Thursday, June 16, 2011

SAVE THIS DATE: June 27th Meeting of SWFSFN in Lee County

Hello members & supporters of the SW FL Small Farmer Network (SWFSFN)!   I am very pleased to send you this announcement and invitation to the next meeting of SWFSFN on June 27, 2011..  Following up our very successful April 25th meeting at the Roy Batty Nursery and Inyoni Organics Farm in Naples, we are continuing to provide you another opportunity for a farm visit to a sustainable, small farmer in SW FL.  It will be hosted by Grove Manager Steve Cucura at the Treehouse Nursery on Pine Island. Treehouse offers a wide variety of tropical fruit tree seedlings and is a great location to see the mature trees and even taste some exotic fruits, given that summer is here.

For more information including directions to Treehouse nursery, visit the link at

I am sure that you will not want to miss this opportunity for another very worthwhile SWFSFN event and an opportunity for social networking with your fellow small farmers in SW Florida.  Come meet your colleagues who are making our local food systems a reality!   Remember to bring seeds to share for our Seed Swap activity as one demonstration of the benefits of our collective actions in the SWFSFN.  Finally, we are planning to have another spectacular pot lunch so bring your locally-grown foods prepared with your special recipes!

In addition, this is your friendly reminder that early bird registration deadline for the 2011 FL Small Farms Conference is June 27, 2011.  For registration and program information, go to the conference website at, please, consider contributing to the small farmer scholarship fund for this conference.  This year, we have nearly 50 applicants we want to help, more than ever before. Each donation of only $130 will help support one Florida small farmer who otherwise may not be able to attend the 2011 Florida Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Conference. Your gift of $130 or more will be applied to the cost of their registration thereby enabling the farmer to participate in this wonderful education program. Those donors of $260 or above will be recognized in the program and on the conference web site.

Applicants for the registration scholarship have to meet certain criteria in order to be selected. (Example: low-income, beginning farmer/rancher) and based on past experience, these request represent real needs. So, would you consider helping us help FL small farmers?  If so, go to the following link.  If you plan to attend the conference yourself, you can add the donation as you register.

For your reference, here 's our meetings details and agenda:

Date:                            June 27, 2011
Time:                            9:30 am to 2:30 pm
Host:                            Mr. Steve Cucura
Place:                           the Treehouse Nursery on Pine Island - 6330 Hubbard Drive, Bokeelia, FL 33922
Directions:                   To get to Treehouse Nursery on Pine Island from I-75, exit at 143 (Bayshore/Pine Island Road) and go west. Go all the way to Pine Island and turn right (North)                                      at Stringfellow Road. Go about three miles and take a right onto  Harbor Boulevard. Look for the Treehouse Nursery sign on the right.   
Phone:                        (239) 283-3688

Cost:                            NONE
RSVP:                          YES, please
Note:                            Bring your own folding chair and utensils/plates for the pot luck lunch !


9:30 to 10:00 am -         registration and welcome

10:00 am to 11:30 am - Tour of the Treehouse Nursery

11:30 am to 12:30 pm - pot luck lunch & seed swap

12:30 to 1:30 pm -         growers meeting - introductions & announcements
                                    a)  introduction of county SWFSFN grower leaders
                                    b)  reports of conferences/field days that have been attended recently
                                    c)  input for future SWFSFN events

1:30 to 2:30 pm -          County Extension agents presentations
                                    a)   descriptions of upcoming education events at local county Extension offices
                                    b)  update of 2011 FL Small Farms Conference

 . . . please, feel free to pass along this announcement to your fellow small farmers who would be interested in our activities.  If they are not familiar with SWFSFN, please, refer them to both our webpage (see and Yahoo Group (see



Robert A. Kluson, Ph.D.
Agriculture/Natural Resources Extension Agent II
UF/IFAS - Sarasota County Extension
6700 Clark Road, Sarasota, FL  34241
(941) 232-3090;     FAX (941) 861-9886

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