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Contents

VOL. 10 • ISSUE 8

DENNIS CARLTON

NAMED FLORIDA FARMER OF THE YEAR

Page

88

Cover Photo by Stephanie Humphrey

The Redheaded Gardener

Plant City Commons & Community Gardens

Page 10

Page 52

Business Up Front

Page 15

Citrus Harvesting Robots

Page 56

Fishing Hot Spots

Page 18

Voice of Agriculture

Page 60

Rocking Chair Chatter

Page 22

Florida Cattlemen’s Chair ~ Jim Strickland

Page 67

Florida-Friendly Landscaping

Page 24 Dry Creek

Page 26 Home Canning & Solar Cooking Classes

Page 28

Developing a Historical Reflection

Lower Green Swamp Nature Preserve Inspires Local Artist

Page 70

Market Watch - Summer Art Market

Page 74

The Resiliency of Landscapes

Page 80

Page 32

Naturally Amazing: Plastic Bottle Drip Irrigation

Page 84

Florida Long Beans

Page 35

Helping Man’s Best Friend

A Closer Look: No-see-ums

Reestablishing the Fragrant Prickly Apple

Agricultural Zone Tax Classification

Recipes

Tree & Tampa Bay

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Page 85

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Publisher/Photography Karen Berry Senior Managing Editor/ Associate Publisher Sarah Holt Editor-In-Chief Al Berry Editor Pasty Berry June 21 is the official beginning of the summer season. So it’s time to review food safety tips. As you know, spoiled food that causes illness can put a real damper on family gatherings. Thanks to our temps, food borne bacteria can rapidly replicate. It pays to be diligent with food safety. The good news is, these food related illnesses can be easily avoided by following a few tips found on the Florida Department of Agriculture’s web site.

Meat, poultry, fish, and eggs should never be eaten raw. These foods should be maintained in a refrigerator at a temperature below 40 degrees Fahrenheit and cooked thoroughly before eating. A cooking temperature of 160 degrees is advised. When cooking, use a meat thermometer or follow these tips: -- Poultry: Cook it until the meat is white, and don’t eat it if you see blood or pink meat. -- Hamburger: Cook it until there are no traces of pink in the center, or blood in the juices. -- Steaks: Can be safely cooked medium; that’s because harmful bacteria in beef are found on the surface of the steak, not in the interior like in ground meats. -- Fish: Cook until it flakes easily and is no longer translucent in the center. -- Eggs: Cook eggs and egg dishes thoroughly. Don’t even sample anything containing raw eggs such as uncooked dough and cake batter. -- Keep foods cold, below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, or hot, above 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Foods left out between those temperatures for more than two hours should be discarded. -- Keep cooked foods separate from raw foods. Cross-contamination of foods could occur if bacteria-harboring raw food comes in contact with cooked foods. Wash hands, utensils, cutting boards and countertops after preparing or handling raw meats. -- Avoid interrupted cooking. If you are partially cooking foods indoors to finish cooking on the grill, make sure the food goes directly from the oven to the hot grill. Don’t let the food stand partially cooked for any period of time. -- Store leftovers in separate containers and refrigerate. There you have it! Be diligent, be safe, and have enjoyable family gatherings, so that the only thing you take home are the memories – and possibly some delicious leftovers. Oh, and be sure you remember to buy food that is Fresh From Florida every day!

Sarah

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The Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. _ Numbers 6:25

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Office Manager Bob Hughens Sales Manager Danny Crampton Sales Al Berry Tina Richmond Danny Crampton Melissa Nichols Creative Director/Illustrator Juan Alvarez Photography Karen Berry Al Berry Stephanie Humphrey Staff Writers Al Berry Sandy Kaster James Frankowiak Sean Green Ginny Mink Libby Hopkins Contributing Writers Woody Gore Les McDowell

ABC Pizza..................................................91 Affordable Garage Door........................23 Ag Technologies.......................................31 Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers............54 Alan’s Air Conditioning Service...........86 Aquarius Water Refining........................95 Arrowhead Archery.................................37 Astin Strawberry Exchange...................91 Bankers South Group..............................71 Bill’s Transmissions.................................97 Bingham....................................................87 Boots and Buckles..................................57 Brandon Auto Services, Inc...................68 Brandon Regional Hospital...................93 Brewington’s Towing & Recovery..........9 Broke & Poor...........................................42 Cameron Financial Service...................23 Cecil Breeding Farm..............................30 Chad Jones............................................100 Chuck’s Tire & Automotive..................101 Country Village........................................36 Dad’s Towing............................................43

Dr. Barry Gaffney, O.D. PA...............................11 Dr. Pat Almerico.................................................13 Exo Creative......................................................95 Everglades Farm Equipment.........................104 Farm Bureau Insurance-Valrico....................90 Farm Bureau Insurance/Jeff Sumner.............41 Farm Credit......................................................103 Felton’s..................................................................51 Fischbach Land Co........................................100 Florida Cattlemen’sFoundation......................42 Florida Mineral...................................................73 Florida Strawberry Growers Asso................55 Forbes Road Produce........................................14 Fran Haasch.......................................................58 Fred’s Market Restaurant................................23 Gator Ford.........................................................40 Gladstone Land................................................97 Grimes Hardware Center................................78 Grove Equipment Service...............................44 Grove Equipment Service...............................99 Gulf Coast Tractor............................................48 Harold’s Feed & Pet Supply.....................3 & 12 Harvest Meat Market........................................12 Harrell’s Nursery, Inc.......................................91 Haught Funeral Home......................................72 Helena Chemical-Tampa.................................69 Highland Corporation.......................................17 Hillsboro Bank...................................................16 Home Protection Pest Control.........................21 Hydraulic Hose & Cylinder, Inc.......................36 I-4 Power Equipment.......................................59 Jarrett-Scott Ford..............................................2 Johnson’s Barbeque.........................................21 Jon & Rosie’s Tree Farm.................................91 Keel & Curley Winery......................................63 Key Plex..............................................................98 Loetscher Auto Parts.........................................79 Malissa Crawford..............................................54 Mark Smith Excavating....................................91 Mid Florida American Pitt Bull.......................68 Mosaic..................................................................43 Napa.....................................................................14 Nicole Cleaning...................................................13 Pathway BioLogic..............................................77 Patterson Companies.......................................49 Plant City Awning..............................................19 Plant City Homestyle Buffet.............................5 Plant City Tire & Auto....................................91 Platinum Bank..................................................62 Railroad & Industrial Fed Credit Un............40 Savich & Lee Wholesale..........................20-21 Seafood Dive..................................................100 Seedway.............................................................45 Smolker, Bartlett, Schlosser............................45 South Fl Baptist Hospital..................................7 Southside Stores LLC............................29 & 76 Southwestern Produce......................................41 Stephanie Humphrey........................................84 Sweet Life Farms..............................................49 The Southern Barn..........................................73 Timberlane Pet Hospital & Resort.................17 Trinkle,Redman,Swanson,Coton,D................69 Verti-Gro, Inc....................................................68 Walden Lake Car Wash & Service...............91 Waller’s Power Equipment..............................27 Wasabi Japanese Steak House.....................45 Wells Memorial..................................................92 Willie’s.................................................................79 Windfield.............................................................91 Zaxby’s.................................................................34 WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


Cool the Heartburn

Terry P., a real patient of South Florida Baptist Hospital

Robotic surgery speeds recovery. Terry lived with the pain of a hiatal hernia for 24 years. After his robotic surgery at South Florida Baptist Hospital, he no longer needed pain medication and returned to eating and sleeping normally.

General Surgery ■ C.R. Hall, MD ■ Stephen M. Butler, MD

“ I didn’t realize how sick I was until after the surgery. I feel like I’m 20 years old again.” ■ 40% of Americans suffer three to four episodes of heartburn a week. ■ Medications can help, but some can increase your risk of bone fractures,

intestinal infection and pneumonia. ■ Studies show most patients find relief for 10 years or more after robotic surgery. Minimally invasive robotic surgery at South Florida Baptist Hospital provides patients with less scarring, faster recovery, shorter hospital stays and reduced pain. Our robotic surgeons are highly experienced in performing even the most delicate procedures for esophageal concerns.

To see Terry’s story, visit SouthFloridaBaptist.org/Robotics.

For a physician referral: (813) 443-3073 WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM BC1401905-0414

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100 South Mulrennan Road • Valrico, FL 33594 • 813-685-9121 100 South Mulrennan Road • Valrico, FL 33594 • 813-685-9121

Dear Readers:

MAY WAS A BUSY FARM A BUSY TIME FOR YOUR BUREAU MONTH A BUSY TIME FOR YOUR FARM BUREAU

As many of you know, Hillsborough County Readers: FarmDear Bureau is also known as “The Voice of Dear Readers: Agriculture” here in our county. As regarded in this Icapacity we are committed sharing am both humbled and honored to to have beennews I am both humbled and honored to have been and elected information about our industry with counpresident of YOUR Hillsborough County elected president of YOUR Hillsborough County ty residents and others that need to know about Farm Bureau. All of us owe a debt of gratitude to Farm Bureau. Allagriculture. Last of us owe a debt gratitude to the importance of month was outgoing president Danny Aprile forofhis years of outgoing president Danny Aprile for his years of a particularly busy one for many of our board service to our organization. I promise to do my service to our organization. doforth. my the members volunteers whoI promise help ustospread best toand continue the momentum he carried best to personal continue the momentum carried word. My thanks to allheof theseforth. good people for their time and commitment to As a sixth generation Florida farmer, I know theour Asactivities. a sixth generation Florida farmer, Iofknow the varied I hope you take the read many challenges and opportunities alltime us to have many challenges and opportunities all of us have the article about the different ways we had our in the agriculture industry and that is an industry in the agriculture industry and that is an industry voices heard this past May in this edition of that is global. Our major challenge is to continueIN is global. challenge is to continue THEtothat FIELD. produce the Our foodmajor our growing population must to produce thelands food devoted our growing population must have while the to farming continue

while the to farming continue Onetohave ofdiminish. those activities tookisplace inmarket WashingThelands gooddevoted thing that the to diminish. The good thing is that the market ton, for D.C. in a Florida Farm Bureau program our products continues to expand. Our task for our products continues to expand. Our task called “Field to the Hill.” Annually, county Farm is to effectively meet those dual challenges while is to effectively meet those dual challenges while Bureau board and staff members visit our conprotecting our precious environment. I am confident protecting our precious environment. I am confident gressional representatives in the nation’s capital we are up to that task and I look forward to helping weallare to part that task and I look helping to remind them of to our importance to to our reus doup our assure that weforward do so. us allcounties, do our partthe to assure do so. These spective state that andwenation.  elected officials important roleofficers with reLet me also tellplay you an about the other new Let also tell you about the other new officers gardelected to me legislative action that has an impact on by your board last month. They are: elected by your board last month. They are: agriculture. But, as we all know, out of sight can Vice President Will Womack, Treasurer Ray Wood, Vice Womack, Treasurer Ray afford Wood, mean outPresident of Michelle mindWill and we simply cannot Secretary Williamson and Member-AtSecretary Michelle Williamson and Member-Atto have that happen. Field to the Hill is one Large Bill Burnette. My thanks to each of themway and Large Bill for Burnette. My thanksto toserve. each ofhave themour and to make sure that our elected officials our board their willingness ourand board forbacks their willingness to to serve. thanks our as we look the future. As I am sure all of you have come to realize

As I am time sure all of you have come to realize Ourvacation representatives inWethat program this is over. are particularly busy year at vacation time is over. We are particularly busy at wereFarm board member Michelle Williamson and Bureau. This month we are completing the Farm Bureau. This month we are completing the Judithird Whitson, our executive director. In addiof our legislative tours during which we take third ofand ourappointed legislative tours during which take tion elected to having my sincere thanks for their officials to several ofwe ourtime elected and businesses appointed officials to several of our and agricultural participation in thein program, I also want to this areas so they can see agricultural businesses in this areas so they can see shareagriculture news of atsomething we will be doing in the work, some of the best management agriculture athave work, the place best management nextpractices several that months tosome fill ainto void that has been been putof and learn of practices that have into place learn of identified.  That has been to doputwith basicand informa-

FARM BUREAU tion revolving around some important issues our industry is facing. Specifically, labor and immigration and the higher profile genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) are having these days. The next several editions of IN THE FIELD are going to review these issuespartners and present the challenges our local industry face as inforthe challenges our local industry partners face as mation that we feel has either been ignored or they strive to produce the high quality products they strive to produce the high quality products not generally made available. At the same time, our markets demand. Those tours are hard work markets demand. Those tours are hard work and Iour would encourage you to raise questions and represent many hours of support from our and represent many hours of support from our concerns you may have about any aspects of industry colleagues. We thank them and those industry colleagues. We thank them and those agriculture, especially those that apply here in legislators and regulators who take the time to legislators and regulators who take the time to Hillsborough County. learn first hand about agriculture in our area and learnand firstwhy hand in our area and how weabout need agriculture their ongoing awareness, how and why we need their ongoing awareness, Share those with us via email hcfb@tampabay. help and support. help andor support. rr.com by phone: 813/685-9121, and we will

respond in the next edition of INfor THE FIELD. There’s more. Ag-Venture, our program bringing There’s more. Ag-Venture, our program for bringing Should you wish to have one of our board the story of agriculture to children through school memthe story agriculture towe children through schoollet us bers or isof volunteers speak toagain your activities, going on and will begroup, particiactivities, is going on and we will again be particiknow that, too. pating in Farm City Days through which we bring pating Farm City Days through which weinbring the storyinof agriculture to our friends living the story of agriculture to our friends living in have to As always, please remember you don’t Tampa. Tampa. be a farmer or rancher to be a member of Farm

Bureau. In are addition to supporting imporLastly, if you not a member of our Farmour Bureau Lastly, if you are not a member of our Farm Bureau tant industry and helping to assure its future, family, please join us. It isn’t necessary that you be a family, please join us. It isn’t necessary that you be a Farm Bureau membership for your family brings farmer or rancher to join. Please visit farmer or rancher to join. Please visit its own rewards. If you haven’t checked out the http:// hcfarmbureau.org or call 813/685-9121 for http:// hcfarmbureau.org or call 813/685-9121 for benefits of belonging to Farm Bureau, please more information. more information. do. The modest fee associated with family membership in IFarm Bureautoisbeayour great deal.  To Once again, am honored president andlearn Once again, I am honored to be your president and more about Farm Bureau, please visit: http:// my very best to you and your family. my very best to you and family. hcfarmbureau.org or your call 813/685-9121 for more information.

Sincerely, Thank you, Thank you,

Kenneth Kenneth

Kenneth Parker - President Kenneth Parker - President

Board of Directors

Board of Directors Kenneth Parker, President; Will Womack, Vice-President; Ray Wood, Treasure; Michelle Williamson, Secretary; Kenneth Parker, President; Will Womack, Vice-President; Ray Wood, Michelle Secretary; Member-at-large; Bill Burnette; Board members: Roy Davis, DavidTreasure; Drawdy, Jim Dyer,Williamson, Jim Frankowiak, Bill Burnette; Board members: Roy Davis, DavidJake Drawdy, Jim Marty Dyer, Jim Frankowiak, GlennMember-at-large; Harrell, Chip Hinton, John Joyner, Greg Lehman, Erin Nesmith, Raburn, Tanner, James Tew, Glenn Harrell, Chip Hinton, John Joyner, Lehman, Erin Nesmith, Jake Raburn, Marty Tanner, James Tew, RonGreg Wetherington, and Ray Wood, Ron and Ray Wood, Judi Wetherington, Whitson, Executive Director Judi Whitson, Executive Director 8 88 8

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Porch Time

By Shannon P. Mitchell, The Redheaded Gardener

Is your porch a sunny porch, a shady porch or a screened porch? Is it a stoop, a stepped entryway or an arbor-covered portico? Here in the Deep South we have all manner of entry ways into our abodes and if you are a gardener it can be one more place to decorate with your personal gardening style. Some of my readers this month asked me for some tried and true suggestions for dressing up your porch with plants. Like anything else in life there can be several approaches. It depends a bit on your taste, your climate, your amount of light, your access to water and the form of the vessels or containers you choose. It could also depend on your foundation plantings –those are the more permanent plants you might choose for landscaping around the base of your house and entries. Do you have a more formal personality that likes symmetry? Or perhaps you prefer blended scenes of riotous color or contrast. Maybe you’d like something that seems like nature planted it there without the aid of human intervention. Even a monochrome theme can stand out against your home background if you stick with varying shades of the same color plants or blooms. All are 10

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valid approaches. With some simple tips, you can’t really go wrong with any of these choices. Today, I’ll concentrate on some basics for container gardens around your porch area. If you are dressing up your entryway with containers there are three words you should remember - Thrillers, Fillers and Spillers. What do these terms mean? Well, I’ll get to that in a moment. First, choose your containers. Try to build a theme with your choices. Do you like the all-natural look of clay pottery in that burnt orange color that is standard or would you rather have a mixture of colored pottery in rich jewel glazes? Do the pots contrast or blend with your backdrop? Do you need a pop of bright colors or something more subtle in earth tones? If you choose a monochrome theme, try to vary the shades of your pots closely. If you choose complimentary or contrasting colors, vary the quantity enough so that you can lead the eye through your arrangement. Consider choosing pots of varying heights, sizes or varying textures and shapes to create interest and to draw the eye across an area or to accent a door on both sides. Make sure your pots have holes in the bottom for draining and if staining is a considerWWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


ation on your flooring, tile or wood purchase matching saucers to catch draining water. Second choose a good potting mix. You can mix your own, but if your time is limited and you’re low on patience, I find it’s just as easy to purchase pre-mixed bags that have been formulated for containers. You’ll want a potting mix that retains moisture, contains time release fertilizer/nutrients and drains well between waterings. There are also special mixes you can buy for cactus, succulent or orchid containers if you so choose. This takes the guess work out of picking the right soil mix for your plant choices. Just keep in mind that container plantings require more watering to maintain. Here are a few ratios for mixing your own provided by the University of Florida’s extension website, http://solutionsforyourlife.ufl.edu/hot_topics/ lawn_and_garden/homemade_potting_mix.html. Once you begin experimenting with your own blends, try small test batches to evaluate the mix’s quality. See the recipes below to get started making your own potting mixes. I always add 1 part time release fertilizer, like Osmocote®. Foliage Plants 2 parts peat; 1 part perlite; 1 part coarse sand OR 1 part peat; 1 part pine bark; 1 part coarse sand Succulents 2 parts soil; 1 part peat moss; 1 part perlite; 1 part coarse sand Bromeliads 1 part peat; 1 part bark; 1 part coarse sand Now, here’s the Thriller, Filler and Spiller formula for spectacular combination container plantings. It’s simple really. When choosing your plants for your containers, choose a Thriller plant. A Thriller plant usually provides a backdrop and height, unusual texture and/or color to the container planting. They are dramatic and eye-catching and typically planted in the back of the container. Examples for sun might be Purple Fountain Grass, Dracena, Crotons and Canna Lilies. Persian Shield, Upright Ferns, Caladiums and Cane Begonias are good options for shade. For succulents a good Thriller choice might be an Aloe, Agave or Yucca. Bromeliads or Orchids also come in a variety of taller growing options as well. Next choose a Filler plant. This is a medium height plant that is full in nature and is used to fill the middle space of your container arrangement visually. Typically you will want it to be a bit more of a neutral and uniform in color. Something that will contrast or complement your Thriller. Choices for sun might be Coleus, Basil, Fushia, Perilla, Geraniums or Sunpatiens. Shade choices could be Ferns, Geraniums, Fancy Leaf or smaller variety Caladiums or Impatiens. For succulents there are Crassulas, Echeverrias and Kalanchoes of varying shapes and forms. Lastly choose a Spiller plant to fill, spill and trail over the front and sides of your container. They should lie mostly prostrate and drape to draw the eye down the container for added texture. Color choices should again either contrast or complement your filler background. Examples of plant choices for sun Spillers are Lantana, Prostrate Junipers, Weeping Grasses, Sweet Potato Vine, Lobelia and Creeping Jenny. Shade Spillers might be Ivy, Trailing Ferns, Silver Licorice Plant and Mint or Thyme. For succulents there are Donkey’s Tail, Sedums and String of Pearls. If you want symmetry, simple replicate the same combinations of plants in each pot and align equally around your door frame. If you want riotous random displays, vary your combinations from pot to pot and arrange to suit your eye on your porches and entry ways. Remember to water more frequently to maintain your display and blooms and trim/deadhead as needed if they begin to grow beyond their containers. Use this simple formula and I guarantee you’ll be a crack container gardener in no time. Happy potting! WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM

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Harvest Meat Market Business Up Front

By Melissa Nichols

Ed and Anita Kirkland had a vision that they could provide quality meat to their community at a fraction of the cost of the major chain stores, and that is exactly what they have been doing for three years now. With the feeling of the neighborhood market, when you walk through the doors of one of Harvest Meat Markets three locations, you may be a stranger, but when you leave, you will be a member of the Harvest family. Ed, a former state FFA officer, has been involved in agriculture his entire life. He knows the benefit in having quality fresh meat available and that is exactly what he offers. Harvest Meat Market has a location in Auburndale at 1095 Berkley Rd, Kathleen, 4441 Old Kathleen Rd and 1105 Waynesville Ave in Lakeland. All the locations are open Monday to Saturday 8am to 8pm. With fresh meat cut daily, Harvest offers a full line of pork, heavy western beef, chicken, lunchmeats, local varieties of sausage, breakfast meat, fresh produce and frozen vegetables. They also have a full line of seasonings, canned goods, breads and your general grocery needs. Harvest Meat is a one stop shop. They offer monthly freezer pack specials as WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM

well as in store specials. You are guaranteed to be happy with your purchase or your money back. That is right, if you are unhappy with the quality of the meat you purchase you can return it within 14 days with receipt and get your money back. In order to offer such a guarantee Harvest Meat Market has to offer the very best quality available. Harvest Meat Markets prices are amazing. You will be able to see the savings immediately upon shopping at Harvest Meat. Many of the items are buy one get one free. I save hundreds of dollars a month by purchasing my meat from Harvest Meat Market. My family has quickly become a fan of not only the meat but also the amazing fresh and frozen vegetables. I not only save money but I save time by buying in bulk and not waiting in long lines. My trips are usually a cart full of meat for under a hundred dollars and that will last us almost a month. Save money and save time while supporting a business that believes in the future of agriculture and supports the local FFA programs. Check Harvest Meat Market out online at www.harvestbeef.com and on Facebook. Stop by today you will be happy you did! INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

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Charlie with a healthy snook he pulled off the flats while fishing upper Tampa Bay with Captain Woody Gore.

Tampa Bay Fishing Report JUNE 2014 June is a great month to catch fish, but you might want to plan a night trip or you can figure on paying the price that comes with summertime fishing. This price is a simple thing called HEAT and SUNBURN. Everything will be eating this month, so plan your trips now and take advantage of some great summertime fishing. Develop a Night Fishing Plan: To escape the sweltering summertime heat, as well as recreational boaters and jet skiers, anglers often prowl the coolness of night looking for some great fishing spots. Night fishing is attractive to many anglers because it can be loads of fun. If you think this is something you’re interested in, then hook up the boat and hit the water for something a little different. Night fishing often presents an opportunity to catch the fish of a lifetime while enjoying some peaceful, comfortable time on the water. Like most wildlife, fish become increasingly nocturnal, especially during the summer. This means those trophy size beauties that lay dormant on deep structure during the day, can be found prowling the shallows after the sun goes down. Our bay, canals, rivers and creeks are saturated with docks, and many with lights. So, why not take advantage of this “fish in a barrel” scenario and use it to your advantage. If you’re planning on fishing at night, hopefully you don’t go unprepared. Plan your attack, and learn the area you intend to fish. Put together a fishing plan by identifying the important 18 18

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things you should know before it gets dark, like shallow areas and unlighted obstructions. Since nighttime is normally the soundless part of the day, you must be “Quiet.” Fish holding around docks tend to accustom themselves to the noiselessness, but any unusual, loud or sudden sound can send them darting away. Veteran anglers drift, pole or use a trolling motor (on low) to approach casting distance, making certain they never crowd their target. As you approach the target, study the water, the layout, and lighted areas looking for shadows. Look carefully and you’ll often see the fish darting in and out feeding on passing baits. Here’s where patience pays off, wait and watch for a few minutes as it gives you time to identify their feeding pattern. This can make or break a spot, as proper bait and lure presentation is vital. When using artificial’s present them from the same direction as the current. Active currents bring food to waiting fish, so it only makes sense that your lure should come from the same direction. Cast your lure up current into the shadows, twitching it through the light line into the light and hold onto your rod and reel. SNOOK (Season Closed May 1, 2014) Snook fishing in the summer is almost a given. Practically every angler is looking to catch them and given the amount of fishing pressure, especially during weekends, it is a wonder they bite at all. Practically any mangrove shoreline holds WWW. WWW.IIN NTTHE HEFFIELD IELDM MAGAZINE.COM AGAZINE.COM


Mike with a 34” Tampa Bay bruiser redfish caught while he fished the upper bay area with Captain Woody Gore. One of several fish caught on cut bait.

snook, provided there is bait and structure. Terrific ambush feeders, Snook love lying in wait along shady mangrove root systems. Rocky shores and adjacent sand bars are also good places to investigate. Early morning flats produce well using topwater lures, but remember live greenbacks and cut bait also produces. REDFISH June produces some good redfish days around the grass flats and mangroves. Heavy pushes and mullet schools are key factors in finding moving or feeding redfish. Finding redfish means covering plenty of water, but once located they do not venture far if food is present. Keep in mind as long as there is food there are fish. Live greenbacks and dollar-size pinfish work and are good choices. Do not forget the old standby… live shrimp and cut bait. SPOTTED SEA TROUT Trout fishing remains strong through the summer. Search out deep grass flats looking for grass beds with plenty of clean moving water and broken bottom or potholes. Tampa Bay offers good fishing areas using live shrimp and greenbacks free lined or under popping corks. The many broken-bottom flats with potholes are producing larger fish and an occasional flounder.

and they are hungry, from the beach to the Bay, these fish offer the catch of a lifetime. Large Greenbacks, Threadfins, and crabs, found abundantly in the bay, are excellent choices for bait. Tarpon fishing around the Tampa area is good through the summer from the beaches all the way to the causeway. MACKEREL, BLUEFISH, JACKS, AND LADYFISH offer diversity during the summer and continue to be strong on moving tides. Fishing around structure or fish attractors are good starting places. Or just look for schooling threadfins and you’ll find the fish. “Give Me a Call & Let’s Go Fishing” – 813-477-3814 Captain Woody Gore is the area’s top outdoor fishing guide. Guiding and fishing the Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Tarpon Springs, Bradenton, and Sarasota areas for over fifty years, he offers world class fishing adventures and a lifetime of memories. Single or Multi-boat Group Charters are all the same. With years of organizational experience and access to the areas most experienced captains, Woody can arrange and coordinate any outing or tournament. Just tell him what you need and it’s done.

Visit his website at: WWW.CAPTAINWOODYGORE.COM send an email to wgore@ix.netcom.com

or give him a call at 813-477-3814

We’re also catching plenty of silver trout, some topping the scale at a pound and a half to two pounds. These are great eating and awesome fun for the kids to catch. COBIA Markers and sandy flats are good places for Cobia. They frequent markers, especially those holding bait, and cruise the flats, usually following large rays. TARPON Tarpon fishing really comes alive in June. They are everywhere WWW. WWW.IIN NTTHE HEFFIELD IELDM MAGAZINE.COM AGAZINE.COM

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25% AIR!

Apples float in water because they are 25% air. Orangutans love mangoes. Tomatoes are a fruit not a vegetable. Tomatoes are the most popular fruit in the world. Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief. Dark green vegetables include more vitamin C than light green color vegetables. Because bananas are easy to digest and are very nutritious they are the first fruit offered to babies. An apple tree can produce up to 400 apples a year. According to the Dead Sea scrolls cherry seeds have satanic power. Kiwi contains twice as much Vitamin C as an orange. Oranges contain antioxidants that help fight the free radicals that damage and age our skin. Eating more fruits and vegetables could significantly reduce the risk of many. chronic diseases, high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease and some cancers. In the 19th century British sailors ate limes to prevent Scurvy. Unlike bananas grapes can no longer ripen once picked. You can speed up the ripening of a pineapple by standing it upside down (on the leafy end). The cabbage encloses nearly as much water as watermelon. Watermelon contains 92% water where cabbage is 90% and carrots are 87%.

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Dumb Questions Recently I have had some rather dumb questions asked of me when ordering food at the local fast-food restaurants. Sometimes I think the clerk is on auto mode, and really doesn’t hear what I am saying.

not to each other. So sad! You wait, one of these days a popular food chain will get tons of publicity when they announce cell phones are illegal when dining.

For instance, I went into a local fast food restaurant on Jim Redman Parkway to treat myself to an afternoon ice cream cone. I said, “I would like a small cone of chocolate ice cream.” She replied, “Do you want to eat here or do you want it to go?” “Well,” I said, “I’ll take a bite or two of it as I walk out the door and finish it in my car!”

A group of 40-year-old buddies discuss where they should go for dinner. Finally it is agreed that they should meet at a popular restaurant because the waitresses there have low cut blouses and nice figures. Ten years later, at 50 years of age, the guys once again discuss where they should dine. Finally it is agreed that they should meet at the same restaurant because the food there is very good and the wine selection is excellent. Ten years later at 60 years of age, the guys once again discuss where they should dine. Finally it is agreed that they should meet at their same popular restaurant because they can eat there in peace and quiet and the restaurant is smoke free. Ten years later, at 70 years of age, the guys once again discuss where they should dine. Finally it is agreed that they should meet at the same restaurant because the restaurant is wheel chair accessible and they even have an elevator. Ten years later, at 80 years of age, the guys once again discuss where they should dine. Finally it is agreed that they should meet at the same restaurant again because they have never been there before.

There’s an Amish store/gas station in Blairsville with a sign out front that reads, “Eat here, and get gas.” While traveling on I-75 Patsy said she was getting hungry, so we pulled into a drive-through. “Is that for here or to go?” She asked. “Well, since I’m in at the drive-thorough I think I’ll have the order to go.” The one time that I still shake my head about is the when I ordered some chicken nuggets. I saw on the menu I could order 6, 9 or 12, so I asked the teenage clerk for a half dozen nuggets. “We don’t have half dozen nuggets,” She answered. “You don’t?” I replied. She said, “We only have six, nine, or twelve.” “So I can’t order a half dozen nuggets, but I can order six?” “That’s right.” “O.K., In that case I’ll order six!” One, time while on the road, I went through a drive-thru and ordered two cups of coffee, one with cream and sugar and the other one black. “Which one do you want the cream and sugar in?” she asked. I thought for a moment, and said, “put the cream and sugar in the one on your right.” Over the years I have remembered numerous restaurant signs. “Hot drinks to take out or sit in.” “Open seven days a week. Closed Sundays.” “Three out of four people make up 75% of our population.” “Things I don’t have: Muffins, 16 ounce cups and a girlfriend.” “Boneless Bananas.” At a Dry cleaners in Tampa, “Drop your trousers here for best results.” Tailor shop in Orlando, “Ladies may have a fit upstairs.” On a loan company window, “Now you can borrow enough money to get completely out of debt.” I have noticed a lot of talking going on at restaurants these days. The next time you go out to eat just look around at all the people talking. Yes, talking on their cell phones and

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Speaking of old timers, three of them were chatting at a restaurant. They sat down at a table while waiting to be served. One of them said, “Hey Jake! Isn’t this your 50th anniversary?” Jake replies, “Yep.” “Well,” the old timer asked, “what are you planning on doing?” Jake replies, “Well, I remember taking my wife to Arizona on our 25th anniversary?” The other old timer asked, “Oh ya, so what are your plans for your 50th anniversary?” Jake replies, “I’m going back to pick her up!” One of my favorite places to eat in Plant City is Johnson’s Bar-B-Que at the Farmers Market. I asked, Owen, son of Fred Johnson, who runs the restaurant, if he remembers anything funny that has happened during his noon rush hour! Owen laughed, and said, “Recently a member of a local business was leaving, and management decided to throw him a farewell luncheon. They made reservations for 30 people. On the day of the event the place was crowded, but we seated them immediately. People who had been lining up for a table seemed unhappy, and we thought we heard some disgruntled comments. Our suspicions were soon confirmed. In a couple of minutes a waitress announced over the speaker: ‘Starving --party of four.’” WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


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Florida-Friendly LandscapingTM Shrubs: Large and Flowering By LYNN BARBER, FLORIDA-FRIENDLY LANDSCAPINGTM AGENT

Some large shrubs are also considered smaller trees. This article contains eight flowering shrubs that thrive in north, central and south Florida. These are some of my favorites and I’ll tell you why. Pineapple guava, Feijoa – Acca sellowiana – This plant can reach a height and spread of 8-15 feet. It prefers slightly acid to slightly alkaline soil pH, 6.0-7.2, performs best in sandy clay soil and well drained soil moisture. It has high drought and low to no salt tolerance. Full sun is preferred and partial sun/shade works also. Red/ white spring flowers precede the fruits. The flowers are edible and very tasty. Pineapple guava provides food, cover and nesting for wildlife. Sweet almond bush – Aloysia virgata – This shrub/tree can reach a height and spread of 6-12 feet. It tolerates any soil pH from 4.58.0. Any soil texture is acceptable, from clay loam to sandy loam, from sandy to sandy clay. Sweet almond bush performs best in medium drained soil moisture. It has high drought tolerance and prefers full sun. This is an evergreen shrub that produces white, fragrant summer through fall flowers. It is so beautiful, we have two at our office and I have two at home. Pollinators love this plant. Yesterday-today-and-tomorrow – Brunfelsia grandiflora – This plant can reach a height of 7-10 feet and spread of 5-8 feet. It prefers slightly acid to slightly alkaline soil pH, 6.0-7.2. Any soil texture is acceptable, from clay loam to sandy loam, from sandy to sandy clay. Soil moisture should be well drained. It has medium drought and low to no salt tolerance. Full sun is preferred and partial sun/shade and full shade are acceptable. This shrub produces white/lavender/purple flowers from spring through fall. 24

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Beautyberry - Callicarpa americana – This shrub can reach a height and spread of 6-8 feet. It prefers soil pH that is acid to slightly alkaline, 4.5-7.2. Any soil texture is acceptable, from clay loam to sandy loam, from sandy to sandy clay. Soil moisture should be well drained. It has high drought and low to no salt tolerance. Partial sun/shade is best and full shade is acceptable. This shrub produces purple/light purple flowers from spring through fall. The fruits provide food for wildlife in late winter. It is deciduous. Bottlebrush - Callistemon spp. - This shrub can reach a height of 6-30 feet and spread of 6-15 feet. It prefers soil pH that is slightly acid to slightly alkaline, 6.0-7.2. Sandy loam soil texture is best. Soil moisture should be well drained. It has high drought and medium salt tolerance. Full sun is best and partial sun/shade is acceptable. This shrub produces red flowers from spring through summer. Bottlebrush has medium to low wind resistance. It attracts beneficial insects and birds. Yaupon holly - Ilex vomitoria and cvs. - This shrub can reach a height of 15-30 feet and spread of 6-20 feet. It prefers soil pH that is acid to slightly alkaline, 4.5-7.2. Any soil texture is acceptable, from clay loam to sandy loam, from sandy to sandy clay. Soil moisture can be well drained to wet. It has high drought and salt tolerance. Partial sun/shade is best and full sun is acceptable. This shrub produces white flowers from spring through summer. The red fruits provide food for wildlife in late fall-winter. Yaupon holly attracts butterflies and birds. It has high wind resistance, but is flammable, so in wildfire prone areas plant a minimum of 30 feet from buildings.

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Walter’s viburnum - Viburnum obovatum and cvs. - This shrub can reach a height of 8-25 feet and spread of 6-10 feet. It tolerates any soil pH, from 4.5-8.0. Any soil texture is acceptable, from clay loam to sandy loam, from sandy to sandy clay. Soil moisture should be well drained. It has high drought and low to no salt tolerance. Partial sun/shade is best, while full shade and full sun are acceptable. This shrub produces white flowers from winter through spring. Small black fruits provide food for wildlife (birds) and nesting cover. Chaste tree – Vitex agnus-castus - This shrub can reach a height of 10-20 feet and spread of 15-20 feet. It prefers soil pH that is slightly acid to slightly alkaline, 6.0-7.2. Any soil texture is acceptable, from clay loam to sandy loam, from sandy to sandy clay. Soil moisture should be well drained. It has high drought and medium salt tolerance. Full sun is best and partial sun/shade and full shade are acceptable. This shrub produces purple/light purple summer flowers which provide food for wildlife (butterflies and hummingbirds). It is a deciduous, multi-stemmed shrub. The information in this article is from The Florida-Friendly LandscapingTM Guide to Plant Selection & Landscape Design which you can view at: https://fyn.ifas.ufl. edu/pdf/FYN_Plant_Selection_Guide_ v090110.pdf. For more information about the nine principles of the Florida-Friendly LandscapingTM Program or for assistance with gardening related questions, contact your local county UF/IFAS Extension and/ or visit the University of Florida websites: http://solutionsforyourlife.com/ and http:// edis.ifas.ufl.edu.

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America’s First Frontier

By Les McDowell

Photos by Linda Constant

Summer Time at Dry Creek

As I set in the air conditioning at the Rock’n M Ranch where we film Dry Creek I have to wonder. Dry Creek takes place in 1882 and I wonder how the old timers got past the summers in Early Florida. Heck at the set of Dry Creek where we try to recreate that time we’ve got it made. We try to be done by 12 noon with horses off the dusty streets, folks out of costume from that era with long skirts, long sleeve shirts, tall boots and layers of clothing. Then if need be we wait for the afternoon thunder boomers to come through. Then try and get another scene or two in after Mother Nature has cooled things off a bit. Ok, I admit we are in no way as tough as those early Florida folk. They went on and pushed through the heat. Dealt with it, by building summer kitchens away from the main house, opened windows and had to keep turning their pillows to the cool side. Women got up way before dawn to cook and would try to cook enough for the whole day. Now to defend the folks from 2014 I have a half way defense that any 1st term law student could tear apart. Ok here goes, ladies and gentleman of the jury, our heat in 2014 is so much greater than what the folks in Dry Creek’s 1882 early Florida lived through. Look at all the concrete buildings and paved roads. Imagine all the heat that is radiated off of them. The tall buildings block the breeze that blew through early Florida. Ok, I rest my case because really I’m out of defense ideas. The truth is those early Florida pioneers where as tough as a boot full of barbed wire. As the creator of Dry Creek I have really been able to talk to folks from here that retold stories handed down through their families, of the hardships they went through and how they dealt with the elements such as heat. 26

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This season on Dry Creek I feel it’s an honor to help bring some of those stories back to life. Show how the pioneers help to get past the heat. The little things like a cool drink of sweet well water, kids using Palmetto branches to ride on and slide down the creek and riverbanks into the cool water. You could feel the breeze blowing as you leaned up against an oak tree. That was way before the tall buildings blocked the breeze. Well, I guess I’d better get back to Dry Creek and get to work before it gets too hot. This year I’ve made it a point to enjoy the summer. Make do and get though it like those early Florida folk did. Spend more time out under a shade tree or under the porch in my swing. Go to the swimming hole and dry out in the shade of a big old oak tree. I won’t be hard to find here at Dry Creek. Everybody knows where Dry Creek is...”it’s inside each and everyone of us.” WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


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EXTENSION OFFERS HOME CANNING & SOLAR COOKING CLASSES

Helping County Residents Prepare for Hurricane Season By Jim Frankowiak

To help county residents prepare for the hurricane season and the potential of power outages or other weather-related emergencies, Hillsborough County Extension, a cooperative service of Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners and the University of Florida, is offering a series of home canning and solar cooking classes. “Our home canning classes will show attendees how to preserve meats and seafood safely at home,” said Extension Agent Mary Keith, who will lead the classes. “Whether you raise or catch your own or buy from someone else, you can preserve these foods at their peak of freshness to enjoy later.”

Extension is also offering a series of Making and Using Solar Cookers classes. “These classes are particularly advantageous for resident who want to have hot meals even with the power off or during other emergencies,” said Keith. “We will teach participants how to use the sun to cook their food and reduce energy costs. Additionally with some supplies and a little cutting, attendees will coning struct their own functioning solar cooker. Keith Home Cann said several solar cookers, both commercial Guide 5 ng ni d Can and homemade, will be on display and used Preparing an eats, and M during the workshop. Poultr y, Red de to

Complete Gui

Seafoods

Separate canning classes cover making jam and canning fruit while another class is devoted to canning meat and poultry. Both sessions cover equipment needed for canning, the types available, pros and cons of various canners and proper use of a pressure canner. “We also will review if and how a recipe may be changed safely,” said Keith. The jam/fruit class is a three-hour session, while the meat and poultry class is four hours. “The longer class will show canning beef and chicken,” said Keith. “Since meat takes longer to process we will also prepare and sample a dish made with previously canned beef. The registration for either of the classes is $10 per household of up to two people. “We offer free testing of pressure canners or gauges,” said Keith. “Those attending the class will leave for home ready to start canning.” The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Canning Guide will also be available for purchase at $15 per copy. “Whether purchased from Extension, online or elsewhere, please be certain to the guide you buy is the USDA version. There are similar guides available, but they do not contain important information regarding the latest in safety recommendations and procedures to follow,” Keith noted. 28 28

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“The sun will cook a meal while we’re working, so all in the class can see and taste a solar-prepared meal before they leave.” The class will include basic recipes and instructions. Class registration is $10 and requires the following supplies: metal pot with lid, foam cooler or boxes to hold the port, duct tape or package tape, heavy duty aluminum foil and a knife or box cutter. A detailed list of needed materials will be sent to participants upon registration completion. Solar cooking classes and all canning classes will be held at Hillsborough County Extension, 5339 County Road, Seffner, FL 33584. On-line registration is available and includes workshop dates. For canning classes: http:// hillsborough.ifas.ufl.edu/nutrition/canning.shtml. The on-line address for the solar sessions is http://hillsborough.ifas.ufl.edu/nutrition/solar_cookers.shtml. There is a $10 registration fee for each class and permits up to two participants from a single Hillsborough County household. Those wishing to purchase USDA canning guides may visit Extension weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The guides are available at the reception area. Additional information on the workshops is also available by contacting the leader of the workshops, Mary Keith, via email: mkeith@ufl.edu or by calling 813-744-5519, Extension 54136. WWW. WWW.IIN NTTHE HEFFIELD IELDM MAGAZINE.COM AGAZINE.COM


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DEVELOPING A HISTORICAL REFLECTION OF ®By Jim Frankowiak HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY Myke Morris is a man on a mission to preserve historical structures and equipment reflective of the county’s heritage on the grounds of the Hillsborough County Fair overlooking State Road 60 on the county’s east side. He shares this mission with his colleague on the Historical Committee of the Hillsborough County Fair board, Beth Bravis. “If you or the organization you belong to have an interest in helping, that would be very welcome,” said Morris, a longtime member of the fair board and former chairman. In addition to Morris and Bravis, the committee counts the East Hillsborough Historical Society as one of its supporting groups. “Much of the county’s history is reflected by structures and equipment that we would like to house or replicate on the fairgrounds so that those aspects of our county heritage are preserved,” said Morris. This effort is just a few years old. The first historical structure located on the site in 2011 is a playhouse Bill Gunn built for his daughter at his home in Valrico years ago. That structure went on to be used as the unmanned facility for collection of money for fruit he sold on the “honor” basis on the road in front of his home and orange groves. “At the fair each year, we offer fairgoers an opportunity to view some activities that depict the way things were done in the county decades ago,” said Morris who stressed the program has as its goal to incorporate structures and equipment used in all parts of the county in days gone by in a part of the fairgrounds named “Hometown Hillsborough.” At the last fair, attendees had the opportunity to see a portable saw mill in operation. “The hewn lumber products of that endeavor are to be transformed into a blacksmith’s shop thanks to longtime 32

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barn builder Rick Bliss of Bliss Enterprises of Plant City,” said Morris. One of the historical items contributed to the fair is not in the Hometown Hillsborough portion of the fairgrounds, but out front at the intersection of State Road 60 and Sydney Washer Road, just south of the fair’s main entrance. “That’s a 42-cubic-yard dragline bucket used to mine phosphate,” noted Morris. “We appreciate that contribution from Mosaic since the fairgrounds were at one time part of the Sydney phosphate mine operation.” Morris said his committee also has an old cane mill awaiting installation at the fairgrounds. “Mack Griffin of Plant City, through the courtesy of Lamar Lindsey, has made the mill available to us and we look forward to installing that item in Hometown Hillsborough,” said Morris. Cane mills were longtime staples in the county for grinding sugar cane and sorghum. Morris has a “significant history” with the Hillsborough County Fair. His father, agricultural banker Bob Morris, was an original member of fair board when it was formed in the 1989-90 period. Myke was asked to join the board several years later to serve as its treasurer while working for Valrico State Bank. Myke has two brothers: Marc who owns an air conditioning business in Temple Terrace, and Tim, controller of Holmberg Farms. Currently a member of the Southwest Florida Water Management District’s real estate staff, Morris is also an independent WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


Photo Courtesy of The Hillsborough County Fair – Myke Morris

agricultural professional providing client services such as farm and ranch management, rural appraisal and agricultural consulting. He was most recently recognized by the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers (ASFMRA) for 35 years of membership within the organization. The ASFMRA was founded in 1929 and is the pioneer organization in rural property issues and education. Morris holds the designation of Accredited Rural Appraiser (ARA). Myke and his wife Julie are residents of the Pleasant Grove area near Turkey Creek. They have two children, Nathan and Ariana. Not surprisingly, Nathan is pursuing a Master’s degree in history at the University of South Florida.

“Our committee’s overall, effort which is to develop an historical exhibit reflecting the entire county, is open to anyone or group wishing to assist us,” said Morris. “At the same time, we would appreciate hearing from anyone who has a structure or piece of equipment with historical significance they may wish to donate,” he said. Individuals or groups wishing to volunteer or support the Hillsborough County Fair’s Historical Committee, are encouraged to contact the fair office at 813/373-3247 or by visiting its website: www.hillsboroughcoutyfair.com.

Myke Morris WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM

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a d i r o l F

LONG Beans

By Sandy Kaster, M.S. Clinical Medicines, B.S. Nutrition Science

Florida yard long beans thrive in the hot summer weather. Also called Chinese long beans, asparagus beans, or snake beans, these vegetables resemble very long green beans. Though called yard long beans, they are typically only about 1.5 to 2 feet long, or about half a yard long. The vines can grow up to 8-10 feet high. Easy to grow, yard long beans taste like regular green beans, with edible peas and pod that are crisp, tender, and sweet in flavor. Yard long beans taste best when harvested young, about the thickness of a pencil. If the beans are left to dry, the dried beans can be planted for the next season or they may be boiled, then eaten. NUTRITIONAL PROFILE Yard long beans have a similar nutrition profile as regular green beans. They are low in calories and high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, a 3.5 ounce serving of steamed yard long beans (100 g) contains 47 calories, 2.8 g protein, 0.4 g fat, 8.4 g carbohydrate, and 2.8 g of dietary fiber. It also provides 23% of the Daily Recommended Value (%DV) for vitamin C, 16% for folate, 12% for magnesium, 11% for pantothenic acid, 10% for manganese, 9% for riboflavin and thiamin and and plentiful amounts of other valuable nutrients, such as phosphorus and vitamin A. Folate: Essential vitamin at any age Florida yard long beans are a good source of the B vitamin folate, a vitamin that can reduce the risk of anemia, cancer, and birth defects of the brain and spinal cord (neural tube defects) in the fetus. All people, and in particular, pregnant women, should consume a diet high in folate, and eating yard long beans can help meet your body’s nutritional requirement. Dietary Fiber: Many Benefits Long beans are high in both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber. The soluble type binds to cholesterol-containing bile and helps move it out of the body. This results in lowering blood cholesterol levels. Soluble fiber can help stabilize blood sugar levels and provide a steady stream of energy, which is especially important if you have diabetes or insulin resistance. Insoluble fiber is well known for its ability to assist with digestion and prevents constipation. According to the WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM

American Institute for Cancer Research, a diet high in fiber may decrease the risk of several types of cancer including colon, rectum, breast, and pancreas. Magnesium: Keeps your body functioning well Florida yard long beans are a great source of magnesium, an important nutrient that can help lower high blood pressure and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Consuming a diet high in magnesium may also help prevent osteoporosis by increasing bone mineral density. Magnesium is an important player in many reactions related to energy metabolism, protein synthesis, RNA and DNA synthesis, and maintenance of the electrical potential of nervous tissues and cell membranes. As a result, magnesium is needed for the production of protein and energy, as well as contraction and relaxation of muscles. How to Select and Store Choose beans that are 10-16 inches long and about the diameter of a pencil. Look for beans that are firm, without spots or discoloration. Avoid any that appear dried, stringy or woody. Long beans can be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Wash immediately before using. How to Enjoy Fresh Florida long beans are delicious eaten raw or cooked. A great feature of long beans is that there is less preparation (fewer ends to snap) and more bean than regular green beans. Snap or cut off ends, then cut beans into one to two inch lengths (or longer if preferred) and boil or steam. Long beans can also be cooked in the microwave with a small amount of water, or stir-fried with other vegetables. The leaves and young stems are also edible and delicious in an Asian stir fry. They can also be sautĂŠed with butter and garlic or steamed and added to salads or pasta or rice dishes. If long beans are plentiful, they may also be frozen after a quick blanch in boiling water. Enjoy delicious Florida long beans in their peak season today. Whether raw or cooked, yard long beans add nutritional value to any meal. SELECTED REFERENCES http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mv029 http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.com INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

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Helping Man’s Best Friend By Libby Hopkins

There is an old myth that says, “God realized he need somebody strong enough to pull sleds and find bombs, yet gentle enough to love babies and lead the blind. Somebody who will spend all day on a couch with a resting head and supportive eyes to lift the spirits of a broken heart, so God made a dog.” I think God created cats to be funny, look cute and scare away unwanted mice, but that’s just my opinion. It’s sad that humans don’t respect or care for all of God’s creatures, including cats and dogs, but don’t give up hope just yet. There are some amazing people who are stepping up and being a voice for abused and neglected animals. They are the folks at FOHCAS or Friends of Hillsborough County Animal Service, Inc. They are a non-profit organization comprised of private citizens. FOHCAS was formed to help address the challenges the at-risk animals face every day in the county’s shelter. Their goal is to provide funding for medical services to the surrendered and stray animals in the shelter, increase adoption rates, and provide education to the public to help reduce the euthanasia rate within Hillsborough County Animal Ser38

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vices. All monetary donations are directly used for the animals since it is a completely volunteer organization with zero paid staff. “We even make the volunteers pay for their own volunteer t-shirts because every single dollar we get goes to our animals,” said Jackie Osborne, FOHCAS’s president. Osborne got involved with animals after her first love, which was fashion, didn’t work out so well. Her husband was in the United States Army and they moved around a lot, so she decided to devote her efforts to her second love which was dogs. “We were living at Ft. Lewis in Washington and I wanted to find someone who could teach me dog obedience training,” Osborne said. “There weren’t any schools, so I found a mentor and she taught me to be an obedience trainer and my husband how to be a dog handler.” The couple loved the Rottweiler breed, so they started training dogs and doing shows. The couple moved again, and started to volunteer at a no-kill shelter. “It was an experience and we realized we were done with the whole show dog thing,” Osborne said. “We also realized that buying a dog from a breeder was not the way to go.” They continued to volunteer WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


Jackie Osborne, president of Friends of Hillsborough County Animal Services, Inc. (FOHCAS) gets a kiss from one the adoptable dogs at a recent fundraiser for the non-profit.

Junior is about a year old and available for adoption.

Zoey is very laid back and would love to find a forever hom

Miko, now Stormy is about four years old and looking for her forever home.

Rosie

at the shelter until her husband was re-assigned to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa. “We had lost our last show dog after we moved here and I went 28 days without a dog,” Osborne said. She went online and found a Rottweiler. “She had one eye and a tail and I told my husband, ‘Who else is going to adopt her?’” Osborne said. “That began our foray into the world of dog rescue.”

said.

She and her staff have been hard at work helping the animals at the shelter. Their adoption numbers are up and the euthanized numbers are down. As of March of this year, FOHCAS has adopted out 362 dogs and 140 cats. Their numbers will continue to improve with the more help they get from the community. “These are community animals Osborne found herself at Hillsborough County Animal Services after her son needed that have nowhere to go,” Osborne said. “We need to help them and we need dovolunteer hours for his Bright Futures Scholnations to do that.” FOHCAS hosts many arship. Since she and her husband had a fundraisers throughout the year to boost dobackground in animal training and handling, nations. They will be part of the 4th Annual they were welcomed with open arms. Osborne worked in various areas of the shelter before she Fashion, Feathers and Fur gala on September was asked to join FOHCAS. The organization 27 at The Winthrop Barn in Brandon, hosted by Timberlane Pet Hospital and Resort. FOHCAS is was thrust in the media spotlight after they helped also a part of the annual Scratch My Back fundraiser a dog named Phoebe who was shot in the head and at Skipper’s Smokehouse in Tampa. For more inforburied alive. The organization raised a $15,000 reward mation on FOHCAS or if you would like to make for any information on the person who shot Phoebe. Lolla is a sweet girl who is “The money is still there and we are still hoping to put looking for her forever home. a donation to the organization, you can visit their the person who shot Phoebe behind bars,” Osborne website at www.friendsofhcas.org. If you would like to attend the Fashion, Feathers and Fur event in September you can said. Phoebe made a full recovery and was adopted by a loving fampurchase tickets from their website at www.timberlanevet.com/fff. ily. “Phoebe made me realize how big we could be and all the good things we could do for animals that end up in the shelter,” Osborne WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM

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Taking the Sting out of an Endangered Species: Reestablishing the Fragrant Prickly Apple By Ginny Mink

People don’t generally associate cactus with Florida. In fact, more than likely either Nevada or Arizona are the first states to pop into one’s head when cacti are mentioned. However, Florida does indeed have several of its own indigenous and endemic species. Sadly, some of these cacti are endangered and efforts are currently being made to sustain and repopulate them. One such species is the Harrisia Fragrans, or more commonly, the fragrant prickly apple. Certainly the concept of an apple attached to a cactus is a little odd but just think prickly pear, or even dragon fruit and you’ll have a basic understanding therein. John Kunkel Small discovered the fragrant prickly apple cactus while exploring scrub vegetation in 1917 and it was placed on the endangered list on November 1, 1985. That’s only 68 years, apparently we destroy thing pretty quickly. The Harrisia Fragrans is rare and according to Alan Franck, who did his dissertation on it and is currently located at the USF Herbarium, in the CMMB Department, “The main thing that I’d emphasize is that based on my research, fragrant prickly apple (Harrisia fragrans) occurs from Volusia County south along the east coast and all the way into the Florida Keys. There is no discernable difference between the cacti in the Keys and those on the east coast. They were once recognized as two different entities with H. simpsonii being the name used in the keys, but Harrisia simpsonii is now a synonym of H. fragrans.” While the span of space may seem vast and therefore might give you a false concept of the number of plants populating those areas, it’s important to note that significant urbanization and construction have drastically and quite detrimentally affected the fragrant prickly apple. Jon Moore, a biology professor at FAU, is known for his intense focus and plethora of knowledge in reference to the H. fragrans. He told us, “I received a small grant from the Florida Native Plant Society to do a transplantation of the fragrant prickly apple cactus. I tried that at a few different spots and well, it didn’t work out nearly as well as I’d hoped. I had one site that was completely vandalized. I had 100 cacti there and somebody went through with a machete and chopped up all my cacti and pulled them all up. It was pretty bad, I was mad about that one! I think these people who vandalized the 46

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site were just playing around because I had little numbered tags on twist ties around each one of the plants so I knew which one each individual was. Whoever chopped up my cacti took every single one of those tags like they were trophies.” Some people really have no sense of honor or natural appreciation. However, the morons chopping his plants were not the only troubles he faced. He explained, “Then in the course of doing the project I also discovered that termites, native termites, like to hollow out these cacti! So, I lost a number of cacti to this termite species. They gain entry into the interior and then just hollow it out. It’s woody material with water so it’s probably a great resource for them in the scrub habitat. Nobody had ever said anything about termites being a destroyer of these cacti so that was a novel discovery as well. That population is still hanging on. I planted some on the grounds of Harbor Branch Oceanographic.” Termite attacks and all, the cacti are still surviving! Imagine the oddity of discovering termites were eating your cactus! Ever diligent and focused, Jon continued, “This cactus is rare, there’s only a few places where it’s found in any number. The big center of where there’s still roughly 2500 or so individuals left, is the scrub ridge in Savannas Preserve State Park and some of the private property surrounding that. I cooperated with a few of the property owners who gave me some of the seedlings for the transplant project I did. The seeds sprout pretty well and the fruit has anywhere from 750-1500 seeds in it, so a single fruit can actually provide a lot of seeds for seedling.” What habitat does it prefer, we questioned. Jon shared, “It likes upland areas which are just where developers wanna put things because they are well drained and not flooded. Look at where all the development is in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami/Dade counties. They’ve pretty much taken over all the habitat. There are some that live in the north end of Key Largo and a few probably scattered in amongst the other less accessible areas of the Keys and then a few preserve places like the Savannas Preserve and Turtle Mound up in Volusia County are pretty much what’s left.” While cacti might be interesting to some of us, we wondered what WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


had so gripped him. He said, “I had a friend who was a biologist for the state park service and he showed me these cacti at Savannas years ago and I thought they were really fascinating. I had no idea that there were native cacti only found in Florida! I just got interested in them and I used to sort of scout out private properties that were going up for sale to see if there were any of these cacti on them. One time I found a cactus with a number of fruit on a private property. I went through the whole permitting process to get permission from the land owner to take the cactus off the property, permits from the state to actually remove the cactus and so I went to collect the cactus and somebody had already dug it up and stolen it! There are cactus collectors who go for these because they are so rare. I found one fruit so I took that and I actually grew better than a hundred seedlings from that.” Cactus thieves, now we’ve heard everything! He discussed some other things he learned in the process of studying this species. “It takes a while to grow. It took six years for the seedlings to reach a size to where they could actually be transplanted back into the wild. They get really big, although, large individuals are rare at this point. I’ve seen them up to eight feet tall and the literature says that they used to be up to fifteen feet tall. They’re pretty cool plants. They have enormous flowers, they’re like five inches across and they only bloom one night. The blooms I’ve looked at open up at about 10 pm and they’ve wilted by about 6 am. Only one night, that’s all the flower lasts. I still haven’t figured out who pollinates them! I found a couple of different beetles inside the flower and a number of these Harrisia species that are closely related to the fragrant prickly apple cactus are also pollinated by hawk moths. It makes a lot of sense, the flower is really fragrant and it’s bright white. It turns out that they’re pretty hardy and they grow roots pretty readily so the ones that I transplanted really took off. On the site that was vandalized, they were actually doing really, really well, some were growing and producing new branches. They’d been there about a year or so, one of them had actually bloomed at that site.” The frustration and disappointment about that situation is tangible. WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM

Why keep this plant around? Why assist in transplantation and protection? What’s the value? He chuckled at our questions. Well, he told us, “The fruit is edible, it’s a lot like prickly pear fruit, it’s got that sort of translucent jelly inside with lots and lots of little black seeds. But really, in my mind, it’s a native that is here and nowhere else and it’s worthwhile trying to save the native plants as much as we can here in Florida. That’s what I was trying to do. I just thought it was such a cool cactus. One of my intentions was to not put all the eggs in one basket. I mean there are so few individuals outside of the Savannas Preserve area I was trying to get some populations started elsewhere. That’s really what I’d like to try and continue because that one population represents about 90% of all the living individuals and it’s probably one of the few self-sustaining populations. The one up in Turtle Mound probably is as well. Other than that, they’re so rare, so infrequent, that a number of the individuals you see elsewhere is probably because pieces can continue to reroot and keep the individual alive but I’m not sure there’s enough individuals for pollination anywhere else. I’d really like to get some more self-sustaining populations going but they’re going to have to be in protected places. I tried to do this in a county preserve and there was no protection or enforcement so somebody went through and destroyed all that work. I’d really like to try and get them reestablished in places like Sebastian Inlet State Park because that would be another place where they could be protected, monitored.” Jon’s work is important and should be continued. He told us that we’ve got our own cacti trouble here. He concluded by sharing, “There’s another species on your side of the peninsula that’s also an endangered species, it’s called the golden apple cactus. They happen to like the shell mounds on the west coast. So there’s populations of those on Sanibel Island.” Sometimes it helps to remember the problems aren’t just elsewhere.

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RecipeS Courtesy of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Chef Justin Timineri

Florida Tomato and Orange Marmalade

DIRECTIONS

1. In a large stock pot, add all ingredients. Place the pot

over medium-high heat and let cook until the ingredients come to a slight boil. Stir ingredients frequently.

2. Reduce heat and simmer on low until thickened, about 1 hour. When desired thickness is reached, remove from heat and let cool at room temperature.

3. Once the marmalade is cooled, place marmalade in smaller containers and store in the refrigerator.

INGREDIENTS

Ingredients

3 pounds ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped, reserving any juices 3 cups natural sugar 2 oranges, quartered, seeded, and chopped fine 1 lemon, quartered, seeded, and chopped fine 1/8 teaspoon salt

Seared Yellowfin Tuna with Orange Teriyaki

2 tablespoons butter 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced 1 cup orange marmalade 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce 2 tablespoons orange juice 1 teaspoon fresh ginger root, grated 1 teaspoon curry powder

1 habanero pepper, seeded and diced 4 8-ounce yellowfin tuna steaks cracked black pepper 2 tablespoons olive oil orange slices for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a small sauce pan, melt butter and sautĂŠ the onion over medium heat until soft. Add

marmalade, teriyaki sauce, orange juice, ginger, curry powder and diced habaneros; heat through. Set aside and keep warm.

2. Coat tuna steaks with cracked pepper. Heat olive oil in sautĂŠ pan over medium high heat;

sear tuna to desired doneness, turning once. Cook for 2 minutes on each side for rare center; 3 to 5 minutes each side for medium center; 5 to 8 minutes each side for well-done center.

3. Spoon the orange teriyaki sauce over steaks in the pan to glaze or spoon sauce onto plate and place tuna on top. Garnish with orange slices.

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PCC&CG poster and signage used for events including Plant City Fresh Market is designed by Sarah Buetens of ECO Farm, Plant City Hive receiving a blessing for propagation

Plant City Commons & Community Gardens receives annual Blessing of the By Cheryl Kuck

The beginning growing season at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 302 Carey St, is uniquely celebrated with the annual rites of rogation and a procession through its property where the Plant City Commons & Community Gardens (PCC&CG) are located. Rogation Day ceremonies are led by The Rev. Dr. Thomas Thoeni, St. Peter’s Rector and are traditionally celebrated on May 22 to honor the renewal of spring and our connection to the earth, particularly with regard to all manner of agricultural endeavors tied to the time of spring planting. This ceremony’s roots come from fifth century France when special prayers were offered just before the Feast of Ascension (entry of Christ into heaven) as the blessing of first fruits, and have become a part of Rogation Day processionals marking the north, south, east and western parish boundaries with prayer for bountiful fruits of the earth, as well as, for the spirit. Now in its 3rd year, the commons shared land has become a growing community for those who believe in their responsibility as caretakers of our environment. At St. Peter’s that includes dedicated eco-farmers, master gardeners, those who believe in sustainable agriculture and regular folks who just 52 INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE June 2014

want to be able to grow their own healthy, organic food. The commons members have taken a step beyond plant life to include the birds of the air since a family of American Kestrels (also known as sparrow hawks because of their small size) seem to be happily nesting in the spire of the 100-yearold church, as well as, the addition of a home for flying insects courtesy of writer, lecturer, Master Gardener and Master Beekeeper Nancy Ham. Bee is the name for flying “insects” of the super family Apoidea, who are in the same order as ants and wasps, and have a thorax, abdomen, antennae, wings and six legs. Ham, with the help of her husband Gary, constructed a beehive totally unlike any I have ever seen and looks more a natural part of the environment than the dome or box-like hives that may be more familiar. “The traditional hives are for ‘social’ bees such as honeybees and bumblebees with each having different ways of nesting. The hive we have constructed is for the small ‘solitary’ or WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


Organic food served by PCC&CG members after spring blessing * note-the unusual watermelon radishes

Master Beekeeper Nancy Ham with wild bee and wasp hive she and husband Gary built together. It received a blessing for propagation from Rev. Thomas Thoeni during the annual rogation service.

Manson Bee, considered part of the more than 200 species of ‘wild’ bees. These bees pollinate but do not make honey and nest in their own hive that resembles a single tube but will also nest in a large hive of individual bamboo tubes, such as the one we created, in coexistence with wasps. The hardest part of construction is in the cutting of bamboo into uniform openings and lengths made to resemble their natural habitat which may be hollow stems of dead plants, tunnels in sand or drilled into dead wood by beetles. They are really harmless and do not have a powerful sting nor do they usually attack,” says Ham. The Rev. Dr. Thomas Thoeni also blessed the work of the beekeepers hands and prayed, “Oh merciful Creator, your hand is open wide to satisfy the needs of every living creature…may we be faithful stewards of your good gifts.” The Plant City Commons and Community Gardens are actively seeking new members and are very grateful to Father Tom and St. Peter’s for its continued sponsorship and support,” said Karen Elizabeth, a commons founder.

The Rev. Dr. Thomas Thoeni St. Peter’s Rector gives annual Rite of Rogation to Plant City Commons & Community Gardens (PCC&CG) WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM

Interested in becoming a commons member? Cost is $25 to receive access to an individual garden plot and grow your own organic food. Plots, mulch and soil are provided. For donation and membership inquiries contact Rosalind Baker at (352) 804-9246.

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C-3PO in the Field? Citrus Harvesting Robots By Ginny Mink

Robots, though part of science fiction when we were children, are very real today and while they have been hugely active in vast arrays of human productivity, only recently have they entered the realm of agriculture and farming on a wide scale. There are GPS and selfguided tractors/harvesters, autonomous systems that prune, thin and harvest crops. Specifically there are the Harvey robots, which help greenhouse and nursery farm owners collect and distribute their container grown plants. In addition, a California company created the LettuceBot, which thins rows of lettuce in fields. There’s also Prospero (the robot farmer) and Aquarius (the greenhouse watering robot). Given the wide range of tasks and technological advances one wonders what’s in store for Florida agriculture? What kind of robots will be helping us in the near future? This leads us to the citrus industry, long a staple of Florida revenue and sadly an area of agriculture that is in decline due to various diseases. Thankfully though, there may be hope found in robots. Yes, robots! A group of scientists based out of the University of Central Florida and the University of Florida began, last year, working on an amazing piece of technology designed to detect citrus blights. The concept is to create an automated system that uses sensors and robots to locate illnesses in groves and strawberry fields! It will use a small tractor like vehicle as well as UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) to monitor the crops. The benefits of such technology are far-reaching enabling farmers to detect stress and disease much sooner and thereby make chemical usage more efficient. The specifics on this project can be found at: www.mae.ucf.edu/news/using-robotics-detect-citrus-disease. While UCF and UF are working on locating problematic areas in fields and groves, there’s another company out there working frantically to design an economic robotic citrus harvester. Though the company is located in Massachusetts, its President, James English, 56

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is a UF alumnus. Last year Mr. English and a colleague spent some time in Alva, Florida testing their prototype. Alva is located between Fort Myers and LaBelle a few miles east of I75. It’s a quiet town on the Caloosahatchee River and is named after a pretty white flower that grows there, the Alva flower. The Florida Citrus Company and Green’s Citrus Groves are located in Alva, though we aren’t sure where the testing occurred. However we do know that English’s robots knock individual fruit to the ground. This is apparently a big improvement in the area of accuracy. Mechanical citrus harvesting, or robotic harvesting, isn’t the newest thing to hit the idea mill. In fact, it’s been around for 50 years! Unfortunately the high cost of such machinery has left inventors in the lurch. Economically, farmers are concerned about the cost of labor and availability. Add that to the overall decline in the citrus industry and there’s plenty of reason for reticence when it comes to new-fangled technologies. Ten years ago an acre of citrus only cost $800 dollars to raise but now, since we’re battling the Asian citrus psyllid (the bug that brings greening destruction) farmers are spending $1700 or more per acre. That means that any new robotically engineered mechanisms are going to have to be hugely cost efficient in order to gain farmer interest. That’s exactly what Mr. English and his company, Energid, are hoping to provide. In fact his goal is to make citrus picking cost less than half a penny per fruit! A key element of the citrus harvesting robots being developed currently is the picking hand. It needs to have several abilities. First and foremost it must be able to grab individual fruit but in so doing, it will also need to be able to hold a variety of sizes gently as it deposits them in the collection area. It will need to be able to pick fruit that are hanging freely, are being blocked by other fruit or are leaning against the trunk or branches. We don’t always think about these things because reaching up and grabbing an orange, regardless of its WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


location, isn’t too challenging. However, when you are having to guide a robot to do the same, these are very serious considerations. Several agencies, organizations and schools are working on designing a hand like this but again, there’s always the issue of financial viability. Really though, we need to contemplate the likelihood in which a Florida citrus farmer would readily move in the direction of automated harvesting. Are we ready to remove the people from the fields and use joysticks and remote controls to analyze crop health? What about sending radio controled vehicles with mechanical hands attached so that fruit can be removed and taken to market? It certainly seems a bit too far-fetched and futuristic but what if Energid, or some other company, was able to create a piece of technology that could harvest your fruit for less than half a cent per piece? Would that be worthwhile? It certainly gives farmers and growers something to ponder. It may be a long time before we see C-3PO in the field, but perhaps not as long as we think! For more information on citrus robots check out these sites: www.citrusresearch.org www.andnowyouknow.com/behind-greens/robotic-citrus-harvester-could-drastically-reduce-production-costs www.energid.com/robotic-citrus-harvester.htm WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM

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“Voice of Agriculture” Engaged in Diverse Activities During May

By Jim Frankowiak

Youth Speech Contest Hillsborough County Farm Bureau, which is also known as the Voice of Agriculture in the county, was especially busy with a variety of activities during May -- all with the purpose of sharing information about agriculture among a variety of constituencies. “From 3rd graders enjoying Ag-Ventures at the Florida State Fairgrounds to special needs students competing at Ag-Abilities, as well as young orators vying for speaking prizes and board members meeting with our U.S. Congressmen at our Nation’s capital, this past month was a very busy period for Farm Bureau,” noted President Kenneth Parker. “None of that could have taken place without the commitment of our board members and many volunteers. Our Women’s Leadership Committee was particularly active in each of these endeavors. To each of them I express my most sincere gratitude.” 60

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Youth Speech Contests

Each year the Florida Farm Bureau Federation Women’s Leadership Program sponsors a Youth Speech Contest which begins at the county level. Here in Hillsborough County the Women’s Leadership Committee implements the county competition. This competition has three levels of engagement. The county contest winner goes on to compete at the district against the other seven district winners. The state finals then take place at Florida Farm Bureau’s annual meeting. The purpose of this contest is to promote a stronger interest and clearer understanding of the many aspects to agriculture; to provide opportunities for Florida youth to gain knowledge, appreciation and understanding of agriculture; and help to promote agriculture’s many values and virtues. The competition is open to high school students ages 14 – 18 residing in the county of the sponsoring county Farm Bureau. Membership in the county Farm Bureau is not required, but encouraged. Contestants must display a positive attitude about agriculture and speech content WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM

must be in accordance with Farm Bureau policies. The topic for this year’s competition was “Food security is an important issue to the people of the United States. How can Florida agriculture continue to provide quality solutions for the future?” Contestant speeches had to address the topic, be five minutes in length and presented personally before a panel of judges. The Hillsborough County Farm Bureau Youth Speech Contest judging panel included retired county teacher and administrator Pamela Peralta, Plant City community leader and investment advisor and financial planner Michael Cameron and Driscoll’s Applied Research Manager Sambhav. Hillsborough County winners and their prizes were: First Place – Alex Ponte, a 10th grader at Newsome High School - $125; Second Place – Ashlyn Yarbrough, a Plant City High School 10th grader - $100; and, Third Place to Marcus Hobbs, a 10th grader from Strawberry Crest High School - $75. Ponte will proceed to the district competition. continued on page 64 INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

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Youth Speech Contests

Ag-Abilities Competition Special needs students from Caminiti, Middleton, Easy Bay, Riverview and Turkey Creek high schools participated in the “Ag Abilities� program held at the Florida State Fairgrounds. Each of the approximately 100 participants was given the opportunity to drive a tractor, compete in plant, animal, fruit and vegetable identification contests, and make butter. The program is designed with the unique challenges of the students in mind and allows them the opportunity to compete in an ag-oriented competition. Ag-Abilities volunteers included Farm Bureau directors Kenneth Parker, Will Womack, Michelle Williamson, Glenn Harrell, Bill Burnette, Florida Farm Bureau Regional Representative Jason Davison and a host of allied volunteers.

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The program concluded with a lunch of hot dogs, potato salad, strawberry shortcake and a beverage prepared and served by John Lawson of Hydro Harvest Farms in Ruskin. Lawson has been the “Ag-Abilities” chef for the last six years. “Special needs students are dear to my heart,” said Lawson whose son, Billy, was a program participant in the past.

Ag-Venture For the 20th year, Farm Bureau again provided the opportunity for 3rd graders to learn about farm operations in Hillsborough County. This is a “hands-on” experience designed to have youngsters learn about the importance of agriculture and to help them develop an understanding and appreciation of where their food comes from. As the students arrive at the AgVenture program site at the Florida State Fairgrounds, they are divided into groups and given a colored cowboy hat that sets the stage for Ag day.

ship of local agriculture commodity groups, Hillsborough County Farm Bureau, Florida State Fair and Hillsborough County Extension Service. “Our first tour in 1994 started with five stations and 600 students,” said Hillsborough County Farm Bureau “Executive Director Judi Whitson. “Today, we have over 20 stations and educate over 6,000 students during the two sessions held each school year.”

Each student tour group visits five stations representing different aspects of agriculture and participates in a variety of hands-on activities, incorporating a balance of plant and animal science. The cost per student is $2 and schools are selected on a first come, first served basis for tours that are held in the fall and spring each year. Some 1,350 students participated in Ag-Venture in May. Thanks to volunteers from the Florida State Fair, Hillsborough County Extension Service and Hillsborough County Farm Bureau. Ag-Venture began in 1994 as the result of a partnerWWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM

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Field to the Hill

The month concluded with the annual “Field to the Hill” trip to Washington, D.C. for Hillsborough County Farm Bureau Board Member Michelle Williamson and Judi Whitson, executive director. This initiative is a component of Florida Farm Bureau Federation’s policy implementation efforts on the federal level. Each year, usually in May, farmers and ranchers from across Florida converge on Washington, D.C. to discuss timely and important topics affecting agriculture with their Senators and Representatives, as well as executive department officials. “This year we had the opportunity to meet with Congressmen Diaz-Balart from Miami on immigration; Javier Gamboa, legislative assistant to Congresswoman Kathy Castor; an aide to Congressman Bilirakis; briefly with Congressman David Jolly; and Congressman Dennis Ross,” said Williamson. “We also held a reception in the Florida House on Capitol Hill. If you are ever traveling to DC make sure you stop by there to visit. They will treat you like family.” 66

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A Conversation with Florida Cattlemen’s Foundation Chairman - Jim Strickland Photo ID: Left to Right: Grace Larson, Bo Hobby, Melissa Montes De Oca, Dr. Ashby Green, Wes Williamson, Ned Waters, Millie Bolin, Wade Grigsby, Jim Strickland, Don Plagge, Kay Richardson, Matt Taverides, Alex Johns, Jim Hines Introduction: The Florida Cattlemen’s Foundation is a non-profit organization with a threefold mission: to support beef cattle research; support education related to beef cattle and the development of young leadership in order to ensure a bright future for the industry; and document, present and preserve our unique cattle ranching history and culture. Hundreds of volunteers are the backbone and lifeblood of the Foundation. My job as chairman is to guide and direct the tremendous efforts of these great folks in order to make the most of their hard work, talents and resources. This is a great privilege and a responsibility I take very seriously. The Foundation’s board of directors is composed of nearly two dozen men and women highly skilled in ranch management, environmental stewardship, publishing, business, finance and law. The board members not only give freely of their time and talents, but also generously support foundation projects with their own funds. Fund Raising: Our largest fund-raising event is the annual Ranch Rodeo Finals and Cowboy Heritage Festival held each fall at Osceola Heritage Park/Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee. Now in its seventh year, this multi-faceted event continues to grow each year in terms of total attendance and net revenue. In addition to generating revenue for the Foundation, it is a valued and effective means of informing the general public of the rich history and culture of Florida cattle ranching and the significance of Florida’s beef cattle industry. More than 350 volunteers work tirelessly at the two-day event, many of whom serve on committees that meet several times during the year. Dozens of craft demonstrators, re-enactors, musical performers, poets, emcees, and others volunteer their time and talents to make the Cowboy Heritage Festival a huge success. Several of the county Cattlemen’s Associations participate in competition for a beef brisket cook-off, and proceeds from their food sales contribute substantially to event revenue. Last year we added a steak dinner, which was a huge success, so the number of meals will be increased this year. In addition to all the volunteers, sponsors have contributed immensely to the success of this event. Youth participate in and enjoy the Cowboy Heritage Festival and Ranch Rodeo Finals. FFA and 4-H members and their leaders do an admirable job in helping operate the food and beverage concessions, a substantial revenue source. The Whip Popping Contest is a major Festival highlight that celebrates our Cracker heritage and increases awareness and pride in that heritage among the young participants and the public. The Ranch Rodeo Finals demonstrate and celebrate the occupational skills of the hearty men and women who work on Florida ranches. The finals, and the sixteen qualifying rodeos that feed into, it are the result of the hard work of dozens of volunteer judges, arena men, stock suppliers, clowns, announcers, and other hard-working folks. Several sponsors, large and small, contribute generously to make these events and the associated awards possible. Major Donors and Fund-Raising Programs: While there is not enough space in this publication to acknowledge those individuals and organizations that have contributed to the Foundation, I want to mention a few who are especially outstanding. Don Plagge made a gift of $100,000 through his estate planning, half of which is earmarked for the University of Florida’s Range Cattle Research and Education Center at Ona, the other half for developing youth leadership skills. The Doyle Carlton III family has given large annual contributions, Alan Hitchcock donated $50,000, and the Wes and Darin Williamson family has made a sizeable donation to fund a classroom at Warner College. Hardee County Farm Bureau insurance agent George Wadsworth has contributed substantial sums for the past two years as an expression of gratitude to the ranching community. Dean Saunders of Coldwell Banker Commercial Saunders Real Estate (CBCSRE) established a “Saunders Gives Back” program that gives FCA members the opportunity to contribute to the Florida WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM

Cattlemen’s Foundation through listing real estate with CBCSRE. In April 2014 the Foundation received a check for $38,000 from the sale of a listed property, the second such check from Saunders. The annual Florida Cattlemen’s Association Convention, held on Marco Island every June, provides opportunities to the Foundation for fundraising and service to cattlemen. The Silent Auction conducted at the convention under the capable and tireless leadership of Emily Hobby, typically generates $20-30,000 in donations. At the 2013 convention, FCA past-president Bert Tucker recommended a Foundation Herd program be initiated. Participating cattlemen would designate one calf annually for which the sale proceeds would be donated to the Foundation. Fifteen ranchers donated at the convention and more have followed since. Also, at the 2013 convention a “Hall of Advisors,” consisting of legal and financial experts, was established to provide advice and guidance to convention attendees. Accomplishments: In early 2013 we accomplished two related projects that have done much to inform the general public about Florida cattle ranching history and celebrate our rich ranching traditions: The installation of the 2,400 square foot museum exhibit Florida Cattle Ranching: Five Centuries of Tradition for long-term display at the Florida State Fairgrounds and the publication of a 120-page exhibition catalog book (with an enclosed DVD) of the same name. To date we have distributed 3,500 books, and are working with 4-H and FFA groups to sell additional books for the mutual financial benefit of those groups and the Foundation. Our exhibit coordinator is working with public libraries, historical societies, and the Florida Humanities Council to give PowerPoint presentations about the exhibit, and has bookings extending into 2015. He also writes monthly articles about selected cattle ranching community members for the Florida Cattleman magazine. Communications is an important and rapidly growing field. Erin Freel Mann has been especially valuable in using her skills to enhance our Website and Internet presence and developing the “News You Can Use” electronic newsletter and otherwise ushering us into 21st century communications and networking. Recently we have engaged the services of Kilroy Communications to further our media presence and enhance our public relations. One of Kilroy’s initial projects is working with renowned nature videographer Jeff Palmer and producer Leslie Gaines to create brief television spots that focus on the positive interaction of cattle ranching and natural habitats. The videos will be broadcast on WUSF-TV, and should be picked up by other public television stations. Be sure to look for them in the coming months. The Foundation has made a sizeable donation to conduct research on the reproductive disease trichomeniasis, a collaboration of pharmaceutical company Boehinger Ingelheim and the MacArthur AgroEcology Research Center at Buck Island Ranch. The Florida Cattlemen’s Foundation provides a vital role in helping to ensure a prosperous and secure future for the beef cattle industry and our cherished way of life. Serving as Foundation chairman and working with these talented, dedicated, hard working and generous folks has been a great pleasure and personally rewarding on many levels—more so than I ever imagined at the outset of my tenure. Through our group efforts we have given the Foundation a tremendous start that will serve to give us the impetus and resources to continue growing into the future. Because of the dedication and generosity of the Florida cattle ranching community, we have an exciting future ahead of us. I give my heartfelt thanks to all for your hard work, talents and gifts. To support the Foundation and help preserve the history, heritage and ideals of the Florida cattle ranching industry for future generations, please contact info@floridacattlemen.org/407-846-6221or go to http://www.floridacattlemen.org/foundation/giving-options/.

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LOWER GREEN SWAMP NATURE PRESERVE INSPIRES LOCAL ARTIST/EDUCATOR

Images on Display at Bruton Memorial Library By Jim Frankowiak The recently-opened Green Swamp Nature Preserve northeast of Plant City, and formerly known as the Cone Ranch, has generated a great deal of interest from area equestrian enthusiasts, hikers and a local artist and educator Mathew Croxton. He currently has a series of images of the preserve on display at the Bruton Memorial Library in Plant City. A high school science teacher who resides in Plant City, Croxton is a photographer and printer whose photography “brings together a passion for making images with a zeal for educating others about the natural beauty and biology of the Florida landscape,” he said. “For me, this enables the process of education to escape the pages of a textbook or reference work, and take on a life that engages learners and viewers at an emotional level. In particular, I focus on the plants and plant communities that comprise the landscape. Learning is an act of exploration, and my goal is to share the exhilaration of discovered beauty with my audience.” His professional education includes an undergraduate degree in biology from Bryan College, Dayton, Tennessee and a graduate degree in forest resources and conservation from the University of Florida. Croxton has focused on making color photographic prints from digital images since 2010. He continues to grow his skills in photography and printing through practice, experimentation and other avenues of training. Croxton also enjoys instructing a high school digital photography course at Ruskin Christian School where he is a member of the secondary faculty. The series of six color images he has on display at Bruton Memorial Library were produced early this year “as a personal project to document a few of the many beautiful scenes that can be experienced at the Lower Green Swamp Nature Preserve,” said Croxton. “I first heard about this land as a pre-teen from the parents of a boyhood friend, who identified the location as a place deserving protection from development. Community support from likeminded people has helped earn the Lower Green Swamp Nature Preserve the protection that it enjoys today under county stewardship.” The preserve is a 12,809-acre tract owned and managed by the Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department. It was purchased with funding from the Jan K. Platt Environmental Lands Acquisition and Protection Program (ELAPP). Approximately half of the preserve is comprised of native habitats such as riverine and cypress swamps, freshwater marshes, pine flat70 70

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woods and hardwood hammocks. The remaining portion includes pine plantations and pastures that have been and will continue to be restored into native habitats. The preserve’s southeastern area is currently accessible to the public for hiking and equestrian activities. The entrance is located at 3536 East Knights Griffin Road, immediately west of the intersection of Knights Griffin and Charlie Taylor Roads. The preserve’s public area “offers opportunities to explore many unique plant and wildlife habitats from pine plantation and pasture with saw palmetto to wetland cypress domes and marshy grasslands,” noted Croxton. “Among my favorite areas to visit are the cypress stands that are dotted across this large preserve, each dome has a unique architecture and the glades that surround some of them are very special places in which to observe the changing light.” Croxton said each 16-x-20-inch print was first captured in a raw format by the camera and then processed using several imaging software tools. “During this digital ‘development’ process I did not manipulate any major elements of the scene, striving instead to express the colors, tones and feelings that I experienced at the moment of opening the shutter. However,” he added, “that is not to say the printed image is just as it came out of the camera – far from it. My working method involves multiple adjustments to color and contrast that bring out the subtlety of the light as it was observed and translate these results to the printed page. Without these procedures for interpreting a scene, the image would lack depth, emotion and believable hues.” The images are printed on exhibition-quality, “archival inkjet paper using a color profile for the exact paper and lighting chosen. In this case, a softly-textured glossy paper was selected and the color profile chosen for printing has been optimized for display under tungsten lighting,” he said. The exhibited photography framing and mattes were selected at Southern Hospitality Furniture and Décor, where the finished artwork was signed and assembled. Matted originals from Croxton’s series, which he has also signed, are available through Southern Hospitality. Croxton’s exhibit at the Bruton Memorial Library, 302 McLendon Street, is on display daily until the end of June. The library is open Monday – Thursday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. – 5; and, Sunday 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Additional information about the Lower Green Swamp Nature Preserve is available at www.hillsboroughcounty.org/parks or by calling the preserve’s Field Office: 813-757-3713. WWW.IINNTTHE HEFFIELD IELDM MAGAZINE.COM AGAZINE.COM WWW.


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Market Watch: Summer Art Market by: Libby Hopkins

Summer time is the perfect time to get out and enjoy the longer days, warm Florida sun and the wonderful artisan markets that are staring to sprout up all over the Tampa Bay area. I recently went to the Summer Art Market at Southern Brewing and Winemaking in Seminole Heights. This is the brewery’s first market and from the awesome turnout, they are hoping it won’t be their last. Kelly and Brian Fenstermacher are the owners of the brewery and they had envisioned hosting a market since they moved their business into its current space three years ago. They are both huge supporters of independent art and small local businesses so they thought it only fitting to host an art market. “We wanted all the vendors for the event to be local and independent,” said Cindy Lyons, marketing manager at the brewery. “We accepted vendors on a first serve basis and we used a light selection process because the focus was more about supporting local artist of all levels rather than seasoned market vendors.” The intent of this market was to encourage local independent artist and craftsmen to showcase their works. The vendors at the market offered everything from art to food. The Summer Art Market was the first market for vendor Dawn Owens. She is the owner of Suite Eleven Tea and Millinery Company. Millinery if you were wondering is the art of making hats. “I created my business

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out of my two passions which are millinery and blending teas with baking,” Owns said. “With all my baked goods, I try to use teas and herbs in them.” She uses all local and organic products and she purchases the materials to make her hats from conscious vendors. Melisa Taylor is the owner of Dessert Chic and she is new to the market scene as well. She collaborated with Bastet Brewpub of Tampa to use their leftover hops to make her desserts. “I collaborated with Tom and Huston of Bastet to use the grains they brew beer to make my baked goods,” Taylor said. Tom Ross is one of the owners of Bastet Brewpub and he was thrilled that he and Taylor found a way to recycle the leftover hops. “We make beer and then we take the grain that is leftover and we grind it into flour which Melisa uses in all her baked goods,” Ross said. Some of the baked goods they had at the market included banana bread, biscotti’s and baked dog treats. Both Taylor and Ross believe in shopping local and supporting local business and that’s why they wanted to be a part of the market. “We love the Seminole Heights area and we want to support Southern Brewing and Winemaking because we buy most of our beer making supplies from them,” Ross said. Cheryl Howell was another vender at the market who believes in recycling just like Taylor and Ross, only she recycles old typewriters, buttons, purses, anything she

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can get her hands on. She is the owner of Iamsonotcool Vintage and her typewriter key rings were a huge hit at the market. “I re-use, re-purpose and re-cycle things and turn them into new appreciative things,” Howell said. “I love when something old finds a new life.” She loved seeing the community come together and show its support for small businesses, too. “I love local arts and crafts and seeing people come together as a community. I was glad to be a part of this market.” Sue Sanford’s booth at the market was one of the busiest. She was selling a Florida favorite, boiled peanuts, only her peanuts were boiled in different flavors of ale. “We just started our business this past January and we decided to take a different spin on a Florida classic,” Sanford said. “We use only local products from local vendors to make our peanuts.” The Fenstermachers and Lyons wanted everyone to have a good time at the market and hope to do more of them in the future. “The whole point of the market was to let local artist showcase their work while friends and neighbors hang out and have a good time,” Lyons said. “All of our vendors gave really positive feedback and made some great sales, so we’ve done what we set out to do.” If you would like to learn more about Southern Brewing and Winemaking, you can visit their website at www.southernbrewingwinemaking.com or call 813-238-7800. They are located at 4500 N. Nebraska Ave. in Tampa. WWW. WWW.IINNTTHE HEFFIELD IELDM MAGAZINE.COM AGAZINE.COM

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The Resiliency of Landscapes by Susan Haddock, Commercial Landscape/IPM/Small/ Farms Agent, UF/IFAS Extension Hillsborough County

I recently had the good fortune of visiting one of our nation’s greatest National Parks. Yosemite National Park is located within a two-hour drive from Sacramento, California. It is truly a magnificent site. No matter how many photographs I have seen of it’s most popular features: El Capitan, Half Dome, Yosemite Falls and Bridal Vail Falls, I could not help reacting with “Oh Wow” when seeing it in person. 80

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Yosemite National Park is historically significant as it inspired the Yosemite Grant Act. On June 30, 1864, Congress enacted and President Lincoln signed the Yosemite Grant Act, establishing Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove as the first protected wild land of all time. This land became the first California State Park. In 1890, the surrounding land was designated Yosemite National Park. Conservationist John Muir convinced President Roosevelt and state authorities to combine Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove with Yosemite National Park in 1906. This year is the 150th anniversary of the Yosemite Grant Act. Learning about the history of the Yosemite Grant Act touched me deeply. Not only because it was the beginnings of our efforts to conserve lands unique to the United States, but also because it reminded me of the beginnings of the Extension Service. During that same time frame, with the Civil War underway, President Lincoln also signed the Morrill Act of 1862. Under this act, states received 30,000 acres of federal land for each member of congress the state had as of the census of 1860. This land, or the proceeds from its sale, was to be used toward establishing and funding educational institutions. The Smith-Lever Act of 1914 officially created the national Cooperative Extension System. So, Extension just celebrated its’ 150th anniversary of the beginnings of what lead to the Extension Service and this year we are officially celebrating the 100th anniversary of Extension. Yosemite National Park also reminded me of the resiliency of landscapes. The giant sequoia trees (Sequoiadendron giganteum) found in the Mariposa Grove are one of only three species of Sequoias that survived the Ice Ages. These trees live 3,000 or more years. Although not the tallest trees in the world, no other tree can surpass their immense volume. They survive the scorching of many natural fires and human excavation of tunnels large enough for horse drawn stages and vehicles to pass through. Survivability is enhanced

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as tree roots from separate trees fuse underground allowing water to be shared through long shallow root systems. Large trees fuse together at the base, but remain as two distinct trees above. New sequoia trees sprout from above ground roots of mature trees, again taking advantage of the older tree’s existing root system. While visiting the park, friends and I hiked over nine miles from the top of Glacier Point to the Valley floor. The elevation at Glacier Point is 7,214 feet while the valley floor is 3,200 feet. The hike was moderately strenuous and steep at some points. The hike took us over dirt and rocky trails that went up and down and up and down many times to the final lower elevation. I saw Poa annua, also known as annual bluegrass, growing in granite crevices near the top of Nevada Falls. Poa annua is a grass used as a cool season turfgrass, often treated as a weed in warm season turfgrass and is used for putting greens at golf clubs. How did it get there? Imagine, that perhaps a migrating bird flying overhead deposited seeds initially eaten many miles away. I saw wild flowers growing on the banks of a mountain and out of rock crevices. Luckily, it is spring at Yosemite, and the snow flower (Sarcodes sanguinea) was in bloom. The snow flower is a parasitic plant that pulls its’ nutrients from mycorrhizal fungi that attach to the roots of trees. It is unable to photosynthesize, so its’ survival depends on a mutual symbiotic relationship between plant roots and a fungus. At Yosemite where glaciers and rivers carved the rock formations, trees grow in the most unusual places. They curve their trunks to reach sunlight after sprouting from the side of a rock formation. They adapt their root system to spread over granite to find a crevice in search of soil and water. Small deposits of falling gravel and decomposing material caught on ledges of cliffs support trees.

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Yosemite National Park receives no human inputs in the form of irrigation systems, fertilizers or pesticides. Aside from prescribed burns and keeping trails safe for visitors there is minimal human intervention, yet the landscape of this National Park abounds with beauty. This trip to Yosemite and my observations lead me to think about our urban landscapes in the Tampa Bay area. Many of our landscapes are artificially created on fill dirt, carved out by tractors operated by man. Native soils and plants replaced by imperious pavements. But, once in place and established do our urban landscapes really require extensive inputs of irrigation, fertilizer and pesticides? The Extension Service provides education and resources that promote the Nine Principles of Florida Friendly Landscaping™ and the Green Industries Best Management Practices for the Protection of Water Resources. These principles and practices provide recommendations for maintaining urban landscapes utilizing researched and proven practices to reduce the environmental consequences of maintaining urban landscapes. My first message is, please remember that less is better. You may be amazed at how fantastic your landscape will look with minimal inputs. Learning about the Nine Principles of Florida Friendly Landscaping™, the types of plants and turfgrass you have and their minimal requirements will go a long way toward preserving our local environment and precious resources. My second message is, even if you are not able to take a trip to Yosemite National Park, get out and enjoy the many State and National Parks we have locally. And, while there, take time to observe the resiliency of landscapes.

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Naturally Amazing Activities

By Sean Green

Plastic Bottle Drip Irrigation Drip irrigation is a method of irrigation that conserves water and fertilizer by dispensing directly to where it is needed, the plants roots. When water is applied to the surface of soil, it must soak down through the soil before the roots can benefit from the nutrients. In Florida, soil temperature can build up quickly and hamper plant growth. Watering plants in the heat of the day can shock the plant with equally devastating results. This is especially true for potted plants that typically have shallow root systems. Ideally, plants should be provided the opportunity to grow their roots to deeper, more stable soil temperatures. Soil that is kept moist and cool will produce the healthiest plants in most cases. Drip irrigation systems are known to be the most efficient and effective means of maintaining healthy soil moisture and temperature and implementing a drip irrigation system does not need to be elaborate or expensive. This month, we will feature an inexpensive drip irrigation system using plastic bottles that would otherwise end up in the garbage or recycle bin. These drip irrigation systems will not only conserve water, but are a really cool way to water plants. I mean literally, cool. The soil will remain cooler and more stable through the hot summer months and there is little danger of overwatering.

Plastic Bottle Drill bit (1/16 - 3/32) Flower Pot Potting Soil

Material:

Directions:

1

2) Dig a hole in the soil deep enough to bury all but the top of the bottle.. If you are adding the bottle to established plants, try to get the bottle as close to the roots as possible without damaging the roots. If your starting your plants from seeds, no problem, just scatter the seeds around the buried bottle, the roots will grow around the bottle.

2

3) Bury the bottle with the cap side up. (the holes drilled in step 1 should be at the bottom of the hole) * If you are using a wick cloth, be sure to spread the cloth evenly before burying the bottle.

3

4 1) Drill several holes near the bottom and middle of the water bottle, more holes for more water. 1/16 will provide a nice slow drip but may clog, 3/32 will not likely clog, but will be too much water flow. If the water flows out in a stream rather than a drip, try stuffing an old cotton shoelace or cloth in the hole to create a drip cloth that will wick the water into the surrounding soil while preventing clogging.

4) Fill the water bottle with water, place the cap on the bottle. The water flow can be decreased by tightening the cap and increased by loosening the cap.

813-767-4703 301 South Collins Street, Suite 101, Plant City, Florida 33563

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A Closer Look

By Sean Green

No-see-ums (Culicoides)

Photo Credit: Ed T. Schmidtmann, USDA/ARS

Florida is home to many biting insects. In the wet days of summer, the mosquitoes, yellow flies, and horse flies can be seen in droves and can ruin a good camping or hiking trip. I have piled such beasties up after swatting them just to see how many I could collect and can assure you, the pile grows quickly. The worst offenders are the ones you can’t see, or hear for that matter. This month, we will take a closer look at an insect so tiny, it is commonly known as the “no-see-um” and among biting insects, is perhaps the most difficult to avoid. If you have ever been bitten by something and looked down only to see a series of bright red dots but no insect, chances are, it was the work of a small biting midge commonly known as a “no-see-um.” Biting midges belong to the Ceratopogonidae family and there are over 4,000 known species, 47 of which are known to occur in Florida, the genus Culicoides and Leptoconops being the most prominent. Adult males typically emerge first. Like it’s relative, the mosquito, female Culicoides require a blood meal for their eggs, adult males will feed on the honeydew secreted by aphids and other scale insects if they feed at all. Mating behavior varies with the species, for some, mating occurs when the female emerges and flies into a swarm of males. In other species, the male seeks a likely blood host and waits for the female to feed. Mating occurs after the female has had her blood meal. Although for the most part these insects are little more than an annoyance, there are some species that are of economic and medical significance. Species belonging the genus Leptoconops such as (L. torrens) are common in salt marshes and coastal areas of Florida and are fortunately, not known to transmit any disease to humans, pets, or livestock. Certain members of the genus Culicoides are of more concern. Two species; (C. grahami) and ( Culicoides furens) are recognized intermediate vectors of human disease caused by filarial worms (Filarioidea). Some species of Culicoides are known vectors of the Bluetongue virus (BTV) that can infect ruminant livestock such as cattle, sheep, goats, as well as our native population of deer. The most prominent species (C.sonorensis) occurs throughout Florida and is typically found in very damp, highly organic soil such as the manure loads of farming operations. The South American species (C. insignis) populates the southWWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM

Photo Credit: Roxanne Connelly

ern half of Florida and is typically found in the muddy areas along vegetated ponds. Because these species are prominent in Florida, it is assumed that Florida livestock are exposed to BTV and consequently, Florida cattle are restricted in international trade to Old World countries that are BTV free. Granted, there are various BTV vaccines available, but relying on them can cause more problems than the insect itself. The vaccine has to be specifically formulated for the serotype (variation) of the species, virus or bacteria being transmitted in the field. Vaccines produce viremia, the condition of the virus being circulated through the bloodstream rather than being isolated to a specific organ or cell type. When the vaccinated animal has the virus flowing through its bloodstream, that virus can potentially infect any subsequent Culicoides that take a blood meal from the animal with the modified virus (vaccine). It is reasonable to consider this practice potential to result in virulence (resistance) as vaccination does with any other virus. Managing this insects has always been problematic. We know that the larvae need water to survive, and in the past, management methods included diking and draining the natural marshlands in attempts to eliminate their habitat. However, larvae can develop anywhere there is moisture, including bromeliads, water logged tree stumps, mud, wet bark, or even rotting fruit. The application of insecticides is similarly inefficient. Insecticides targeting adults would be effective for the night of the application, but new adults will continue to emerge and disperse into other areas requiring reapplications that are neither efficient nor environmentally responsible. Researchers from the IFAS tested a large scale trapping system that uses CO2 as an attractant to lure midge populations into an insecticide laden kill box. This method is ideal for large scale management. Avoiding midges altogether can be difficult, because most species are small enough to fit through a standard 16-mesh screen enclosure. Smaller screening can be installed but it will certainly limit air flow. A less expensive and more effective alternative is to install ceiling fans in areas you want to keep free of midges; they are weak fliers and cannot withstand the winds created by a high speed fan. As for me? I’m hiking regardless! INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

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DENNIS CARLTON Named

Florida Farmer

of the year.

Recognized for His Natural Resource Stewardship

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hen Dennis Carlton was a boy growing up in Tampa, he – like most boys – wanted to be a cowboy. But, unlike most boys, Carlton did indeed become a cowboy. He passed on the comforts and privileges of life in Tampa and followed his second cousin, Doyle Carlton Jr., into rural Florida where he developed his love for the woods, pastures and swamps of the Sunshine State. Attesting to his passion for Florida’s land, is his selection as Florida’s 2014 Farmer of the Year, an honor awarded by a statewide panel of judges for his continuing production success and excellent natural resource management practices. “It is hard for me to grasp that I was chosen as the 2014 Sunbelt Ag Expo Florida Farmer of the Year,” he said. “It is, of course, an honor, but being passionate about agriculture is in my soul. Making a living surrounded by family that love and respect one another in a profession of our choosing is truly a blessing.” Carlton is a seventh generation Floridian and the son of Tampa surgeon, Dr. Leffie M. Carlton. He is an alumnus of Jesuit High School in Tampa and attended Florida Southern College. He is married to 1948 – Hillsborough County Agricultural Jean college Beem - sweetheart, Alice his Millsap Carlton, and they have three Agents. Left to Right, Edwin Booth, S. Frank Extension Director children, the late Marjorie Carlton Ford, Neff, Alec White, and Melissa J.O. Armor.Thomas, Dennis Carlton Jr. and six grandchildren. Mid-State Realty Company was Carlton’s initial business, which was located in Plant City. His agricultural career began in 1974 with 10 cows and 55-acres. “Our agriculture operation now consists of two separate cow-calf businesses, a citrus division and strawberry leases,” said Carlton. Carlton and Carlton Ranches is a family-owned cow/calf operation headquartered in Hardee County with cattle in Hardee, Desoto, Manatee, Hillsborough and Pasco counties. Audubon Ranch leases the 12,000-acre Lower Green Swamp Nature Preserve, formerly known as the Cone Ranch, from Hillsborough County for a cow/calf operation. “The citrus side of our business is located in Hillsborough and Hardee counties, while the strawberry land is leased to growers. We do not grow berries.” While acquiring land for his own business interests or for sale, Carlton has become known for his wise decisions concerning the land and environment. “Whenever a piece of land comes into my care, I try to improve and restore it as much as possible.” This is readily evident at the former Cone Ranch, which Carlton has leased for nearly two decades from the county. Invasive species control, pasture fertility, and abundant wildlife have all been enhanced because of his stewardship. Carlton, along with two lifelong friends, Chuck Davis and Lee Pallardy, restored 1,200 acres outside of Tampa from phosphate slime pits to improved pasture. It is one of the largest wetland restorations completed by private ownership in the Tampa Bay Area. Throughout his career Carlton has been involved in his community as a leader. He has served as a board member and vice chair at Valrico State Bank, a member of the Soil and Water Conservation District and board member and past president of Hillsborough County Farm Bureau. He is currently on the boards of Farm Credit of Central Florida, CenterState Bank, Hillsborough County’s Agricultural Economic Development Council and a Trustee at First Freewill Baptist Church.

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In 1996, Carlton won the Harvest Award-Outstanding Young Farmer/Rancher Award presented by the Greater Hillsborough County Fair Agricultural Awareness Committee and The Valrico State Bank. The Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce named Carlton Agriculturist of the Year in 2004. Carlton, like many contemporary farmers, has recognized and adopted research-based techniques to stay in business. “Citrus growers saw freezes in the 80’s, rebuilding in the 90’s and cost returns below production expenses in this century,” he said. “Then we faced canker, followed by greening. Each decade has its challenges, but hard work and new technology keep us going.” His official honor is known as the Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Ag Expo Florida Farmer of the Year. Carlton will be recognized for his accomplishments at the Sunbelt Ag Exposition in Moultrie, Ga., in October. There, he will compete against nine other state winners for the regional title of Southeastern Farmer of the Year. The Expo is regarded as “North America’s Premier Farm Show” with more than 1,200 exhibitors within a 100-acre exhibit area and an adjoining 600acre working research farm. The Expo’s mission is to produce a premier farm show “that is conducive to trade and emphasizes information, education and implementation of the latest agricultural technology, research and equipment.” This will be the 25th Anniversary of Swisher International and the Sunbelt Agricultural Exposition to have the honor to salute the agricultural community and industry with the Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year Award. In the previous 24-years, many of agriculture’s top business leaders, innovators, environmentalists, pioneers, family men, problem solvers and leaders have received national recognition. Swisher International and Sunbelt Ag Expo continue to provide recognition for a select group of true heroes – American Farmers – and make the public more aware of the many ways agriculture touches their lives every day.

IN THE FIELD wishes to extend its most sincere congratulations to Dennis Carlton for his ongoing stewardship of Florida’s land and his service to the community. Best of luck in Moultrie.

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Non-Agricultural Zoning and Florida’s Agricultural Lands Ad Valorem Tax Classification: Can They Coexist? By Derrill McAteer and David Smolker

The Florida legislature created a favorable separate ad valorem tax classification for agricultural land in 1959. Section193.461, Florida Statutes, often referred to as Florida’s “Greenbelt Law,” was intended to protect lands utilized for “bona fide agricultural purposes” from increased tax assessments resulting from the sky-rocketing land values that accompanied Florida’s rapid growth. The agricultural classification was also intended to allow farmers to utilize farmland to its highest and best use and lead to the production of sustainable income. A question arose, however, as to what constituted the use of land for “bona fide” agricultural purposes. Section 193.461(3)(b) Florida Statutes defines the phrase “bona fide agricultural purposes” to mean “good faith commercial agricultural use of the land.” The statute includes factors to consider in determining whether this definition is met: 1. The length of time the land has been so used. 2. Whether the use has been continuous. 3. The purchase price paid. 4. Size, as it relates to specific agricultural use, but a minimum acreage may not be required for agricultural assessment. 5. Whether an indicated effort has been made to care sufficiently and adequately for the land in accordance with accepted commercial agricultural practices, including, without limitation, fertilizing, liming, tilling, mowing, reforesting, and other accepted agricultural practices. 6. Whether the land is under lease and, if so, the effective length, terms, and conditions of the lease. 7. Such other factors as may become applicable. The seventh, open ended consideration raised the question addressed here: what effect does the zoning of the property have on the determination of whether the land 94

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is being utilized for bona fide agricultural purposes and qualifies for the agricultural classification? Property appraisers and interest groups argued that if an individual or entity rezoned their property from, for example, an agricultural classification to a commercial or residential classification, their “good faith” intended use of the land was no longer agricultural, and they should not be able to continue to enjoy the reduced tax bill associated with an agricultural classification. So just how important is a property’s zoning designation in determining whether property is eligible for the agricultural classification? Florida’s courts have answered this question, holding that a rezoning creates only a rebuttable presumption against awarding an agricultural classification. According to the courts, the zoning classification of land is not, as a matter of law, determinative of actual, good faith agricultural use of land, for ad valorem tax purposes. Rather, the zoning classification is just one factor that an assessor or reviewing court may consider, along with the other factors in Section 193.461. Thus, in one case, the Citrus County Property Appraiser denied an agricultural classification for pasture land that had been continuously grazed because it was re-zoned PD-R (Planned Development-Residential). The landowner filed suit and the circuit court held that because cattle grazing was not a permitted use in that zoning category, an agricultural classification could not be granted. The landowner appealed, and the Court of Appeal looked to the actual use of the property. It found that if the land is being used for a bona fide agricultural purpose, the landowner is entitled to the agricultural classification in spite of the rezoning to a non-agricultural zoning classification, and concluded that whether the agricultural classification of land for ad valorem tax purposes is appropriate depends on the statutory laws of Florida, not a county zoning code. On a subsequent WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


appeal, the Florida Supreme Court agreed. Thus, the rezoning of property to a non-agricultural zoning category is not a fatal blow to a landowner’s efforts to preserve an agricultural tax classification. It creates a rebuttable presumption against continued agricultural tax classification, which can be rebutted by the landowner by demonstrating that the property continues to be used for good faith commercial agricultural use. This does not mean that zoning is irrelevant; rather it remains a factor to be considered along with the other applicable factors. Therefore, landowners should maintain their agricultural operations with the other factors listed in Section 193.461 in mind. Agricultural operations should continue throughout the year without interruption, best management practices with regard to soil, livestock, timber and pasture care should be utilized and documented, and any lease should clearly state that the land is to be utilized for agricultural purposes and denote the parties responsible for the various aspects of the agricultural operation. Smart management is the best strategy to preserve an agricultural classification.

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Trees and Tampa Bay By Rob Northrop

The trees in our backyards and open areas create a soothing diversity of color and form in our otherwise angular and reflect urban environment. They sway and rustle in the wind, provide a gymnasium for the neighborhood squirrels and children. They often have sentimental value when we remember how and when they were planted, or the family events that occurred in and around them. All of these values, there are many more, reflect the influence trees can and do have on our personal lives. These same trees also play an important role in the restoration and conservation of the Tampa Bay estuary. Nitrogen has been identified as a primary pollutant in the bay. It’s presence in an overabundance sets off a series of changes in the bay’s biological community that leads to the loss of under water grasses, affecting the bay’s ability to support living organisms. Currently the two principle sources of excess nitrogen reaching the bay are storm water runoff, and atmospheric deposition. The trees in our yards and along road ways influence both volume of storm water runoff and quality of the air.   Trees reduce the volume of storm water runoff through the interception of rainfall by leaves, twigs, branches, and trunk, allowing some of the rain water to evaporate back into the atmosphere, while enhancing soil infiltration by reducing the speed of water flow. Studies have demonstrated that increasing tree cover area by 5% in a community leads to an approximately 2% reduction in storm water runoff. A single mature deciduous tree can intercept between 500 and 760 gallons of water per year, depending upon species and rainfall characteristics. Using low maintenance or native trees enhances the pollutant mediation effects by reducing the need for the use of fertilizers and pesticides around the home. Reducing storm water runoff not only decreases flooding, and the quantity of pollutants washed from our lawns, streets, and parking lots into the bay, but it is economically viable.   The national non-profit organization American Forests has conducted more that 20 studies of urban tree values in cities across the United States. One such study analyzed the Baltimore-Washington area and estimated a decline in the amount of tree cover from 51% to 37% between 1973 and 1997. The loss in urban tree cover produced an estimated 19% increase in storm water runoff (American Forests 1999). The cost of constructing storm water treatment practices to intercept this runoff was estimated at $1.08 billion.   It is estimated that 24% of the nitrogen that enters that bay is coming directly from the atmosphere. Research from the U.S. Forest Service and Lancaster University in England has established that trees can remove a number of pollutants, including nitrogen dioxide, from the atmosphere. Other pollutants associated with 96 96

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human health problems are also removed from the air including sulfur dioxide, ozone, carbon monoxide, and particulate matter. A single mature tree has been estimated to remove up to 10 pounds of air pollutants per year. The lost urban tree cover, mentioned in the American Forests urban forest values study for the Baltimore-Washington DC area, would have removed about 9.3 million pounds of pollutants from the atmosphere annually, at a value of approximately $24 million a year. These values are further enhanced by on site reduction in temperatures up to 20°F, lowering nitrogen oxide pollutant emissions associated with energy consumption and production needed for air conditioning. According to Dr. Greg McPherson, Center for Urban Forest Research, strategically planting two trees around your home could reduce your energy bill by 25% when the trees mature (15 Years). The Chesapeake Bay Program, the United States’ largest estuary restoration project, has specifically identified urban trees as important natural features that promote the program’s restoration goals. In 2003 the Chesapeake Executive Council introduced a new goal for communities to increase their urban tree cover. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the state partners in the Chesapeake Bay Program are supporting new technologies that incorporate trees into water and air pollution control, and funding pilot projects to demonstrate their practical application.   While your trees play a considerable role in maintaining the health of the bay and metropolitan region, they are also adding economic value to your home and community. Research has demonstrated the property values increase from 5 to 19% with trees. Retail and commercial businesses benefit from the positive environment that attracts and welcomes customers. One survey in Georgia found that 74% of potential patrons preferred shops with trees and landscaping, and that these customers were willing to pay 12% more for the products they purchased.   Planting and maintaining trees is one of the many positive ways to participate in the restoration of the Tampa Bay. The reduction in storm water runoff and filtering of the atmosphere by trees can lead to reduced levels of nitrogen and other pollutants entering the bay, while the homes and communities they enhance benefit from increased economic viability, and social well being.   For more information contact: Rob Northrop Extension Forester University of Florida IFAS—Hillsborough County Extension Phone: 813-744-5519 x54106 email: northrop@ufl.edu

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We buy farms Gladstone Land is actively acquiring farms in Florida. We offer owners and farmers three options: 1. A long-term sale leaseback transaction allows farmers to free up capital to improve their farming operations.

2. We buy land that farmers would like to farm, but not own.

3. A cash purchase while retaining the existing tenant or finding a new one if needed.

Please contact Bill Frisbie at Gladstone Land: (703) 287-5839 bill.frisbie@gladstonecompanies.com | www.gladstoneland.com

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MASSEY FERGUSON 210 2wd., diesel tractor. $3,750 Call Alvie. 813-759-8722

CECIL BREEDING FARM Full service thoroughbred farm from foaling to the track. Broodmare care. Investment opportunities. 863-899-9620 ANIMAL CONTROL Complete Nuisance/Destructive Wildlife Removal & Management! Wild hogs, coyotes, raccoons, opossum, armadillo, squirrels, bobcats, etc. (licensed & insured professional Services) 863-287-2311 ANIMAL & BIRDCAGES Equipment serving the fur bearing animal & exotic bird industry! Cages built to order. Wire by roll or foot. (813) 752-2230. Call Don Ammerman. www.ammermans.com Swaps July 13, 2014 and November 30, 2014 CHICKEN MANURE FOR SALE Dry and available immediately! Call Tim Ford or Danny Thibodeau 863-439-3232

HAY EQUIPMENT Vicon RP 1210 hay roller. Vicon 6 ft rotary disc mower, 4 wheel rake. $3,000 firm. Call after 6pm 813-967-3816 HUSTLER RAPTOR 42" cut, 21 hp Kawasaki engine. 3 year warranty. $2,799 Call Alvie 813-759-8722 Case JX75 w/ loader, 4wd ALO loader, Euro style Q/A Shuttle transmission 2 spool rear remote valve Canopy Yr: 2006 1413hrs 75h, 62 PTO. $17,900 Call Robby 863-537-1345 2001 KUBOTA B7500 4x4 with box blade, belly mower & loader. 1,064 hours. $8,500 Call Alvie (813)759-8722

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REAL ES TATE FOR SALE – 45 ACRES VACANT LAND (Pasco County) 45 acres are comprised of gently rolling hills with big trees & solid ground. A great setting for residential development. To the east of the property is a 60 acre parcel (Lake Gilbert) that adds significant aesthetic value to the 45 acres. Zoning: AR (Agricultural-Rural) Call Heidi Cecil for more information 863-899-9620 FOR LEASE or SALE Approx. 30 acres, overhead 4 drift irrigation, mobil home included. Plant City, Fl. 334-355-1945 JANE BAER REALTY Looking for that mountain getaway home? We have what you are looking for. Check out our website at www.janebaerrealty.com or call us toll free 800-820-7829. We are located in Blairsville GA, North Georgia Mountains!

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CONTRIBUTING WRITER Write about events in your community. Immediate openings in Hillsborough and Polk Counties. Paid per article. Responsibilities include covering community events and taking pictures. Email your resume to sarah@inthefieldmagazine.com

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• Hunting & Recreational Properties

• Crop Insurance

Farm Credit—Your

OF CENTRAL FLORIDA

1-866-245-3637

One Stop Lender

www.farmcreditcfl.com Farm Credit of Central Florida Names Michelle G. Hurst to Board Farm Credit of Central Florida Chairman of the Board, David J. Stanford, announced the appointment of Michelle G. Hurst to the cooperative’s board as an outside director. “We are elated to have Michelle’s expertise in accounting, trust, and estate planning as a resource to our association,” Stanford said. Michelle is a CPA and a partner at Bunting, Tripp & Ingley LLP in Lake Wales. “I look forward to being a part of the Farm Credit Board, a team of sophisticated, warm and highly intelligent businessmen who really understand the complexities and challenges their customers face today and want to help make their Association The Lender of Choice,” Michelle said. Raised in Bavaria Germany, Michelle, is bilingual, and earned her BS in accounting from the University of South Carolina. She and her husband of 27 years, Stewart W. Hurst, live in Babson Park and have two grown children, Charlie and Jacqueline. Michelle and Stewart enjoy exercising, spending time together, and volunteering in their church and community as much as possible. Michelle has an extensive background in accounting and has been with her current firm since 1992, after working with firms in Vero Beach, Florida and Greenville, South Carolina. She has been an active member of her community, serving in numerous positions of authority including, Past President of Lake Wales Breakfast Rotary Club, Florida Institute of CPA’s, Lake Wales YMCA Service Club, and the Heartland Estate Planning Council to name a few. “Michelle is well respected throughout the area and her skills will greatly enhance the strength of our board of directors,” said Reggie Holt, President & CEO of Farm Credit of Central Florida. Farm Credit of Central Florida is a Member-Owned agricultural lending cooperative serving farmers, ranchers, growers and rural homeowners in 13 central Florida counties including, Polk, Citrus, Hernando, Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Sumter, Lake, Seminole, Orange, Osceola, Volusia and Brevard. The association also sells crop insurance. WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM

• Agriculture • Youth Steer Projects • Residential Property • Hunting & Recreational Properties

• Operating Expenses • Livestock • Equipment • Crop Insurance

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In The Field magazine Hillsborough edition  

Agriculture magazine covering Hillsborough County in Florida

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