Workday at Fruitful Field Cokesbury 9/13

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Great Workday at our Cokesbury Site on Saturday–lots accomplished before the rain started. The Tomato seedlings were very happy!

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We have Garden Shares for Sale

The Fruitful Field CSA Program from Fruitful Field on Vimeo.

Check out our video and click on the “Garden Shares” tab to sign up.

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Workday this Saturday August 16th

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Can you take the heat??! It’s August and the Sun’s blazing, no doubt about it….. Join us Saturday for our Volunteer Workday and take nature’s extreme challenge at the Parkway site. A mix of projects and the relief of icy lemongrass tea await you. Light lunch of garden food provided (green papaya coconut curry is on the menu!). The garden season is in gear again and needs your help and gritty tenacity

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Preparing our new site in Margate (Cokesbury United Methodist)

B and G working
family garden shot, breaking ground

 

Breaking Ground at Cokesbury!

(post by Eric Gibian- Site Coordinator at The Fruitful Field at Cokesbury)

Saturday August 10th was the big day for breaking ground on the new TFF garden site at Cokesbury UMC.  The plan was to spread a generous amount of composted chicken manure to add fertility, then rototill in the grass.  The goal is to get the tough Florida grass chopped up, roots and all so that it decomposes into the soil adding organic matter and nutrients back to the soils much like farmers do with a cover crop.  The tough little red machine in the pictures got a full workout to say the least.  I’ve done this job on a larger scale before with a 30 horsepower tractor powering a 1000 lb tiller on a much less resilient northern grass.  Basically this walk behind tiller yanked me around like a wild bronco as it struggled with shallow soil depth and ridiculously tough sod-grass.  That being said, we got the job done.  We’ll have to rent the tiller again for at least one more pass in a couple weeks after things have decomposed some, but the hardest part is done.

It was great to have some eager volunteers already at this early stage.  Last week Cubmaster Steve came out and helped us break up and remove the old garden boxes.  This week Phil who serves as a church trustee was on hand helping out.  My boy Gabriel and wonderful wife Bridgett of course have been sweating right along with me here.  Overall I’d say we are off to a decent start.  We have already overcome some obstacles and I can foresee more ahead.  But that’s just life I suppose, definitely life in the garden.

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Now Recruiting Interns for our new grow season

The Fruitful Field

Organic Garden-Farm Intern Program

“At The Fruitful Field we grow people; in the process a lot of vegetables and fruit are produced.”

The Fruitful Field Intern experience:

The Fruitful Field (TFF) Organic Garden-Farm Interns love to see organically-grown vegetables in the hands of those who need them most via our unique ‘Buy-1-Give-1′ Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Shares program: For every share purchased, an equivalent is provided to a needy family or food pantry. As a result, our interns want to design and implement consistent planting & harvest cycles, experience organic growing methods, and become familiar with permaculture concepts as well as contribute to the overall community experience. From planning and planting to nurturing and harvesting, our interns are highly-motivated and detail-oriented, working on our 2 acres of Super Garden Plots located on 6 acres of reclaimed urban land.

Full information

http://www.idealist.org/view/internship/7NBKbmTf8BfP/

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Summer newsletter from the Fruitful Field

Summer Garden News

It’s summer at our sub-tropical garden!  Unlike places up north that doesn’t mean rows and rows of vegetables and mellow healthy sun.  Instead, we have really hot humid veggie-wilting, bug-generating weather tough to work in even when it’s not pouring down rain!

Never fear though, our fruit trees love these conditions!  Visitors and volunteers alike have been sampling Tamarind pods, Barbados cherries, Bananas, Pineapples, Mangos, Mulberries, Passionfruit and Figs. Watermelons and Starfruit are almost ready for harvest. In addition we have gorgeous Swiss chard soldiering on like its Switzerland, a delicious, if unexpected, summer treat.

In our last email update you heard the news about the garden tractor, a bright orange Kubota machine we’ve named “Ferdinand”, after the classic Disney cartoon.  Our Ferdinand likes to smell the flowers and sit in the shade of the fruit trees as well, but we are keeping him super busy, moving mulch and compost and prepping things for a big fall growing season.  He’s a strong addition to our mega-team of volunteers.

Outdoor Learning Kitchen

We have another very exciting announcement: Opening this fall is the Fruitful Kitchen, an outdoor flexible and accessible kitchen built right into the garden.

You guys run a garden, why a kitchen?

Managing 18 community plots and growing over an acre of vegetables and another acre of fruit trees (not to mention all the native trees and shrubs) is teaching us a lot about  growing, harvesting, and giving out fresh local food.  One of the big lessons we have learned is that getting fresh, great food to people is not enough–taste and smell need to be enlisted in the challenge to get all of us eating healthier!  Recipes and recommendations are great, tasting and participating in food preparation are much better!! And it’s great on many different levels, as Michael Pollan states in his book “Cooked”, cooking is “…the most important thing an ordinary person can do to help reform the American food system, to make it healthier and more sustainable.”

Enter an outdoor kitchen with teaching areas that invite participation by adults, children, and those with disabilities.  Such a kitchen brings tomatoes, greens, herbs, and broccoli harvested literally “minutes ago” into a sizzling front-stage spotlight for cooking and sampling.  It provides a space for getting confident with that ‘arroz-con-pollo-like-abuelita-always-made” or that Bean and Squash New Year stew you grew up with in Haiti.  It also brings in a friendly ally to the busy mom trying desperately to get kids interested in vegetables that aren’t deep fried.

In addition the shaded space will allow the Fruitful Field to cook workday volunteer lunches straight from the garden and Parkway Church to cook up tasty healthy meals for the working poor of the neighborhood in an environment that is pleasant and engaging.

Thanks to the Gardening for Good Fund of the Community Foundation of Broward, the start up construction expenses of this kitchen have been funded and we have begun prepping the site with anchor points for counter tops and additional education space. Sinks, cabinets, electrical connections, and cooking necessities will come next.

How you can help:

Time: Our budget covers supplies only and thus far much of our labor has been kindly provided by local guys who have benefited from the generosity of the church and the garden, and provide help between their day labor jobs.  But we could use more help, particularly by those with skills in cement, wood working and plumbing.  If you would like to be part of making this kitchen a reality, emailflavio@thefruitfulfield.org

Donate: Equipment or Funds:  When the kitchen is complete we will need to outfit it with things like heavy duty cookware, 2-3 portable induction burners, high-powered blenders for smoothies and soups and so forth.  If you have these items in excellent condition to donate, or would like to contribute to their purchase, please email Flavio.  Join us in bringing food, education, and community together in an outdoor kitchen!

See you in the garden!

Flavio for the Fruitful Field

 

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