the hour-and-a-half long webinar is focused on training for Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) staff, it will offer valuable insight and advice for organic producers and others interested in organic production.

The goal of the webinar is to share with NRCS staff the perspectives, management principles, agricultural practices, and needs of organic growers in this region. It will help NRCS staff members increase their ability to understand organic growers’ needs in this region so that they can better serve them.The webinar is being presented with funding through a NRCS National Conservation Innovation grant project.


The webinar begins at 1:00 PM Eastern Standard Time.

The organic producers featured in the webinar will be Sonia Carlo of Hacienda Sana Siembra Organica in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico, and Farmer Charlie Andrews of Hammock Hollow Herb Farm in Island Grove, Florida. FOG staff members Jose Perez and Executive Director Marty Mesh will also be contributing.

To register for the webinar, go to