September 15 - October 15, 2011 ®
Corn Mazes & Olive Trees Green Leaf Sod Farms
Covering What’s Growing www.InTheFieldMagazine.com
INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 1
The best reason to buy a Kubota M126X may not be the one you think. Yes, the M126X has an impressive list of deluxe features that come standard. And Kubota’s reliability and innovation are world-renown. But the best reason to buy an M126X is because you care about a job well-done. And you know this versatile mid-size tractor will deliver premium performance the first time, and every time. When there’s no substitute for a job well-done, there’s the Kubota M126X. • Powerful 4-cylinder, 108 PTO HP Kubota diesel engine • Fuel-efficient Common Rail System (CRS) • 16F x 16R IntelliShift transmission with 8-speed DualRange powershift
w w w. G u l f C o a s t Tr a c t o r. c o m
INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 3
From the Editor
VOL. 6 • ISSUE 1
I was raised in a rural area in northeastern Kentucky. A very rural area I might add. My father was a “city boy” who married a country girl and after a few years of living in town, they moved to the farm. I couldn’t be more thankful. Yes, it was a long drive to even get to the grocery store, especially for a young girl who was prone to motion sickness, something I never outgrew, but growing up on a farm made that a very small sacrifice. We did not have a large farm by any means, a few cattle roamed the hillsides you find so abundant in that neck of the woods, pigs were acquired each year to go along with the beef we put in the freezer, a garden supplied most of our vegetables for the year and our cash crop was tobacco. When not in school, I could be found roaming the hillsides searching for adventure, stopping by the house for lunch or a snack and then right back out the door I would go. Of course it wasn’t all play, but looking back it sure seemed that way. I also spent time at my grandparent’s house, just down the road, “helping” my grandmother with a variety of things like stringing beans, shelling peas and canning. I was so tired at the end of the day, bedtime was never a fight for my mom. I didn’t sleep late, there was fun to be had outside. I enjoyed hearing my grandparents talk about their experiences growing up, both good and bad, family stories are to be cherished. I learned an appreciation for the land. The experiences I garnered growing up on a farm shaped the person I am today. No other experience can come close to the sights and sounds of a farm and nature. I miss those carefree days on the farm. I will cherish those memories for the rest of my life. I wish every child could experience that way of life. It is a lifestyle that should be preserved. Until next month,
The LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you. Numbers 6:25
September 15 - October 15, 2011
CORN MAZES & OLIVE TREES Green Leaf Sod Farms
Covering What’s Growing www.InTheFieldMagazine.com
7 8 10 16 20 24 36 46 50
Did you know? Advertisers Index Grub Station Curly Tails
Fishing Hot Spots Captain Woody Gore
Master Gardener Living Color
Rocking Chair Chatter Al Berry
Illegal Dumping - Sheriff Judd
Mission Trip Shadiya Almallah
Fruit & Veggie
Florida’s Muscadine Grape
Editor-In-Chief Al Berry
Sales Al Berry Tina Richmond Danny Crampton Kay Mullis
Editor Patsy Berry
Sales Manager Danny Crampton
Office Manager Bob Hughens
Publisher/Owner Karen Berry
Senior Managing Editor/Associate Publisher Sarah Holt
In The Field® Magazine is published monthly and is available through local Polk County businesses, restaurants and other local venues. It is also distributed by U.S. mail to a target market, which includes members of Polk County Farm Bureau, Florida Citrus Mutual and Polk County Cattlemen’s Association. Letters, comments and questions can be sent to P.O. Box 5377, Plant City, Florida 335630042 or you are welcome to email them to: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 813-759-6909.
Cornfusion Corn Maze & Olive Trees Cover Photo by Karen Berry
Creative Director Amey Celoria Designers Juan Carlos Alvarez Mona Jackson
Photography Karen Berry Al Berry Staff Writers Al Berry Sandy Kaster James Frankowiak Sean Green Mark Cook Ginny Mink Cheryl Lewis Contributing Writer Woody Gore
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.
INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 5
CATTLEMEN’S ASSOCIATION PO Box 9005 • Drawer HS03 Bartow, FL 33831-9005
Florida Cattlemen’s Association President Don Quincey, has appointed a chairman to lead a water policy committee for the Association. Water quality and quantity is and will continue to be one of the most important issues facing our industry and Florida as a whole. The committee will begin to look at these issues and develop water quality positions for our industry, to reflect what our members believe is the best way to handle water quality and water supply issues. While the current economic slow down has reduced the pressure on an increased need for more water use due to a slowdown in population growth, development will return, along with more competition for existing water availability. This is a very complex issue and now is a good time to look at ways to conserve the water we have before growth returns and puts more pressure on the finite supply. President Quincey is to be commended for being proactive in forming the committee to develop a position that “identifies water issues that are important to cattlemen and offer our recommendations for such issues.”
Charles Clark Polk County Cattlemen’s Association President
The chicken is one of the few things that man eats before it’s born and after it’s dead.
More people study English in China than speak it in the United States.
John Quincy Adams, sixth president of the United States, loved to skinny dip in the Potomac River.
The worst air polluter in the entire state of Washington is Mount St. Helens.
90% of Canada’s 31,000,000 plus citizens live within 100 miles of the U.S. border.
Costco is the largest wine retailer in the United States. Annual wine sales are about $700 million.
A Georgia company will mix your loved one’s ashes with cement and drop it into the ocean to form an artificial reef.
Over 1.5 million Americans are charged with drunk driving each year.
A private elementary school in Alexandria, Virginia, accidentally served margaritas to its school children, thinking it was limeade.
About 20% of gift cards are never redeemed at the full value of the card.
La Paz, Bolivia is the world’s most fireproof city. At 12,000 feet above sea level, the amount of oxygen in the air barely supports a flame.
Ned Waters (863) 698-1597 email@example.com
In 2004, Virgin Atlantic Airlines introduced a double bed for first class passengers who fly together.
J. B. Wynn (863) 581-3255 firstname.lastname@example.org
A chef’s hat is shaped the way it is for a reason: its shape allows air to circulate around the scalp, keeping the head cool in a hot kitchen.
Alternate - Howard Yates, 2501 Arbuckle Lane, Frostproof, FL 33843-9647
Nearly one third of New York City public school teachers send their own children to private schools.
OFFICERS & BOARD OF DIRECTORS President – Charles Clark (863) 412-8349 email@example.com Vice President – Dave Tomkow (863) 665-5088 firstname.lastname@example.org Secretary/Treasurer - Justin Bunch (863) 425-1121 email@example.com Al Bellotto (863) 581-5515 Ray Clark, (863) 683-8196 firstname.lastname@example.org L.B. Flanders, DVM (863) 644-5974 Dewey Fussell (863) 984-3782 Mike Fussell (863) 698-8314 email@example.com David McCullers )863) 528-1195 Moby Persing (863) 528-4379
Standing Committee Chairs: Membership- J.B. Wynn Events- Kevin Fussell (863) 412-5876
LOOK WHO’S READING
Rodeo- Fred Waters (863) 559-7808 firstname.lastname@example.org Cattlewomen - President Sherry Kitchen (863) 221-0230 email@example.com Extension – Bridget Carlisle (863) 519-8677 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sheriff’s Dept. – Sgt. Howard Martin
Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizer
INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 7
Index of SALES • SERVICE
ART’S GOLF CARS, INC. www.artsgolfcars.com
29630 US Hwy 27 • Dundee, FL 33838
Annual Termite & Pest Control
Frank Favuzza Jr. Owner Operator
Free Inspections • Free Estimates (863) 968-0292 (863) 298-0666 (863) 422-0881 (863) 802-0550 (813) 752-7775
Cattle • Truck Farming • Citrus • Game Hunting
1401 Sam Keen Road Lake, Wales, FL 33853 863.692.1013 We Support Agriculture.
Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers ................................................. 19 Arrington Body Shop, Inc. ........................................................ 53 Art’s Golf Carts .......................................................................... 8 B&L Pool Resurfacing, Inc. ...................................................... 45 Bartow Ford ............................................................................... 3 Berry Blue Farm & Nursery, LLC ............................................. 53 Broke & Poor Building Materials .............................................. 39 C&J Equipment Sales, Inc. ....................................................... 19 Carlton & Carlton, PA ............................................................. 23 Cattlemen’s Feed & Ranch Supply, Inc. ..................................... 11 Choo Choo’s Lawn Equipment ................................................... 9 Cornfusion Corn Maze............................................................. 51 Crescent Jewelers ...................................................................... 47 Discount Metal Mart ................................................................ 41 Dusty’s Camper World ............................................................. 43 Dyson Spare Parts ..................................................................... 45 Ellison RBM Inc. ...................................................................... 51 Farm Credit .............................................................................. 21 Fields Equipment Co. Inc. ......................................................... 21 Florida Farm & Ranch Supply .................................................. 51 Florida Golden Honey .............................................................. 53 Florida Ranch Rodeo Finals ...................................................... 49 Fred’s Market ........................................................................... 45 Grove Equipment Service .......................................................... 27 Gulf Coast Tractor & Equipment ............................................... 2 Haines City Paint & Body ........................................................ 53 Helena Chemical ...................................................................... 39 Hogan & Hogan ...................................................................... 17 Hurricane Sandblasting & Painting .......................................... 53 I-4 Power Equipment ................................................................ 56 International Market World ...................................................... 35 KeyPlex Nutritionals .................................................................. 5 L.I.T. Security Cages ................................................................. 55 Lay’s Western Wear & Feed ...................................................... 43 Lewis Insulation Technologies .................................................. 55 Lightsey Cattle Co. ..................................................................... 8 Mosaic ..................................................................................... 41 Polk County Cattlemen’s Association ......................................... 7 Polk Equine .............................................................................. 53 Precision Pump Service ............................................................. 53 Precision Safe & Lock ............................................................... 47 Prestige Home Center ............................................................... 45 Red Rose Inn & Suites ......................................................... 28-29 Rhino Linings ........................................................................... 43 Rhizogen .................................................................................. 27 Roadrunner Veterinary Clinic ................................................... 37 Seigler Funeral Home ............................................................... 43 Southeastern Septic ................................................................... 17 Southwestern Produce .............................................................. 15 Spurlow’s Outdoor Outfitters ................................................... 53 Stingray Chevrolet .................................................................... 13 The Bug Man ............................................................................. 8 Werts Welding & Tank Service, Inc. .......................................... 35 Winfield Solutions, LLC .......................................................23, 37 Wish Farms .............................................................................. 25
YOU TOO CAN BE A WINNER HEY READERS, hidden somewhere in the magazine is a No Farmers, No Food logo. Hunt for the logo and once you find the hidden logo you will be eligible for a drawing 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 that page you located the logo to: InTheField® Magazine P.O. Box 5377, Plant City, FL 33563-0042 All Entries must be received by October 3, 2011. Winner will be notified by phone. You Too Can Be A Winner - Enter Now! 8
INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 9
Curly Tails Barbeque
“Everything for the Florida Farmer” by Cheryl Kuck Curly Tails restaurant looks like somebody’s weathered, tin-roof ranch house from the outside. The screened-in front porch has picnic tables with checkered cloths and seems to be waiting for hot and dusty ranch hands to come in for a pitcher of cold sweet tea or a frosty mug of beer and food enough to satisfy hard-working folks. The surprise is on the inside, that’s outside but still inside. Not making any sense? Well, through the porch doors is a scene that resembles a courtyard in the middle of outbuildings. The courtyard has booths under a roof and tables with checked picnicstyle tablecloths surrounding a huge tree decorated with tiny white lights while a possum hides in the branches. It looks like picnic time and the setting is appropriate for the featured barbeque and picnic pack “big enough to feed an army” that includes a whole chicken, a slab of ribs, a pound of pork or beef, pints of baked beans, cole slaw and potato salad, Texas toast and a gallon of tea. The only thing missing is grass or, at least, a concrete floor colored green instead of gray. PM Manager Mike Smith says, “You can’t see the floor if you come on Tuesday nights when Flatland Bluegrass is here, ‘cause the place is jammed.” John James, a member of the local farming community, and his wife Linda, opened Curly Tails in 2002 and, more or less, created the restaurant around the gigantic tree they had made in California and shipped to Bartow. “I’ve never worked anywhere but here. This was my first job right out of high school in ’05,” remembers Smith. “I love barbeque and knew that if I worked someplace, I wouldn’t be happy unless it had a grill.” This is not your usual barbeque. The meat doesn’t come slathered in sauces. It’s seasoned, slow cooked, and otherwise served “naked” so you can see the quality of meat you are getting, the amount of charring and grill marks. The smoky flavor is in the tender meat, even the pulled pork comes without any sauce. If you need sauce they make their own but it’s not the thick stuff you may be used to. The sauce
10 INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE
is on the light side so it doesn’t cover or dilute the smoked flavor of the meat and comes in three flavors; hot, sweet and vinegar. Comedian Jeff Foxworthy once said, “Barbeque is the soul of southern cooking. If it’s not fried or barbequed, it’s just not southern.” If Foxworthy is right, Curly Tails definitely falls into the true southern category. Even the salads come with barbequed pulled chicken, beef brisket or pork. Since I didn’t try it, I am uncertain whether or not the meat in their Brunswick stew is also barbequed, but I’ll bet it is. If you want to cut your meat with non-disposable cutlery, you’d better bring your own. It’s understood that if you need stainless steel to cut meat, it’s not cooked right. Their star platter is the barbeque sampler, big enough to share, a real bargain at $8.29 for lunch and $11.29 on the dinner menu. It comes with five ribs, a quarter chicken and a heaping mound of pulled pork accompanied by crinkle-cut white or sweet potato fries, a cornbread muffin, a fried pickle spear and the best baked beans I’ve tasted. The beans are simmered perfectly with onion, green pepper, tomato with bits of meat and can be ordered as a side dish. The restaurant also fulfills Foxworthy’s southern criteria by adding country fried pork, fried okra and southern fried catfish to their menu. The fact that all side dishes are still only $1.79 in this economy is a big deal, especially when they include everything from tender baby lima beans, to mashed potatoes and gravy. Smith assures me that they buy all local produce and make everything “from scratch every day.” As far as I’m concerned, everyone should know if a restaurant supports the local economy and if their food will be freshly made before they decide to eat at any establishment. It just makes economic sense and keeps you healthy. “This is a real family place,” says Smith. “We don’t even know what cookies, pies or cakes will be on the menu until Miss Linda brings them here from her house. So we just put ‘dessert of the day’ on the menu.”
• • • • • • •
We carry large compressed alfalfa blocks. Fence posts and all fencing supplies Culvert pipes (driveway culverts) Bulk feed by the drum or ton Round bales of coastal hay Quantity discounts on feed Monthly feed specials
121 N. Commonwealth Ave. P.O. Box 297 • Polk City, FL 33868 (863) 984-2560
Monday - Saturday 7:30am - 5:30pm
109 North Lake Avenue Groveland, FL 34736 (352) 429-2944
Curly Tails Barbeque Farming family keeps restaurant friendly and simple—country atmosphere, down-home cooking features smoky BBQ. Location: 330 Old Bartow/Eagle Lake Road in Bartow Phone: (863) 533-5685 Hours: Mon.–Fri. from 11am–9pm, Closed weekends Prices: Moderate Catering: Weekends reserved for catering events Advance notice of 18 hours for groups over 20 Take-Out: Available Mon.–Fri. Specials: Picnic pack available weekdays for $44.99 Gift Cards Beverages: Alcohol-beer only, served in a frosty mug, Non-alcoholic–tea, coffee, soft drinks Entertainment: Flatland Bluegrass Band performs every Tues. from 6–8pm Website: www.CurlyTailsBBQ.com
INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 11
Vector Interfaces and Other Scientific Jargon: Dr. Nabil Killiny by Ginny Mink It’s always intimidating talking to someone whom you know is far above you academically or intellectually. In the back of your mind there’s that little voice warning you to choose your words carefully so as not to come across as an imbecile. Many times those people who surpass your cranial comprehension are quick to look down on you. Such is not the case with Dr. Nabil Killiny. In fact, he’s a really nice guy and a joy to talk to. Dr. Killiny is one of those rare brilliant men whom do not act superior, even though his verbiage and scientific knowledge is exactly that. He works for the Citrus Research and Education Center and he says his “research interests focus on the biology of pathogen-vector interfaces.” This means, basically, that he’s studying how bugs and plants interact with regards to the transmittal of diseases. More specifically he’s focusing on “citrus stubborn diseases.” Dr. Killiny is from Egypt. He got his Bachelor of Science degree in plant pathology at Ain Shams University in Cairo. Then he went on to get his PhD at the University of Bordeaux 2 and INRA in Bordeaux, France. His PhD is “in biological and medical sciences with particular focus on pathogen-vector molecular interactions.” He was a “postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at the University of California, Berkeley,” for four years before becoming an Assistant Professor at USF in their “Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences in the Department of Entomology and Nematology.” Dr. Killiny is a busy man. He has professional memberships in a variety of arenas including: the French Society of Microbiology, the French Society of Phytopathology, the International Organization for Mycoplasmology, the American Phytopathological Society, the Florida Entomologist Society and the Entomological Society of America. In addition, he has a slew of refereed publications, as well as non-refereed publications and has participated in numerous presentations related to his field of study. Currently, his research is on citrus greening disease, or Huanglongbing (HLB), which is a “circulative multiplicative system,” in which the “pathogen is phloem restricted in plants and transmitted by the Asian citrus psyllid.” According to him, “the bacteria is not available in in vitro cultures and makes the study more complicated. Understanding how this pathogen behaves within its vector helps to select targets to disrupt the vector transmission process.” Which, simply put means, he’s got to figure out how the disease is sustained within the insect’s body and how it is passed on to the orange trees, then he’ll be able to come up with the methods to prevent the disease. He adds, “In the context of sustainable agriculture we should use friendly environmental solutions. For
12 INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE
that, developing alternative strategies based on the understanding of pathogen-vector interactions is necessary. For those of us not familiar with citrus greening, here’s a helpful bit of information provided by www.doacs.state. fl.us/pi and www.aphis.usda.gov : • Huanglongbing (HLB) is one of the most serious citrus diseases. • There are three forms and the Asian form was identified for the first time in South Florida. • It is a bacterial disease that attacks the vascular system of plants and there is no cure. • Where the disease is endemic, citrus trees produce bitter inedible fruit and then they die. • The Asian citrus psyllid transmits the disease and it was first discovered in 1998 in Delray Beach. • This is a difficult to detect disease and can take years before symptoms are displayed. • It can be graft transmitted from apparently healthy bud wood sources since the symptoms can take so long to develop. • Pesticides will kill psyllids, but numbers of applications and quantities necessary to control populations are logistically, economically and environmentally challenging. • An overarching Citrus Health Response Program has been implemented and involves standards for citrus inspection, regulatory oversight, disease management and education. • To ensure that source trees are clean when new resets are planted, all citrus nursery stock now has to be produced in insect proof structures and in accordance with strict production facility specifications. • The Department, in conjunction with the University of Florida, has imported a parasitic wasp, Tamarixia radiata, from Asia and released it into Florida where it has become established. Certainly the average Joe can’t offer Dr. Killiny a lot of help when it comes to researching the methodology in which to eliminate this wretched disease, but there are things a home gardener can do to help prevent further spreading of it. It is suggested that you only buy certified plants from registered nurseries and if you see signs of disease, contact your county extension office. Also, don’t bring plants, fruits or vegetables home from trips outside of Florida. You could consider planting alternative fruit trees too, and you can find out which ones will grow well in your area by contacting your local extension office, but the information is available online too: www.doacs.state.fl.us/pi. For now, we wish Dr. Killiny the best in his research endeavors and look forward to his discovery of preventative measures for the sake of our beloved orange trees.
INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 13
Perfectly Fresh. Perfectly Priced. VEGETABLE SALE
Recipes Courtesy of The Florida Department of Agriculture
Fri. & Sat. September 16th & 17th • 8 am - 5 pm Fri. & Sat. October 21st & 22nd • 8 am - 5 pm Call in your order today or just drop by and see us!
Cantaloupe with Chicken Salad Ingredients Salad 2 cups chicken cooked, shredded 2 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed and dried 1 cup celery, sliced 1 cup green grapes seedless, halved 1/2 cup pecans, chopped 3 cantaloupes, halved and seeded Dressing 1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise 1/4 cup low-fat sour cream 1 tablespoon lemon juice fresh 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest grated 1 1/2 teaspoons natural sugar 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger root, ground kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Southwestern Produce Company 1510 Sydney Rd. • Plant City, FL
Preparation In a large bowl, combine chicken, blueberries, celery, grapes and pecans. In a small bowl, mix dressing ingredients. Pour over the chicken mixture and toss gently. Spoon into cantaloupe halves.
(813) 754-1500 or (813) 757-0096
Yield 6 servings
Fresh from the Farm to your
Polynesian Shrimp Ingredients 1 pound Florida shrimp, cooked, peeled and deveined 1 cup fresh pineapple chunks 1 cup Florida celery, thinly sliced ½ cup seedless green grapes ¼ cup Florida green onions, sliced 2 tablespoons mayonnaise 2 tablespoons sour cream ½ teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon white pepper Florida salad greens paprika
Eating at Home More? Come See Us!
Preparation Cut large shrimp in half. Drain pineapple, reserving 2 tablespoons juice. Combine shrimp, pineapple, celery, grapes and green onions in a 2-quart bowl. Combine pineapple juice, mayonnaise, sour cream, salt and white pepper; mix well. Pour over shrimp mixture and toss lightly. Chill 30 minutes. Serve on salad greens. Sprinkle with paprika. Yield
White Corn .......................... $13 Yellow Corn ........................ $13 Cream White Corn 4# ...........$ 6 Cream Yellow Corn 4# .........$ 6 Collard Greens.................... $12 Mustard Greens .................. $12 Turnip Greens ..................... $12 Spinach ............................... $12
Cut Okra ............................. $12 Breaded Okra ..................... $12 Whole Okra......................... $12 Sliced Yellow Squash .......... $12 Sliced Zucchini .................... $12 Brussel Sprouts ................... $12 Chopped Broccoli 5# ............$ 5 Baby Carrots ....................... $12 Broccoli ............................... $13 Cauliflower ......................... $13 Mixed Vegetables ............... $13 Soup Blend.......................... $13 Blueberries 5# .................... $15 Blackberries 5#................... $15 Raspberries 5# ................... $15 Cranberries 5# ................... $15 Mango Chunks 5# .............. $15 Pineapple Chunks 5# ......... $15 Dark Sweet Cherries 5#...... $15 Peaches ............................... $15 Green Jumbo Peanuts......... $15
14 INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE
Baby Butter Beans ............... $13 Green Beans ....................... $13 Pole Beans .......................... $13 Speckled Butter Beans ......... $13 Blackeye Peas ..................... $13 Butter Peas .......................... $13 Conk Peas ........................... $22 Crowder Peas...................... $13 Green Peas ......................... $13 Mixed Peas ........................ $13 Pinkeye Peas....................... $13 Sugar Snap Peas ................. $15 Zipper Peas ......................... $13
Give us a call to be placed on our mailing list for monthly notification.
INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 15
Insurance Claim Denial?
TAMPA BAY’S FISHING REPORT
ED I N E
Call us for a free consultation: 888-411-6464 | 407-422-2188
The business and law of agriculture:
• Multiple Peril Crop Insurance • Property Insurance • Nursery Insurance • Homeowner’s Insurance • Business Contracts/Formation • Business Disputes
Keep Them Fresh by Captain Woody Gore There is nothing difficult about keeping fish in first class condition from the time they are caught until the time they are cooked and what a difference it makes to the taste. Recreational or sport fishing anglers are always ready to jump up and down about any attempts to reduce their right to catch a mess of fresh fish for dinner. Then how come so many of those same anglers, who jump on their soap boxes and vociferously voice their opinion about this right, so often bring home fish that are often an inedible travesty of the original delight they caught? The summer months seem to be the worse simply because the heat has such a devastating effect on any catch that is left unattended. Anglers often forget and take little precaution to protect the freshness of the fish they plan on eating. They toss them into a fish box or un-iced cooler where the fish slowly struggles as it drowns in the air. Then as more fish are caught they are thrown on top of the already dead and dying fish. By the time the anglers get to shore, sometimes five to eight hours later, they have a spoiled mess on their hands that certainly should not be eaten. Simply put, the fish have literally cooked in their own blood and slime. Now there is nothing left to do but discard the rotting carcasses. If we’re not going to do it right we shouldn’t be doing it at all. Many anglers would be better advised to fish on an exclusively catch-and-release basis only. If they want to have some fish for dinner they could stop by the local market and buy some on the way home. The fish in the market would most likely be in much better condition than the amateur’s catch. The fact is, if we have any right to demand a stake in the way our fishery is managed and that a significant piece of that fishery is reserved to ensure that recreational and fishing anglers can indeed continue to catch fish for dinner, then it is also true that
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we must use our share with care. That share must not only be controlled and managed by the obvious measures now in place, such as catch limits, and the like, but also by ensuring that the fish we choose to take to the table are in prime eating condition. If you were buying fish at the local fish market, the rules for checking the condition of the fish are simple. The same rules should apply to fish coming to the cleaning table after a day on the water in your boat. • Are the eyes clear and bright? Cloudy or dull eyes are signs are the fish has not been treated right after it was caught. • Is the flesh solid and ‘bouncy’ to the touch? When pressed and released does the flesh bounce back into shape? Soft flabby flesh means it is bruised, or beginning to decompose, or both. • Is the fish slimy? Excessive slime is a sure sign the fish has been allowed to overheat and is beginning to decompose. • Does the fish stink? A strong, putrid, fishy smell means the fish is decomposing. Fresh fish in good condition have a clean fishy smell, not unpleasant, or strong. There is no reason we cannot produce fish in prime condition when we start preparing them for the table. The simple facts are that to produce table fish in prime condition we simply follow four easy steps. • First Step - fill an insulated cooler with ice, lots of ice. • Second Step - as fish come over the side, kill them right away, preferably with a solid whack over the eyes with a fish club. Then place them in the cooler and cover with ice. • Second Step (Option) - However, If you have a freshwater circulated water livewell place the fish in the livewell and keep them alive as long as possible.
1512 W. Colonial Drive Orlando, FL 32804 email: email@example.com www.hoganlegal.com The hiring of an attorney is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience.
All Of Ser ving orida Fl Central
• • • •
New Installations Septic Pumping Drain Field Repairs Lift Stations
Re s i d e n tia Commer l & cial
• • • •
Grease Traps Fill Dirt Culvert Pipes Septic Inspections
“Your Septic Specialists”
INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 17
Third step - Add some water to the insulated cooler along with the ice and drop the dead fish into this slurry as they are caught or die. Keep adding ice as needed. • Fourth step - Whenever time permits, remove the stomach contents and drop the fish back into the slurry. Following these simple steps has very real advantages. Because the flesh is chilled down, when the time comes to prepare the fish the job is much easier. The fish will not be slimy, which means cleaning is easier, more efficient and filleting is especially a breeze. Many people, who have trouble filleting fish, find the difficulty comes from slimy soft flesh making it hard to make a clean full cut. It’s much easier when the flesh has some consistency and firmness. Preparing fish for the table also becomes more pleasant when there is little or no odor. Cooking fish should be an appetizing smell. I know many people who do not like eating fish because of bad past experiences. The cooking odor of foul-smelling fish is an integral part of taste, because our brain usually relates a bad smell to a bad taste. But by far and away the biggest bonus will be in the taste. There is little to compare with the taste of fresh fish that has been well cared for since capture, especially fish that we have caught ourselves. For me that is one of the true joys of fishing. Despite the very real problems in our saltwater fisheries, in comparison with most other places in the world ours is a dream fishery. The ability to take to the sea with a realistic anticipation of hooking into a nice catch of fish is one of the things that make our area unique. To mistreat the fish we choose to keep is an abuse of this right and privilege.
Tampa Bay Fishing Report
August was a scorcher with humidity in the 90s, but we’re still catching fish. While it’s still important to pick the right tide days for the most part, even if you miss the bites still been fairly consistent. Although we’re not catching the numbers we might like, we are still catching. Warm summer waters make fish lethargic for most of the day, but when fishing at night they seem to become a little more active. Many summer anglers find nighttime fishing enjoyable and, provided the mosquitoes don’t carry you off, the fishing is relatively productive. Bait in the Bay, if you can find it, is getting small, but deeper grass flats and heavy chumming can still bring in some decent fishable sardines. However, large greenbacks are not always the answer to inshore production. It’s called match the hatch and because they will be eating the smaller baits it’s always advisable that you fish with them. Remember, you don’t need to black out the live well, you only need enough for fishing. With water temperatures in the high 80s to low 90s the trick is keeping your bait alive. Therefore you must understand that less bait consumes less oxygen and for this reason ‘less is more’. Here’s a tip: buy an inexpensive swimming pool thermometer to keep in your livewell. Now freeze several bottles of water and keep them in your cooler. When your livewell temperatures soar into the 90s add a bottle of frozen water to the livewell. Fresh water and bait do not mix, so never empty the contents into the livewell, just place the entire bottle into the livewell. If you’re looking for some lively mackerel action, threadfins
18 INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE
are no problem and throwing a ten foot, ¾ to 1 inch net should get all you need. You’ll find large schools all over the Bay in deeper water. Mackerel also take small silver spoons fished under and behind a popping cork. I say behind because if you need to make some noise with the cork make sure to have sufficient leader behind the popper (at least 36 inches). Seaguar 50 to 60 pound works for me except when a small black tip shark decides to strike. If the sharks become a problem go to 85 pound Seaguar and long shank inexpensive hook. Mackerel have plenty of teeth capable of inflicting a nasty bite so bending down the barb on your hooks makes de-hooking much easier. Another tip about handling sharks, just because they are not six feet long, don’t think the smaller ones are a cakewalk. Small sharks can be extremely dangerous. Despite their size they are strong and very flexible. Grabbing one by the tail could result in a nasty bite if you’re not careful. If you must handle them grab it firmly behind the head while controlling the tail with your other hand. Snook-Redfish-Trout Fishing should begin returning to normal as the temperatures ease up somewhat. It’s still going to be hot, but perhaps the humidity will lighten some. Night fishing will produce good catches of Snook, Redfish and Trout around structures, especially lighted docks. Work any topwater lures through the light line and hang on. Live shrimp and greenbacks free-lined or under a popping cork always work when fishing around the mangroves and in sandy potholes on the grass flats. Cobia fishing should continue as they travel around the flats with large rays, sharks or manatees. Toss your bait or lure somewhere near the fish and it’s usually fish on. They’re not picky about what they eat, just get it close and make it move. They also frequent channel markers and channel buoys, especially those holding schools of greenbacks or threadfins. Hang a chum block over the side and if they’re close they’ll come. Tarpon anglers will find them moving into Tampa Bay and around the bridges. Bridge tarpon are always fun and threadfins, crabs and larger white baits tossed directly into their path should do the trick. Pick a bridge with a good light-line at night and sight cast them. Mackerel offer some great light tackle action. Tampa Bay’s full of threadfins and big mackerel. Just drift or anchor around the bait, toss out a white bait or threadfin, shinny spoon or gotcha lure and hang on. Snapper catches are being reported around almost any structure, especially around the full moon. Pick any artificial reef, rock pile, pilings or marker, find some small greenbacks or shrimp, a # 1 hook, 20 pound Seaguar fluorocarbon leader, ¼ ounce egg sinker or larger (depending on the current) make a knocker rig and have fun. Limit catches reported around the bay with some weighing three to six pounds but most average around one to two pounds.
“Give Me a Call & Let’s Go Fishing” Captain Woody Gore is the area’s top outdoor fishing guide. Guiding and fishing the Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Tarpon Springs, Bradenton, and Sarasota areas for over fifty years; he offers world class fishing adventures and a lifetime of memories. Single or Multi-boat Group Charters are all the same. With years of organizational experience and access to the areas most experienced captains, Woody can arrange and coordinate any outing or tournament. Just tell him what you need and it’s done. Visit his website at: WWW.CAPTAINWOODYGORE. COM, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or give him a call at 813-477-3814. www.InTheFieldMagazine.com
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INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 19
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Living Debra Howell: Color The Master Gardener Even
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if you’ve not been blessed with the ability to paint, you may still exhibit your colorful side through the palette of your landscape. You may choose to play it safe, using monochromatic whites and greens, you might employ your signature colors which you’re already using in your interior color scheme, or you may embrace a carnival atmosphere and use a broad range of colors as I’ve done in my yard. There are primary colors of red, blue and yellow. And there are secondary colors, and also something called “tertiary” colors. Then there’s the color wheel. But I figure folks are intelligent enough to know what they like, so that’s what I’d plant. Since I have a white house with green trim and a green roof, I tried to stay with green, white and red, which work well together. So I planted red Geraniums, red and white Hibiscus, red and white Pentas, English dogwoods, and plants with variegated foliage. However, among other
things, I now have yellow and white Buttercups, pink, white, red and purple Vincas (Periwinkles,) blue Plumbago, various Azaleas and Crape myrtles – well, you get the picture. I’m stepping out of my Master Gardener comfort zone by introducing so many tropicals. But, let’s face it…people in Florida like tropicals. Last year I attempted a new experiment. I call it an experiment because after so many gardening disappointments I began to refer to my new plantings as “experiments,” thereby assuaging my hurt feelings following any failures I might have. This particular experiment planted a double red Hibiscus side by side with a tangerinecolored Hibiscus. They appear as one plant blooming two colors. I have also added a tangerine next to a bright yellow, but I’m not too sure I fancy that color combination. Time will tell. I have just discovered that my white Hibiscus is technically termed a dwarf, meaning it should stay five to seven feet tall. There is a very hardy Malacca (Hibiscus), which has spectacular cranberry-colored foliage and blooms with a delicate hot pink flower. Though they aren’t very cold
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INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 21
tolerant and have issues, such as the dreaded Pink Hibiscus mealy bug, they bloom in red, white, pink, light yellow, bright yellow, scarlet-throated, some with pups hanging from their centers, in other words, just a plethora of colors and forms. After a cold snap, please wait a long time prior to presuming they’re dead and chopping them down. They will indeed look dead for extended periods, but will probably come back. Hydrangea macrophylla is a summer bloomer with large panicles of blooms that are eye-popping as cut parlor flowers. This plant also comes in a variety of colors, and works very well in tubs or large containers. The color of your Hydrangeas will depend on the pH of your soil. The term pH stands for “potential of hydrogen.” (Don’t ask me. I’m a soil tester, not a chemist!) Remember, you may get your soil tested at your local County Agent’s Office. Coleus has some of the most striking foliage in the world. They come in heights from six inches for cultivars such as “Duck’s Foot” to taller cultivars like “Alabama Sunset.” These plants bear pretty purple spikes, which some people remove to prolong the life of the plants. The foliage may require a mid-Summer trim.
Coleus come with names such as “Painted Lady,” “Dark Star,” “Freckles” and “Crime Scene,” and will require daily watering if planted in full sun. I have found African bush daisies in yellow and purples and while the yellow type seems more cold hardy, the purple phase has larger, more impressive flowers. Amazingly, this plant performed very well last winter, even though its blanket was blown off on a most windy night. Finally, a native: I can’t say enough about Hamelia Patens. The Firebush, which can be cold-sensitive, will nonetheless spring back from a frost to produce splashy reddish-orange trumpetshaped flowers. Hummingbirds can’t resist this bush, and the Zebra Longwing butterfly will not only nectar there, but may use it to roost at night. The Firebush (unless it’s a dwarf) will achieve heights of around ten feet. This is just a small selection of colorful plants that are blooming now in my yard. You may also choose to add some punch to your yard by using yard flags or painting flowers and butterflies on the side of your storage shed. Whichever colorful plants or features you opt to use will undoubtedly bring out your hidden artistic talent, and make the palette of your yard as especially individual as the gardener
Bio: Debra Howell • Master Gardener since 2005 • 1998 graduate - University of South • Master Gardener of the year (Polk Florida - Tampa campus Co.) 2010 • Amateur archaeologist • “Commitment to the Environment” • Chairman, Ft. Meade PRIDE Curb Polk Volunteer winner 2012 Appeal Committee 22 INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE
INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 23
s errie. b f o a etern Florid k r a i r m es emieegetabl r p A v
Come Grow With Us 100 Stearn Ave. Plant City, FL 33563 Tel: 813.752.5111 www.wishfarms.com Well it’s back-to-school time, and even in this bad economy all the clothing stores are offering discounts to fight for their share of the money spent by parents on their kids clothing and other accessories. Maxine has had an eye on the bad economy, and reports that it is so bad, if the bank returns your check marked “Insufficient Funds” you need to call and ask if they meant yours or theirs. She said she got a pre-declined credit card in the mail, too. I remember when I was going to grammar school some of the kids went bare-footed. I had one pair of tennis shoes from Black’s Department store that mother would wash everyother-day ‘cause I would put a hurt’n on them playing football after school in the sand lot. Much emphasis in school today is put on writing and politics they tell me. I read an essay from a sixth grader the other day that shows the progress of not leaving anybody behind. “As you know the colonists won the War and no longer had to pay for taxis. Delegates from the original 13 states formed the Contented Congress. Thomas Jefferson, a Virgin, and Benjamin Franklin, were two singers of
24 INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE
the Declaration of Independence. Franklin had gone to Boston carrying all his clothes in his pocket and a loaf of bread under each arm. He invented electricity by rubbing cats backwards and declared ‘a horse divided against itself cannot stand.’ Franklin died in 1790 and is still dead. George Washington married Martha Curtis and in due time became the Father of our Country. Then the Constitution of the United States was adopted to secure domestic hostility. Under the Constitution the people enjoy the right to keep bare arms.” I ran across these excerpts from student’s science exam in Alabama. “There are three kinds of blood vessels: arteries, vanes and caterpillars. The process of turning steam back into water again is called conversation. The Earth makes a resolution every 24 hours. Clouds are highflying fogs. A blizzard is when it snows sideways. The first commandment was when Eve told Adam to eat the apple.” In my opinion teachers have their job cut out for them these days. They have so much competition from X-Boxes, TV, cell phones, and computer games. I wonder what the next 30 years of electronics will bring. I read an article comparing the 60s to today at school. The scenario: Fred goes rabbit hunting before school, pulls into the high
school parking lot with his shotgun in his gun rack. Back in 1962 the principal comes out to look at Fred’s shotgun. The principal then goes to his car and gets his shotgun to show Fred. Today the school goes into lockdown and the FBI is called. Fred is hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again. Counselors are then called in for traumatized students and teachers. Then there’s the story of a second grader that came home from school and said to her mother, “Mom, guess what? We learned how to make babies today.” Mom was startled, and tried to keep her composure. “That’s interesting,” she said, “how do you make babies?” “It’s easy, Mom,” she replied. “You just change ‘y’ to ‘i’ and add ‘es’.” We need to give children credit as they have logic! For instance a teacher asked the class to give her a sentence about a public servant. One small boy wrote: “The fireman came down the ladder pregnant.” The teacher took the boy side to correct him.
“Don’t you know what pregnant means?” she asked. “Sure,” said the young boy confident. “It means carrying a child.” I’ll close with this story. A private school in Oregon was faced with a problem. A number of 12-year-old girls were beginning to use lipstick and would put it on in the bathroom. The problem was after they put on their lipstick, they would press their lips on the mirror leaving dozens of little lip prints. Every night the maintenance man would remove them, and the next day the girls would put them back. Finally the principal decided that something had to be done. She called all the girls to the bathroom and met them there with the maintenance man. She explained that all these lip prints were causing a major problem for the janitor who had to clean the mirrors every night. To demonstrate how difficult it had been to clean the mirrors, she asked the janitor to show the girls how much effort was required. He took out a long-handled squeegee, dipped it in the toilet, and cleaned the mirror with it. Since then, there have been no lip prints on the mirror. There are teachers……and then there are educators.
INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 25
USDA Announces Major Water Quality Effort in Florida Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced $100 million in financial assistance to acquire permanent easements from eligible landowners in four counties and assist with wetland restoration on nearly 24,000 acres of agricultural land in the Northern Everglades Watershed. The wetland restoration will reduce the amount of surface water leaving the land, slowing water runoff and the concentration of nutrients entering the public water management system and ultimately Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades. This is the largest amount of funding Florida has ever received for projects in the same watershed through the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) in a single year. “Protecting and restoring the Northern Everglades is critical not just to Floridians, but to all Americans,” said Vilsack. “Today’s announcement demonstrates the Obama Administration’s strong commitment to conserve our national treasures, enhance the quality and quantity of our water, and secure the economic opportunities afforded by a healthy Everglades ecosystem.” “This announcement would not be possible without our local conservation partners and our relationship with private landowners who play a critical role in restoring wetlands and protecting wildlife in this unique habitat.” Vilsack also participated in a signing ceremony with A.J. Suarez of Hendry County Nursery Farms — a landowner who will benefit from the funding. Suarez signed an agreement with USDA to start the process to acquire the easement rights to 3,782 acres. After the signing ceremony, Vilsack toured the 550-acre Winding Waters Natural Area, a site restored with $1.5 million from WRP in 2007. The nature area, owned by Palm Beach County, is home to bird species such as little blue heron, snowy egret and great egret, white ibis and Florida sandhill crane. It also contains large areas of pine flatwoods, Cyprus forests, freshwater marshes and wet prairies. Under WRP, landowners sell development rights to land and place it in a conservation easement that permanently maintains that land as agriculture and open space. USDA plans to purchase these permanent easements from eligible private landowners and assist with wetland restoration in Glades, Hendry, Highlands and Okeechobee Counties. The easements will contribute to the connection of public
and private lands and help form a conservation corridor from the Kissimmee River to Everglades National Park. Easements on existing conservation lands provide the large open spaces, food resources and connectivity needed to sustain wide-ranging animals like the federally endangered Florida panther. Other species found on these lands include the crested caracara, Florida black bear, red-cockaded woodpecker and the whooping crane. USDA continues to demonstrate its commitment to restoring the Northern Everglades through increased financial and technical assistance to landowners. USDA has provided a total of $189 million in WRP funding during the past two fiscal years to help farmers protect and restore wetlands in the Northern Everglades. Last fiscal year, USDA obligated $89 million through WRP to acquire easements on almost 26,000 acres of land in the Fisheating Creek Watershed, located in remote Highlands County. Four landowners on five adjoining ranches enrolled the nearly 26,000 acres into the program, making it one of the largest contiguous easement acquisitions in WRP’s history. An additional 12,000 acres were acquired through WRP in other counties, bringing the total potential acres acquired since 2010 to more than 60,000. Working with conservation partners and others, USDA helps communities find local solutions to natural resource issues such as protecting a large-scale ecosystem like the Northern Everglades. Placing easements on working agricultural land helps improve watershed health, the vitality of agricultural lands and aesthetics, and the economies of local communities. “Our working lands provide abundant food, fuel and fiber and are an essential piece of vibrant and diverse rural communities that are part of the fabric of our nation,” Vilsack said “Well-managed private lands also support healthy ecosystems that provide clean water, wildlife habitat, recreational opportunities and other environmental services that benefit the public.” For information about WRP, please visit http://www.nrcs. usda.gov. Click on Programs and Services on the left side of the page. Click on Alphabetical Listing of Programs and scroll down to the Wetlands Reserve Program.
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The Premier Showplace for Talent in Florida
SEPTEMBER 16 RICHIE MERRITT
Richie Merritt, formally of the Marcels, will be performing in the Red Rose Dining Room. Also, P.J. Leary’s Las Vegas Sounds perform before and after the show.
SEPTEMBER 17 & 23 RALPH ALLOCCO & SECOND WIND
Performing in the Red Rose Dining Room
SEPTEMBER 30 JOHNNY ALSTON’S MOTOWN ROCK & ROLL REVUE
Join this special Sunday Tea with a reading by Marjorie York with her one woman show of “Just Call Me Peggy,” a tribute to Gone With The Wind author, Margaret Mitchell; cast members will also be in attendence to sign autographs and talk about their experience of being in one of the greatest films of all time! (In cooperation with “Gone With The Wind Memories” of Plant City)
OCTOBER 7, 14, 22 & 29 RALPH ALLOCCO & SECOND WIND
A dynamite crowd pleaser! P.J. Leary’s Las Vegas Sounds perform before and after the show.
Performing in the Red Rose Dining Room
OCTOBER 8 LOLA & THE SAINTS
SEPTEMBER 24 THE MYSTICS
Doo Wop At Its Best! Relive the 50s & 60s as though it was yesterday. “Forever in Love,” “Just Over the Brooklyn Bridge.” Plus, P.J. Leary’s Las Vegas Sounds.
The Mystics, including, original members of the group, George Galfo and Phil Cracolici, will perform their hits, including their number one chart topper “Hushabye.” P.J. Leary’s Las Vegas Sounds perform before and after the show.
OCTOBER 1 1861 BALL
OCTOBER 2 “JUST CALL ME PEGGY” A TRIBUTE TO MARGARET MITCHELL
OCTOBER 15 & 21 JOHNNY ALSTON’S MOTOWN ROCK & ROLL REVUE
A dynamite crowd pleaser! P.J. Leary’s Las Vegas Sounds perform before and after the show.
In cooperation with “Gone With The Wind Memories” of Plant City, it’s a Tribute to one of America’s top novels and films! Come see and meet original Gone With the Wind cast members, Mickey Kuhn and Patrick Curtis. Music from the 97th Regimental String Band. Period costumes welcome, but not required. Doors open 6:30, Dinner served at 7:00, 1861 Ball Events at 8:00.
OCTOBER 28 COVER TO COVER
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NOVEMBER 18 COVER TO COVER
The trio covers the top hits from yesterday to today! Also, P.J. Leary’s Las Vegas Sounds perform before and after the show.
NOVEMBER 19 & 25 RALPH ALLOCCO & SECOND WIND
Performing in the Red Rose Dining Room
NOVEMBER 26 LOLA & THE SAINTS
A Red Rose favorite. Great hits from the 50s & 60s. Plus, P.J. Leary’s Las Vegas Sounds.
DECEMBER 10 CHRIS MACDONALD
The magic of “the King or Rock-n-roll” in a truly dynamic performance celebrating the life and music of one of the greatest entertainers and pop culture icons of our time. Destiny opens and closes the show!
DECEMBER 16 THE FOUR ACES
The trio covers the top hits from yesterday to today! Also, P.J. Leary’s Las Vegas Sounds perform before and after the show.
It’s a “Winter Wonderland Dinner Dance” in the Ballroom as the dynamic group perform their hits: Three Coins in a Fountain, Shangri-La, Tell Me Why, and more!
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TEL: 813.752.3141 • I-4 Exit 21• 2011 N. Wheeler St. • Plant City, FL 33563 WWW.REDROSEINNANDSUITES.COM
28 INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE
INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 29
Corn Mazes & Olive Trees
H by Ginny Mink
old on to your magazine ladies and gentleman, because whatâ€™s about to be revealed will blow you away! Lakeland is gearing up to experience one of the coolest things on land, something most of us have only seen in movies but secretly always wished we could participate in. Are you ready? Ted and Donna Smith of Green Leaf Sod Farms are hosting a corn maze this October! Yes, a corn maze in our very own Central Florida location.
Mazes are a unique part of human history. People have long been enthralled by things that make them go, “hmmm.” In fact, the first recorded maze in history was the Egyptian Labyrinth as reported by Herodotus, a Greek traveler and writer, in the 5th century, BC! It was built by pharaoh Amenemhet in the 19th century, BC (www.amazingart.com/maze-faqs/ancient-mazes.html). While that maze was made of stone the first hedge maze appeared during the 13th century in Belgium. Apparently there are two forms of mazes, unicursal and multicursal. Unicursal mazes don’t have any dead ends and so they really aren’t much of a puzzle for those walking in them. Multicursal mazes have blind alleys and branches that make finding the end quite a challenge. This information and tons more on the history of mazes can be found on www.unmuseum.org/maze.htm. By the way, the Smiths’ maze would be labeled multicursal. “A corn maze or maize maze is a maze cut out of a corn field. They have become popular tourist attractions in North America, and a way for farmers to create tourist income. Many are based on artistic designs such as characters from movies. Corn mazes actually began as formal garden mazes developed throughout Europe for the wealthiest castles and palaces to amuse kings and princesses. The largest corn maze in the world is located in Dixon, California, and is 45 acres in area as of 2010,” (http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corn_maze). The Smiths’ corn maze spans eight acres and is very intricately designed. An aerial view would show two cows (with the Smiths’ brand on each hip), a WPCV 97 Country logo and a commemorative Polk County 150 year anniversary emblem. If you are anxious to see the aerial pictures for yourself just go to www.themaize.com and click on the visit a maze tab. The Maize is actually the company the Smiths are working with on their corn maze and there’s lots of neat info on the website. For instance, they are the world’s
largest cornfield maze company and have a Guinness Record! The Smiths’ maze will be open every weekend in October, Friday 2-8 pm, Saturday 9 am to 8 pm and Sunday 12-8 pm. However, they are willing to set up weekday visitations for special interest groups and schools. So, if you’ve got a club or you can set up a “field trip” at a school, contact Donna. There is a cost and that’s $10 for adults, $8 for kids 5-10; four and under are free. As if the maze weren’t reason enough to visit the Smiths’ amazing property, it gets better. There will be a 60 x 40 bounce pillow. Essentially, this is a giant inflated trampoline that will be placed in the ground. Certainly the kids will enjoy it, but the Smiths’ would probably be willing to bet, adults will be gleefully jumping away as well. For the wee ones they’re creating a little mini maze out of hay bails, it will be “two squares high so they can see over and not get scared,” Ted explains. But wait, there’s more! They’ll have an air powered “corn cannon designed to shoot corn cobs, water bottles and tennis balls.” It has three different barrels to accommodate the various forms of ammo and there will be targets at different ranges. Similar to the bounce pillow, the Smiths’ understand that grown-ups will want to participate in this unique shooting experience, so the furthest targets are for them. Set your sights on that! We’re still not done though, there’s a really cool duck race for the kiddies in which little rubber duckies will traverse PVC pipe. Here’s the catch, the ducks will only go as fast as the kids pump because the water flowing through the pipes is managed by old style red pitcher pumps. No doubt you’re thinking, “Wow, that’s mad cool! Can it get any better?” Well, yes, it can. They’ve built what they’re calling a “tractor train” for the kids that will pull them around the outskirts of the big corn maze. No worries, Mom and Dad, they’ve thought of everything, they installed seatbelts in each “train car.” Also, they are going to have a corn box, which is basically a sandbox,
but it’s filled with corn kernels for the little ones to dig in and you don’t even have to bring your own pails and shovels! Then there’s the pumpkin patch and the sunflower patch… So, there’s all that fun and then there’s more!! Fred’s Southern Market will be doing all the catering via their concession stand. Donna adds, “We got to okay the menu so there’s nothing outrageously priced, there’s something in everyone’s price range.” There will also be booths selling homemade goodies and crafts. By the way, if you’re interested in setting up a booth for the event, please contact Donna at 863 859 9714. 97 Country is helping sponsor the event and Pepsi is making signs for them. In fact, the 97 Country Road Show will be there on opening day and prior to that they’re holding a “listener appreciation dinner on September 29.” This is gonna be big, people, and you definitely don’t want to miss it. After all, when are you going to get another opportunity to walk through a seven to eight foot high corn maze? Ted said, “The corn maze is kinda exciting, kinda neat. It’s the first in Polk County and might be the first in Central Florida.” Currently there are only six corn mazes in the entire state. Ted added, “The only problem with the maze is the weather because it’s farming. Any time you farm you’re at nature’s mercy, but generally October is a drier month.” Given the economy, “the sod industry tanked,” said Donna, and since that’s a main source of income for the Smiths and the four families living off the farm, they’ve had to get really creative to keep everybody working. So, while you’re at their October shindig, make sure you venture onto the hayride there. The hayride will take you “through the different sods, the olive trees and millet field.” Yes, olive trees, yet another ingenious “gamble” the Smiths are participating in. They planted the olive trees in June but, “like blueberries, it
takes three years before they produce.” Ted explains that their purpose is “for extra virgin olive oil. We’re not sure if they’re gonna work or not because there’s no other groves around,” the area. Yet, they went ahead and planted five acres of about 4,000 trees “on a trellis system. They’ll be in a hedge when mature.” According to Donna, “We did all the work by hand. We had to stick the bamboo stakes in by hand, that’s 4,000 bamboo stakes! We tied the trellis up with little wires by hand. We did our own irrigation and had to poke the holes in by hand. It was a lot of work!” Ultimately they planted three different kinds, two of which are “air pollinators so they don’t need bees.” Olive trees are yet another part of ancient human history. Good thing the Smiths like stuff that gives us the opportunity to learn something. Probably many of us first learned about olive trees in Sunday school because they are very much an Old Testament plant. Aside from Scriptural references, the truth is that “man has been cultivating the olive tree for over 8,000 years. Olive branches figure heavily in many religions, as they did in the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome throughout the Mediterranean. Olives are the world’s most important oil-producing crop and have been since 6000 BC. So important is the olive that, in early Greek and Hebrew cultures, it was a capital crime to destroy an olive tree, even one owned by an enemy. The first olive trees in Florida were planted at New Smyrna in 1770, just one year after the first olive plantings in California were made at Mission San Diego. In the U.S., there are oil-producing olive groves in California, Arizona, Texas and Florida (and now there’s one in Lakeland). They (the olive trees) can live a thousand years or longer,” (www.olivetreegrowers.com). So, what do corn mazes and olive trees have in common? You can find them both on the Smiths’ farm. Make sure you check it out!
All in a Day’s Work: Michele Parmer, Bartow Middle School Ag Teacher by Ginny Mink Typically we envision agriculture teachers as people who grew up on farms or were at the very least raised in the industry. However, there are certain instances in which someone falls in love with agriculture near the very end of his or her high school career. This love then leads him or her to choose to focus on agriculture in college. Such is the case with Michele Parmer. While not having an agricultural background until her senior year, Michele has devoted much of her post college career to the betterment of this field. Michele is the agriculture teacher at Bartow Middle School and has been so employed there since 1999, (though she did take a year off and venture to Georgia to teach at Early County High School). Michele loves being an ag teacher and is thrilled to be able to serve in Polk County. In fact, she says “I couldn’t get the equipment and support I have here anywhere else.” However, agricultural education was not her initial career plan. During Michele’s senior year of high school she got the distinct honor of raising a pig in 4-H. Raising this pig is what triggered Michele’s desire to participate even more in the agricultural arena. Michele says, “I never imagined I would end up becoming as involved in the agriculture industry as I am now.” Yet, that swine raising experience spurred her to study it further at the University of Florida. Michele graduated from UF with two degrees, both agriculture based. Her first degree is in Animal Science and the other is in Poultry Science. Having gained those degrees, she immediately went to work in the swine industry. She says she “wrote a training manual and initiated a training program for Heartland Pork in Illinois.” Later she “worked with Murphy Farms in North Carolina with the selection of breeding stock for Smithfield’s Lean Generation Pork.” Though Michele thoroughly enjoyed working in the swine industry, somewhere deep within her some might say she felt a “higher calling,” the calling to become a teacher. So, she returned to UF to get a degree in Agriculture Education. While at UF for the second time she says she “worked and lived at UF’s Swine Research Unit.” She adds that she “helped teach college students hands-on skills related to the swine industry.” Even now, as Bartow Middle School’s agriculture teacher, she can’t seem to get away from the pigs (not that she’d want to). In fact, a new litter was born in their land lab on July 28. Though school was out for the summer, when you are working with baby
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pigs there are some important food requirements that you must be aware of. According to UF’s Swine Research Unit, diet is everything. “Starter diets are designed to be the first dry feeds that a newly weaned pig consumes. The diets normally contain dried milk products (lactose, whey, deproteinized whey, skim milk), animal protein products (fish meal, dried blood, dried plasma), a fat source (choice white grease), an antibiotic, a diet acidifier, vitamin and mineral premixes, corn and soybean meal. Because of the complex ingredients used in the starter diets, it is recommended that commercially prepared complete diets are purchased especially for the early-weaning and Starter-1 diets.” Given Michele’s extensive experience in this area there is no doubt that she is beyond prepared to provide the proper starter diets for her new little piglets. In fact, she plans to assist her FFA members in preparing these pigs to be shown at the Polk County Youth Fair and the Florida State Fair. Pigs have been a real joy for Michele since she raised one in high school. Actually, she says that one of the greatest aspects of her job happens, “Every time I get an opportunity to watch a sow farrow a litter of pigs with students.” Yet there are other facets of Michele’s job that bring her joy, too. She adds that, “watching students receive awards for all the hard work they have put into training for contests,” makes her job worthwhile. No doubt it does since, “Bartow Middle School FFA has been in the Florida FFA’s spotlight in Forestry, Parliamentary Procedure, Nursery and Landscape, Floriculture, Horse Evaluation, and Food Science with teams in the Top 5 in the state.” Apparently Michele’s students aren’t the only ones achieving and striving for greatness, because she was awarded the “20012002 Polk County Agriculture Teacher of the Year and 2010-2011 Teacher of the Year for Bartow Middle School.” She contributes much of her program’s success to, “the amazing students, and the support of their families and community in the Bartow area.” Michele Parmer is obviously an amazing agriculture teacher with an impressive wealth of information and education. Thankfully there are still teachers out there willing to deal with all the bureaucratic red tape for the sake of their children (and maybe their pigs). Since we’re speaking of kids, Michele has two girls Abigail, 7, and Anna, 5. When Michele’s not working at Bartow Middle School she helps “out with Leaning P Farms and Leaning P Cattle Company, family owned farms.”
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INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 35
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office Investigates Illegal Dumping in Pastures & Groves
by Grady Judd, Polk County Sheriff Illegal dumping isn’t just unsightly, it threatens our quality of life. Refuse which is not properly disposed is a hazard to people, animals and ultimately consumers. And property values can dramatically decrease as a result of illegal dump sites. The most frequent victims of illegal dumping are agricultural property owners. Back pastures and groves are frequent locations used by suspects who often think no one will ever find the tires, building materials, or yard waste they dump. But the Polk County Sheriff’s Office Environmental Crimes deputies are hard at work to prevent, and investigate illegal dumping, charging those responsible. The PCSO Environmental/Marine Unit is responsible for the investigation of unlawful dumping cases that include a wide variety of materials from household garbage to chemical spills. A close working relationship with Federal, State and local environmental compliance agencies is essential to the protection of our natural resources. The Environmental/Marine Unit works closely with the Agriculture Crimes Unit as many of the cases investigated by the unit occur on agriculture lands. The unit is also tasked with investigating major animal cruelty cases including pit bull dog fighting and rooster fighting rings. The PCSO Environmental/Marine Unit is also responsible for the patrol and enforcement of boating laws and ordinances on Polk’s 500 + lakes.
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Illegal dumping is a violation of Florida State Statute 403.161. Environmental deputies made a total of 49 arrests in illegal dumping cases in the first six months of 2011. In addition, Environmental deputies issued 92 affidavits charging suspects with illegal dumping in Polk County. With the recent increase in property foreclosures, PCSO deputies have seen an increase in the dumping of construction materials and personal property. Mortgagers or lien holders typically contract the clearing of vacated houses. In some cases, those contractors sub-contract the work. Those subcontractors may not want to make the drive to the Polk County Land Fill, or want to pay the cost of properly disposing of the materials. It is in those instances illegal dumpers find nearby, isolated acreage and simply dump the trash, debris and building materials. Deputies in the PCSO Environmental Unit are not taking these cases lightly and encourage agriculture property owners to make frequent checks of isolated acreage checking for possible dumping. Grove and pasture owners are reminded to call deputies when they find illegal dumping on their property before attempting to clean up the refuse – deputies can determine if any of the evidence can lead them back to the suspect responsible for the dumping.
Posting no trespassing signs can help deputies add additional charges in the investigations as well so property owners are encouraged to post signs in visible locations throughout the property. One of the most frequent items illegally dumped is used tires. And while stacks of tires are certainly unsightly, the piles themselves pose other environmental and health related issues. Disease carrying rodents use the piles as dens, mosquitos find the smallest amount of water to propagate and potential fires can threaten property and people. The PCSO Environmental deputies
proactively combat these potential hazards by visiting all tire facilities informing owner/managers of Florida laws and of their responsibility to the community’s quality of life. The PCSO Tire Facility Compliance Record program focuses on ensuring that Polk County tire facility business owners are familiar with Florida Statues regarding the storage of tires and requirements of the Department of Environmental Protection Agency. Businesses which store an excess of 1500 waste tires on site without a permit are in violation of FSS 403.16, and subject to charges. In addition, owners/managers are reminded of the potential hazard of mosquito infestation if tires are improperly stored. Owners are advised that if there are more than 25 tires collected and hauled from their facility, comprehensive records must be maintained to ensure proper dis-
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posal procedures are in place. This proactive approach provides deputies with the opportunity to deter illegal dumping of tires. The PCSO Agricultural and Environmental Units work hard to maintain partnerships with citizens, property owners, and businesses throughout the county. These partnerships improve our ability to do our jobs and have been valuable in helping to reach a historically low crime rate. The crime rate is down 6.8 percent in PCSO jurisdictions. Polk’s crime rate is 28 percent less than the state-wide crime rate and the violent crime rate is 37 percent less than the state-wide violent crime rate. Please remember to immediately call the PCSO if you see something suspicious. Together, we are making a positive difference.
INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 37
A Closer Look: Giant Whip Scorpion
A Closer Look: Giant Whip Scorpion (Mastigoproctus Giganteus Giganteus) By Sean Green
photo by Justin Overholt
One of my earliest recollections of discovering the enchantment of insects was on a Boy Scout camping trip. No more than 12 years old, and always anxious to explore, I agreed to race my troop mates to a small tower of granite boulders that overlooked our campsite to explore a little. Fallen pine trees scattered the perimeter of the boulders making it easy to imagine an ancient fortress that fell at the hands of forgotten beasts. These pines that once stood as sentinels over the desert valley now lay peacefully at rest, blanketed with lush green moss under a shroud of younger forest. The bark of the old log was cool to the touch, even in the heat of a summer’s day and fragile enough to collapse with little more than a nudge. Rolling a section of the log to the side exposed an astonishing creature. Its Giant Whip Scorpion head looked like some of the larger spiders I had seen in the canyons of California, but this was no spider. It had large scorpion like pincers that drew our attention first, but this one did not have the characteristic stinger of a scorpion, I would have recognized that. This critters abdomen looked more like that of a termite from which a long needlelike tail protruded. Although intimidating, I wanted to find out what this thing was, so I carefully tickled it into my sierra cup and covered it with a neckerchief and eagerly raced back to the scoutmaster to identify this beast. The only whip scorpion found in the United States is the giant whip scorpion, Mastigoproctus giganteus giganteus, also known as the ‘vinegaroon’. Both common names describe its distinctive whip like tail from which it sprays highly concentrated acetic acid (85%), almost five times the concentration of acetic acid found in the strongest of vinegars. Vinegaroons were one of the first animals to pioneer the development of chemical ecology in the Carboniferous period about 350 million years ago and to this date produce the highest concentration of acid found in any known biochemical defense response. Worldwide, whip scorpions can be found in the tropics and subtropics, but are more predominant in dessert environments. Our species, Mastigoproctus giganteus, can also be found in grassland, scrub, pine forests and barrier islands of the southern United States and Mexico. Florida’s
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rainy season will keep this species active on our sandy soils until about November when the drier periods will force them underground. Whip scorpions find refuge under logs, rocks, or other dark cool places during the day and come out at night to hunt other insects such as termites, slugs, crickets, and they are especially fond of our unsavory Florida woods roach Eurycotis floridensis, better known as the palmetto bug. Don’t let the whip scorpions intimating appearance keep you from appreciating this insect. They are one of the safest and most fascinating insects you are likely to find and typically live seven or more years. They are slow to develop, after hatching the young attach themselves to top of their mother and remain for one molting period of about a month, thereafter molting only once per year for the next three years. During the first molting period, the mother captures prey and shares food with the young in an underground maternal den. Once the young molt, they leave their maternal den and the mother’s life cycle is complete. Whip scorpions do not have venom, nor do they have any real means of inflicting a serious bite wound. The large pincers are used for grasping and crushing prey and are unlikely to cause more damage that a crawfish. The front legs grow very long and are used to find their way around in the dark functioning much like a cats whiskers, but are also used to keep predators at a safe distance. Although this species is abundant, it is not an easy find. I was very lucky to find one during the day. Looking for them at night is not any easier. They are not attracted to light like many other insects. Unlike true scorpions, whip scorpions do not glow under UV light and they are nearly impossible to see even in low light. The reclusive nature of this species makes it a rare find and consequently has limited our knowledge of its biology. Any opportunity to study this species should be cherished, field study for this species is a challenge even for professional entomologists. Should you find one and decide to keep it, I encourage you to gather as much information as possible to keep it healthy in captivity and contribute to the body of knowledge we already have. Finding such insects is a fringe benefit of Florida living.
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INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 39
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Submitted by Bridget Carlisle, Extension Agent II, Livestock. UF/IFAS Polk County Extension Service The UF/IFAS South Florida Beef Forage Team will be offering an intensive course in cow herd reproductive management designed for owners and operators of the beef cow herd on October 10-13 in Lake Placid at Buck Island Ranch. Participants will improve their understanding of the broad subject of breeding herd management and will be better equipped to work with their veterinarians in accomplishing breeding program objectives. Topics Include: • Pregnancy Testing • Quiet Handling of Beef Cattle • Heifer Development and Management of Young Cows • Coping with Calving Problems • Genetic Management for Efficient Reproduction • On Farm Training with the Drost Project • Breeding Season Management • Health Management-Vaccination Program for Reproduction • Reproductive Implications of Body Condition and Nutritional Management • Utilizing Performance Records • The Role of Artificial Insemination in Beef Cattle • Herd Bull Selection • Estrus Synchronization and Heat Detection
40 INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE
• Nutrition for Reproduction • The Role of Ultrasound in a Beef Cattle Herd Hands-On Labs: • Intact Tracts • Pregnancy Testing • Obstetrics/Calf Presentation • Breeding Soundness Lab The fee for this three-day course is $350. For more information and registration forms, please contact your nearest participating South Florida Beef Forage Program Extension Agent listed below. Registration deadline is Friday, September 23. • Glades County - Tycee Prevatt (863) 946-0244 • Hendry County - Sonja Crawford (863) 674-4092 • Hendry, Glades, Charlotte, Lee & Collier Counties - Les Baucum or Lindsey Wiggins (863) 674-4092 • Highlands County - Randy Gornto (863) 402-6540 • Manatee County - Christa Kirby (941) 722-4524 • Okeechobee County - Pat Hogue or Courtney Davis (863) 763-6469 • Polk County - Bridget Carlisle or Chris Holcomb (863) 5198677
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call him when things seemed to be going wrong. He explained his enthusiasm and support for Ag education this way, “The students learn a degree of responsibility they can’t get any other way.” He doesn’t charge much for treating FFA animals, usually just the cost of medicine. “It’s my payback to the community I serve.” Jeniffer said, “We’ve learned a lot. Chance made it through many crises, including a case of scours, when we weren’t sure he’d make it.” After a few weeks of getting a big bottle of calf formula every four hours, Chance has graduated to calf starter feed and twice-daily bottle feedings. He is very playful and is as friendly as a puppy around people. A glossy black, long-legged bundle of energy and personality, he is now similar in size to his twin, named Carter. They also look very much alike, except for a few hairs in the white markings on their foreheads. Carter’s mark resembles a map of the state, while Chance’s is a fat lightning strike. There’s another difference between the calves. “Chance is spoiled rotten,” said Taylor. The calves are a mixture of breeds, from Precious, a Simmental-Brahma cross, and Bruce, a Brangus bull. In addition to raising the calf, the girls have worked hard this summer painting and refurbishing the barn and fixtures at the Ag facility. Myers said, “I’m very proud of Jeniffer and Taylor. They did an outstanding job and surely saved this calf’s life.” Jeniffer and Taylor, seniors at Mulberry High, have been active in FFA throughout their high school years. As FFA reporter, Taylor has already sent in several releases during the summer on club activities that have been printed in newspapers and magazines. “She’s one of the best reporters I’ve ever had,” said Myers. Both girls have raised hogs in past years that won blue ribbons at the Polk County Youth Fair. This year, Taylor has a heifer and a steer that she will show. Jeniffer is going to show a steer. Not surprisingly, their aspirations for the future revolve around agriculture. Taylor plans to attend Hillsborough Community College for two years, graduate from the University of Florida and become an Ag teacher. Jeniffer hopes to go to college to study veterinary medicine. Now that school has started, Taylor and Jeniffer will have to balance the care of Chance, along with their other animals, with their other classes. But at least they’ll have the chance to sleep for longer than four hours at a stretch.
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by Cheryl Lewis Summer is supposed to be a carefree time in the lives of teenagers, but two Mulberry High students had a different experience this year during the month of August. FFA officers Jeniffer Martin and Taylor Howell devoted long hours, day and night, to saving the life of one of the club’s calves. On the morning of August 5, they went to the Ag Department’s pasture at the school to check on Precious, a cow who was due to give birth. They discovered she had given birth to identical male twins, a rare event that happens in only about one percent of births in beef cattle. But for whatever reason, Precious abandoned one of the calves. She wanted nothing to do with him. Taylor, the club’s reporter, and Jeniffer, the president, took on the job of caring for the calf, who they have named Chance. He got the name because he was given only a 50 percent chance of survival. Chance was weak and frail when the girls found him near the ag barn. They were advised that he would need to be fed at first by a tube. They were helped with this scary procedure by Taylor’s stepfather, Jeff Allred. Getting the tube in the trachea instead of the esophagus could have had fatal consequences, but care and diligence saw them through. Tube feedings lasted three or four days and finally they were able to feed Chance with a bottle. Taylor described how Jeniffer would come over to her house, and then they would drive together to Chance’s pen at the barn to feed the calf every four hours around the clock. Taylor’s mother, Tracie Allred, said she would have been happy to bring the calf to their home, but was advised that the move might make Chance vulnerable to getting pneumonia. The girls got lots of help from Dr. Larry Britt, a Plant City veterinarian. Taylor said, “For a while, we must have called him 20 times a day.” Britt has been a big help to all the FFA students, always willing to lend his expertise, according to Ag teacher Tommy Myers. Dr. Britt said that although raising a calf on a bottle is a hard job, it’s not uncommon. The big problem is that the calf doesn’t get colostrum, a substance in the first milk that it gets from its mother. That’s where the calf gets antibodies for its immune system, and without it the animal is susceptible to any bacteria that come along. Britt thought Jeniffer and Taylor did an exceptional job with the calf and attributed part of their success to their willingness to
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Planning, planning, and a little fun, these words describe the beginning of the exciting upcoming year. In August our team experienced our first board meeting. I learned so much about the adult leadership of this organization and to see their passion for the FFA would inspire anyone. The ability to see our delegate issues from State Leadership Summit and state convention being discussed and voted on was enthralling. Our team experienced the members voices being heard and having the opportunity to assist in this process helps us to see members hard work paying off. After this exciting board meeting we had the chance to sit down and discuss our plans for Chapter Presidents Conference and Chapter Officer Leadership Training. Our team is ready to get the year going and help members to grow and learn. Then next stop for Charlie, Haley, John, James, and myself was the Citrus Expo in Ft. Myers. As state officers we are asked to play many rolls within and outside of the association. At the expo we served as volunteers for three days. Our team did everything from selling casino night tickets to raising money for Florida FFA, to handing out name badges, to guarding doors and finally tearing everything down at the end of the week. Erin Frell Best, past Florida FFA state officer, was our supervisor. We had a lot of fun and raised a little money at the same time. The very next weekend the five of us attended the Alumni Retreat where we met some of Florida FFA’s biggest supporters. Haley and I stayed for the entire weekend and experienced the full amount of passion the alumni has for members, as well as the organization. They group even raised a bit of money for the state officers to attend the International Leadership Summit for State Officers, which takes place in January of 2012. This year the trip is to China. Our team is ecstatic about the trip but we must all raise about $4,400 each. As you can see FFA provides its members with so many opportunities to expand their horizons and become better leaders. As the great Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “The great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.” Florida FFA is moving in the right direction by teaching members they can do and be whatever they want as long as they have the drive and determination to achieve it. I challenge all who read this to move in the right direction by supporting FFA and the leaders this amazing organization creates.
Shelby Oesterreicher Area IV Vice President Florida FFA Association
44 INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE
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INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 45
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A Mission Trip to Guatemala and the Polk County Youth Fair Share Similar Responsibilities by Shadiya Almallah, age 16, 11 grade student, Ridge Community High School FFA
In the Field Magazine - Something I never thought I would be writing an article for. When my mom came into my room and said Mr. Byrd wanted me to write an article about the mission trip to Guatemala and the Youth Fair, I didn’t even know what to say or do. I was speechless. A huge opportunity had come my way. Three years ago, I never thought I would have been to Honduras and Guatemala on mission trips or even in the Polk County Youth Fair. All I can say is, they all have most graciously changed my life forever. This summer I went on a mission trip to Guatemala. I went on the trip only knowing a few people. It was very nerve racking knowing that I was leaving the country with a group of people I did not know. Coming back, I could say that I was closer to every single one of those people than some of the friends I have known since middle school. There are no words to describe that trip. It was the most emotional and spiritual experience I have ever had. Mission trips will open your eyes to what the world is really like, and how you have absolutely nothing to complain about under any circumstances. I spoke to a mother at one of the villages and she was telling me how she does not have any money whatsoever. She did not have enough food to feed all her children so she had to completely ignore her new born baby to keep the older ones alive. The baby passed away by the end of the week. Living in America is the biggest blessing in the world, but it makes me absolutely sick half of the time. I was told a story about a girl who was so utterly upset that she was not going to get a brand new car on her sixteenth birthday because her mom could only spend $20,000 on a car for her. $20,000 could not satisfy this sickly-spoiled 16-year-old, but when I gave a 16-year-old
46 INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE
in Guatemala ten quetzals for his family, he almost broke down in tears because of how thankful he was. By the way, ten quetzals is equivalent to about $1.30 in America. The part that makes me so upset about this country is that the majority of people, mainly teenagers, are completely oblivious to what they have, like the girl who came unglued because $20,000 isn’t enough. In this country, we are making touch screen soda machines while in other countries kids are dying because there is no money or food. In Guatemala, kids are doing things that grown adults should be doing, but they do it to support each other, to stay alive. We attended a church that was also a feeding center for the kids that attended the church. The church was flooded with kids when it was time to eat. All of them had the biggest smile on their face when we put a plate of food in front of them. All they had was a scoop of rice and a sliver of pork. They didn’t complain because it wasn’t a chicken nugget happy meal with a Coke and the latest Transformers toy. No, they ate a spoonful of rice, a sliver of pork, with musty water, and they ate it with a huge smile because they knew they weren’t going to have to risk their lives that night finding dinner for themselves. Going on that trip was one of the best decisions of my life. You cannot put a price on helping people and shedding tears with them by spreading the word of the Lord. The Polk County Youth Fair was another decision that has really impacted my life. It was no easy task growing 10 different vegetables through the winter months for competition, making story boards, editing pictures, baking everything under the sun from homemade horse biscuits to hummingbird cakes, and keeping up with the rest of my busy life, which includes serving as Lieutenant Explorer with the Haines City Police Department, taking AP classes, Honors classes and a dual-enrollment college
course from Polk State College. It definitely paid off, though. I met so many people who helped me and taught me new things. The Youth Fair teaches you about independence and how the agriculture industry works, both in science and in business. It gives you so many benefits such as money you earn, an amazing addition on a college application, and the incredible, successful feeling you get when you earn that money you worked yourself to death for. I carry on a family tradition by making the choice to be involved in Florida Agriculture. My grandfather, the late John P. Blackwelder of Haines City and my grandmother Marilyn Blackwelder were part of the team at Haines City Citrus Growers Association for countless years. My grandmother, Marilyn, is still a citrus grower. My mom, Paula Stuart was in the Youth Fair, winning reserve grand champion with her hog in 1986, and was on several judging teams. I enjoy keeping this family tradition going. I was thrilled when my cake made it in the cake auction last year. I practiced for days at my Aunt Erica Smith’s house and my grandmother’s house taking over their kitchens to perfect my baking and decorating skills, and it paid off. These two experiences have really changed my life. I do not regret one minute of the Polk County Youth Fair or the mission trip to Guatemala. I would recommend the Youth Fair or going on a mission trip to anyone at any time. Both will impact your life immensely. Always remember to count your blessings. Name them one by one. As I enter my junior year of high school, I look forward to once again representing Ridge Community High School Future Farmers of America at the Polk County Youth Fair. I will be entering even more projects this year and plan to participate in my third mission trip next summer. I know these two experiences are preparing me to be a productive, contributing global citizen. I’ve seen too many hungry people and a Guatemalan baby die of hunger and even adults who are malnourished. Based on what I have experienced, I believe food production must come first before anything else. That takes us back to the critical message – No Farmers, No Food.
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INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 47
Naturally Amazing Activities VINEGAR
2011 Florida Ranch Rodeo Finals Sponsored by
by Sean Green
This month’s article on the Whip Scorpion highlighted a powerful natural compound, acetic acid, the primary ingredient in household vinegar. Household vinegar is watered down acetic acid, but even in its watered down state it can do some pretty amazing things. This month we have listed some of the many cool things that can be done with vinegar. The most important thing to remember is that vinegar is an acid, and can be harmful if used carelessly. Please conduct these activities with a responsible adult.
Rubber Chicken Bones:
Vinegar is considered a mild acid, but it is strong enough to dissolve away the calcium in the bone. Once the calcium is dissolved, there is nothing to keep the bone hard - all that is left is the soft bone tissue. With some effort you can really get the bone to bend. Like our bones, chicken bones have a mineral called calcium in them to make them hard. Now you know why your mom is always trying to get you to drink milk - the calcium in milk goes to our bones to make our bones stronger.
Eggs shells are made of calcium carbonate, the same reaction that makes the chicken bone like rubber will strip the egg shell off a chicken egg leaving only the internal membrane of the egg. The acetic acid in vinegar separates the calcium from the carbonate in the eggshell. The calcium floats around without anything to connect to and the carbonate makes the bubbles you see, (carbon dioxide). Fill a bowl with enough vinegar to cover raw eggs. You will notice bubbles coming from the egg. This is the beginning of the reaction. It’s actually the carbon dioxide being released that is causing the bubbles. Cover the container and store the eggs in the refrigerator overnight. Over a 24 hour period you will notice the shell has begun to dissolve. Carefully dump the old vinegar and pour in fresh vinegar for another 24 hr period, repeating the process until the entire eggshell has dissolved.
Sunburn damage is a chemical process that continues long after you’re out of the sun. It’s best to avoid the damage, but if you get sunburned, soak in warm tub with a few cups of vinegar to help soothe the sunburn. You can also dab (not rub) vinegar directly to the sunburn. Vinegar does not kill human papilloma virus (HPV), the virus that causes warts, but the acetic acid in the vinegar will break down the skin weakened by the virus causing the wart itself to fall away from the healthy skin. The fastest method is to soak a small cotton ball in vinegar and adhere to the wart with a band aid each night until the wart and its core fall away. There are literally hundreds of uses for vinegar ranging from simple cleaning techniques to profound health benefits. Easily found with an Internet search, vinegar can rocket empty soda bottles into the air and increasingly rocket society into an awareness that is sometimes forgotten or ignored as our contemporary technology hurdles us farther away from the wisdom we gained when our existence was closer to nature. I have only mentioned a few things that are not so commonly known and encourage you to discover some interesting facts on your own, all the while keeping in mind that a critter not much bigger than your thumb has evolved to master the use of acetic acid for its own purpose, we would do well to master the use of what is naturally abundant as the rest of nature has.
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48 INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE
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INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 49
4865 State Road 60 East Lake Wales, FL 33859 863.679.5283
by Sandy Kaster, M.S. Clinical Medicine, B.S. Nutrition Science
Fresh Florida muscadine and bunch grapes are in their peak season right now. These juicy, sweet-tart, bite-sized berries are good for eating raw, as well as making wine or jam. Other popular uses include grape jelly in peanut butter sandwiches, raisins, and grape juice. According to the University of Florida Extension Office, muscadine grapes are native to Florida and the southeastern U.S. has the greatest genetic diversity of grapes in the world. Additionally, Florida grapes produce millions of dollars in revenue. Bunch grapes have fewer chromosomes and are harvested in large clusters of up to 100 grapes. Muscadine grapes have more chromosomes and produce fruit in clusters of two to ten berries. Muscadine varieties are also more disease-resistant, particularly to Pierce’s disease. Florida’s wineries are growing in number, and many use the muscadine grape for both red and white wines.
This sweet, juicy fruit is considered a very good source of vitamin C, and a good source of vitamin A, dietary fiber, riboflavin, and potassium. The outer peel is entirely edible and contains most of the fiber in the fruit. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, one cup of fresh grapes (92 g) contains 61.6 calories, 0.58 g of protein, 0.32 g of fat, 61.6 g of carbohydrate, and 2.9 g of fiber. It also provides 33% of the Daily Recommended Value (% DV) for manganese, 6.1% for Vitamin C, 5.3% for thiamin, 5% for potassium, and 5% for niacin.
Full of disease-fighting antioxidants
Florida grapes are bursting with antioxidants including vitamin C, manganese, carotenoids, resveratrol, and other phytonutrients. The highest concentration of these beneficial compounds is found in the skin and seeds, and muscadine grapes may have more than other grape varieties. Antioxidants help protect the body’s cell membranes from harmful free radical damage and lower markers of oxidative stress. Very importantly, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of grapes offer protection against cancer. Resveratrol is a special phytonutrient that is believed to play a role in longevity. This compound has been positively linked to
50 INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE
inhibiting cancer, heart disease, and viral infections. Found in muscadine and other grape varieties, resveratrol may also have anti-microbial and anti-hypertensive properties. Antioxidants protect cell membranes from potential oxygen damage and inflammation. This decreases the risk for atherosclerosis and heart disease. Grapes, as well as grape juice and red wine, have been shown to play a role in reducing high blood pressure, reducing total and LDL cholesterol levels, decrease inflammation, and decrease clumping of platelets (which may help prevent blood clots). Grapes are considered an excellent source of manganese, an antioxidant that plays many important roles in the body. It helps keep bones strong, maintain normal blood sugar levels and proper functioning of the thyroid gland. Manganese also helps the body utilize other nutrients such as vitamin C, thiamin, choline, and biotin.
How to Select and Store Choose plump, firm grapes that feel heavy for their size and are still attached to the stem. Look for richly colored skin that is free of blemishes. Store grapes in a shallow container in the refrigerator. Rinse under cool running water before eating or preparing.
How to enjoy Muscadine grapes are delicious and juicy eaten out of hand. They can be juiced or cooked into jelly or jam. Add grapes to cereal, yogurt, or salad or use them to garnish and top cakes and desserts. Enjoy Florida’s delicious grapes today. In every juicy, sweettart bite is a load of great nutrition. For a list of u-pick and wineries, go to Florida Grape Growers’ Association: www.fgga. org/index.html.
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Protecting What Matters: Polk Pesticide Training UF/IFAS Polk County Extension will hold training for the Limited Commercial Landscape Maintenance and Limited Lawn and Ornamental pesticide applicator licenses Tuesday, September 20, 2011 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Polk County Extension office located at 1702 Hwy. 17-98 South Bartow, Florida, 33831. Extension programs are provided through cooperation between Polk County Board of County Commissioners and the University of Florida IFAS on a non-discriminatory basis. The training includes basic pesticide safety and pest information, followed by an exam review and exam. Those interested in taking the exam must bring completed application materials including a $150 application fee to the training. Current license holders may also attend for license renewal Continuing Education Units (CEUs).
Course registration is $40 per person and includes lunch. See complete details and register online with a credit card on the calendar page of http://polksmallfarms.com or contact Gail Crawford at (863) 519-8677 x 111 for more information. Florida law requires anyone who uses any product to control pests on landscapes commercially to have a pesticide license. A Limited Commercial Landscape Certification allows applications of certain pesticides to plant beds as part of a landscape business. This one day course is being offered to help landscapers in Polk County prepare to take the certification exam. The training also covers materials for the Limited Lawn and Ornamental exam for in house property maintenance crews.
Selected References http://www.whfoods.com http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ag208 http://www.fgga.org/index.html http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org
INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 51
Polk’s Growing Businesses blueberry plants | blackberry plants Hello everyone it has been a great summer but I am ready for the school year to get rocking and rolling. The 2011- 2012 officers are super excited to get to know Polk County’s FFA Members and learn more about them and their FFA Chapters. I’m thrilled to have been selected as President and I’m eager to serve. I am a junior at Frostproof Middle Senior High School and have been an FFA member for six years. I look forward to representing the Imperial Polk County this year as a Federation Officer and as President. I hope everyone is excited for the upcoming year of FFA as I am. The Polk Federation Officers met in August to plan out the yearly calendar and we filled it up with many FFA activities. I am excited to announce the 1st Annual MAD Project. The MAD project stands for Making A Difference. At each county contest different items will be collected to help out with needs found in Polk County. Each chapter will be able to receive points and have a chance at winning the MAD award at our Federation Banquet. School Supplies are now being collected and will be brought to Frostproof for the County Opening and Closing Ceremonies Contests on September 26. Polk FFA lets get MAD! Many FFA members are excited to participate in this year’s Polk County Ag Tour. Students will have the opportunity to tour many of the agriculture industries in Polk County and will enjoy a time of fellowship with other members from across the county. I look forward to seeing everyone and future events and contests.
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Lake Wales Student Wins Speech Contest Bryah Hagen, 18, is the 2011 Polk County Farm Bureau Youth Speech Contest Winner. The topic of the 2011 contest was “How can agricultural producers reach out to the public to gain their support on important issues impacting agriculture such as the environment, animal welfare, food safety, etc.?” Hagen competed against 12 other students from across the county in Bartow on August 30. KT Spencer from George Jenkins High School placed second, and Nick Steele from Auburndale High School placed third. Hagen, a home schooled senior, is dual enrolled at Warner University. She plans to attend Palm Beach Atlantic University next fall. She is President of Polk County 4-H Youth Council and attends many 4-H district and state events as a delegate. On Monday evening, you will find her doing one of her favorite activities, volunteering as an attorney for the Teen Court pro-
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gram at the Bartow courthouse. She also enjoys her pet chickens, ballroom dancing and camping trips with her younger sister. Each year the Florida Farm Bureau Federation sponsors a Youth Speech Contest, which begins at the county level. Due to a scheduling conflict, second place winner KT Spencer will compete in the district contest on September 8. The winner of the district contest will compete in the state contest at Florida Farm Bureau convention October 6-8. The goals of the contest are to promote a stronger interest and clearer understanding of the many aspects of agriculture and to provide opportunities for youth to gain knowledge, appreciation and understanding of agriculture. Polk County Farm Bureau promotes and protects Polk’s agriculture industry. Representing more than 5,000 family members and a $4.5 billion industry.
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54 INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE
Animal & Bird Cages Equipment serving the fur-bearing & exotic bird industry. Cages built to order. Wire by roll or foot. 813-752-2230 www.ammermans.com Swap Nov 27, 2011, July 15, 2012, Nov. 25, 2012 NORTH GEORGIA MOUNTAINS MLS# 209797 Beautiful Country setting updated 2008-2009, whirlpool tub, Lots of wide usable porches, views of pasture & mountains, open Floor plan, master bedroom with huge master bath. Lots of windows and doors. Call Jane Baer w/ Jane Baer Realty.1-800-820-7829 Compressed Alfalfa Blocks 700+lbs $110.00 & 1300+lbs bales $210.00. Call 813-737-5263. Ask about delivery.
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56 INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE
Polk County's September 2011 issue of In The Field Magazine