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 Monday, April 23rd, 2012. Following up our very successful February 20th meeting at the Gamble Creek CSA Farm of the FL West Coast RC&D in Parrish, 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 Lynn Steward of Mr. Citrus Organics and Vegetables, 1548 SW Addison Ave., Arcadia, FL 34266
We are very fortunate this time to being hosted by Lynn Steward at his organic farm in Arcadia, FL. For your information, Lynn was the first president of the FL Organic Growers and Consumers Association (FOG). He was also one of the first recipients of the Innovative Farmer Award of the annual Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Conference. The tours planned on his 17 acre certified organic farm include the 3 acres of fruits, and their field vegetables and greenhouse crops. There will also be discussions of the continuing diversification of this farm’s operations that now include organic transplants of vegetables, retail sales of organic growing supplies, vegetable growing classes, and fruit tree research. I am sure that you will find this tour and networking session very worthwhile for you and your farming operations. I am sure that you will find this farm tour and networking session very worthwhile for you and your farming operations.
Many of your will remember that SWFSFN visited Lynn Steward’s farm in January 2009– see http://sarasota.ifas.ufl.edu/AG/ag_photos.shtml. At this farm you will learn updates about the following production and crop systems:
1) Hoophouse and greenhouse production of tomatoes.
2) Certified organic field production of potato, okra, eggplant, squash, peppers and other vegetables.
3) Certified organic field production of fruit, e.g., peaches, citrus, berries, etc.
4) Onfarm evaluation trials of vegetable cultivars from breeding programs
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 of your crops from the peak of our growing season!
For your reference, here 's our meetings details and agenda:
Date: Monday, April 23, 2012
Location: Mr. Citrus Organics and Vegetable, 1548 SW Addison Ave., Arcadia, FL 34266
Directions: see http://floridaorganicproducts.com/
RSVP: yes, please, to firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: please, bring your own eating utensils and a folding chair
10:00 am to 12:00 am - welcome and presentation
- Overview of the farming 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 from county SWFSFN grower leaders
b) growers sharing of events, issues, etc of interest to the small farming community
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