Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Wikipedia's Anti-Natural Health Slant

I had no idea how slanted Wikipedia was toward alternative health topics. They are about as unbiased as they come. Read this article and bookmark, use and contribute to the alternative site, please.

Wikipedia’s Anti-Natural Health Slant

Monday, September 6, 2010

Market Gardening Class

UF/IFAS - Sarasota County Extension


Course Title: Market Gardening

Instructor: Robert Kluson, Ph.D., Ag/Natural Resources Extension Agent

Course Description: Market gardening is the commercial production of vegetables, fruits, flowers, and other plants, on a scale larger than a home garden, yet small enough

that many of the principles of gardening can be applied, and is often oriented toward local markets, such as farmers markets. This series of 8 classes will cover different

aspects of the scope, startup and operation of a market garden business.

Class structure:

2.0 hours length

First 0.5 hour = discussion of previous topic

Remaining 1.5 hour = new topic presentation

Class Schedule:

September 22nd (6-8 pm) - Introduction

September 29th (6-8 pm) - Holistic Management

October 6th (6-8 pm) - Business Planning and Marketing

October 13th (6-8 pm) – Production Systems and Planning

October 20th (6-8 pm) - Equipment and Tools; Post-harvest handling

October 27th (6-8 pm) - Food Safety; Regulations

November 3rd (6-8 pm) – Farmers’ Markets

November 17th (6-8 pm) – Financing; Class reports

TBD – Local Market Gardener Onsite Visit


Colonial Oaks Park, 5300 Colonial Oaks Blvd, Sarasota, FL 34232-6844


Online at education calendar on Sarasota Co Extension

website at



$15 (for entire series) – Checks payable to AG/NR Extension Advisory Committee at 1st class. Cash or check only.

Participant Requirements:

Read recommended online resources

Attend classes

Participate in discussions

Share gardening experience

Share readings from online resources

Peruse, if possible, recommended book resources

Participate in class projects at final class, i.e., give an executive summary of your sustainable business plan

Course Online Resources (Required Reading):

Building A Sustainable Business: A Guide to Developing a Business Plan for Farms and Rural Businesses http://www.sare.org/publications/business/business.pdf

Farmers Markets http://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/farmmrkt.html

Market Gardening: A Start Up Guide http://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/marketgardening.html

Sustainable Practices for Vegetable Production in the South (NC State)http://www.ncsu.edu/sustainable/index.html

UF/IFAS/FAMU Small Farm & Alternative Enterprise Programhttp://smallfarms.ifas.ufl.edu/

Book Resources (Available as Loan Library):

Aubrey, S.B. 2010. The Profitable Hobby Farm: How to Build a Sustainable Local Food Business.

Byczynski, L. 2006. Market Farming Success.

Coleman, E. 1988. The New Organic Grower: A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener.

Gibson, E. 1994. Sell What You Sow: The Grower's Guide to Successful Produce Marketing

Hamilton, N. 1999. The Legal Guide For Direct Farm Marketing.

Ikerd, J. 2008. Small Farms are Real Farms: Sustaining People through Agriculture

Jeavons, J. 2006. How to grow more vegetables Than You Ever Thought Possible on Less Land Than You Can Imagine.

Lee, A. 1993. Backyard market gardening : the entrepreneur's guide to selling what you grow.

Macher, R. 1999. Making Your Small Farm Profitable.

Savory, A. Holistic Management.

Seymour, J. 1978. The Self-Sufficient Gardener.

Stephens, J., 1999. Vegetable Gardening in Florida.

Tasch. W. 2008. Slow Money: Investing As If Food, Farms and Fertility Mattered.

Whatley, B.T. 1987. Handbook On How To Make $100,000 Farming 25 Acres.

Other Online Resources:

City Farmer News http://www.cityfarmer.info/

EDIS http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/

Farmers Market Coalition http://farmersmarketcoalition.org/

Florida Association of Community Farmers Marketshttps://sites.google.com/a/facfm.org/facfm/

Growing for Market http://www.growingformarket.com/

Hobby Farms http://www.hobbyfarms.com/default.aspx

Kitchen Gardeners International http://www.kitchengardeners.org/

The New Farm http://www.newfarm.org/

Your Backyard Farmer http://yourbackyardfarmer.com/

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information,

and other services only to individuals and institutions that function without discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability,

sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions, or affiliations. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension

Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A&M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating.