Posts Tagged 'avocados'

Amble to the RAMBLE!

Visit our booth at Fairchild’s 70th annual Ramble. We’ll have our full farmers market display BHF's market boothwith plenty of goodies, such as dandelion, callaloo, arugula, and assorted other greens, salad mix, first harvest local green beans!, head lettuces, squash & zucs & cukes, turnips, bok choy, cherry tomatoes, fennel and assorted herbs, betel leaf and hoja santa, avocados, carambolas, jakfruit, passionfruit, sugarcane and persimmons. Everything is certified organic or pesticide-free, AND locally-grown!

We’ll also have our awesome Antidema Butter, Guava Shells, our Fruits of Summer dried tropical fruit mix, and assorted other goodies.

So, come on out – we won’t be at Pinecrest on Sunday, only at RAMBLE!

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

We’ll be at the 70th Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden Ramble festival this weekend! Come enjoy arts, music, food, shopping, amazing scenery, cooking demos, kids activities, and shop for your organic goodies all in one place.

Fill up on fresh, local, organic veggies, herbs and fruits, our own guava shells (yum), (dried)Fruits of Summer, and, doing a test run, brine pickles & ferments. Pick up some starter plants too (some tomatoes, some veggies, some flowers)-all certified organic! And we’ll have items you’ll see used in some of the demos – allspice and roselle (Jamaican sorrel)

We’ll hold your purchases for you until you’re ready to go home. And, we’re proud to announce that we now take credit & debit (MC,Visa,Discover), and EBT/SNAP benefits! Of course, we do love cash!

Look for our booth in the GreenMarket area. See you there!

PS: If you’re not a Fairchild member, you may think admission is too expensive. It’s worth springing for it, since, once you’re a member, you get in free to ALL their events for an entire year (except for the moonlight tours)

Cornucopia Institute posts Miami Herald article- Bee Heaven owner: Organic farming is good for the foodie — and the land

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via Bee Heaven Owner: Organic farming is good for the foodie — and the land.

After the freezess

We took the row covers off today.  What the bitter wind didn’t burn, the freeze did. We had frost on Monday morning and again, briefly but unexpected,  on Wednesday morning.

Many of the bean plants are fried.

beans, after the freeze

bean rows after the freeze

There are a few beans hanging on, and some flowers, but we’ve lost so much leaf cover that what remains may not recover. We’ll water sparingly to avoid more stress, and see what happens.

Even under cover, the tops of most of the tomato plants froze.
frozen tomato plants

tomato plants after the freeze

We were already harvesting some cherry tomatoes, and most of those fell off the plants. We collected them today, and will bring them to market- time to make Green Tomato Jam! The larger tomatoes are still on the plants, in various stages of sizing up. We’ll see what happens with them.

The brassicas as a whole, as well as the chard and carrots, fared much better. They’re bright and perky, as you can see here. But look closely to the right and the left and you’ll see burnt banana leaves and bronzed guava leaves. The greener trees in the background are avocados, which seem for the most part OK- a little bronzing on some top leaves.

happy carrots after the freeze

After the harvest

 
before and after
before – and – after

The avocado harvest is finished in our grove, though there are still other groves, with later varieties, producing. When the harvest is done, there is one final duty before the trees are ‘put to rest’ until they bloom again in January – topping and hedging.

Trimming the trees allows us to keep them small enough to reach the branches without much more than a picking pole. If we let the trees grow untrammeled, we’d need special picking equipment (so-called ‘cherry pickers’, just like the ‘buckets’ you see utility crews using to get to the high wires). No need for that – the trees bear PLENTY – even better, I think, keeping them no taller than 12′. Another very important benefit of trimming the trees is that it helps hurricane-proof them against all but the aboslute worst tornado-like winds. So, every year, we have this ritual. The guy from the tree-topping service arrives with his machine and goes up and down the rows, first hedging, then topping the trees. But before he can begin, we must move all the chicken tractors out of the way, to a safe location. This means WAAY out of the way – when that big machine goes by, nothing is safe. A small twig thinner than your little finger can be thrown by the blades with such force that it will easily break a car window. We know – it happened one year. WWOOFer Stephanie had her van parked in what we thought was a safe spot, about 50 feet away from the driveway hedge, and a tiny twig of buttonwood smashed into her side window. That taught us proper respect for those machines, which always remind me of a cross between The Chain Saw Massacre and Edward Scissorhands!

topping and hedging the grove

topping and hedging the grove

After the topping and hedging is complete, then next thing is to clean up the mess. This is best done by driving through the entire grove with the bush hog (that’s the BIG mower attachment), grinding up all the cut branches. It needs several passes, and the really big branches need to be taken out of the way. We also need to go up and down each row, pulling out branches that are hung up on the tree or that fell below where the bush hog can’t reach. It’s quite a project, and generally takes 3 or 4 people a good chunk of the day to finish.

Reference:

H & H Caretaking Services
Steve Hoveland
465 NW 18th St
Homestead, FL 33030
305-247-2975
We’ve used these folks for topping our grove since the trees were old enough to get their first trim. They have a small machine which can easily handle tight corners, and an awesome operator who good-naturedly accommodates all our crazy requests (can you go around the papaya? can you leave these two trees a little taller?…)

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