From the Farm

If you are like me you keep one ear turned to the news on a daily basis. And in the past few years I have noticed that we are seeing more and more stories about the lack of safety in our food system. We have seen reports of tainted spinach from California and contaminated lettuce from New Mexico. Who knows what will be the next food health scare. That doesn’t even take into consideration things like heavy metal contaminates and banned pesticides found in foods grown in other countries. People are not just getting sick to their stomach as a result of these incidents, often they are dying.

Whether you realize it or not, the first solar panels were not invented by man. The first solar panels can be found in the leaves of each plant we grow on the farm. Each leaf takes the energy of the sun and converts it to food energy for you and me to eat. Without the sun there is no food for you or me.

winter gardening

As I sit here just before Christmas with the beginning of winter just around the corner it seems like I should be saying BRRRR and be snuggled up next to my fireplace with a warm cup of tea as I write this month’s issue of Strong Roots. But the Florida truth is I am sitting at my desk in shorts with doors open drinking a glass of ice tea. It is the time of year that makes living in Florida worth all the months of heat and humidity. At least that is what I keep telling myself.

With only a month of winter left and spring fast approaching I know many of you are already looking forward to those yummy tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and zucchini just to mention a few spring time garden delights. But one of the truths about farming or gardening is that what you harvest and how much of it is determined long before you even plant the first seed. This month I want to provide some hard learned lessons on how to choose what to plant in your garden.

Welcome back! The planting season in Florida is fast approaching so we need to get busy. Last month we looked at how to set up your plant beds. Now that you have figured out how you want to set up your garden whether it is in the ground or in a raised bed we need to begin looking at what we need to do to get the dirt ready for planting.