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Aug. 15 - Sept. 15, 2009

Marion’s AGRICULTURE Magazine

®

Carol Harris

Exploring Bo-Bett Farm Follow us:

INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

AUGUST 2009

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From the Editor AUGUST August is here

and it is time for a brand new school year. Be extra careful around bus stops as the children embark on their future. If you aren’t a member of Farm Bureau, please consider joining the organization that works hard to be the Voice of Agriculture. You don’t have to be a farmer to join. The Farm Bureau works hard to protect your rights as a property owner and a member of the community. In addition, you will receive a number of benefits including low rates and substantial discounts on loans, personal, life and car insurance, merchandise, travel, theme park discounts and other services. Don’t forget that nominations for the Woman of the Year in Agriculture are being accepted until November 1. If you know someone who has made outstanding contributions to Florida agriculture, submit an application. The form can be found at www.florida-agriculture.com/agwoman/index.htm. We are always on the lookout for new story ideas. Please let us know if you have someone or someplace in mind. We also invite you to share your thoughts with us. Remember, this is your agriculture magazine. As always, we would like to say thank you to our advertisers. You make it possible for us to continue to “Cover What is Growing.” Have a great Labor Day. Until Next Month,

Sarah

RETRACTION: John and Kathleen Schmidt contacted us to let us know they would love to average $100 per pound for their miniature Zebu calves as reported in error in last month’s Farm Bureau Highlight, but had received that amount only one time for a calf they did not really want to sell at the time and had placed the price higher than normal. While they were pleasantly surprised, they want everyone to know that the price of their miniature Zebus is based on sex, conformation, and age like other pedigree animals.

The LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you

VOL. 2 • ISSUE 8

Editor-In-Chief

JULY 15 - AUGUST 15, 2009

Marion’s AGRICULTURE Magazine

®

Carol Harris

Page 32 Carol Harris

Exploring Bo-Bett Farm

I T

F

M

A

2009

1

Associate Publishers Bill and Carla Floyd

Senior Managing Editor Sarah Holt

5 Orchids

Office Manager

6 Farm Bureau Letter

Sales Manager

7 Farm Bureau Highlight

Sales

12 Extension Article 14 Florida Lychee

Bob Hughens

Brent Simmons

Brooke Hamlin Rhonda Wetherington Carla Floyd Bill Floyd Tina Piechowiak Sherry Fisher

16 Fishing Report

Art Director

18 Tales and Trails

Staff Writers

26 Business Upfront 34 Grub Station

38 Rocking Chair Chatter

HEY READERS, hidden somewhere in the magazine is a logo. Find the logo and be eligible to win a FREE InTheField® T-shirt. Send us your business card or an index card with your name and telephone number, the page on which you found the logo and where on the page you found it. Mail to: P.O. Box 5377, Plant City, FL 33563-0042

Al Berry

Follow us:

36 Yellow Sac Spider

No Farmers No Food

Publisher Karen Berry

Julie Bedford

Al Berry Sandy Kaster James Frankowiak Julie Bedford Danette Philpot Elli Rarick Katie Wimberly

Contributing Writers Chris Reese Dennis Voyles David Holmes Lacey Colletti Tom Cothron

In The Field® Magazine is published monthly and is available through local Marion/Levy County businesses, restaurants and other local venues. It is also distributed by U.S. mail to a target market, which includes members of Marion and Levy County Farm Bureaus. Letters, comments and questions can be sent to P.O. Box 5377, Plant City, Florida 33563-0042 or you are welcome to email them to sarah@inthefieldmagazine.com or call 813-759-6909. Advertisers warrant & represent the descriptions of their products advertised are true in all respects. In The Field Magazine® assumes no responsibility for claims made by their advertisers. All views expressed in all articles are those of the authors and not necessarily those of Berry Publications, Inc. Any use or duplication of material used in In The Field® magazine is prohibited without written consent from Berry Publications, Inc. Published by Berry Publications, Inc.

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AUGUST 2009

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Resting at the peak of

a rolling hill situated between orange groves and Lake Weir, you will find a meticulously kept yard and home. Just down the hill is a greenhouse that looks like any other. Venturing closer, the soft, classical notes of the National Public Radio program drift about with the breeze. The gravel crunches under foot, and after opening the door, a wondrous world is laid out before you in that unassuming greenhouse. Orchids, literally thousands of them, hang in baskets and on slabs of virgin cork or arms of dragon’s wood. Others are potted and set on tables, each one filled with hundreds of plants. The ones that hang from overhead boast roots nearly as long as some people are tall. A waxy light green, the orchids’ roots create a maze for intrigued visitors. The species within range from more common varieties, to some that are incredibly rare. “One Lousy Orchid” “I got my first orchid about 20 years ago,” said Suzanne Farnsworth, “and then the number just kept growing.” Farnsworth is the owner and operator of Orchids and Supplies, which she runs out of her home in Weirsdale. Suzanne bought her first orchid on a whim. “I don’t know why I bought the plant,” she said, “It was pretty.” After that first plant, her collection and passion simply continued to grow. “I started off with a small, 12 foot by 24 foot greenhouse that a friend of the family’s had built on a concrete slab that used to be an old dog kennel,” Farnsworth said. In 1995, a hurricane passed through the area and devastated locations all around Lake Weir. The greenhouse was one of those things that the hurricane took with it. “At the time, I had 64 Orchids in that greenhouse,” Farnsworth said. “They all had to come into the kitchen prior to the storm.” “The original greenhouse was made of old mobile home trusses and fiberglass, so it didn’t stand a chance,” Farnsworth said. “The orchids had to stay in the house for two weeks until I was able to find materials to re-build.” Suzanne finally found the right sized fiberglass sheets and off she went to retrieve them. The rolls of fiberglass, 14 feet long, had to be strapped to the roof of her Jeep Cherokee in order to make the trip she said. “I’m not sure how I made it home with that,” she recalls. Growing Business After years of expanding on the original greenhouse, an average of 12 feet every two years, Suzanne relocated to a house up the hill and in the process, a new and improved greenhouse. “Now I have a 30 by 60 foot greenhouse, that was added onto in 2006, with a water pad, ventilation and the works!” “I have hundreds of plants for sale at any

“Orchids will

teach you patience.” Some of the orchids bloom once a year, others bloom only under the perfect temperature conditions and others are said to bloom exactly nine days after a thunderstorm. STORY BY KATIE WIMBERLY

No Farmers No Food

given time of the year,” Farnsworth said. For most of the orchids, blooming season is between January and April. Some bloom at other times of the year she said. “During the first few months of the year, the entire back half of the greenhouse is covered in blooms,” Farnsworth said. She also carries a wide selection of only the best orchid supplies. From virgin cork, to clean sphagnum moss, ceramic pots specially designed for orchids and dragon’s wood, Farnsworth can supply the pickiest of orchids – and growers – with a host of the finest supplies from across the world. Orchids and supplies are sold out of her stock in the greenhouse, as well as at Ambrosia’s in The Villages Lake Sumter Landing. “There’s No End” To quote the poem, “One Lousy Orchid,” “Each growth is looked on as a new event, and when it blooms, we forget what was spent.” “We try to duplicate what mothernature does,” Farnsworth said, “and that’s not easy.”

To grow an orchid from seed requires a technique called flasking. Flasking takes place under the most sterile of conditions as orchid seed is incredibly selective as to the conditions it will grow in. Orchid seeds are the consistency of one grain of face powder, so the conditions for them to grow must be absolutely perfect. Once the orchid begins to grow, it is a constant schedule of watering, trimming and re-potting as the plant matures and blooms every season. “Orchids will teach you patience,” Farnsworth said. “And I’m not a patient person.” Some of the orchids bloom once a year, others bloom only under the perfect temperature conditions and others are said to bloom exactly nine days after a thunderstorm. Regardless of when or how often the orchids do or don’t bloom, Farnsworth says, “It’s all about the challenge!” If you are interested in learning more about orchids, or purchasing materials, contact Suzanne directly at 352-821-2147.

INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

AUGUST 2009

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MARION COUNTY FARM BUREAU 5800 SW 20th St. • Ocala, FL 34474 Phone (352) 237-2124 MCFB Members,

“THE VOICE OF AGRICULTURE” MARION COUNTY FARM BUREAU

It’s hard to believe that August is here. It has been another hot summer and I’m already looking forward to some cooling off in the

Office Hours: Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

coming weeks. I must admit that I

Federation Coordinator Lacey Colletti lacey.colletti@ffbic.com

to football, Farm Bureau will not

Florida Farm Bureau Field Staff Joe Siegmeister joe.siegmeister@ffbf.org Farm Bureau Insurance Agency Manager Tom Cothron tom.cothron@ffbic.com Main Office 5800 SW 20th St. (352) 237-2124 Agent: Clint Walding, Scott Williams, Travis Sanders, Pete Sapienza clint.walding@ffbic.com scott.williams@ffbic.com travis.sanders@ffbic.com pete.sapienza@ffbic.com Branch Office 245 NE 36th Ave. (352) 694-9800 Agent: Matthew Cameron, Denise Berlin matt.cameron@ffbic.com denise.berlin@ffbic.com

am just as ready for football season as I am in the drop in temperature. As many of us may shift our focus take its eye off the ball as far as Washington and Tallahassee are concerned. Raising three kids does not always allow me the time to keep up with the news as much as I would like. Quite frankly, I think many politicians would just as soon we turn our attention to things other than the decisions they are making. That is why I am so glad that we have an organization such as Farm Bureau to stay on top of the issues that affect our way of life. So, if you are considering joining Farm Bureau or are wondering if you should re-up your membership, remember that $40 is a lot less than you would pay to get into most college or pro football games. What a deal! Go Gator’s! and Go Farm Bureau! Sincerely,

Chris

Chris Reese

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Chris Reese, President; Russ Randall, Vice President; D.A. Lewis Jr., Treasurer, Todd Dailey, Secretary; Sarah Cannon, David Holmes, Al Kunz, Jimmy Lefils, Sam Love, Russ Randall, Joe Roman, Jerry Spears, Sarah Joe Thomas, Jeff Vermillion, Gene Waldron, Travis Wiygul 6

INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

AUGUST 2009


Farm Bureau

By Nick Chapman

What does a vet do after more than 40 years of practice

and retirement? In the case of Dr. Jerry Spears, it’s getting back to his roots, which include farming and involvement in agriculture. “My dad raised watermelon and cattle. I went off to veterinary school and practiced for 45 years, and here I am back doing what I did when I was growing up,” Dr. Spears said. He also recently joined the board of directors at the Marian County Farm Bureau. “A neighbor friend of mine asked if I’d be willing to serve on the board. I asked him what it involved and he told me, so here I am.” Dr. Spear’s participation in agriculture extended beyond his family farm in Leesburg, as it grew to a life passion while in school. “I was in FFA from the time I could get into it until I graduated. It was a big part of my life, in my opinion. It was a good thing, and I would encourage any young person to get into FFA or 4-H.” Dr. Spears served as president of the Leesburg FFA. After his graduation from high school, Dr. Spears attended the University of Florida where he attained a B.S.A. degree in Animal Husbandry. He married Gayle, his wife of more than 50 years in 1957. He pursued his Veterinary degree (D.V.M.) from Auburn University, and graduated in 1962. He worked for, and eventually owned, the Animal Medical Center in St. Petersburg, where he practiced small animal veterinary medicine from 1962 to 1994. During that time he and Gayle raised their two sons, Douglas and Allen, both of whom still reside in Florida. Dr. Spears belonged to multiple professional organizations, including the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Florida Veterinary Medical Association, the Marion and Pinellas County Veterinary Medical Associations, the Florida Cracker Cattle Association and the Florida and Marion County Cattleman’s Associations, just to name a few. The Spears moved to Marion County in the early nineties, where they now reside in Citra. With several decades of experience in central and north Florida, Dr. Spears offers a unique perspective to the changes that have impacted Florida’s agricultural industry. He quickly summarizes Florida’s current problem as, “less land and less farmers farming everywhere. In the future we’re going to have a food problem if things don’t change, because we don’t have many young farmers starting to farm because they can’t afford to.” He discussed how property prices escalated dur-

HIGHLIGHT ing the development boom, putting large tracts of land out of reach for the average young farmer. “Unless they inherit the land, they don’t have any land to farm on.” His advise to a young farmer in the midst of this poor economic climate, “If they can team up with somebody ready to retire, it’s probably their best bet.” Locally he sees Marion County facing tough issues concerning water, taxes and prices. “A big problem for a lot of farmers is getting permitted for use of water. Taxes are getting worse every day, and the price of product is getting less.” He again speaks from first hand knowledge, because he now raises cattle and calves for sale. He relayed how the price for calves has dramatically dropped just since last year. “My calf prices this year are fifteen cents per pound under what they were last year.” Falling product prices, combined with an increase in the cost of hay, feed, fertilizer and fuel, put a real strain on farmers. “We’re all on a negative cash flow system, and you can’t keep that up forever.” When speaking of Farm Bureau’s possible impact on these issues, he states, “I’m sure Farm Bureau can certainly have a big part in it (agricultural issues), especially from the political side of it.” He likes their strong stand on property ownership. “Property rights are very important when you get to be my age. You’ve worked all your life to accumulate something and you wonder what’s going to happen when you die. We’re a long way from getting out of this mess. We’ve got a lot of sacrifices to make on all sides, but I think the American people can do it if we want to bad enough. Our forefathers did.” At home, Dr. Spears doesn’t stay idle. “I raise a garden every year, I’ve done it all my life and I’ll still do it. And I raise cattle and I stay pretty busy at that.” He said he doesn’t practice veterinary medicine anymore, except on his own animals, and occasionally to help out a friend. And he admits he doesn’t miss certain aspects of the job, “I’ve been stomped and kicked enough. I miss the people and I miss the animals, I met some fine folks.” And what does Dr. Spears think of his life in the country and among animals? “I love farming and I love agriculture. I do what I enjoy, that’s what it amounts to.” And with his straight-forward attitude and passion for what he does, you can be sure Dr. Jerry Spears will continue to enjoy his life as a retired country vet.

INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

AUGUST 2009

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Florida FFA Hall of Fame to Induct Five in 2009 The Florida FFA Association is pleased to announce the 2009 FFA Hall of Fame Inductees. The 2009 inductees are Marion Bishop, Bill Gunter, Richard Kelly, Joe Kirkland, and C. M. Lawrence. “Florida FFA owes an immense debt of gratitude to these outstanding leaders,” said Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Charles H. Bronson. “Their dedicated service in agriculture education helped make FFA the outstanding student organization recognized throughout the state.” They will be inducted into the Florida FFA Hall of Fame during the third annual awards celebration October 3, 2009, at the Florida FFA Leadership Training Center in Haines City. “These individuals are responsible for the tradition of excellence that our FFA members have come to expect,” said Caitlyn Prichard, president of the Florida FFA Association. “This year our theme is ‘in motion.’ Through the tireless and unselfish efforts of individuals such as these, Florida FFA has set ‘in motion’ an outstanding program for Florida’s agriculture education students for many years to come.” The Florida FFA Hall of Fame began in 2007 to pay tribute to those outstanding individuals who have helped make the Florida FFA Association the premier youth leadership organization in the state. Because of the support of these individuals, Florida FFA has become home to more than 15,000 FFA members in more than 300 FFA chapters across the state. FFA members are engaged in a wide range of agricultural education activities, leading to more than 300 professional career opportunities in the agricultural industry. Tickets to the event will be available from the Florida FFA Foundation. For ticket information, contact Gary Bartley at (863) 439-7332.

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AUGUST 2009

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FLORIDA SELECTED AS PILOT PROJECT TO MOBILIZE MILLIONS OF FLEXIBLE FUEL VEHICLE OWNERS IN FFV AWARENESS

A national consumer awareness campaign aimed at

owners of flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs) was officially launched at the Farm-to-Fuel Summit. The project is a cooperative effort between key Florida state government interests, gasoline/E85 distributors, ethanol companies, and several nonprofit environmental and energy advocacy groups. The Florida Farm-to-Fuel Summit provided the forum for Charles Bronson, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, to announce that the state would be taking a proactive role aimed at increasing the use of higher blends of renewable biofuels, like ethanol, in FlexFuel Vehicles (FFVs). “Our state has developed a comprehensive strategy to become more energy independent with clean, sustainable, and affordable fuel sources,” said Governor Crist. “Today’s announcement is one more step that our state can take in the effort to become better stewards of our natural resources.” “We can stimulate the state economy and create new biotech jobs simply by using more ethanol. Several advanced biofuel projects in our state will use our abundant renewable biomass resources, waste from our agriculture processing plants, and trash from our cities. There are hundreds of millions of dollars that are being invested in Florida for these second generation ethanol plants and we need to develop the market by educating consumers now,” said Bronson. There are more than eight million FFV owners in the U.S. and 500,000 in Florida. Hundreds of auto dealers in the state will be selling millions more FFVs in the next few years. Project organizers say the program will be duplicated in states across the U.S. and can play a key role in meeting national renewable fuel use requirements. “The FFV Awareness driver education project is designed to locate and encourage drivers of FFVs to try higher blends of ethanol when they are available. This will help Florida meet its goals of reducing the cost of and reliance on imported oil, improving air quality, and creating economic development opportunities - all while reducing greenhouse gases. This is a Win-Win-Win for Florida drivers, the state government, and the nation,” said Douglas A. Durante, Director of the Clean Fuels Foundation. There are currently thirty E85 stations in the state, with a majority 10

INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

AUGUST 2009

of them located in the South Florida market. “Ethanol is the only renewable alternative fuel available today that is noticeably reducing our dependence on imported oil,” said Renewable Fuels Association President Bob Dinneen. “Americans are willing to support a domestically-produced, renewable fuel over imported oil if they know where to buy it and if they can use. Making consumers aware of their fueling options puts the drive for energy independence in their capable hands. By partnering with the industry, the state of Florida is leading by example.” The Clean Fuels Foundation and the FlexFuel Vehicle Club of America are the project organizers in cooperation with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The lead sponsor for the pilot project is the Renewable Fuels Association. Other project supporters include General Motors, Verenium, Protec Fuel Management, Urbieta Oil, Florida Biofuels Association, and the USDA Office of Energy Policy and New Uses.


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By David Holmes

HOW TO KILL A TREE During a recent conversation with one of our Extension Advisory Committee members, an arborist by profession, he requested that I prepare an article on “How to Kill A Tree.” “This seems like a dour topic,” I thought, “he must have been having a bad day.” Normally when I hear suggestions from Master Gardeners for news column topics I sit up and take notice, for they generally are in the know about what problems people are having with plants. I take these suggestions even more carefully when they come from advisory committee members, so today you’re in for information on how killing trees can be accomplished. Considering this title, it is quite the opposite approach from questions we typically entertain. Usually people want to know how to keep trees alive. Still, the topic may have some merit so, for each of these I list, consider doing the opposite to prolong tree life. To kill a tree at planting employ the following practices – 1. don’t bother to plant the tree when you get it home, instead leave it out where the sun and wind will dry out the roots or root ball. 2. Fail to match the tree with soils at the planting site. Make survival a challenge for the tree by planting trees that prefer welldrained soils in wet sites. 3. Plant the tree under power lines. If it survives the extreme effects of utility arboriculture, at least it will be misshapen. 4. Ignore instruction to break the root ball apart at installation but instead, allow circling, girdling roots to continue unabated. 5. Never mind using a garden hose at installation to force extra oxygen out of the planting hole. 6. Forget to water the tree after planting. 7. Plant the tree too deep – that is level with or below the soil line. 8. Pack the soil tightly around the roots, in effect smothering the tree. 9. Apply an excessive amount of mulch (more than two inches deep) over the tree root zone. To help ensure tree death, pile the mulch volcano-like around the base of the tree. To kill young trees – 1. Let trees and the surrounding soil dry out. 2. Stake the tree tightly and leave wires until the tree grows over them or let vines grow on them so that the tree is strangled or its leaves are deprived of light. 3. Keep the soil around the tree compacted to restrict passage of oxygen and water to the roots. Park vehicles in the root zone to insure extra compaction. 4. Over-fertilize your tree in order to burn roots or over-stimulate

12

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AUGUST 2009

crown growth making it harder for the tree to survive drought. 5. Force tree roots to compete with turf by allowing grass to grow unhindered over the root zone. 6. Run lawn mowers into the bark of the tree or girdle the bark using a string trimmer. 7. Over-prune the tree, removing more than 25 percent of the canopy. 8. Ignore completely the need to prune and shape the tree to eliminate the possibility of co-dominant leaders and poorly attached branches, just let the tree grow and shape itself. To kill mature trees – 1. Cover or pave the area above tree roots or cut them when making changes in grade. 2. Top trees rather than selectively pruning for proper balance and branch attachment. 3. Ignore storm damage to limbs, electing instead to let nature take its course. 4. Hire a fly-by-night company to perform pruning work – never hire someone certified by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). 5. Use chemicals to kill weeds over root zones. To insure a complete kill, regardless of age, it may be necessary to employ construction practices. Any of the following will help insure tree death – 1. Turn the bulldozer loose as the first step in construction. 2. Run equipment over the root zone. 3. Store construction materials underneath the tree. 4. Encourage construction workers to park under the tree canopy to take advantage of shade. 5. Trench through root zones to install utilities, cutting as many large roots as possible. Wow, maybe there is something to the idea of a negative article. As I have worked on the list of practices one could employ to enhance tree death it seemed new possibilities kept coming to mind. The more I thought about calls we receive and what I’ve observed in the field, the longer the list became. Now the challenge for those of us who value trees is to examine this list of negatives, practice the opposite and see if we can enhance tree survival. Photo below: Diseases cause sudden browning of trees, even in pasture-friendly confines.


Florida Lychees

Lychee: An Exotic Treat Grown in Florida By Sandy Kaster, M.S. Clinical Medicine, B.S. Nutrition Science

The lychee, or litchi, fruit, is a member of the soapberry family that grows in subtropical regions. The majority of the world’s lychee production is from China, India, Taiwan Vietnam, and Thailand. A small percentage is also grown in the United States, Mexico, and Central and South America. In the United States, Florida is the main producer of lychees, followed by Hawaii and California. In recent years, there has been a growing demand for fresh lychee, partly due to the increasing Asian and Hispanic populations and health-conscious consumers. The fruit is covered by a reddish, leathery rind that is easily removed, inside, the edible white flesh is sweet and fragrant and the center contains a single glossy brown seed that is inedible. The texture is juicy and pliable, similar to that of a grape.

development of bone and connective tissue, production of melanin (pigment) in hair and skin, and the elimination of free radicals. It also aids in proper functioning of the thyroid gland and preservation of the myelin sheath that surrounds all nerves.

Nutritional Profile

How to Select and Store

The lychee is considered a very good source of vitamin C and a good source of copper, phosphorus, and potassium. The fruit is naturally low in calories, fat, cholesterol, and sodium. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, a 100g portion of lychee (approximately 10 fruits) contains 66 calories, 1.0 g protein, 0.4 g fat, 16.5 g carbohydrate, and 1.3 g of dietary fiber. It also provides 119% of the Daily Recommended Value (%DV) for vitamin C, 7% for copper, 5% for potassium, and plentiful amounts of other valuable nutrients.

Vitamin C: For a Healthy Immune System

With only 66 calories per ten fruits, one serving of lychee more than meets your daily vitamin C requirement! This vitamin is important for a strong immune system, cancer prevention, healthy blood circulation and wound healing. Vitamin C acts as a potent antioxidant in the body, neutralizing harmful free radicals and preventing its damaging effects in cells. By fighting cell and tissue damage, Vitamin C protects against cancer and other diseases, such as the common cold. This vitamin also enhances iron absorption from other foods, which reduces the risk of anemia. Additionally it aids in the development and maintenance of healthy capillaries, gums, and skin, as well as strong bones and teeth. Vitamin C also has anti-inflammatory properties that make them helpful for protecting against conditions such as asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis, where inflammation plays a big role.

Copper: For Iron Absorbtion & More

Potassium: For Blood Pressure

Lychees are high in potassium, a mineral, which promotes healthy heart functioning and protects against high blood pressure. Potassium helps regulate fluids and mineral balance, aids in muscle contraction, and helps transmit nerve impulses. People with low potassium levels are more prone to muscle cramps. Fortunately vegetables and fruits, such as lychees, are a rich source of potassium. Select fruit with a light reddish to brownish color, free of blemishes and soft spots. Avoid those with skin that is overly dry, dark, or fermenting. Refrigerate fresh lychees in an open container for up to one week. They may also be frozen whole, with the skin on, in an airtight plastic zipper bag. Canned lychees, found in Asian markets and some grocery stores, are whole fruits packed in syrup, and a convenient way to enjoy the fruit year-round.

How to Enjoy

Because of its mild sweet flavor and juiciness, lychees are delicious eaten out-of-hand. Peeled and pitted lychees can be used in many ways, including: • Added to fruit salads and desserts • Stuffed with cottage cheese or whipped cream • Tossed in salads or stir-fries • Sliced as a relish for ham or chicken • Pureed for use in sorbet or ice cream Savor delicious Florida lychee as much as you can during its short harvest season. With its luscious texture and sweet taste, it’s a nutritious summer treat to savor.

Selected References

http://en.wikipedia.org/ http://www.ipmcenters.org http://www.whfoods.com http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/lychee.html

Photo above taken by Barry Fitzgerald, USDA

Copper plays a role in a wide range of physiological processes throughout the body. This mineral is involved in iron utilization,

INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

AUGUST 2009

13


2009 FLORIDA EQUINE INSTITUTE & ALLIED TRADE SHOW

Foundations for Florida Horses

Thursday, Sept. 17, 2009 • Southeastern Livestock Pavilion

2232 NE Jacksonville Rd. • Ocala, FL 34470* Weed ID/Control and Herbicide Selection • Jason Ferrell PhD, UF Weed Specialist These Ain’t Your Father’s Parasites: Dewormer Resistance & Recommendations for Effective Parasite Control • Ray Kaplan, DVM; UGA College of Veterinary Medicine Riding with Rhythm/Increasing Expectations, Improving Responsiveness (Live Demonstration) • Clint Depew PhD, Equine Specialist, Louisiana State University The “Unwanted” Horse in the US; An Overview of the Issue • Amanda House, DVM; UF Equine Extension Veterinarian

REGISTRATION

Includes: Admission to all seminars • Entry to trade show • Bar-B-Que lunch from Tommy’s • Printed program with speaker’s presentations • Chance to win $400 gift certificate from Tack Shack or Tack Shack Too and all refreshment breaks. $25 Early Registration (postmarked on or before Sept. 4) $15 Student Registration (postmarked on or before Sept. 4, ID required) $50 Late Registration (postmarked after Sept. 4) HOST HOTEL: Ocala Fairfield Inn • 4101 SW 38th Ct. • Ocala, FL 34474 Equine Institute Rate: $69 + tax; For reservations, call the hotel directly at 352.861.8400. Ask for the Equine Institute Group to secure the special rate. 14

INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

AUGUST 2009

*To register please send name, address and email along with your check to the above address. For additional information contact the Marion County Extension Office at 352-671-8400 or view the entire detailed agenda at http://cflag.ifas.ufl.edu/ calendar.shtml


For the past 35 years Donny Turbev-

ille, Sr. has spent much of his working life high above the ground in a bucket (truck) or climbing into the tops of trees with his chainsaw. He is known as a tree surgeon. He owns and operates Turbeville Tree Service, a family business, out of Morriston. His wife Connie is responsible for the administrative and telephone customer service portion of the business. Turbeville’s crew consists mainly of family members including his teenage grandson Brandon Gatlin, who wants to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps. Born in Ocala and raised in Sparr until 1983, he moved to Wacahoota for just a year before coming to Williston. In 2006 he and Connie once again moved, just two miles away and still in Williston Highlands, however now their address is Morriston. As a teenager Turbeville began clearing lots for planting. It is probably no surprise to those who know him that he has been in either the housing construction or tree removal and trimming business his entire working life. He began his tree service career as a groundsman, later becoming a climber for Morman Tree Service in Ocala. Two years later, he purchased that company that came with several federal contracts including Juniper Springs, Salt Springs, Alexander Springs and Half Moon Park. He also had the Florida Telephone (now Sprint) contract. Many of the local building contractors use his service when clearing property. He usually has seven to nine people working on jobs. When asked about any formal education or training in this profession that comes with obvious dangers, Turbeville replied, “It has been all on the job training.” During his second year in Williston he was awarded the contract for trimming their power lines. This is one area he no longer works in due to the danger involved. It is best to let those from the power company handle it as they are trained and equipped to do so. He said, “If it is someone else’s job, don’t do it!” At the age of 26 he fell 40 feet when a dead limb got loose and knocked him out of the tree. Following that experience, he has tried to encourage customers and everyone to not wait to take down trees that are obviously dead as it is certainly more hazardous to the workers. Very dangerous situations can occur when trees are dead and workers must climb into them, splintering can happen. If a tree looks suspicious to illness, call a tree service and ask about them. If you do not know of one personally, talk to others in the community who may have had experience with using someone or know of a reputable company to call. It is important to learn about the company and those who operate it in selecting someone. It is a dangerous profession making reputa-

Donny Turbeville, Sr., known as ‘the tree surgeon,’ has spent much of his last 35 years in trees...

STORY BY ELLI RARICK

tion not only in business practices, but also in safety, an important factor when considering hiring a tree service to work on your property. It is important to note that during times of excessive rain when the ground becomes soaked, trees can come out of the ground on their own, even healthy ones. If you add the wind factor to even a lesser amount of rain you may have the same result. And we must not forget the numerous lightening strikes and the weakening damage it causes trees. For these reasons, it is strongly recommended that one keep trees (and their limbs) at a safe distance from buildings. Since we live in an area of hurricane and tropical storm winds and rain probabilities every year, it is a good idea to regularly check those trees on your property that are in close proximity to your home and other buildings to determine if any attention is necessary before there is resulting storm damage which can be more costly in the long run. Many of the downed trees can provide a good source of firewood for those who

have fireplaces. Turbeville does offer complete clean-up service of downed limbs and trees. Four of the Turbeville children live in the Bronson/Williston area and one resides in Saudia Arabia. There are 12 grandchildren with another two expected anytime now. In addition to sons Donny Jr. (TJ’s Tree Service) and Christopher, son-in-law Shawn Gatlin and his son Brandon will be seen on the job with Turbeville. When asked about any unusual experience, Turbeville related the time when during a storm, a tree fell on a house, going through the roof and pinning the owner, a friend, down in his own bed. Turbeville literally cut the tree off his friend as medical personnel stood by to take over. Why does he do this often-dangerous job? Turbeville answered, “I love working outside and making things safer for the kids to be out in the yard and keeping vehicles and homes safe from the damage and related injuries of falling trees.” For more information on tree service or firewood call Turbeville Tree Service at 352-528-3791.

INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

AUGUST 2009

15


Gone Fishin’

Marion/Levy County

FISHING REPORT by Captain Dennis Voyles

Although the August

heat can take your breath away, you can still enjoy our beautiful saltwater resources. Planning your trips for the early mornings will be your best bet. Fishing can still be excellent as well as scuba diving and snorkeling for scallops, just keep a keen eye out for thunderstorms. The national weather service gives Florida top honors for lightning strikes so your chances of being hit here are good. Just play it safe and get off of the water well ahead of the building storms, and stay in your car (or even better a restaurant) for 30 minutes after the last strike.

Scallops

Scallop season runs until September 10, and the meat in the tasty little bivalves only gets bigger later in the season. Remember your diver-down flag to alert other boaters about your swimmers. We had a tragedy this year in the scallop area when a boater accidentally ran over a diver. This year was also the first shark attack on a scalloper. In all my years of scalloping this is the first that I am aware of in our area. The stinging jellyfish also took the year off, as they were a real problem in the Crystal River waters last year.

Redfish

Redfish usually make a strong appearance in the later part of August each year. Some of the offshore bull reds made an appearance in July this year, which was a welcome surprise. Look for schools of reds cruising the edges of the flats. They are usually accompanied by graceful frigate birds circling above the school looking for bait to be pushed to the surface. Of course there is nothing like the excitement of finding a school of big reds frenzy-feeding. When this happens most any lure will work as they are eating everything that moves. The local reds can be found at most oyster bars and will readily accept live pinfish, small crabs and cutbait. Topwater plugs will work the first hour of light in the morning and the last hour in the evening. If you like to pitch gold spoons and spinner-type baits, they will work at all parts of the day. Some really big trout can be caught around the oyster bars this month too.

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Snook

Most of the predictable snook fishing is from Crystal River south, but more and more snook are being caught in and around the Suwannee River. If you happen to catch a snook here are the regulations: one per day, a permit is required, 28” minimum and 33” maximum, and the closed season is Dec-Feb and May-August. So if you want to keep one you will first need to get a $2 stamp. Spearing of snook is prohibited. If you do not have a stamp then catch and release is your only option.

Sharks

Shark fishing is excellent this month. Fresh cut bait is your best bet, especially mullet. Set up a chum line in a natural break or cut. I like to use mackerel chum from Doug and Wendy’s bait shop in Cedar Key. Fishing on the bottom may result in some really big sail cats, so I use a small balloon as a bobber. Heavy tackle is a must as there are some real bruisers out there. The Florida heat can drain you of fluids really fast so be sure to drink plenty of water. Lets all be safe and polite while enjoying these wonderful resources! Captain Voyles is a science and agriculture teacher at Cedar Key Schools, and a fishing guide on weekends, holidays and summers. To schedule a fishing trip Captain Voyles can be reached at 352-486-3763 or on the Internet at voylesguideservice.com.


INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

AUGUST 2009

17


By Will Irby

I woke to the rain ending abruptly, the water pearling up

in heavy beads along the eave of the upper story. It dripped then, drop from drop down from the peeling paint to the banana leaves in that nook between the chimney and screened back porch. The staccato thud of each drop rose with the blue mist until overcome by the clickety-clack of the first streetcar out on the avenue that morning. This was Tampa, April 1946. The streetcars would not run any more after August of that year. I didn’t know that then. I didn’t know that was ending, too. My grandmother came to my room festooned in the style of spring, even if out of fashion. She laid out a suit too small, or nearly so. It was the best I had and it would do. The tie she liked. This one, not that one, which had been my father’s before the war. I was reminded then how important it was that my shoes be shined, how significant the straightness in the part of my hair. Even a young gentleman’s attention to such detail, she said, was as admirable as brave deeds. One’s appearance, insofar as one was neat and orderly and made the best of what one had was by her reckoning an outward manifestation of the soul within. That was how we now lived in the afterglow of the life her own father had made. This was as he had left things, only much later. So she fanned faithfully at the last glowing family ember of it all while I dressed that morning. I knotted my tie thinking her ignorance – this ignoring of the decay about us – to be more her bliss than folly. Out my window the dense shade of old oaks obscured the new cracks in our foundation, the paint peeled, and the roof shingles buckled above. Yet we lived as my grandmother dreamed. But it was true as she said, “We must look our best with what we have, or lose all. We must be seen.” There was a man we would see that day. Not just any old man, but a writer. This man, she said, would see my folio and something may come of it. A very important prospect she kept saying. Very important indeed. With the money I had saved lifeguarding at the city pool, I’d bought a six-year-old Speed Graphic camera with a large flash

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AUGUST 2009

attachment, a camera most common and prized of all “press” cameras at the time. Grandmother had already shown and sold my work to other men, men with traction in business downtown, the chiefs of police and fire, legislators, military men, as well as men who made their money trafficking bootleg liquor or running racquets. Money and politics still mingled more by habit than gain in Grandmother’s salon, spilling out into the walled garden behind the house where deals got made over whiskey and cigars. I had done their portraits, many of these men my grandmother ushered before the lush velvet drape we’d drug down to the parlor from an upstairs room at the dark end of the hall. Some of these men would become men of means far greater than ever my great grandfather was. Some went to prison. Some did both. The photographs I took reflect their best days, and were taken in a place that had known its best days. The man we would see that day would become famous. He wasn’t yet, but his editor was one who had made others famous. He had already said this writer would become famous, and the editor was famous for his spot-on predictions at the most famous publishing house in New York. The meeting had been arranged. We took the streetcar to Ybor City where a small, popular restaurant served dark Cuban coffee and sweet rolls ladled with a sugary icing and sprinkled with crushed nuts. He was lonely. I would see this in his eyes at once. So was I. I don’t think he noticed. It was strangely transparent, too, the aptitude in him. I knew at once that behind the furrows of his brow was a great talent. He was a frail, thin man, flush with remembrances – recollections horded up like heirlooms he would some day produce and make glorious from that hidden heart behind that heavy tweed jacket. I can’t quite say how I knew this, but I did. She was a sweet liar, my Grandmother. As for her, she did not know this man as well as she had said. I could see that in his dark eyes, too. Perhaps she sensed his skepticism as we came near. But she raised her bosom and lifted


her wonderful red hair with great regal bearing. It didn’t matter that she was not all she might have been, she strutted who she was. In refuge and revenge she lived as well as she could and prided herself in me and pushed me forward. We came to where he sat waiting in a darkened corner at a table brooding. Or else the atmosphere of the room was brooding about him, this rail-thin man in tweed with dark eyes. He stood, mustachioed and gaunt in his thick, ill-fitting suit. He waited until her hand was extended before he offered his. We were introduced. “Yes, yes,” was all he said without quite looking at me. My grandmother talked incessantly, even before we sat. Neither he nor I had inclination or opportunity to interject. She ordered coffee and sweet rolls without slowing pace in her promotions. Her effervescence was effortless. There was no heavy lifting for her in this, nothing to unwrap or bind up in her bold fascination about a possible collaboration between this author and me. She sat, her fingers spread wide, one hand with painted nails over the other on the table like a fan of Tarot cards. There would be good fortune for this man who looked like death. I felt it so, but I felt none of that waft my way as he leafed hazily through my folio while I slyly examined the newspaper package beside his chair. I knew what was in that package. I knew it as certainly as he saw my work, black and white. When she would let him talk, he said in a slow, drawn, elongated affirmation, “Well, yes. Yes.” And that was all he said, as if nothing more need be said. And of course, yes was nothing less than she required. So, after it had rained again for the last time that morning and we stood on the wet pavement, he said finally, “Yes.” Then, with a slight bow went back up the street taking his long shadow with him. Back in the streetcar, the echo of his final yes reverberated in the space between my grandmother and me. She sat with her purse

on her knees smiling back toward the future as we returned to the past. His slow, syrupy yesssssss was drawling behind us as the sprinklers came on in dazzling sunlit sprays over the already wet lawns along the avenue. Yes was: No. Yes that morning meant everything my grandmother wanted to hear. It meant nothing, exactly as he meant to say. At seventeen, I already knew that his yes was little more than sugar disappearing in hot coffee that he’d leave as an empty cup. It was like that. So distant did that day become that in the last of her years, my grandmother spoke of this proposed collaboration as if it had actually occurred. She would introduce me over again to her eldest friends and speak of “the book” as an object that could well be taken from a shelf in her small library next to the parlor – the furniture there long covered with bed sheets, mottled by the stains of insect larvae and brittle flecks of dead fern. If only she had been able and not by then so frail, she would have gone there that moment to the library to show the beautiful, leather-bound book with gold leaf and open it to my exquisite photographs illustrating his excellent prose. So it had come to that. And it lingered until the summer’s eve when a dazzling moon rested its gentle rays upon her window’s ledge. She died in the gauzy dark where jeweled shadows reflected the massive posts of her bed: a Yes forming – fixed then, firm and crisp as starched lace upon her aged, lifeless lips. Yes was what she wanted.

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AUGUST 2009

19


Agriculture

In Biblical Times

By Carol C. Weathersbee

Imagine yourself in the midst of the most glorious garden ever envisioned, admiring the flora and

fauna all around you. Your natural senses percolate as your eyes behold ribbons of vines and a plethora of lush, green trees. You bask in the warmth of the sun and feel the soil beneath your feet. You pause a moment, and realize your nose is delighting in the aroma of earthy fragrances and your ears are entertained by the sound of a rippling river watering the garden. You smile as your hands feel the coolness of the fruit you’ve plucked from a vine and your mouth waters as you taste the sweetness of the fresh fruit. This must have been what it was like when life began in the Garden of Eden. With the exception of one tree, God generously gave Adam the whole garden, to watch over it, care for it and to eat and enjoy all that the land offered. (Genesis 2:1517) There was no need to plow the fields, combat insects and pests, install irrigation and fertilizing systems, or even pull weeds. Carefully and thoughtfully, God laid the foundation and provided everything. The sunshine and the river’s water nourished the plant life, and the vegetation produced food for Adam and Eve to eat. Upon Adam and Eve’s disobedience, God cursed the ground and told Adam he would have to labor and sweat while working the land to make it as fruitful as God intended. (Genesis 3:17 NLT) This is only one of the many consequences that came from their disobedience. And so began the first days of farming land and struggling against it’s adverse natural elements. In comparison, the many stages of farming in ancient biblical days are similar to the ways of farming today. Plowing the land was necessary to prepare it for sowing or planting the seeds. Strong animals, such as donkeys and oxen, were used to pull the plows. Two like animals were joined with a plow often made from a metal blade and a large shaped branch. Working two different animals under the same plow was not suggested because of the difference in size and strength of each type of animal, which would hinder the farmer from plowing an even field. (Deuteronomy 22:10) Planting the seed was done by hand. Farmers would carry a large bag of seed slung across their shoulders and walk the land, throwing handfuls of seed onto the ground. Without the use of today’s farm machinery, it was unattainable to create perfectly neat rows in which seeds could be carefully planted. So no matter how skillful the farmer, the seeds often fell in areas where they could not take root. Some wound up scattered on the footpaths, or strewn amongst the rocks and thorns, and sometimes the birds ate many of the seeds before they had the chance to sprout. So, farmers tossed an abundance of seeds ensuring the growth of bountiful crops. (Mark 4:38) A watchtower built of stones was at the heart of many farms and vineyards to help keep a careful watch over the crops. The family members worked the fields by day while the father slept at the base of the watchtower. By night, the family members slept while the father sat perched at the top of the tower protecting the crops and farm animals from thieves and natural predators such as foxes. (Isaiah 21:56) Much like today, crops varied from region to region and there were environmental conditions to contend with. Wheat and barley were grown for making bread, which was considered a staple food item. Wheat made a softer and more palatable dough, but required good soil and sufficient water. Barley was not as tasty, but withstood poor soil quality and drought. Learning the cycles of rainy and dry seasons and experimenting with the different crops, helped man determine when it was the right time for planting and/or harvesting the various types of crops. Livestock was also common among biblical farmers. Sheep and goats were raised for their milk and meat as well as for their wool and hair. Both types of animals were known for surviving in marginal weather conditions and neither required shelter. Goat hair together with camel hair was woven to create tents for shelter. The two types of animal hair not only protected families from the heat of the sun, but also kept them dry in the rain. When the woven goat and camel hair gets wet, it expands thus creating a tighter weave and preventing the tents from leaking. Goats milk and goats cheese were often traded for grains and other produce. It could be said that farming became the first profession of man. And though much has changed over the years, farmers today still work hard at toiling their land, raising their livestock and protecting their farms. Have you ever wondered just how much easier life would have been had man not disobeyed his Creator? The consequences of our defiance should teach us to fully appreciate what God created: the imagination, the ingenuity and the intelligence He used to create every living thing. Though we defied the laws of the land, God still cares and provides for his people. In Matthew 7:25‐26, Jesus assures us, “That is why I tell

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you not to worry about everyday life – whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to Him than they are?” (NLT) It should be noted that the author of this article is a layperson and not a theologian. Much of what is shared herein has been learned through research and bible studies. If you would like the opportunity to transport yourself back in time and relive the cultures and customs of biblical times, plan a trip to Explorations In Antiquity (EIA) located in LaGrange, Georgia. EIA is dedicated to sharing the message of Christ through their living museum that recreates the life and times of ancient biblical history. To learn more about EIA or to plan a visit for individual or group travel call 706-885-0363 or visit www.explorationsinantiquity.com. You are in for a treat!

The Central Florida Livestock Agents’ Group

will hold the Florida Equine Institute And Allied Trade Show on September 17 from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Southeastern Livestock Pavilion in Ocala, FL. Topics to be covered include: • •

• • • •

Weed ID/Control and Herbicide Selection – Jason Ferrell, PhD, UF/IFAS Extension Weed Specialist, Assistant Professor, Agronomy Department, University of Florida These Ain’t Your Fathers Parasites: Dewormer resistance and new strategies for parasite control – Ray M. Kaplan, DVM, PhD, DEVPC, Associate Professor, Department of Infectious Diseases, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia Riding with Rhythm – Clint Depew, Phd, Extension Equine Specialist, Professor Emeritus, Department of Animal Sciences, Louisiana State University Recommendations for effective parasite control in horses – Ray M. Kaplan, DVM, PhD, DEVPC Defining Rhythm: Increasing Expectations, Imporving Responsiveness – Clint Depew, PhD The “Unwanted” Horse in the US: An Overview of the Issue – Amanda House, DVM, DACVIM, UF/IFAS Equine Extension Veterinarian, Assistant Professor, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida

Each paid participant registration will be entered in a drawing to win a $400 gift certificate good at Tack Shack of Ocala, Inc. or Tack Shack Too. The drawing will be held at the conclusion of the program. You do not need to be present to win. Registration includes admission to all seminars, trade show, a printed copy of the speakers papers, refreshment breaks, a catered lunch and entry to the trade show. The Central Florida Livestock Agents’ Group is an organization made up of seven County Extension Agents, representing 10 counties in Central Florida. This annual event focuses on the equine production industry as it relates to sport (including racing and performance) and recreational horses. This University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service program is designed to provide Florida Horsemen and Horsewomen with current equine management information and a “working” Trade Show.

Caroline Burgeson’s

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& Produce Participating Vendors: • Sterling Acres • Country Farm Meadows Nursery • Calypso Kettle • Pete’s Produce Korn Market • Steve’s Pierogies • Harbison Cattle

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• The Taxpayer is someone who works for the federal government but doesn’t have to take the civil service examination. • The older you get your secrets are safe with your friends because they can’t remember them either. • Roy Parke of Plant City, Florida won the first Strawberry Growers “Hall of Fame” award in 1983. • The most terrifying words in the English language are: “I am from the government and I’m here to help you.” • Life is simpler when you plow around the stump. • You should always drink upstream from the herd. • Chrysippus, a Greek philosopher, is believed to have died of laughter after watching his drunk donkey attempt to eat figs. • There are two theories to arguing with women, and neither one works. • If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably a wise investment. • Kidney beans actually heal and help maintain kidney function and yes, they look exactly like the human kidneys. • In 1908 the average wage was 22 cents an hour.

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®

John Audia, manager at  Sam’s St. Johns Seafood.


Serious Business 50 Ye a rs of D edicat ion to the Toma to I ndus t ry

For 50 years, East Coast Brokers & Packers, Inc. has been committed to bringing our customers premium products that are healthy and delicious. Rich in color and great in taste, our tomatoes are grown in an environment that is secure and safe. BATISTA MADONIA, Sr. President & CEO EVELYN M. MADONIA, Executive Vice President/Secretary/Treasurer STEPHEN S. MADONIA, Vice President – All Growing Operations BATISTA MADONIA, JR., Vice President & Sales Manager ROSEMARY V. MADONIA, Vice President & Comptroller MARK TICHY, Sales & ROBERT MEADE, Sales

East Coast Brokers & Packers, Inc. ensures that you are getting the best possible product grown in the United States – “from the fields to the table.” Our products remain the best in the industry because of our integrity and dedication. We’re serious about our business.

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AUGUST 2009

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Business UpFront

MULCH & STONE EMPORIUM

By Tracy Cox

We’ve all seen them, the homeowners on our favorite home

and garden shows, as they walk outside to their newly landscaped yard, eyes full of disbelief, and exclaiming “I can’t believe it.” With a combined 25-years of experience, Chris Winn and David Lovejoy of the Mulch & Stone Emporium, Inc. offer the same experience for you with old-fashioned quality and modern solutions for your lawn and landscape needs. “I like to hear a customer say, I never expected it to look like this,” said Chris, the in-house landscape designer. “I know what I expect as a customer and if I am not willing to go the extra mile, someone else will.” Frustrated for three years by the 45 minute drive to the other side of Ocala to buy wholesale supplies for the lawn and landscape services business he coowned with his wife, Lisa, Chris began to survey other landscapers to find out if they would support a wholesale supplier on the west side of Ocala. David not only agreed with Chris, but joined forces with him in October to open the Mulch & Stone Emporium, located at 7699 S.W. Highway 200. At first, the goal was to offer wholesale supplies to fellow landscapers, only to quickly add retail sales when they realized that local

homeowners needed them as well. The business, open Monday through Friday from 7 AM to 5 PM and Saturday from 10AM to 2 PM, has four divisions of operations: landscape and garden supplies, landscape design and installation, lawn maintenance, and small engine repair. “We really believe it was a Divine appointment for Chris and me to run into each other,” said David, who along with his wife, Avanell, also ran a lawn and landscape services business. Tending customers’ lawns for years alongside their husbands, Lisa and Avanell bring their business expertise and round out the management team by running the front counter, performing the accounting functions, and handling the ordering and receiving of inventory. “Customer service is our main focus,” said Lisa. “We believe customer service is lagging in our society, and we like to know our customers by their first name so we remember them the next time they come in.” The store, managed by Chris, offers a wide assortment of hardscape, mulch, pine bark, and garden soils. The decorative

“We believe customer service is lagging in our society, and we like to know our customers by their first name so we remember them the next time they come in.”

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stone selection includes 15 different types and mulch is available in seven varieties including red, chocolate, and natural cypress. Pine bark, sold in three sizes, and mulch can be purchased by the yard or bag. They also sell evergreen shrubs, crape myrtles, magnolias, and holly trees purchased from local growers. The store mascot, Gusto, created by Avanell and resembling a mushroom, promotes their line of state certified garden soils, “Add Gusto to your garden, better soil, better results!” Customers must have paid attention as the store sold approximately 500 yards of top soil and the Gardener’s Special, a nematode and weed seed free mushroom compost with chicken manure and other soil amendments, during the spring gardening season. Not to leave the plant and flower lovers empty handed, annuals, perennials, and vegetable plants are carried in the garden supply section and customers receive care instructions for each type of plant purchased. Earlier in the year, the Mulch & Stone Emporium held its First Spring Workshop with Bob Renner, a retired Marion County Extension Agent, teaching on raised beds and container gardening. “In turn, we are always educating ourselves and we want to educate our customers,” said Lisa. “We want to be water wise and teach about Florida native plants.” In the landscaping division, everything from a simple mulch application to a full design is available. Always telling customers that the options are endless with the growing time in Florida, Chris

encourages as much input from them as possible. “My favorite part is talking with the customers and making them feel as if they are the only one we have at that moment,” Chris said. “We try to take their desires, incorporate as much as we can, and use the right materials.” David, manager of the lawn maintenance division, offers mowing, sod replacement, shrubbery maintenance, and granular applications of insecticides. St. Augustine and Bahia sod is also available for purchase by the pallet or piece. The First Fall Workshop on turf management is tentatively planned for October with a specialist from the Marion County IFAS Extension Service. “We can do everything to the lawn except liquid application to the turf,” David said. They recently launched the small engine repair for lawn mowers, edgers, and weed eaters. They also stock parts for both commercial cutters and homeowners such as mower blades, belts, and weed eater string. “People will come in with all kinds of problems and between the four of us we can come up with solutions,” said David. “We are a family run Christian business and we are here to help whoever needs it.” “It is like pulling up to a full service gas station. We offer quality and service,” said Chris. “We want to service you from the time you drive in until you drive out.”

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HARVEST VILLAGE MCINTOSH FARMERS MARKET

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’ n i t a E

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Explore, Experience, Enjoy! Stroll through the six unique shops of The Veranda or take a break and enjoy the tea room - cafe. All of this in a beautifully restored 1888 Victorian home, nestled in the heart of Ocala’s famous Historic District on Fort King Street.

Serving Lunch Mon.-Sat. 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. 416 SE Fort King Street /CALA &,s   www.verandagallery.com

If you have not experienced SKY Asian Fusion restaurant

– now would be an excellent time to do so. Unlike any other experience you will have in the area, SKY offers what you ideally expect when you choose to dine out. Diners will find an exciting ambiance, an interesting and varied menu, and attentive professional service. From the warm greeting at the hostess station through the close of the meal, the staff presents themselves as ambassadors of what SKY is all about. And SKY is all about creating an enjoyable dining experience. Hot off the presses, SKY’s signature drink collection has been updated with concoctions to compliment the new Asian Tapas menu. Recommended is the Golden-SKY Berry. This refreshing blend of deliciousness has fresh strawberries, SKYY Vodka and Domaine De Canton. What is that you say? It is a liqueur composed of baby Chinese ginger, VSOP Cognac, orange blossom honey and vanilla, unique, exotic and a must try. Wine connoisseurs will not be disappointed either with excellent selections available by the glass and bottle. The challenge at SKY (and this is a good thing), is you want to try everything. Fortunate for us that fits in perfectly with their dining concept. Selections are meant to be shared so everyone can sample many different dishes in any one trip. And what a trip it is. None of the “typical” Asian dishes tasted like anything in memory. The flavors are bright and even when there is a dish with sweet and savory going on simultaneously you can appreciate why it was done. Must have favorites include the SKY Classic Spring Roll, Crispy Crab Wontons, Mongolian Beef, Basil Chicken, Walnut Shrimp, Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi and Imperial Fried Rice. Saving room for dessert is a wise move on your part. The SKY Bread Pudding and Banana Spring Roll come highly recommended with good reason. Just as important as the food, you will feel like the wait staff is genuinely pleased that you chose to dine with them. And really, how often can you say that after you eat out? First time diners will be coached on the style of service and the menu’s offerings as well as encouraged to ask questions. You will find SKY Asian Fusion in two locations. The first is Ocala SKYnestled on the 6th Floor of The Holiday Inn at 3600 SW 38th Ave (just behind Cracker Barrel on SR 200). Reservations are welcomed and can be made by calling 352.291.0000. Ocala SKY is open for lunch Monday – Friday 11:30 AM- 2:00PM and dinner Sunday-Thursday 5PM-9PM. Friday and Saturday 5PM-10PM. Next is Villages SKY in The Rolling Acres Plaza just off Hwy 441 in front of the Target Plaza. Call ahead seating is available at 352.751.5300 and they are open Monday – Saturday 11AM-9PM.

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INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

Valid with coupon only. May not be combined with any other offer incl. 30 pc. shrimp, AYCE specials, coupons or discounts. Exp. 9/15/09

AUGUST 2009

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Carol Harris Bo-Bett Farm By Jim Frankowiak

Carol Harris, the owner and operator of Bo-Bett Farm, still

puts in around 12 hours a day and enjoys every minute of the time she spends with her horses, Whippets and Italian Greyhounds. “My move to Marion County was a real revelation for me,” she said. “The long seasons with great grass, the warm climate and the ability to build fences without running into rocks every few feet were all eye openers for me.” Born and raised in New Jersey, Harris, 86, attended Westover School in Connecticut, Mt. Vernon Junior College in the District of Columbia and the Art Students League in New York where she studied anatomy and painting. Her art studies, she says, became an unbelievable benefit for her future life with horses and dogs and her judging. “My mother had hoped that I would follow her and become involved in the New Jersey social life, while my dad was hoping I would make him proud by pursuing an education in business, however I created my own path by believing that one can better become successful by doing what they enjoy.” Harris developed a fine quarter horse operation in Sussex County New Jersey, but was having a tough time dealing with the long, cold winters. “I am hands on with my horses and that means extensive days out of doors for training and caring for the animals. I just couldn’t stay warm,” said Harris. “A good family friend, Charlie Keiser, had retired from the Borden Company and moved to Marion County to raise horses on Forty Oaks Farm, the land now occupied by Trinity High School. He often visited Carol and her parents in New Jersey and once said to me “If you can raise horses like these (referring to my quarter horses) in New Jersey, no telling what you could do in Ocala.” At the time I didn’t know what he meant but I finally visited Marion County and was amazed at what I saw. It made such an impression on me that soon I decided to move south. It was a difficult move since I was leaving 40 years of friendships, but I truly believe that this decision has been the best one of my life.” “I can’t ever imagine finding more suitable conditions than this to raise dogs, horses or kids, for that matter. I found great climate, good water, beneficial minerals in the ground and plenty of sunshine. All this, I believe enhanced my own health and my opportunities to raise strong, healthy horses and dogs to grow up in a natural environment.” Harris found Bo-Bett Farm in Reddick and learned Florence Bettendorf (the Bett in Bo-Bett) was interested in selling her half of the 400 acre farm co-owned with Roy Bowen (the Bo in Bo-Bett). “A partnership with Bowen seemed to be a good plan since I loved breeding and training but disliked the selling part of the operation which was Roy’s forte. Harris moved approximately 30 quarter horses from New Jersey and took over the care, training and breeding of all the partnership Thoroughbreds at Bo-Bett. “That partnership with Roy lasted until about 1966 when I exercised the first right of refusal in our agreement and bought Roy out. I continued to operate the full 400 acres until 1998 when I decided to sell 300 acres to downsize Bo-Bett Farm. Along with the land, I sold three 30-stall training barns, a 5/8-mile track and a large show barn and office. This left me with approximately 100 acres, my house, a broodmare barn, approximately 50 American Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds, 30 whippets and about 30 Italian Greyhounds. In

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order to continue my operation, I built a functional new show barn and office.” “For 35 years my operation consisted of selling quarter horses, thoroughbreds and lots of cattle since Harris’ was showing cutting horses a great deal.” She no longer has cattle since she no longer shows cutting horses but she still does what she likes best and that is spending the greater part of her life devoting herself to the breeding and development of world class animals. “I believe in work and know the harder I work, the luckier my animals and I become.” Harris believes she is different from a good many other farm owners in the county. “I don’t take vacations, I am here 365 days a year, working and learning what’s good and bad and right and wrong,” she said. “I don’t have to rely on what a manager or trainer tells me like so many absentee owners do. This to me is a healthier and more practical way of life. I’ve made a few mistakes but I have learned from them and I try hard not to repeat them.” With her love of all dogs, Whippets came to Harris’ attention more than 30 years ago. She has been in love with them ever since. “We who truly know Whippets call them the best kept secret in the dog world.” Her Whippet breeding program has produced well over 200 champions. “The friends I have made through my dogs have been one of my most cherished accomplishments.” Harris began breeding Italian Greyhounds about 20 years ago and they soon became “the second best kept secret.” In a relatively short period of time, her Bo-Bett IG’s have made a monumental contribution and her breeding program has produced the top sire of 108 champions and top female producer of 24 champions. Whether it involves Whippets, IGs or horses, Harris always takes steps to ensure her animals will be properly cared for once they are sold and leave Bo-Bett Farm. Any discussion of Carol Harris and Bo-Bett Farm would be woefully incomplete without mention of Rugged Lark, the late American Quarter Horse Stallion and two-time Super Horse. Lark was not bred by Harris, but he was born and raised on her farm. Her “gut instinct” told her he was special and made her purchase him as a yearling in 1982. Lark was sired by Harris’ Thoroughbred stallion, Really Rugged and was out of a champion Quarter Horse mare, Alisa Lark. Lark’s training began at Bo-Bett Farm under resident trainer Mike Corrington and continued with trainer Lynn Palm who had gone to school with Harris’ daughters. He had an illustrious show career, winning major awards in nine different events. In 1985, as a Junior Horse, Rugged Lark won the coveted Super Horse title at the American Quarter Horse Association World Show, crossing over from Western to English disciplines. He repeated this feat in 1987. Rugged Lark became the only Super Horse to produce a Super Horse when his four-year-old, The Lark Ascending, became the 1991 winner of the Super Horse title. Two years later, Regal Lark, another son, was named Reserve Super Horse and in 1999 Rugged Lark once again sired a Super Horse named Look Whos Larkin. Since his retirement in 1988, Rugged Lark stood to a full book of Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse mares annually. He entertained thousands of visitors at Bo-Bett Farm and with his owner, Carol, and trainer, Lynn Palm, he performed his world-renowned bridleless exhibitions around the country at events such as the American Quarter Horse Congress, the National Horse Show, the Washington International Horse Show, the U.S.E.T. Festival of Champions, The Continued on page 39


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Grub St ation

S N O Z A B R A B Ocala

Barbazons Sports Bar

4361 NW Blichton Rd. (Rt. 27) Ocala, FL 352-629-6100

By Brooke Hamlin

As a young man Joe Barbazon left Louisiana

and came to Ocala because of his love of horses. He found work on several farms, starting at the bottom mucking stalls. Hard work and determination moved him up in the industry he loves to where he finally developed his own breeding operation. During this time he met and married his wife Helen. They formed what is now a 27-year partnership that also brought them their son Travis, now 12 and “Precious Passion,” Turf Champion in 2008 and ahead in points for Turf Champ, as well as Older Horse awards this year. This is very exciting for the farm and family. Joe passed on his love of thoroughbreds to his older son, Ryan, 33, from a previous marriage. Ryan is now in Kentucky working in the business. Joe and Helen also dreamed of owning a restaurant and, with Joe being a self-proclaimed sports nut, they

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came close to owning a Hooters franchise. When that deal fell through they got to thinking about starting their own sports bar and restaurant on the northwest side. As they were driving past the then closed Eckerds Drug Store at Route 27 and 44th Avenue, they noticed it was for sale or lease. And the rest, as they say, is history. “With the help of family, we built almost all of the restaurant ourselves,” Joe told us. The floor is a great reproduction of a football field, there are televisions everywhere, so you won’t miss your favorite sporting event. “We have small TVs in some of the booths where you can even tune in cartoons for the kids or other events you may want to watch.” The fun atmosphere attracts golfers after their games, sports fans, ladies out for lunch and some even hold informal business meetings while they enjoy


lunch. They can handle large groups and hold many children’s birthday parties, offering activities like video games, pool, virtual reality golf, foosball, basketball and air hockey. They can also handle large parties even if they just walk in. Of course a reservation for larger numbers is appreciated, but their very professional staff is prepared for anything. This is a very family friendly environment. The restaurant “family” is also very committed to charitable events, raising money for groups like St. Jude, Boys and Girls Club of Ocala, and Marion Fire and Rescue and others. “Last year we doubled our contribution to St. Jude, something we’re very proud of.” The menu offers food for everyone and the atmosphere is clean cut and fun. From the Starting Line Ups, there is a large selection of appetizers. We started with a sampler called the Party Platter, including a taste of fried mushrooms, gator champs, poppers, potato skins, crab cakes, fried green beans, cheese sticks, buffalo wings, that are among the best I have had, and broccoli bites, all of which are fabulous. We also tried a seafood sampler that was great. Then on to the main course! We had the filet mignon, which was cooked to perfection, yellowfin tuna and Mango Mahi Mahi, both equally as good. The accompanying vegetables were nice and fresh. If we were not about to explode we would even have tried dessert, which I’m sure is wonderful. The service was excellent and the staff well trained! Joe and Helen employ around 65 and about half their staff have been with them from the beginning, which is a testament to management and the camaraderie they all seem to share. Of course in these challenging economic times, it was a nice surprise to find the prices very affordable. The dinner sandwich menu ranges from $4.99 to $7.99. A full dinner, including meat or seafood, starts at $10.99 to $15.99 with many choices. The lunch menu is equally as good and reflects great prices. All in all, this is a very relaxed atmosphere where you can enjoy good fun, live entertainment many nights, and great food. Be sure to stop in and give Barbazon’s a try at 4361 NW Blichton Rd (Rt.27), Ocala, FL, just west of the interstate. 352-629-6100

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AUGUST 2009

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A Closer Look- The Yellow Sac Spider (Cheiracanthium)

The Yellow Sac Spider (Cheiracanthium)

The Yellow Sac Spider (Cheiracanthium) is part of a larger family of nearly 400 species worldwide. Members of the Cheiracanthium family are documented beneficial predators providing a valuable service to Florida’s Agriculture Industry. Spiders are an important component to any successful agriculture

formula, without them, we would be reliant on chemical solutions at an expensive and dangerous magnitude. In Florida, we have only a handful of medically significant species, the widow spider (Latrodectus) being the most dangerous. Conversation about dangerous Florida spiders inevitably includes reference to the recurrent misconception that the brown recluse (Loxosceles reclusa) is prevalent in Florida. L. reclusa has yet to establish a population in Florida and there have only been a handful of confirmed specimens over the past one hundred years, all of which were introduced by travelers or cargo. A more likely candidate to blame for the frequent misdiagnosis of skin legions for spider bites is the Yellow Sac Spider (Cheiracanthium). The Yellow Sac Spider (Cheiracanthium) is part of a larger family of nearly 400 species worldwide. Members of the Cheiracanthium family are documented beneficial predators providing a valuable service to Florida’s Agriculture Industry. Eggs are laid in June and July in small silk tubular “sacs,” hence the name Sac Spider. The female will enclose herself in the protective sac with the eggs and remain with her brood until after their first molt. Cheiracanthium do not build a nest to capture their prey, but rather, are nocturnal hunters that roam about at night in search of food much like the Wolf Spider (Lycosidae) that most Floridians are used to seeing at night. Each day the Yellow Sac Spider builds a new retreat for their diurnal rest. Of the variety of Cheiracanthium in Florida, there are only two that are of medical significance, these are Cheiracanthium mildei and Cheiracanthium inclusum. Both can be found all year in Florida and adults are most prominent from April to November. Spiderlings and immature adult spiders will comprise the bulk of the Cheiracanthium population beginning this month. C. mildei is a species introduced from Europe during the 1940’s and is reported to have reduced the population of citrus black fly in Florida 52-66 percent according to a 2005 study. C. mildei is more aggressive than its native counterpart and has been observed biting without provocation. This species is most often found in manmade structures and lays eggs almost exclusively indoors, often in the corners of walls where the ceiling meets but can occasionally be found under rocks near the home. The young spiderlings will remain in their protective sac during the day and venture out cautiously at night for hunting. C. inclusum is our native species and is by far the most studied. Its prey includes a large variety of insects and spiders, often much larger than itself. Its bite is more

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destructive than that of C. mildei, with fangs that can easily penetrate human skin. Unlike its introduced cousin C. inclusum is usually found outside and consequently most bites are incurred in the field or in the garden during the warm humid months of summertime. Although both species are capable of delivering a necrotic wound, typically the bites of Yellow Sac Spiders are not deadly. Their venom does contains a cytotoxin (cell killing) similar to that of the brown recluse, however, studies have not reproduced significant necrotic damage in either species and the small necrotic wound that could be reproduced healed much faster than that of the wound caused by the brown recluse. There is enough evidence to warrant caution rather than eradication of this species. Although it does have the potential to inflict a serious wound, we can say the same for other more common and venomous spiders such as the brown widow (Latrodectus geometricus) and even for the toxins commonly used in pest control. The Yellow Sac Spider remains one of the most beneficial species in agriculture, especially significant for the citrus crops. Household control of C. mildei can be done with a vacuum cleaner. Because we know Cheiracanthium is a nocturnal species, they can very easily be eliminated by vacuuming them up during the daytime when they are at rest in their retreat sac. Disosal of the vacuum bag will be necessary to prevent re-infestation. In the field, C. inclusum can be managed with gloves to prevent bites where they would be most likely to occur. Sticky traps can be set to capture the spiders when they hunt nocturnally. Though doing so would result in an increase of crop pests as the population of this natural predator declines. Cheiracanthium only mate once in a lifetime, therefore, attractant pheromones are less likely to be effective as they are in other species. Field observations have concluded that the female Cheiracanthium are attracted to sticky traps that contain the parapheromone trimedlure, a powerful lure for the Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata), a common food source of Cheiracanthium in Florida citrus crop fields.


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My mother never made it to college, but she sure was smart.

She had what a lot of people lack today, common sense. She was also a great teacher, too. Bless her heart she taught me logic. I would ask why, and she would say, “Because I said so, that’s why.” She taught me stamina. “You’ll sit there ‘til you finish eating everything on your plate.” She taught me to pray. “You had better pray that will come out of the carpet.” She knew a lot about the weather. I remember one time she stuck her head in the door of my room and said, “Son, it looks like a tornado swept through here.” I never heard her say anything negative about anybody. All of my sisters and father agreed many years ago that she was the best cook in the world. She could take leftovers and create a new meal that we all would savor. Yes, mom was a real southern lady. Speaking of the south, I read an article the other day by the Southern Tourism Bureau addressing northerners visiting the south. It stressed the “do’s and don’ts” when south of the Mason Dixon line. Don’t order toast at Cracker Barrel! Everyone will instantly know that you’re from Michigan. Eat your biscuits like God intended, and never put sugar on your grits. Never fake a southern accent. This could incite a riot. Never order filet mignon or pasta primavera at Waffle House. It is just dinner. They serve breakfast 24 hours a day. Just order off the menu, and let them cook something they know. If you confuse them, the may kick you out. Yes, we know how to speak proper English. We talk this way because we don’t want to sound like a Yankee. We don’t care if you don’t understand what we are saying. All Southerners understand what we are saying, and that’s all that matters. Never ridicule our Southern manners. We say “sir” and “ma’am,” hold doors open for others, and offer our seats to old folks because such things are expected out of civilized people. Behave yourself around your sweet little grey-haired grandmother or she’ll kick some manners in your rear like ours did. Notherner’s have their way of saying things, too. Like “Cripes.” “For

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Cripes Sakes.” “Holy Moly!” Now who is “Holy Moly?” And last but not least, do not come down here and try to tell us how to cook barbeque. If you do, they’ll tell my neighbor, Mark Poppell, and he’ll give you a whuppin! Mark is an interesting person, and the best cook in our neighborhood. He is full of wisdom. He said to me the other day, “Al, I am sure glad I am a man.” I asked why he would make a statement like that. “Well now, there are many reasons,” he said. We have one wallet and one pair of shoes, the same color all year long. You can buy a three pack of underwear for about ten-bucks. A five-day vacation requires only one suitcase. Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat. A wedding dress is $2000, and a Tux rental is $150. You can do your nails with a pocketknife and Christmas shopping can be accomplished for 25 relatives, on December 24, in one hour. Let’s close out remembering words we seldom hear anymore. “Percolator.” A fun word to say, but replaced with “Coffee Maker.” Remember “Picture Show?” Now it’s a “Movie.” When was the last time you head the phrase “in a family way?” It’s hard to imagine that the word “pregnant” was once considered a little to graphic. Then we had all that talk about the stork visiting, or “being in a family way,” or simply “expecting.” Did you ever wait at the street for you daddy to come home so you could ride on the “running board” up to the house? When did we quit calling them “emergency brakes?” Some where along the way we started using the term “parking brake!” Frankly, the name “emergency brake” sounds more exciting. Remember, “store bought” or, a “store-bought bag of candy?” I think maybe at one time there was a telethon that wiped out lumbago. I never hear anyone complaining of that anymore. Maybe that’s what castor oil cured, because I never hear mothers threatening kids with castor oil anymore. I leave you with my exhaustive review of information on the final word on nutrition and health. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than us. Chinese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than we do. Mexicans eat a lot of fat and also suffer fewer heart attacks than us. Italians drink excessive amounts of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans. Germans drink beer and eat tons of sausage and fats and suffer a much lower heart attack rate than us. MY CONCLUSION: Eat and drink what you like. Speaking English is apparently what kills you. But don’t worry the Government is trying to correct this problem.


Bo-Bett Farm-Continued from page 32 Annual Shrine Rodeo, the Annual Florida Agricultural Festival, the United States Dressage Federation, and the AQHA World Show. In 1995, he was named Quarter Horse Ambassador for the United States Equestrian Team. One year later he was presented the Silver Spur Award by the AQHA and was also invited to perform for people from all over the world at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. In 1997 Rugged Lark performed at prestigious national shows such as the Devon Horse Show, Equitana USA, The Hampton Classic, the Quarter Horse Congress and others during his farewell tour. Harris notes that Lark enjoyed everyone, but “he definitely loved kids and never failed to react to them kindly.” In the latter years of his retirement Lark became the poster boy for the American Quarter Horse Foundation’s program, America’s Horse Cares for Therapeutic Riding, showcasing the effectiveness of horses with those in need of help and therapy. Rugged Lark died in October of 2004 at the age of 23 and he is memorialized by a large bronze statue at Bo-Bett Farm and engraved plaque that reads, in part: “An American Quarter Horse. Amazingly different, it set him apart. Trusting and brave, he exposed his heart. Super Horse, Ambassador, Champion Sire, An American Legend for all to aspire. One Moment In Time, he left his mark. Unforgettable, unequaled, our friend Rugged Lark.” “He was a miracle in my life,” said Harris. “He gave me the opportunity to be who I wanted to be. He made so many friends for all of us at Bo-Bett and he was so special. We made him a person in horse clothing. We who knew him can all say our lives have been touched by him.”

Through it all Harris has learned from her hands on approach and long days. “It’s important for those of us who train animals – whether dogs or horses – to recognize that animals will do their very best whether in the competitive world or at home if they are permitted to enjoy their work. This can only happen with dependable care, trust and positive rewards.” When asked about the future, Harris explained “I am troubled and against emerging trends such as cloning. This seems to be a serious development encouraged by greed and lack of respect. It has nothing to do with breeding, it is an expensive attempt to replicate. If it is wrong for people, it is wrong for animals - and I am opposed.” Harris continues her work at Bo-Bett Farm with son Jeff and daughter Wendy. Another daughter, Allison, lives at Bo-Bett and is also helpful in many ways. She works close by at Halo Farm. If she could do it all again, Harris would make no significant changes, other than possibly having “one less husband.” She does hope the economy will turn around and she also believes those in the horse business who are trying to work through these difficult times will someday be in a position to benefit from what’s happening. “Let’s face it, we have just produced more horses than there are buyers.” “I would also like to see some recognition for what the horse industry has done here in Marion County. So many owners have taken major steps to improve their properties and in doing so have brought significant economic impact to the county with the jobs and businesses they have supported. This is a magnificent area and I just wish everyone would appreciate this fact so when things like ugly mining activities are permitted to take place, there would be regulations to assure reclamation of the abandoned mine sites. After all, if this is like heaven, I feel we should all treat it that way.”

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39


Dips Drinks Fresh Fruit

Story & Photos By Elli Rarick

R

ipe fruits and berries bursting with juice and sweetness make them perfect choices during the hot days of summer. The following information, in part, on peaches, plums, berries and more, was taken from the Summer 2007 issue of Kraft Food & Family. Berries: Luscious berries such as strawberries, blueberries and raspberries add a touch of summer to salads, drinks and desserts. Berries make a delicious topping for cereal or mixed into smoothies. Nectarines: A cousin of the peach, nectarines are smaller and sweeter with a smooth skin. They’re perfect for slicing into fresh fruit salads. Plums: Just as plums range in color from red to purple to ambergold, so does their flavor, from slightly tart to sugary sweet. Cherries: Succulent cherries can be either sweet or tart. Firm, heart-shaped sweet cherries are tasty as a snack or in baked goods. Sour cherries are a little too tart to eat on their own but they’re great baked into pies and for jams and preserves. Peaches: There are two main types of peaches, clingstone and freestone. At the supermarket, you’ll most often find freestones, which range in color from pink-blushed white to red-blushed yellow. They have soft flesh that separates easily, making them great for baking. Enjoy them as a snack or in desserts or baked goods.” Here’s how to best enjoy your summer-fresh fruit. “Peaches, plums and nectarines will keep in the fridge for up to five days. Only refrigerate them when they’re ripe, as the fridge will halt ripening. Let them stand on the counter for awhile since

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INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

AUGUST 2009

they are juiciest at room temperature. You can also speed up the ripening process by putting the fruit in a brown paper bag for a day or two. Cherries should be shiny, firm and plump. They’re very perishable so refrigerate them soon after purchasing, they’ll keep for up to two days. Remove the stems and pits before using them in recipes. Select firm, brightly-colored berries. Sort berries before you store in the fridge and remove any that are bruised. Wash berries when you are ready to use them, as moisture will hasten their decay. Use fresh raspberries and blackberries as soon as possible.” The recipe for the cool and creamy “Margarita Dip,” which may be served with a variety of fresh or grilled fruit and wafers, was also taken from the same issue referenced above. A hot summer day is the perfect setting for a pitcher of ice cold lemonade or iced tea as you relax on the porch or by the pool. Another cool drink that is easy to make, is very appealing in its deep reddish/orange color, yummy tasting, low calorie and nearly sugar-free is the “Razmpolitan” (recipe found in Summer 2006 Kraft Food & Family). It will also make a wonderful punch by adding ginger ale or club soda to it. So get out a pretty pitcher and glasses or your favorite punch bowl and prepare to serve your guests a refreshing treat. It can also be served with vodka added. To keep from watering it down as you are keeping it icy cold you might consider freezing some in ice cube trays to add to the pitcher or a round mold to go into the punch bowl. This recipe makes a delicious sipping drink and is even better when refrigerated overnight as then ice-cubes may not be needed. If you cannot use a sugar substitute such as that in Crystal Light, try brewing lemon and orange flavored teas, sweetening with regular sugar and using regular cranberry raspberry drink for the pitcher recipe and regular ginger ale in the punch version. Be creative! See Recipes on page 43


UF TEAM FINDS BACTERIA MIGHT IMPROVE CELLULOSIC ETHANOL PRODUCTION By Stu Hutson

Most would identify the tree by its often troublesome,

Marion County Farm Bureau Annual Meeting When: September 15 at 6:30 pm. Location: Ocala Marion County Extension Auditorium, 2232 NE Jacksonville Rd., Ocala, FL 34470 Details: The annual cake auction will be held following the bar-b-que dinner RSVP to Lacey Colletti 352-237-2124 lacey.Colletti@ffbic.com

spiky “gumballs,” but what many call the sweetgum tree also goes by another name, thanks to its distinctive, reptilian bark - the alligator tree. So it may be fitting that researchers from the University of Florida, home of the Gators, have found that bacteria growing in its wood may improve the process of making the fuel that might help solve the nation’s energy crisis. Cellulosic ethanol fuel is derived from plant material often thrown away as trash. Typically, the processes use genetically engineered bacteria or tricky chemical reactions to break down complex compounds in plant cell walls to produce simple sugar molecules that can be fermented into fuel-grade alcohol. A February report by the Sandia National Laboratories predicted that cellulosic ethanol could replace 30 percent of the nation’s gasoline by 2030 if the price can be brought down. A big part of reducing the price is making production more efficient. Much of the inefficiency in cellulosic ethanol production lies in the fact that it must be given a head start by cooking the plant material with heat and acids to break down some of the components in the plant cell walls. As the team from UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences reported in the July issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a strain of the wood-decaying Paenibacillus sp. bacteria named JDR-2 has a knack for breaking down and digesting one of these components, hemicelluloses. That knack could help modify preprocessing steps for costeffective production of ethanol. “The acids, the heating, all of these steps you have to take beforehand are expensive, require a lot of work and, let’s face it, no one wants to work with sulfuric acid on that scale if you don’t have to,” said James Preston, the team leader and a professor in UF’s microbiology and cell science department. “By engineering the bacteria already being used to produce ethanol to also process hemicelluloses the way this Paenibacillus does, you should be able to significantly simplify the process.” Preston came across the bacteria a few years ago, as he was using decaying sweetgum trees to grow shiitake mushrooms on his tree farm in Micanopy, FL. After studying the unusually uniform composition of the decaying wood, he and his colleagues went on to study the genetics of one of the bacteria digesting that wood. The team has now mapped JDR-2’s genome, and Preston expects that, within the year, they will transfer genes behind JDR2’s abilities to bacteria used to produce ethanol. This would be followed by the design of processes for the cost-effective production of ethanol from wood, agricultural residues and other potential energy crops.

INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

AUGUST 2009

41


Sweet

Bronson Announces Nation’s First Regulation Banning Additives In Honey

Standards

Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services

Commissioner Charles H. Bronson announced that his department has instituted the first regulation in the nation – and perhaps the world – prohibiting any additives, chemicals or adulterants in honey that is produced, processed or sold in Florida. The regulation, which took effect July 14, provides the first-ever “Standard of Identity” for honey. “We want to assure consumers that the product that they are buying is pure,” Bronson said. “Too often in the past, honey has been cut with water or sugar, and sometimes even contaminated with insecticides or antibiotics. In the future, when you’re paying for honey in this state, pure honey is what you will get.” State Rep. Alan Hays, of Umatilla, has been a major advocate of the new regulation, which is supported by Florida’s honey industry, and joined Bronson at a press conference to unveil the new rule. “I am pleased that the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is leading the way for all America in establishing this standard by which all honey may now be measured,” Hays said. “Commissioner Bronson and the leaders of the honey industry – beekeepers and honey processors – are to be applauded for their leadership in protecting not only the health of Floridians but also in protecting this industry which is so vital to the production of food products for all mankind.” Under terms of the new regulation, honey containing anything other than the “natural food product resulting from the harvest of nectar by honeybees” is considered an adulterated or mislabeled product. Such products are subject to a “stop sale” order in which a manufacturer, processor or merchant would be served with an order prohibiting the product’s sale. Repeat offenders would face fines of up to $500 per violation.

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Florida is the fourth-leading honey producing state in the country with cash receipts to beekeepers of more than $15 million in 2008 and an industry that has an economic impact estimated at $40 million a year. It employs more than 500 Floridians. As a result of a flood of adulterated honey from overseas into Florida in 2006, a petition was submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) later that year, by five major honey producers and processors, asking the federal agency to establish a U.S. standard of identity for honey. Two years later, the FDA responded that due to other pressing matters, it would be unable to review the petition. At that point, the industry asked Bronson’s department if it would consider developing a standard of identity for the product, and this announcement is the culmination of that effort. Bronson noted that despite efforts in various quarters, international governing bodies have, to date, been unable to establish an international definition of or standard of identity for honey, making it likely that Florida’s regulation governing honey may be the first of its kind anywhere.


“Margarita” Dip

Prep Time: 10 Minutes Total Time: 1 hour 10 Minutes (including refrigerating) • • • •

1 package (8 oz.) Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened 1/4 cup frozen limeade concentrate, partially thawed 2 tablespoons orange juice 1/2 cup thawed Cool Whip Whipped Topping

Beat cream cheese, limeade concentrate and orange juice in medium bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Gently stir in whipped topping; cover. Refrigerate at least one hour. Serve with cut-up fresh fruit and Nilla Wafers. Makes 1 3/4 cups or 14 servings, 2 Tablespoons each. Jazz it up! Serve in a wide-brimmed margarita glass. Dip rim of glass in sugar before filling with dip.

“Razmopolitan”

Prep time: 10 minutes • • • •

1 tub Crystal Light Sunrise Classic Orange Flavor Sugar Free Drink Mix 5 cups cold water 2 cups low calorie cranberry raspberry drink ¼ cup fresh lime juice (bottled works well also)

Place drink mix in plastic or glass pitcher. Add cold water; stir until drink mix is dissolved. Add cranberry raspberry drink and lime juice. Stir. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Pour into sugar rimmed (optional) martini glasses. Makes 7 servings, 1 cup each. Substitute: For my adults-only version, omit 1/2 cup water and ad one cup vodka.

EQUINE EXTENSION REPORT

By Jamie Cohen, Farm Outreach Coordinator PeeWeeCohen@aol.com , 352-229-4868 Hello to all. It is important for me to briefly explain Marion County’s water and why Best Management Practices (BMP’s) are so critical to caring for our springs and aquifer, especially now that we have legislation aimed at protection. Recently, we have had some good rain and are entering hurricane season, so it’s hard to think that we are still in drought conditions, but we do need to be concerned. BMP’s help to curb excess amounts of things like Nitrogen from getting in and contaminating our precious water. Please look at this great web site from UF IFAS Extension, “Know Your Watershed,” to get a clear understanding of how water gets to the aquifers in Florida, livinggreen. ifas.ufl.edu/water/know_your_watershed.html. Click on “The Journey of Water” to get a detailed look at our water’s cycle and the impacts so many things have on our springs and aquifer. FERTILIZATION BMP’S: Inorganic fertilization is the greatest offender to the aquifer, so it’s essential that proper care be taken when adding any on the farm. This is why emphasis needs to be given for use of BMP’s, regular (annually to every two to three years) soil testing and using slow-release fertilizers. A soil test will give you the correct needed amounts of many nutrients, a pH analysis and other recommendations. Following fertilization BMP’s helps ensure that excess amounts of nutrients are not added. Using slow-release fertilizers helps to keep a slow, constant release of Nitrogen to your grasses, thus helping to eliminate excess leaching through rapid release. This will save you money in the long run, too. Nitrogen is the main culprit to our springs and aquifer because it can increase algae growth and cause water to become undrinkable. MANURE/SOILED BEDDING MANAGEMENT: Manure contains Nitrogen as a nutrient and, although it is organic, excess amounts can still cause damage to our aquifer. Careful handling and disposal BMP’s for manure waste need to be followed to help curb any damage. Again, various methods already explained like removal via dumpster, composting and spreading, are all potentially acceptable manure handling methods. Please refer to the article in the March issue for a more detailed guide. PASTURE BMP’S: Grass is nature’s defense against Nitrogen getting to the springs and aquifer. Without grass in your pastures, Nitrogen has nowhere to go but straight down to our water. This is why maintaining good grass in your pastures is so important. Not having too many horses on the farm (BMP’s for paddocks recommend one horse per two acres on good soils and up to five acres per horse for sandy soils) is important to follow to keep grass in the paddocks. Rotational grazing also keeps grass from getting shorter than three inches, which is the recommended minimum level allowable for grazing. Hopefully, this will give you a better understanding of why careful management is crucial to horses and humans, alike and why laws are now in place to help protect us. Please contact me for a FREE, non-regulatory visit of your farm. KEEP UP THE GOOD MANAGEMENT PRACTICES!

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AUGUST 2009

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Cracker Horses Florida’s Heritage Horse

By Georgia Brown; Photos by Robin Hardee

In 2008 the state legislature made it official: the Cracker Horse is Florida’s

“Heritage Horse.” Florida Cracker Horses are small saddle horses of Spanish ancestry that were the only available transportation for early settlers. Soon they became the foundation of America’s early cattle industry. Their smooth ride, strength, stamina and cow herding instincts made them the perfect mount for America’s first cowboys. Although not strictly a gaited horse, many display an ambling gait that is similar to a rack, as well as a ground-covering walk and trot. Considered a rare breed today—the association has about 1,000 registered horses in Florida—the story of the Cracker Horse is closely intertwined with the history of the state. Before Florida was settled by families from Georgia and other southern states, it was a wild, primitive region that offered almost overwhelming hardships. But homesteaders found horses and cattle running free, and with persistence, they carved out a living by farming and raising cattle.

Before Florida was settled by families from Georgia and other southern states, it was a wild, primitive region that offered almost overwhelming hardships. But homesteaders found horses and cattle running free, and with persistence, they carved out a living by farming and raising cattle. 44

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Early History

The ancestors of today’s Cracker horse arrived with early Spanish explorers, including Ponce de Leon, Pánfilo de Narváez and Hernando De Soto in the 1500s. After the Spanish left, their cattle and horses adapted to the environment and survived in the wild. By the 1700s the Spanish horses had evolved into a resilient and sometimes gaited horse used by used the Indians and early homesteaders to herd cattle. Pioneer farmers used the horses to plow fields, pull wagons to town and take the family to church on Sundays. In the primitive scrub lands of Florida they became essential to the state’s early settlers. In the 1700s, cattle ranchers exported cattle to Cuba and other Caribbean islands. During the Civil War they supplied beef to soldiers on both sides. Their name came from America’s first cowboys, who were called “Crackers” for the way they cracked their whips in the air as they herded their cattle across unfenced grasslands to shipping ports at Manatee, Punta Rassa and Tampa on the West Coast. Spanish cattle roamed free on Florida’s open range, grazing along rivers, in palmetto scrub and dense stands of trees. The cowboys or “cow hunters” as they thought of themselves, spent long days in the saddle rounding up stragglers. As the cattle industry grew over the years, the cattlemen chose horses bred for endurance, strong herding instincts and comfortable, ground-covering gaits. Between 1868 and 1878, Florida shipped 1.6 million head of cattle from its ports. Many of the state’s oldest and largest businesses began as cattle ranching operations during this time—and all of them depended on the versatile Cracker horse. Continued on next page


Cracker Horses-Continued from previous page

Characteristics

The breed carries the characteristics of 16th century horses in Spain: North African Barb, Sorraia, Garraro pony, Spanish Jennet, Andalusian and other horses introduced to the Americas and the Caribbean. Their genetic base is generally the same as the Spanish Mustang, Paso Fino, Peruvian Paso and Criolla. “What distinguishes them is that they are light muscled and slightly narrower than most horses, which makes them able to go long distances with little effort,” said James Levy Jr., Executive Director of the Florida Cracker Horse Association. Cracker horses are gaining recognition as trail and pleasure horses. They are also used for reining, team roping, team penning, pulling wagons and as working cow horses. A Cracker Horse has also been in the news competing in the sport of polocrosse. (See article in the May issue of Marion County In The Field.)

Near Extinction

When Western breeds of cattle were introduced to Florida during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, a screwworm outbreak occurred. Treatments included roping and penning. As a result, cattlemen turned to the larger Quarter Horse and the tough little Cracker horses fell out of favor. But a handful of ranchers always kept a few Cracker horses for their own enjoyment. Strains became known by the names of these families: Ayers, Harvey, Bronson, Matchett, Partin and Whaley. In 1989 a few horsemen realized how scarce they were becoming and formed the Florida Cracker Horse Association to preserve the breed. They identified 130 “foundation horses” of known ancestry and by 2000 added 285 descendants.

Tampa Bay History Center

photographs, artifacts and films in a traveling exhibition called “Florida Cattle Ranching: Five Centuries of Tradition.” It will be at the Tampa Bay History Center from September 10 to December 19, 2009. In January it will travel to the Western Folklife Center in Elko, Nevada. The popular exhibit was put together by the Florida Folklife Program with national grants and funding from several other sources including the Florida Cattleman’s Association and the Seminole Tribe of Florida. Several of the original supporters of the Cracker Horse are in the films, including Iris Wall. “The reason I love them so much is that they are so versatile. You can work cattle, take them on the trail and nothing bothers them. They have a good walk and a gentle nature. You don’t have to doctor them much. They are perfect for the Florida climate.” Wall was 2006 Florida Agriculture Woman of the Year.

Proven Trail Horse

In 2008, Carlton Dudley, a retired firefighter whose family donated the land and homestead buildings for the Dudley Farm State Park, decided to show people the breed’s abilities as a trail horse. He and Billy Ray Hunter rode their Cracker horses along the De Soto Trail from Tampa Bay to Tallahassee. In 10 days, they rode 281 miles covering an average of 35 miles per day. “I think the ride gave people more knowledge of the Cracker horse. The Cracker horse is what made the Cracker cattle industry in Florida and we hope more people will want to ride them,” said Dudley. “Now that it’s the official “heritage horse,” we hope there will be more interest in owning Cracker horses and preserving them for the future,” said Levy.

The colorful history of cattle ranching is told in pioneer

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AgCalendar What’s going on InTheField?®

8/22/09 – Southern Regional Paso Fino Horse Show, Southeastern Livestock Pavilion, Ocala, FL

8/27/09 – Citrus Packinghouse Day, Citrus REC, Lake Alfred, FL

8/28/09 – Indian River POstharvest Workshop, Indian River REC, Ft. Pierce, FL

9/3-6/09 – Ocala Shrine Rodeo, Southeastern Livestock Pavilion, Ocala, FL

9/10-13/09 – Florida Morgan Horse Show, Southeastern Livestock Pavilion, Ocala, FL

9/16-18/09 – Florida Turfgrass Association Conference & Show, PGA National, Palm Beach Gardens

9/17/09 – Equine Institute & Allied Trade Show, Southeastern Livestock Pavilion, Ocala, FL

9/18-20/09 – Marion Saddle Club Hunter Jumper Show, Southeastern Livestock Pavilion, Ocala, FL

9/26/09 – Florida Horse Sale, Southeastern Livestock Pavilion, Ocala, FL

10/1-3/09 – The Landscape Show, Orange County Convention Center

10/3-4/09 – Florida Palomino Horse Show, Southeastern Livestock Pavilion, Ocala, FL

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To search or submit more ag events, visit the Florida Ag Calendar at www.floridaagcalendar.com INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE AUGUST 2009

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