Tuesday, December 6, 2016

True Blue Winery and Bistro hosts a Small Farm Network Meeting!

True Blue Winery and Bistro hosts a Small Farm Network Meeting! 


Join us for the Polk County edition of the Southwest Florida Small Farm Network Meeting!

Monday, Dec 12, 9:30-3:00, 604 Pink Apartment Rd, Davenport, 33837

Howard and Fatima Gill are the adorable couple that will offer us a farm tour and talk about the processes they had to go through in order to establish their winery.  See more about the farm (blueberry), winery and bistro here.  http://www.truebluewinery.com/


We'll also discuss regulations like the cottage food law and zoning. 

The network meetings always feature a potluck lunch so please bring a dish to pass and your own silverware and chair.  A seed exchange and open farmer discussion are always included in addition to upcoming Extension program announcements.



We'll offer an agritourism conference next year!  This is a great chance to connect with an innovative couple and others in our community interested in value-added types of activities.  Please come out and help build the momentum!!



9:30 Sign In and Mingle

10:00 - 10:30 Introduction to the farm, Howard and Fatima Gill

10:30 - 11:30  Farm Tour

11:30 - 12:30 Potluck lunch and Seed Exchange

12:30 - 1:30 Educational session on value added activities like cottage foods, wineries, and agritourism.  Zoning and greenbelting information for Polk County. 

1:30 - 2:00 Grower Discussion/ Exchange

2:00- 2:30 UF/IFAS Extension Presentations and Announcements

2:30 - 3:00 Questions and Evaluation


Register online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/small-farm-network-meeting-wineries-add-value-tickets-29988238629


The Southwest Florida Small Farm Network is celebrating over ten years of grassroots meetings connecting small and beginning farmers to practical education, resources and community. 

Network meetings offer opportunity to:

  • Visit regional farms in a less formal setting.   
  • Learn from practical presentations on interesting topics.
  • Exchange new ideas and learn farmer to farmer.
  • Share challenges and look for solutions together.
  • Celebrate success and encourage others.


This regional network covers a wide territory and the meeting travels around Southwest Florida, from as far north as Pasco County to as far south as Collier.  A door prize is often provided to the longest distance traveler.

Examples of Previous locations:

  • Mothers Organics, Seffner
  • Shady Oaks Farm, Blueberry U-Pick, Lakeland
  • H.E.A.R.T. (Hunger Education and Resource Training), Lake Wales
  • Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, Wimauma

A Heads Up on Accommodations:

Network meetings are usually held on farm or other locations not primarily designed to host large groups.  Cooperating Extension Agents will make arrangements for rest rooms and a shady spot for the educational exchange, however we are usually unable to provide enough folding chairs for the entire group.  With this in mind participants are asked to:

  • Bring your folding chair and one for a friend if possible. 
  • Wear shoes suited to a farm tour.
  • Bring your water, sunscreen and possibly insect repellent.

For the pot luck lunch bring your:

  • Plate and silverware
  • Potluck dish to pass. 

This can be your specialty local food creation or a deli item you purchase.  All are welcome!  There is no formal coordination of the meal.  We will eat what the group provides.  Refrigeration is usually not available and neither is the ability to heat food up.  Think about how best to keep your dish hot or cold for the lunch and if a serving spoon or tongues are needed.  Think picnic items and share what you’ve grown if possible!  The element of surprise has yet to leave the group hungry.  Typical attendance is thirty people.

  Your Cooperating Agents:

  • Mary Beth Henry, Polk County
  • Dr. Roy Beckford, Lee County
  • Dr. Robert Kluson, Sarasota County
  • Vanessa Bielema, Collier County
  • Jonael Bosques, Hardee County
  • Francisco Rivera, Hillsborough County



Mary Beth Henry

Extension Agent II, UF/IFAS Extension Polk County
UF/IFAS Small Farms Program Co-Leader and Pesticide Training

mbhenry@ufl.edu http://polksmallfarms.com http://smallfarms.ifas.ufl.edu/

Office: (863) 519-1049; Fax: (863) 534-0001

1702 Hwy 17 S., PO Box 9005, Drawer HS03, Bartow, FL 33831-9005


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