Friday, January 31, 2014

Announcement: Monday, Feb 10, 2014 Mtg of SWFSFN in Ft Myers, 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 the SW FL Small Farmers Network (SWFSFN) on Monday, Feb 10, 2014.  Following up our successful October 21, 2013 SWFSFN meeting at the H.E.A.R.T farm in Lake Wales, we are continuing to provide you another event to support your sustainable, small farming and enterprises in SW Florida. 


We are very fortunate this time to being hosted by Ken Ryan of Herban Gardens (see with coordination by Roy Beckford of UF/IFAS Extension Lee County.  Ken is a veteran micro-greens producer and farmer  who will give a farm tour of his facilities and techniques on how to grow, nurture and excel at producing micro-greens as an agri-business enterprise.


We are also sure that you will not want to miss this opportunity for social and business networking with your fellow small farmers in SW FL.  Come meet your fellow producers and purveyors 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 seasonal crops!


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


Date:            Monday, Feb 10, 2014


Location:     Herban Gardens, 8400 Dosonte Lane, North Fort Myers, FL 33917


Cost:            free


RSVP:         yes, please, to Roy Beckford at  or (239) 533-7512


Note:            bring folding chair & eating utensils, and home-made food to share at the pot luck lunch



9:00 to 9:30 am -                  Registration and welcome


9:30 am to 11:30 am -          Farm tour


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


12:30 to 1:30 pm -                  Growers meeting - introductions & announcements

    a)  news from attending county SWFSFN county grower leaders

    b)  growers sharing of events, issues, etc of interest to the
     small farming community


1:30 to 2:30 pm -                 UF/IFAS county Extension agents announcements

a)    Upcoming workshops & courses

                                              b) Evaluations


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





Expo Saturday

7th Annual Eco-Nomic Living Expo

Saturday February 1, 2014  8:30am-12:30pm

UF/IFAS Extension Orange County

6021 S. Conway Rd

Orlando, FL


Featured speakers:

Dr. Mark Hostetler, Tom MacCubbin and Chef David Bearl

Topic highlights:

Small Farm & Gardening "Off the Grid"

Cooking with Cool Season Crops

Local Food Systems in Central Florida

Edible & Biodiverse Landscapes

Tradeshow & Garden Tour


For more information see the attached program flyer or visit our website at 


Weekly Harvest, January 22, 2014

ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - January 22, 2014

Weekly sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service website. The Weekly Harvest Newsletter is also available online.

Harvesting Clean Energy
February 4-6, 2014

Hear from leading experts and practitioners about the steps to successful clean energy projects that can help you cut costs and diversify revenue for your farm or other business. Learn how you can improve efficiencies and produce clean energy, feedstocks, and co-products for yourself and for market. Click here to register for the 2014 Harvesting Clean Energy Conference in Helena, Montana.

News & Resources

  • New 'Soil Health Tool' Soil Test Offered
  • Organic Enterprise Budgets Released for the Carolinas
  • Alyssum Improves Pest Control in Lettuce
  • Perennial Grass Considered as Biofuel Alternative
  • Sonoma County, California, to Become Sustainable Wine Region
  • PASA and Future Harvest-CASA Plan to Merge

Funding Opportunities

  • Fund-a-Farmer Grant
  • Tennessee Farmers Market Capital Development Program
  • Oregon Specialty Crop Block Grants

Coming Events

  • New England Meat Conference
  • CSA Expert Exchange Online Conference
  • Greenhouse Tomato Short Course

News & Resources

New 'Soil Health Tool' Soil Test Offered
The new USDA-ARS Soil Health Tool is now available from at least three commercial soil labs: Brookside Labs (Ohio), Ward Labs (Nebraska), and Woods End Labs (Maine). The Soil Health Score combines five measurements of soil's biological properties to indicate the overall health of the soil system. "CO2 rate," "microbial active carbon," and "water soluble carbon" are used as indicators of biological factors linked to soil's intrinsic nutrient-supply powers.
Related ATTRA Resource: Alternative Soil Testing Laboratories

Organic Enterprise Budgets Released for the Carolinas
Carolina Farm Stewardship Association has released 10 online enterprise budgets for organic fruit and vegetable production specific to the Carolinas. Interactive Microsoft Excel budgets are an important tool in helping producers make decisions about what crops to grow, how much to grow, and how to allocate their resources to meet production goals.
Related ATTRA Publication: Planning for Profit in Sustainable Farming

Alyssum Improves Pest Control in Lettuce
USDA Agricultural Research Service horticulturist Eric Brennan has found that randomly interspersing alyssum plants throughout rows of organic lettuce helps maximize visits by hoverflies that prey on lettuce pests. In California studies, Brennan evaluated how alyssum biomass and flower production varied with planting density and how competition between lettuce and alyssum affected both plants.
Related ATTRA Publication: Farmscaping to Enhance Biological Control

Perennial Grass Considered as Biofuel Alternative
Michigan State University research published in Proceedings for the National Academy of Sciences says that when factors other than yield are considered, perennial grasses score higher than corn as biofuel alternatives. MSU researchers compared corn, switchgrass, and mixes of native prairie grasses and flowering plants. Methane consumption, pest suppression, pollination, and bird populations were all higher in perennial grasslands.

Sonoma County, California, to Become Sustainable Wine Region
Sonoma County Winegrowers has announced that Sonoma County is committed to becoming the nation's first 100% sustainable wine region. A three-phase program to be completed within the next five years includes education and training, independent certification, and plans for future improvement.

PASA and Future Harvest-CASA Plan to Merge
Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) and Future Harvest-CASA have announced plans to merge in 2014. The groups intend to launch a comprehensive educational initiative to address the needs of the sustainable farming community throughout their combined service area of Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, and the Washington, DC, area.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Fund-a-Farmer Grant
The Fund-a-Farmer Project awards grants for projects that help family farmers transition to pasture-based systems, improve the marketing of their humane products, or more generally enrich the conditions in which the farm animals are raised. Fund-a-Farmer will provide 15 grants of up to $2,500 to qualifying livestock and poultry farmers.
Applications must be postmarked by May 1, 2014.

Tennessee Farmers Market Capital Development Program
This program provides assistance for the establishment or improvement of farmers markets in Tennessee. Grants of $10,000 to $100,000 are available to qualified farmers markets on a 50% matching basis.
Applications are due by March 7, 2014.

Oregon Specialty Crop Block Grants
Oregon Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for grants to enhance the competitiveness of Oregon's specialty crops. Eligible non-profit organizations, local, government entities, for-profit organizations, industry trade associations, producer groups, and commodity commissions can submit proposals.
Concept proposals are due by February 24, 2014.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

New England Meat Conference
March 7-8, 2014
Concord, New Hampshire

The goal of the New England Meat Conference is to enhance the production, processing, and marketing of sustainable, nutritious, humanely raised, and delicious meat from New England farms and processors by providing educational and networking opportunities for meat producers, processors, and consumers.

CSA Expert Exchange Online Conference
March 6-7, 2014

The first day of this two-day online conference will focus on issues relevant to beginning farmers and those just getting started in CSA. The main event on March 7 will consist of sessions on topics such as marketing and social media, legal issues surrounding CSAs, crop planning, and CSA coalitions.

Greenhouse Tomato Short Course
March 4-5, 2014
Raymond, Mississippi

Expert speakers will present seminars relevant to the production of greenhouse tomatoes. Special topics this year will include components of the greenhouse system, alternative heating options, marketing, alternative crops, and pest management.

>> More Events

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Subscribe to the Weekly Harvest

Comments? Questions? Contact us

Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews Archives
Digital versions of recent and archived Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews newsletters are available online. ATTRAnews is the newsletter of ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.

National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home pageThe National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service - ATTRA - was developed and is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). The project is funded through a cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Business-Cooperative Service.

Visit the NCAT website for more information on our other sustainable agriculture and energy projects.

© 2014 NCAT

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Producer Spotlight
Honeyhill Farm

Question of the Week
What are some organic-friendly ways I can manage the staggering weed problem in my banana crop?

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Submit questions to our professional staff online

ATTRA Webinars
Last chance to register! Join NCAT, NSAC, and USDA experts January 23, 2014, for New USDA Cover Crop Termination Policy.

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Subscribe to Cosecha Mensual (Monthly Harvest), ATTRA's Spanish-language e-newsletter

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Support the ATTRA Project

ATTRAs 25th Anniversary

Pest Alert: Rose Rosette Virus in Florida

Recently my lab and the Division of Plant Industry-FDACS confirmed Rose Rosette Disease for the first time in Florida. This disease is caused by an Emaravirus named Rose Rosette Virus (RRV). As of now it is confirmed in Gadsden, Alachua and Levy counties. I am writing to request you to pass this pest alert to all county directors and county agents in your respective districts. I am copying this to Dr. Dusky who is aware of this new disease on roses in Florida. A training program on RRV is being planned for March/April at NFREC, Quincy and I will let you know once this is finalized.


If you have any questions, let me know. Thanks for your help.





Mathews L. Paret

Assistant Professor, Plant Pathology

North Florida Research and Education Center, University of Florida

155 Research Road, Quincy, FL 32351

850-875-7154 (phone), 850-875-7188 (fax)


Chemically Speaking

Please view the January edition of Chemically Speaking at:


C.E.U. Course-February 27, 2014


South Florida Aquatic Plant Management Society

General Meeting Announcement


SFAPMS Header 


Thursday, February 27, 2014

8:00 a.m. - 3:10 p.m.


South Florida Water Management District

3301 Gun Club Road

West Palm Beach, Florida 33406






8:00 a.m. - 8:15 a.m.

Registration and Refreshments

8:15 a.m. - 9:05 a.m.

Melaleuca quinquenervia IPM in the Florida Everglades

Dr. Phil Tipping, USDA IPRL

1 Aquatic CEU

9:05 a.m. - 9:55 a.m.

Water Supply BMP's - Satisfying Aquatic Plant Root

Zone Demand in Fluctuating Seasonal Conditions

Robert Carew, Broward County Environmental

Protection and Growth Management

1 Aquatic/Natural Area CEU

9:55 a.m. - 10:05 a.m.


10:05 a.m. - 10:55 a.m.

Exotica Update -

A Review of New Exotic Flora and Fauna across Florida

Mike Bodle, South Florida Water Management District

1 Natural Area CEU

10:55 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Biological Management of Nutrient Excess and Algae

Control as a Part of Better Management Practices

Forest Beeman, Beemats, Inc.

1 Aquatic CEU

11:45 a.m. - 12:35 p.m.

South Florida's Invasive Reptile Species

Liz Barraco, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

1 Natural Area CEU

12:35 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Complimentary Lunch Sponsored by Brian Van Dam of





1:30 p.m. - 2:20 p.m.

International Pesticide Labeling Revisions and Water Restrictions

Rose Bechard-Butman, Allstate Resource Management, Inc.

Dr. Lyn A. Gettys, University

1 Core CEU


2:20 p.m. - 3:10 p.m.

Land Management for Preservation of water Quality

and Nutrient Control in Florida's Waterway Systems

Fred Segal, President, Broward Farm Bureau

1 Aquatic CEU


*7 C.E.U.'s will be available for licensed professionals

Guest are welcome to attend at a charge of $15.00




Download Agenda


Click Here For Map & Directions




SFAPMS Water Lily


Learn More About SFAPMS Membership: Click Here!


Sponsorship Opportunities Available!




South Florida Aquatic Plant Management Society

Reservation Form - February 27, 2014



Name: _____________________________________________________


Company Affiliation: ___________________________________________


Address: ___________________________________________________


City: _________________________ State: _____ Zip Code: ___________


Telephone: ______________________ Fax: _______________________


E-mail: _____________________________________________________


Are you planning to stay for lunch?    ______ Yes       ______ No


______ Member (FREE)       ______ Guest ($15.00)



8930 State Road 84, No. 316

Davie, FL 33324


Online registration is available!

Click Here!




(P) 954.370.0041    (F) 954.382.1893

Questions?...Please contact our office at (954) 370-0041


Fruit Grower Workshop // UF/IFAS Extension_ Alachua Co // FL Small Farm

March 8, 2014
Straughn IFAS Extension Professional Development Center
Gainesville, FL


Dear Grower,


The UF/IFAS Alachua County Extension Service office is offering a fruit production workshop on March 8th. This workshop is intended for fruit enthusiasts and fruit growers. Come for the latest information from UF/IFAS experts on variety selection, production, and pest & disease management. Also, you will be able to visit with the different information stations hosted on site. 

Click here to view the flyer for further information.  



Thank you for your time.


Aparna Gazula

Commercial Horticulture Agent

UF/IFAS Alachua County Extension Service

2800 NE 39th Avenue,

Gainesville, FL 32609-2658

Phone:  352-955-2402

Fax:  352-334-0122