Grow Your Own

Sweet Potato: A Summer Crop

The rainy season has settled in, full force, and the heat of the summer is taking hold. Folks will flock to Florida for their summer vacations but to many of us who live here year round, we wonder why. The bugs are big, the sun is relentless, and the heat can easily overwhelm a native Floridian, let alone a visitor. The bugs, heat, and sun are also three big contenders for reasons to put the garden to bed for the summer. No doubt, there is a benefit to letting the soil rest while we, ourselves, take a rest. Pile on …

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Fall For Planting

The time has come to get our fall gardens in the ground! has a number of gardens, such as the JEA Water Efficiency Butterfly Garden and the gardens surrounding the main building. Since 2010, Tree Hill has also been the home of the Arlington Community Garden. With 37 beds, the Garden is a partnership between Tree Hill and the Unitarian Universalist Church of Jacksonville. All of the food grown in the garden is donated to the food pantry at Arlington Community Services. Without the Garden, the food pantry would only be able to give their families non-perishable items. Since the …

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Eating Sustainably: Just One of Many “Green” Topics at the 2016 GastroFest

  Sustainable food is about sustainable agriculture, food distribution, and food choices that allow us to produce healthful food while preserving future generations’ ability to do the same. And, yes, it really does matter. A lot. In 2011, a global consortium of scientists published a study aimed at determining whether or not we could feed the world’s population without destroying the environment and, thus, ourselves. We could, they say, but only if we change five things in combination: halt farmland expansion, close yield gaps, use inputs more strategically, shift diets, and reduce waste. Sustainable food may seem like an abstract …

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Collards – Grow Your Own

  In the era of heated gun control dialogue I am hesitant to promote any vegetation as “bulletproof”, but here goes. If you want a vegetable that has been promoted as the “New Kale,” try collards. Yep, collards that southern green staple that is usually eaten as a slimy green mass supporting a ham hock thus creating the faux alcohol known as “Pot Liquor.” In the interest of full disclosure, I happen to love an occasional bowl of that liquor especially when served with a rich slab of corn bread. While the cost of triple washed, organic, supermarket kale now …

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When Nature Calls on You

Fixing the world by growing better food BY ALEXANDER OJEDA, Group Host of Permaculture Jax We hear every day that the climate is heating up, that toxic spills are killing the world, that we’re running out of food, water and fuels. If you listen to that too much you’d think that we have reached the end of our rope and that there’s no way to recover. There’s a movement that started in the mid-seventies that has been working on the answers. That movement is called . In this movement, we realize that we can grow our annual crops, but also …

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Growing On The River

  Ten blocks away from the is the mini-farm of three folks who produce both high quality protein and a variety of veggies. , son Eli, and have turned every square inch of their Forbes Street property into a petite food production paradise.  There is even a roof garden at the entrance to their bungalow. “I see no point in grass,” confesses Crain-Orth, who is the flame-haired force behind , the organization that pushed for –and got—a permanent backyard hen ordinance in Duval County. She is quick to make the distinction between backyard hens and commercial chicken houses. “We have …

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Scratch Your Gardening Itch

Short of ideas for your Grow Your Own Garden? Recently moved into a condo with no available garden area? Living in your van? You might want to drive or stroll over to the located on Superior Street near the IFAS center http://duval.ifas.ufl.edu. Started decades ago, the IFAS garden provides a limited number of plots for folks who are sans soil. For folks who have both soil and sunlight, but might lack ideas, the garden is a creativity incubator. At a recent open house, Master Gardeners, under the leadership of , Veggie Gardener Wizard, informed novices and pros alike about bowl …

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Grow Your Own: URBAN GARDENS

Short of ideas for your Grow Your Own Garden? Recently moved into a condo with no available garden area? Living in your van? You might want to drive or stroll over to the located on Superior Street near the IFAS center. Started decades ago, the IFAS garden provides a limited number of plots for folks who are sans soil. For folks who have both soil and sunlight, but might lack ideas, the garden is a creativity incubator. At a recent open house, Master Gardeners, under the leadership of , Veggie Gardener Wizard, informed novices and pros alike about bowl gardens, …

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Grow Your Own – HERITAGE GARDEN

A century ago, in that pre-T.V. time before Publix, Winn Dixie, and Trader Joes, beach folks still had to eat. The actual way they connected with their calories is on daily display at the Beaches Heritage Garden. Located at the corner of Beach Blvd. and 3rd Ave., the museum garden is wedged between two historic houses (although one is still up on a trailer bed) and is surrounded by an authentic split rail fence. It features much of the produce Pablo Beach pioneers would have planted to survive Northeast Florida’s hurricanes, humidity and heat. Why is this important? Modern gardeners …

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Grow Your Own: Tomatoes and Other Summer Fare

  Before 1820, individuals didn’t need to zip line over alligator pits when they could just  eat a tomato for a whiff of fear induced adrenaline? Yes, there was a time in agricultural history when North Americans assumed tomatoes were poisonous because they were members of the nightshade family. According to , associate professor of Kinesiology at J.U., in 1820 a fearless man ate a tomato on the steps of the Salem, N.J., courthouse to prove tomatoes were harmless. Maybe he was embarrassed that we were so far behind other folks. Europeans had been chomping tomatoes about 300 years before …

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october, 2021

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