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 February 20, 2012. Following up our very successful December 12th meeting at the UF/IFAS Gulf Coast REC in Balm, we are continuing to provide you another opportunity for an event to support your sustainable, small farming in SW FL. This meeting will be hosted by Karen Fraley and Danny Smith of the FL West Coast RC&D and the Gamble Creek Farm at 14950 Golf Course Rd., Parish, FL 34219.
Many of your will remember that SWFSFN visited the Geraldson Farm of the FL West Coast RC&D in January 2010 – see http://sarasota.ifas.ufl.edu/AG/ag_photos.shtml. Gamble Creek Farm is the sister farm of the Geraldson Farm. At this farm you will learn about the following production and crop systems:
1) Hydroponic production of strawberry , herbs, lettuce, peppers, tomatoes, squash and more.
2) Certified organic field production of heritage tomatoes, okra, eggplant, squash, peppers and more.
3) Automated irrigation using onsite weather station technology, and state of the art tailwater recovery system.
4) CSA marketing
5) Food processing facilities planned for the future
For more background information on their operations and directions see their webpage at http://gamblecreekfarm.org/farm/index.html.
We are sure that you will not want to miss this opportunity for this 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 and help promote such collective actions of SWFSFN members. Finally, we are planning to have another spectacular pot lunch so bring your locally-grown foods prepared with you special recipes for the holiday season!
For your reference, here 's our meetings details and agenda:
10:00 am to 12:00 am - welcome and presentation
- Overview of the Gamble Creek Farm operations
- Farm tour
12:00 to 1:00 pm - pot luck lunch & seed swap
1:00 to 2:00 pm - growers meeting - introductions & announcements
a) introduction of county SWFSFN grower leaders
b) member reports on 2012 SSAWG conference
2:00 to 3:00 pm - a ) Extension county agents reports
b) update of 2012 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 http://sarasota.ifas.ufl.edu/AG/swfsfn.shtml) and Yahoo Group (see http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/SW_FL_Small_Farms/)
Robert A. Kluson, Ph.D.
AG/NR Extension Agent
UF/IFAS Sarasota County Extension
6700 Clark Road, Sarasota, FL 34241
"There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why... I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?” . . . Bobby Kennedy