Farm Report – January 12, 2015

Week of January 12, 2015

Abbreviated Weekly Farm Report

From Friendship Farms & Fare


A Community Service To the Local Farming Community 

For the full Farm Report, go to:


Planting & Harvest Notes

Winter Seeding and Garden Starts This Week

Seedings: no new seedings

Garden Starts: Kale Collards

Harvest Notes:  herbs, arugula, eggplant, collards, kale, swiss chard., meyer lemons, kumquats, grapefruit

Garden Overview

Winter Harvests & News

(additional details and assessments follows)

Duncan Grapefruit: Fresh Harvest of an Old Florida Favorite

Chapter II

We still have plenty of Duncan (Old Florida, White) Grapefruit. We visited Bartlett’s Forgotten Grove recently, and found the trees just as tall, strong, and productive as ever. We harvested more than last year, so feel free to ask for extras.

This type of grapefruit was the original commercial variety, and the Tampa Bay area was once the center of production, with the first trees cultivated by Odet Philippe (yes, of Philippe Park fame). Thanks to Jim K. for sharing this local connection with us. Today, the Duncan is no longer commercially grown, being replaced by the more glamorous Red and Pink varieties. Some folks may remember these from their youth, and will find them a happy taste of the past. If you’ve not had them before, give them a try. They are hard to find today, and will likely disappear completely in the next decade or so. Hopefully, boutique growers will maintain the Duncan heritage.

For a truly wonderful article on the Duncan, its Tampa Bay connection, and the history of the fruit, follow this link to Jeff Klinkenberg’s 2005 article, “Seeded Bliss,”


First Loquats Nearly Ripe

More loquats blushed this week. The first ones should be ripe in another week or so.

If you have trees, check them now for your own first fruits.

One of the many benefits of the loquat is its long fruiting season, with fruit maturing over a four month period. We’ll harvest our first fruits in January and keep harvesting through April. Our trees now feature fresh new flowers (covered with bees last week), tiny new fruitlings, and nearly ripe fruit with the distinctive yellowish-orange hue that is one of our first harbingers of spring.

Florida Loquat Festival: Celebrating Florida’s Urban Fruit
April 4, 2015

Market Off Main, New Port Richey

First: This is a “Loquat Exclusive” event, so everything being shared (for sale, contribution, or gift) will be a loquat or loquat-derived product. We will have seeds, seedlings, young plants, several large plants, fresh fruit, jellies, jams, and pies. No citrus here. We will also have lectures and educational events on planting, cultivating and harvesting; eating, preserving, and recipes; and the history and cultural context of loquats. This year, we will have loquat literary offerings (see below).

Second: If you have a loquat tree that volunteers can harvest for the festival, please let us know your location (and phone number); we’ll make arrangements for the harvest in season.

Third: This year’s festival program includes a session on loquat literature – “O! Loquat!” The program will present short literary offerings (poems, narratives, prose poems) about loquats or prominently featuring the fruit or tree. We’ll use an open mic format on the day of the event. We’re excited about this addition!  Stay tuned, for more on this new addition to the festival. By the way, what rhymes with Loquat (besides Kumquat).

Here is a link to a little story about the event: http://www.ecologyflorida.org/2014/12/loquat-festival-newsletter-4/


Kale is thriving. We will have ample shares for all this week. Our weekly kale harvests are about twice the size as last year – e.g. last year we used one gallon packing bags and this year we are using two gallon bags, and packing them rather densely. We may yet have to go back to the gallon size shares, but for now it looks like everyone can get two-gallon bags.

Kale orders include leaves from all our varieties– Superior, Scarlet, Lacinato, Siberian, Red Russian, Halbhoher Gruner Krauser, and Dwarf Blue. The strongest of the kales is the German Kale (Halbhoher Gruner Krauser), followed by the Superior, and then Lacinato. We have an entire bed of the Halbhoher in the south garden.

Swiss Chard

Like the other winter greens, all varieties of swiss chard are thriving. We’ll have enough for good-sized shares for all who desire. We planted more Gold Silverbeet this week, replacing American Spinach, which was not maturing well. Remember, when preparing swiss chard, remove the central stem, which is too bitter for most palates. The stem can be cooked, but should be prepared separately from the leaves. Here is a good site for information on this fine winter vegetable: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=16 


Thanks to those who are following the broccoli saga. Here is the latest update:

We have 228 seedlings and young and mature plants in the gardens, which reflects no additional plantings this week.

We harvested three heads this week. Many more are coming in, but not yet full. This is very late for us, but it means we’ll likely have heads into May or even June. The late fruiting was due to loss of our first plantings in late summer.

We were initially aiming plant 200 broccolis this year – but may up it to 250. Last year, we had 144.


Arugula continues to thrive. There is enough for full shares for all. Our seedlings will be planted throughout both gardens in the coming week. We donated a pack of 9 cells to Market Off Main for their small garden.

Organic Seeds available at Market Off Main in New Port Richey

Time to Acquire Spring Seeds

Good gardens require good seeds, and Tampa Bay now has access to the highest quality seeds. These are Seed Savers Exchange heirloom, organic seeds. Friendship Farms & Fare has joined other groups committed to sustainability in sponsoring a Seed Savers Exchange seed kiosk in New Port Richey.

Through a cooperative arrangement with Friendship Farms & Fare and Ecology Florida, the Market Off Main, in New Port Richey, now offers a wide range of organic, heirloom, non-GMO seeds exclusively from Seed Savers Exchange. Market Off Main is at the corner of Lincoln and Main, just south of Sims Park in beautiful New Port Richey.

The Market has received its first order of seeds for spring planting. Spring will likely come early this year. Look for beans, eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes – to name a few.

3F Produce for non-shareholders

Non-Members may order shares for $20 per week, or $50 per month. For this amount, contributors may request any and all items they desire from the weekly Share. Although we will assist with transmissions, it is the responsibility of the contributor to make arrangements for pick up of the share.

As always, non-CSA Members may request single items from the share list for $5 per item. A full share for one week (any/all items) is $20, and $50 for one month. Annual shares are recommended, at $300 per year. Five-month shares are $200.

Just reply using the website contact link if you desire anything on the list. We suggest non-shareholders start an account to cover costs of items.

The 3F Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Project

Friendship Farms & Fare operates a unique small-scale (boutique) CSA, involving few participants, and using very basic management techniques. We are 100% organic and use permacultrures principles. Our program is recommended for single persons, couples, or (at most) three-person families. The cost of a share is low by typical CSA standards: $300 per garden year (October through September). This works out to a bit less than $6.00 per week. Donations are also gratefully received, with all donations going to maintenance and improvement of the gardens and groves. 

If you are interested in any topic presented here, contact: friendshipfarmsfare@gmail.com


Visit the Friendship Farms & Fare website for the Weekly Farm Report:


Friendship Farms & Fare is a branch of Ecology Florida, a not-for-profit corporation. Contributions to Friendship Farms & Fare and Ecology Florida are tax deductible. To learn more about Ecology Florida, please visit the website:


If you would like to support our mission and individual projects, you may share donations through our website (above) or at our mailing address:

Ecology Florida

PO Box 596

New Port Richey, FL 34656-0596

Friendship Farms & Fare reaffirms, restores, and advances agrarian ideals to reestablish a sustainable culture

Natural, Economic, Cultural…bringing three ecologies together to regenerate a resilient future for all.

PO Box 596 ● New Port Richey, Florida 34656-0596


Ecology Florida advances the harmonious integration of healthy natural, cultural, and economic ecologies to regenerate a sustainable world

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