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SEPTEMBER 2019 VOL. 14 • ISSUE 11

CONTENTS HIGHLAND AG SOLUTIONS: HELPING FARMERS REACH THEIR FULL POTENTIAL

44 Cover Photo by Stephanie Humphrey PAGE 12 Business Up front

PAGE 36 Jack Payne

PAGE 54 Recipes

PAGE 16 Canoe Escape

PAGE 39 Think Like an Island

PAGE 56 Literary Time Machine

PAGE 18 Fishing Hot Spots PAGE 22 Rocking Chair Chatter

PAGE 40 Recycled Yard Art PAGE 41 Plant Auction

PAGE 24 Dr. Zhanao Deng

PAGE 28 Futch Family Farm PAGE 29 Ag Tour PAGE 32 Cattle Education PAGE35 Asian Guava

PAGE 48 John Dicks PAGE 50 Endangered Species

PAGE 58 Harvest Award

PAGE 61 A Closer Look

PAGE 64 Florida Art PAGE 66

Modern Apothecary

PAGE 52 Hurricane Pets

PAGE 70

PAGE 53 Prize Photo

PAGE 72 Vegetable Hand Book & Super Summer

News Briefs

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 No Farmers No Food Sticker. Send us your business card or an index card with your name and telephone number, the number of the page which you found the logo and where on the page you located the logo to the address below

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InTheField® Magazine P.O. Box 5377 • Plant City, Fl. 33566-0042 *Winners will be notified by phone. You Too Can Be A Winner!

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Hillsborough County Farm Bureau 305 S. Wheeler St. Plant City, FL. Office Hours: Mon. - Fri. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Insurance Services: 813-685-5673 Member Services: 813-685-9121

OFFICERS AND EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Dennis Carlton, Jr.....................President Jake Raburn................Vice President Tony Lopez..............Treasurer Buddy Coleman..................Secretary DIRECTORS FOR 2018 - 2019 Christina Andrlik, Carl Bauman, Jake Cremer, Tiffany Dale, Carson Futch, Jim Frankowiak, Chip Hinton, John Joyner, Lawrence McClure, Sambahv, Vincent Tort, Will Womack, Gayle Yanes

Judi Whitson, Executive Director 813-685-9121 Farm Bureau Insurance Special Agents

Valrico Office 813-685-5673

100 S. Mulrennan Rd., Valrico, FL. 33594 Tommy Hale, CLU, ChFC, CASL, CPCU Agency Mgr. Julie Carlson, Amy Engle

Plant City Office 813.752.5577

305 S. Wheeler St., Plant City, FL 33563 Jeff Summer Artis Griffin

Tampa Office 813.933.5440

6535 Gunn Highway, Tampa, FL.33625 Greg Harrell, Jared Bean

AGENCY MANAGER Thomas O. Hale WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


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STAFF

Letter from the Editor

Publisher/Photography Karen Berry Senior Managing Editor/ Associate Publisher Sarah Holt Patsy Berry Editor

We were certainly lucky that Hurricane Dorian shifted direction and went up the coast. The forecast was definitely a bit offsetting for more than a few days as the storm stalled out before crawling up the east coast. The residents of the Bahamas were not so lucky. The damage there was catastrophic to Grand Bahama and Abaco Islands. It is estimated that 70,000 people are homeless and the death toll, 50 at the time of press with thousands missing, continues to rise. This powerful storm also caused significant damage to the southeastern United States, spawning several tornados in the Carolinas. The peak months of hurricane season are August through October. It pays to be prepared since NOAA forecasters now say conditions are more favorable for above normal hurricane activity with the end of El Nino. The media tends to focus on coastal areas but farmers and ranchers must have an emergency plan in place in the event that a major storm comes their way. In rural areas farmers and ranchers can expect extended power outages. UF/IFAS recommends ordering fuel to top off farm fuel tanks, fill family vehicles with gas, purchase batteries for flashlights and stock up on feed and supplements. Be prepared after the storm for cleanup. Watch for downed power lines, debris and flooding. There are so many things to consider, your best bet is to sit down well before a storm is brewing to lay out your plan. Waiting until the last minute could have disastrous consequences. We may not be so lucky the next time. Until Next Month

Sarah Holt

Sales Melissa Nichols Karen Berry Sarah Holt George Domedion Creative Director/Illustrator Juan Alvarez Distribution Bob Hughens Photography Karen Berry Stephanie Humphry Staff Writers Al Berry Sandy Kaster James Frankowiak Sean Green Ginny Mink Contributing Writers Woody Gore John Dicks

In The Field Magazine is published monthly and is available through local Hillsborough County businesses, restaurants, and many local venues. It is also distributed by U.S. mail to a target market, which includes all of the Greenbelt Property owners, members of the Hillsborough County Farm Bureau and Strawberry Grower’s Association.

The LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you. - Numbers 6:25

Letters, comments and questions can be sent to P.O. Box 5377, Plant City, Florida 33563-0042 or you are welcome to email them to: info@inthefieldmagazine.com or call 813-759-6909 Advertisers warrant & represent the descriptions of their products advertised are true in all respects. In The Field Magazine assumes no responsibility for claims made by 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.

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Published by Berry Publications, Inc.

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HURRICANE DORIAN AND MORE HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY

-Dennis Carlton Jr. - President

Greetings, I am certain that all of us are most thankful that the path of Hurricane Dorian spared us here in Hillsborough County. Our prayers for all who were not as fortunate and our genuine thanks to those men and women who risked their lives to help those in need as a result of that major weather event. On a more upbeat note, I am delighted to recognize Mariah Perez for her winning photo in the Florida Farm Bureau statewide photo competition. Mariah’s photo of a bobcat in the wild took top honors in the Natural Florida category of the competition. There’s more on Mariah, her family and winning photo in this edition of In The Field. This is also a good time to consider some of the Farm Bureau member benefits that you may not be aware of:

• Grainger has a wide range of supplies to help you prepare, respond and recover from weather challenges at http://bit. ly/FFBGrainger. • Security Safe Company is offering members discounted monthly monitoring rates. Visit: http://bit.ly/FFBSecuritySafe. These are just a few of the many benefits available to Florida Farm Bureau members. There’s information on more savings at https://www.floridafarmbureau.org/benefits/save/ Lastly, please don’t forget to RSVP for our annual meeting set for October 3 at the Grimes Building on the grounds of the Florida Strawberry Festival. That event is a great opportunity for fellowship and a great meal for your family.

• Farm Bureau Bank offers members a MasterCard that can turn your purchases into a free Florida Farm Bureau membership while you enjoy other member savings. Visit: https://www.farmbureaubank.com/CreditCards for more information.

For reservations, call us at 813/685-9121, email us at info@ hcfarmbureau.org or stop in at our office, 305 South Wheeler Street, Plant City, FL 33563.

* John Deere is offering Florida Farm Bureau members discounts on mowers, tractors, utility vehicles and more. Register at http://bit.ly/FFBJohnDeere or visit your local John Deere dealer to learn about the savings you can realize today!

Dennis Carlton Jr.

I look forward to seeing you all there. Thank you.

Dennis Carlton Jr. - President

• Ford is partnering with Florida Farm Bureau, offering members a $500 cash bonus on new vehicle purchases. Stop in at your local Ford dealer or visit http://bit.ly/FFBFord to take advantage of this offer.

305 SOUTH WHEELER STREET • PLANT CITY, FL 33566 • 813-685-9121 Board of Directors

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Dennis Carlton, Jr. , President; Jake Raburn, Vice-President; Tony Lopez Treasurer; Buddy Coleman, Secretary; Christina Andrlik, Carl Bauman, Jake Cremer, Tiffany Dale, Carson Futch, Jim Frankowiak, Chip Hinton, John Joyner, Lawrence McClure, Sambahv,Jay Marty Tanner, Vincent Tort, Will Womack, Gayle Yanes Judi Whitson, Executive Director

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Business Up Front

By Jim Frankowiak

LOCAL PRODUCERS BEGINNING TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF

HUMA GRO

The Huma Gro story began in 1973 with the first agricultural application of a unique humic material from a mine in the northwestern United States. This humic material, formed from decomposed plant and animal matter and rich in organic acids and minerals, was found to improve soil conditions, accelerate plant nutrient uptake, and increase crop yields and quality.

etable growers,” said Doug Greer, Huma Gro U.S. Sales Director. Leading that effort in Florida is Territory Manager/Agronomist Jason Garcia, a Plant City native. Dustin Grooms, farm manager of Fancy Farms in eastern Hillsborough County where he grows strawberries and vegetables, is one of those growers who “is always looking for betterperforming alternatives that also save money.” His interest in finding a viable alternative to traditional fumigants led him to try the Huma Gro option of Promax and Zap. The Huma Gro option performed to his satisfaction on a small block, and he reports “we are increasing the acreage this season, hoping to continue that initial success while saving money.”

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By 1981, a proprietary technology was developed to extract the organic acids, soluble minerals, and other beneficial organic components from this unique humic material to create a liquid carrier with very small oxygen-rich carbon molecules, which the company calls Micro Carbon Technology. Micro Carbon Technology is combined with other beneficial components to create over 140 products for the company’s Huma Gro, Fertilgold Organics, Huma Gro Turf, and Probiotic Solu- Traditional fumigants are applied only at the beginning of the tions product lines. season, and sometimes their effectiveness wanes as the season progresses. With the Huma Gro alternative—which, unThough a U.S.-based company nearing its 50th anniversary, like fumigation, has no restricted entry interval and is safe for approximately 80 percent of its sales take place overseas in crops, humans, and the environment—the products are ap40 countries. “While we continue to support overseas markets plied periodically throughout the season, meeting whatever where we have gained significant industry recognition, we are the plants’ needs may be at any given time. working with an increasing number of domestic fruit and veg-

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The average per acre cost for conventional fumigants is approximately $1,000, while the Huma Gro option averages at just over $400 per acre. Also, this alternative has no odors, no negative environmental impacts and does not require an extended period of dormancy before planting. “The planting process can begin the very next day after our products are applied,� said Garcia. The Huma Gro line includes macroand micronutrients, soil activators, organic pesticides, growth managers, and other solutions to raise crops more efficiently and profitably. In addition to Huma Gro, Bio Huma Netics, Inc. (the parent company) product lines include Fertigold Organics, a full line of OMRI-listed organic crop nutrition and protection products; Huma Gro Turf, liquid nutrients and other products for turf and ornamental plants; Mesa Verde Humates, a source of dry humic and fulvic acids for soil improvement and industrial uses; and Probiotic Solutions, with humic-based products for soil and waste water bioremediation.

For more information about Huma Gro products,

go to www.humagro.com. Follow The Huma Gro Farmer podcast at https://humagro. com/podcasts/. Information about Fertilgold Organics is at www.fertilgold.com. Contact Jason Garcia, the Huma Gro/ Fertilgold Organics sales representative for Florida, at Jason@humagro.com or call him at 813-404-6427.

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TOURING THE HILLSBOROUGH RIVER By Libby Hopkins

Author Hans Christian Andersen once said, “Just living isn’t enough…one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower.” Mike Cole would agree with Mr. Andersen’s statement, but he would also add one needs to see birds, turtles and alligators in addition to sunshine, freedom and a little flower. Cole is the general manager of Canoe Escape in Thonotosassa and he loves getting to work where he is the happiest, which is the Hillsborough River. “I started working for Canoe Escape about nine years ago,” Cole said. “I grew up about two blocks away from the Hillsborough River so I would always be out in the woods or canoeing on the section of the river I grew up on in Temple Terrace. This section is much wider and more residential then where Canoe Escape runs their trips.”

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Canoe Escape is located on a 16,000-acre nature preserve that is great for viewing wildlife. Birds, turtles, and gators are typical sightings on a canoe trip down the river. “There are also wild boar, deer, raccoons, hawks, owls, eagles and a variety of other wildlife along with the beautiful scenery the river has to offer,” Cole said. “This is a great trip to see the real Florida.”

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Canoe Escape opened in 1991 and it offers six different self-guided, downstream, day-trip combinations along the Hillsborough River through a diverse ecosystem. Guests are encouraged to take extra time on any trip for nature observation, picnicking, photography, or fishing. Whether guests are renting canoes or kayaks or Canoe Escape is shuttling the customer’s own canoes or kayaks, all paddling adventures start at Canoe Escape located in John B. Sargeant Park. “The owners Joe and Jean Faulk have strived for Canoe Escape to stand out by offering excellent service to our customers,” Cole said. “Safety is number one ultimately, but making sure the customer gets the best experience possible is left up to our staff that does an extraordinary job.” Canoe Escape provides a river map, an explanation of their guests’ trip and information about current river conditions. Their staff is happy to provide cursory paddling pointers to review the basic strokes in case it’s been a while since their guests have paddled or if they are a first-time paddler. Knowing the draw stroke in the bow, the J-stroke and rudder in the stern of the canoe will help guests navigate their way down the Hillsborough more easily.

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The staff knows their guests will love the river but sometimes the real difference can be getting five to 10 minutes of paddling instructions to help make sure they are using the proper techniques so they can enjoy their time viewing the beauty of the river. “Feeling confident about how to paddle your boat ensures a great experience,” Cole said. “Also when we go over the map to help ensure you feel comfortable in knowing the direction to go when exploring the river. Navigation can always be a concern when in the outdoors. The section of river we run on is almost impossible to get lost.” Guests can just follow the widest moving body of water and Canoe Escape marks it with pink or orange tags on the trees to give reassurance they are on the main flow. “Canoe Escape strives to provide a unique experience that gives everyone a chance to see a natural Florida ecosystem. Our trips are for nature enthusiast or those looking to find a new life sport,” Cole said. “Paddling is superb for exercise while rewarding yourself with some of the best scenery nature can offer.” What makes Canoe Escape different from other canoe or kayak attractions in the area is that they offer oneway downstream trips. “We offer a two, four or six-hour one-way paddle trips that involve a pick up and transportation back to the starting point,” Cole said. “We also offer an out and back rental that involves paddling upstream, downstream in an area called Flint Creek which has the best concentration of wildlife. Either trip will typically be a great outing for viewing wildlife.” Cole and the staff at Canoe Escape love getting to share the Hillsborough River and all its beauty with their guests. “I have always loved canoeing and kayaking and I enjoy working to show others the beauty our river has to offer, along with how to paddle these small crafts.” If you’d like to learn more about Canoe Escape, you can visit their website at www.canoeescape.com or call Cole at 813-9862067. Canoe Escape is located at 12702 U.S. Hwy. 301 in Thonotosassa. INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

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Tampa Bay Fishing Report September 2019 Capt. Woody Gore

Snook, Redfish, Spotted Sea Trout, can be caught but not har-

vested because of the Red Tide earlier this year.

From late September, or more likely mid-October, an early-season cold front pushes through, bringing drier air and somewhat more relaxed temperatures. The rainy season shuts down and the skies take on a more vibrant, blue color. As days grow shorter, the sun heads south, the angle of the light changes and shadows lengthen. It is time to get outdoors and get in some great fall fishing. This is the time of the year we have to put a jacket back in the boat for a morning ride to get bait; especially with a blowing early morning north wind. As the water starts cooling down, the fish should start getting a little more excited about being fish. The bites have been exceptional during the last weeks of September, and I expect it to continue right through Christmas. You can expect good catches all over Tampa Bay using live bait. But if you’re an artificial angler grab your tackle box because now is the time to fish plastics.

Snook: (Season Closed may be

caught but not harvested) Look for Snook on tidal flats, especially those with deep channels or cuts. Snook will forage the grass flats early and move toward the mangrove shade or deeper water as the sun heats up. Try using greenbacks or artificial lures on moving water.

Redfish: (Season Closed may be PAGE

Capt. Woody Gore (www.captainwoodygore.com)

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caught but not harvested) Expect some good redfish days around the

same areas. Look for tailing reds or that familiar rusty red color on low water tidal flats. They’ll also begin pushing into the mangroves and oyster bars on incoming tides.

Spotted Sea Trout: (Season Closed

may be caught but not harvested) Normally you can always catch trout on Tampa Bay’s lush grass flats throughout the fall and winter. Look for fair-sized fish on the deeper grass flats with sandy potholes. Live shrimp or greenbacks under a popping cork should do nicely. Occasionally, free-lined baits in and around the sandy potholes produce more substantial fish and the occasional flounder. Don’t forget, with artificial lures like a small jig and rubber tail you can cover twice the area and usually catch twice the fish.

Cobia: Check the markers and sandy flats, they are functional areas to find Cobia. Especially the markers holding bait and also the grass flats with larger stingrays or manatees. Mangrove Snappers: As for the

others, expect some good-sized mangrove snapper at the bridges and rock piles with some topping out around 3 pounds. Don’t forget when taking kids fishing never turn your fishing nose up at ladyfish and jacks, especially when kids are involved; they can certainly make or break a trip. Most children are not interested in fishing. However, what they are interested in is catching a fish. They usually don’t care what kind of fish, they just want their fishing pole to bend. When that happens you’ve got happy kids. WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


“Give Me a Call & Let’s Go Fishing”

813-477-3814

Captain Woody Gore is the area’s top outdoor fishing guide. Guiding and fishing the west central Florida areas for over fifty years; he offers world class fishing adventures and a lifetime of memories. Multi-boat Group Charters With years of organizational experience and access to the areas most experienced captains, Captain Woody can arrange and coordinate any outing or tournament. Just tell him what you need and it’s done.

Visit his website at: WWW.CAPTAINWOODYGORE.COM send an email to wgore@ix.netcom.com or give me a call at 813-477-3814

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The glabella is the space between your eyebrows In 1927 Morris Frank became the recipient of the first U.S. dog guide, a German Shepherd named “Buddy.” The term “couch potato” is the legal property of Robert Armstrong, who trademarked it in 1976. Willie Mosconi, “Mr. Pocket Billiards,” played against professionals at the age of six. You can use potato chips to start a fire. The human tooth has approximately 50 miles of canals in it. Smokey Bear has his own zip code – 20252. Ants do not sleep.

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Sponsored by:

FAMILY OWNED AND OPERATED SINCE 1971

HOPEWELLFUNERAL.COM YOUR AROUND TOWN SPONSOR

Some things I don’t understand The other day while in the local pharmacy to pick up a prescription, I passed by the area where they sold thermometers. There was one rectal thermometer that caught my eye. In bold print it stated, “PreTested, 99% Accurate.” Now tell me, who in their right mind would buy a pre-tested rectal thermometer? Or better yet, who would take the job to pre-test them? I was always taught that customer service is first and foremost to make a business successful. If that’s the case then a number of Plant City food chains need to shape up. The other day I stopped in for a bowl of chili and a drink. It was raining and I had to park far from the entrance, as all the parking spaces close to the door were full. When I got inside I noticed I was the only customer in the store. I asked the young lady taking my order whose cars were parked at the entrance. She replied cheerfully, “Oh, those belong to our employees.” A few days later I had an interesting experience buying some food at a popular fast-food chain. The total came to $10.15. Not wanting a lot of change I gave the cashier a twenty-dollar bill, and a quarter. She looked at the money. Then the cash register, scratched her head, and gave me back a dime. I called her attention to the fact that I had given her a $20.00 bill. She smiled and said, “Sir do you think I owe you more”? “Yes,” I said. “According to your cash register you owe me $10.10.” I took my change, and moved over to pickup my order and the man in back of me just rolled his eyes and shook his head, and said, “I’ve seen it all now!” Life goes on and I still wonder why we say “after dark” when it really is “after light.” Why is the third hand on a watch called the second hand? Why do we wash bath towels? Aren’t we clean when we use them? Why do they call it a TV set when you only have one? Why is it called a “building” when it is already built? And why do they advertise toilet paper? Everybody uses it! I stopped in for the Plant City Chamber of Commerce “Business After Hours” at Tim Lopez’s Southside Farm Supply. They really have a lot to offer, and Tim is as happy as if he just caught his limit of speckle perch at Lake Thonotosassa. Tim said, “Al, I ran across something for your Rock’n Chair Chatter.” I love it when my readers offer suggestions, so I said, “Tell me about it, Tim.” Here is his story: A psychiatrist visited a Georgia mental institution and asked a patient, “Tell me sir, how did you get here? What is your problem?”

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The old fella replied, “Well, it all started when I got married and I guess I should never had done it. I married a widow with a grown daughter who then became my stepdaughter. My dad came to visit

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us, fell in love with my lovely stepdaughter, and then married her. And so my stepdaughter was now my stepmother. Soon, my wife had a son who was, of course, my daddy’s brother-in-law since he is the half-brother of my stepdaughter, who is now, of course, my daddy’s wife. So, as I told you, when my stepdaughter married my daddy, she was at once my stepmother! Now, since my new son is brother to my stepmother, he also became my uncle. As you know, my wife is my stepgrandmother since she is my stepmother’s mother. Don’t forget that my stepmother is my stepdaughter. Remember, too, that I am my wife’s grandson.” “Wait just a minute,” he said, “You see, since I’m married to my stepgrandmother, I am not only the wife’s grandson and her hubby, but I am also my own grandfather. Now sir, can you understand how I got put in this place?” Tim told me buying Southside Farm & Pet Supply was the best thing his family has ever done. He said in his construction work he never meets as many people as he does at the store. Those farmers and ranchers always have a tall tale to tell. He recalled a farmer from Turkey Creek that came in the store and shared the story of a talking horse. As he tells it a jogger was running down Mud Lake road and was startled when a horse yells at him, “Hey buddy, come over to the fence, I want to talk with you.” Some what stunned the runner jogs over to the fence and says, “Were you talking to me?” The horse replies, “Yes I was, and man I have a problem. I won the Kentucky Derby a few years ago and this farmer bought me, and now all I do is watch joggers like you run up and down Mud Lake road. I am sick and tired of this daily routine. Why don’t you run up to the house and offer him $4000 to buy me? I promise you I can make you some money because I can still run.” The jogger thought to himself, ‘Good grief, a talking horse.’ Dollar signs started appearing in his head. He jogs over to the house and the old farmer is sitting on he porch. He tells the farmer, “If you’re interested in selling that old nag over by the road, I’ll give you $4000 cash her.” “Son, I go through this every day with that old horse. You can’t believe anything the horse says. She has never ever been to Kentucky.” If you have any good farming stories to tell, drop over and talk with Tim Lopez at Southside Farm & Pet Supply! Who knows, they may end up in this column. In closing, remember that the proper use of toiletries can forestall bathing for several days. However, if you live Editor’s Note: This Rocking Chair alone, deodorant is a Chatter was originally printed in the waste of good money. September 2014 issue WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


Celebrating a most fruitful relationship

between Florida Strawberry Growers and International Paper.

1979

Together we’re sure to enjoy many more years of sweet success.

711 E. Lancaster Rd Orlando, FL 32809 (407) 855-2121

1996

2402 Police Center Dr Plant City, FL 33566 (813) 717-9100 6706 N. 53rd St Tampa, FL 33610 (813) 744-2220 Sales: Dean Fultz (901) 355-5197 or Jim Johnson (813) 205-0355

2001

2003

Present

©2018 International Paper Company. All rights reserved.

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“I enjoy exploring and creating genetic diversity in plants, developing new varieties and seeing them adopted and cultivated by growers and used by consumers,” he said. “I also feel very satisfied at seeing students from my lab find their dream jobs and receive awards.” Deng’s extensive research has led to the release of 37 ornamental plant varieties, scientifically referred to as “cultivars.” His work resulted in his ASHS “election as a Fellow of the Society, the highest honor that ASHS can bestow on its members, in recognition of truly outstanding contributions to horticulture and the Society.” This honor was first awarded in 1965. “Receiving this honor was beyond what I could imagine when I first joined ASHA,” Deng said. He expressed his thanks to his staff, graduate students and post-doctoral researchers for his honor, as well as GCREC Director, Dr. Jack Rechcigl, his department chair, Dr. Dean Kopsell, as well as UF/IFAS colleagues and collaborators from other states and the environmental industry. One colleague, Dr. Jude Grosser, a professor of citrus breeding and genetics at the UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC) at Lake Alfred, Florida, wrote a recommendation letter on behalf of Dr. Deng to the ASHS that read, in part: “Zhanao has a work ethic that is second to none…I consider Zhanao the perfect example of a modern plant breeder. He has the ability to match the best techniques to a particular breeding objective and design the appropriate experiments to get the job done.”

DR. ZHANAO DENG

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GCREC RESEARCHER NAMED FELLOW OF THE AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR HORTICULTURAL SCIENCE By Jim Frankowiak

“We are all very proud of Dr. Deng for being elected Fellow of the American Society for Horticulture Science,” said Dr. Rechcigl. “This is one of the most prestigious professional awards one can receive. Dr. Deng is a world-renowned breeder and this award further exemplifies his scientific contributions to society. We are very fortunate to have someone of Dr. Deng’s caliber at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center.” Born and raised in Kaixian, Chongqing (formerly, Kaixian, Sichuan) in southwestern China, Deng earned his undergraduate degree from Sichuan Agricultural University, followed by a master’s and doctoral degrees from Huazhong Agricultural University, both in China. He began his scientific career at Huazhong Agricultural University and then moved on to the UF/IFAS CREC for 10 years before joining the GCREC as an assistant professor. He was promoted to professor in 2015.

Dr. Zhanao Deng, an ornamental horticulture professor at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Gulf Coast Research and Education Center (GCREC) has been named a Fellow of the American Society of Horticultural Science (ASHS).

In addition to developing new ornamental plant varieties, Deng also helps grow and breed other specialty crops, including blackberries, pomegranates and hops. He has also published nine book chapters and 90 peer-reviewed journal articles.

Deng, who has been with the GCREC for more than two decades, has bred new types of caladium and gerbera that are more disease resistant. He also takes pride in his lantana varieties, which are genetically sterilized and do not produce seeds. They are also environmentally friendly, attract pollinators and protect native plants.

“As a faculty member at a land-grant university in Florida, I consider serving the people of Florida to be our mission, and my daily work and activities in plant breeding, research and Extension should be centered around this important mission.”

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For more information about Dr. Deng, his work and the overall focus of the GCREC, visit: gcrec.ifas.ufl.edu.

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Florida Grown At Mosaic, we grow citrus and sod, and are even pioneering new local crops, like olives. And we’re doing it all with less—less water, less fossil fuels and less impact on the environment.

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// Learn more at MosaicCo.com/Florida

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FUTCH FAMILY SETS OCTOBER WEEKENDS FOR 8TH ANNUAL FOX SQUIRREL CORN MAZE

Sponsored by the Florida Strawberry Growers Association

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By Jim Frankowiak The Futch Family through Futch Entertainment is presenting its 8th annual Fox Squirrel Corn Maze on weekends during October, beginning October 5 and ending October 27, at the family farm on Charlie Taylor Road, north of I-4. Maze activities begin at 10 a.m. and conclude each weekend day at 5 p.m. In addition to the corn maze, the annual celebration features pumpkins for sale, hayrides, games and the chance to enjoy the outdoors. The menu for the event includes BBQ, chicken tenders, homemade French Fries and other food items. Added “yummy delights” such as fall cakes and pies, roasted corn, boiled peanuts, kettle corn, shaved ice, honey and more will also be available.

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Attendees of all ages have the opportunity to paint pumpkins, experience butterflies, crafts, balloon artistry, handmade clothing for children, face painting and mechanical bull riding (for three of the weekends during the month), horse and pony rides.

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This year for the first time, the Florida Strawberry Growers Association (FSGA) offered two, $1,000 scholarships to students at the UF/IFAS School of Forest Resources and Conservation in Plant City to help design and prepare the Fox Squirrel Corn Maze. Students Betty Morris and Tim Jaskiewicz took on that task and delivered their plan on time and with all of the considerations required for such an agritourism event. The Futch’s are pleased with the support of the FSGA and guidance received from Betty and Tim.

More information is available at www.futchentertainment.com. Fox Squirrel Corn Maze can be accessed via 3002 Charlie Taylor Road, Plant City, FL 33565.

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CHAMBER AGRIBUSINESS TOUR SET FOR OCTOBER 4

By Jim Frankowiak

The Agribusiness Committee of the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce is accepting reservations for its 2nd annual tour of businesses that reflect the diversity of agriculture in and around the community. The daylong tour is set for Friday, October 4.

• Keel & Curley Winery – a winery, event venue and farm with multiple impacts on the area economy

“Everyone knows about Plant City strawberries, but there are so many other areas of agriculture in the immediate area that either are not thought about because they are not seen or utilized or simply not known to residents and business owners that have recently relocated to Plant City,” said Agribusiness Committee Co-Chair Wesley Joyner of Pilot Bank. “Each of our tour stops has significant economic impact and all are important drivers of our local economy. The Plant City Chamber Agribusiness Committee is a sub-committee of the Governmental Affairs Committee and while showing the chamber members how beneficial the ag industry is to Plant City, we are also showing the ag industry how the chamber can be a benefit to them as well. The Chamber travels to Tallahassee annually and is very involved with the politics and issues in our area and we want the ag industry to know that we understand its importance and want to advocate for them as well.”

• G5 Feed and Outdoor – a feed and product supplier for youth projects, ranches, family farms and pet owners; and an outdoor and recreational products dealer

Tour participation is $20 per person with preference given to Chamber members. Reservations can be made at www. plantcity.org.

Stops for the tour include: • Florida Strawberry Festival Livestock Barn – where youth compete during the annual Florida Strawberry Festival • M&B Products – a dairy and vital component of the school nutrition program across Florida • Woods Tree Farm – a wholesale ornamental tree farm

• Audubon Ranch – a Beef cattle operation

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CATTLE EDUCATION

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By Libby Hopkins

The CattleWomen’s Association has been educating the masses about cattle for more than 67 years. There are three tiers of the CattleWomen's organization. The American National Cattle Women based out of Moore, OK, which was first organized in 1952. Membership spans the nation and they have a large impact on BEEF education with funding research for all of their BEEF facts to produce educational materials. These materials are in the forms of videos, written literature and collegiate advocacy programs and are distributed to state cattlewomen associations and then passed down to the county cattlewomen, all to promote and educate about the BEEF industry. “We all work hand in hand to promote the education of BEEF to the youth of our nation,” said Gayle Yanes of the Florida CattleWomen’s Association. “Most importantly on where their daily food comes from, the nutrient values of BEEF for a growing child and the care and safety that the cattlemen and women of our nation take in producing a quality food. Another important aspect to the cattle rancher is their environmental and sustainability concerns for the future generations on this earth.”

contests, Florida’s cattlemen have worked persistently to give back to the communities they serve. “The Education programs for both the Florida CattleWomen and the individual counties in Florida work very closely together,” Yanes said. “All county members work as a whole and conduct all of the state CattleWomen's programs, such as the Ag Literacy Day. One day a year is chosen by the Commissioner of Agriculture for the State of Florida to be Ag Literacy Day.”

Florida’s cattle industry is one of the 15 largest in the United States. Florida’s cattlemen are dedicated to the preservation of Florida’s green ranch land. As a large industry within the state, cattle ranchers significantly support Florida’s interstate economy and provide jobs as well as beef. Additionally, Florida’s cattlemen have been strong supporters of Florida’s youth and culture. From county fair displays to scholarship

Their Ag-Ventures and Agri-Fest programs reach thousands of students around the state. Each county has some version of showcasing their counties agriculture commodities to all local school children. “At our own Polk County Agri-Fest, we host over 6,000 fourth-graders to learn about many county commodities,” Yanes said. “The CattleWomen help with the BEEF Station where they see a real cowboy on his horse with

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The group works very closely with schools’ agriculture in the classroom programs as well as producing an elementary aged book written to teach young students about all of Florida's agricultural commodities. “From beef cattle, citrus, vegetable farming to aquaculture and all in between, the book is illustrated to explain the field to table concept,” Yanes said. “Who grows the food, how it is grown and harvested for their consumption. CattleWomen from around the state will take these books to their local elementary schools and read to as many classes as allowed, then donate the book to their library or media center for future use.”

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all of his gear, his cow dog and the students will be able to ask him questions about his everyday life on the ranch.” The students also learn about how the beef cattle are raised and what happens when they are harvested for meat, along with a list of the many by-products that come from cattle. “We provide hand-outs to the teachers and all of the students to take back to their classrooms for future education,” Yanes and the CattleWomen’s biggest hope is to educate children on where their food comes from and that it’s not the grocery store shelf, but from a living farm or ranch where a family has raised and nurtured animals with care to produce them a safe and healthy meal. “We want children to know how important BEEF is in their daily diet with the many beneficial minerals and proteins that are needed for their growth and health,” Yanes said. Most schools get involved with the CattleWomen’s Association by inviting a CattleWomen group to their schools for a Farm City Adventure or the CattleWomen come for a National Teach-in Day. “They can always check with their county Farm Bureau on Ag-Ventures or Agri-Fest Programs, like the ones held at the Florida State Fairgrounds at Cracker Country,” Yanes said. “The most fun is seeing the surprising look on their faces when they learn facts about BEEF cows, such as, how much water they drink daily or how far they travel in a day or how many times they lay down and sleep. Most city children have never seen a live cow or horse, much less petted one.”

If you would like to learn more about the Florida CattleWomen Association or to find out more about their educational programs, you can visit their website at www.floridacattlemen. org/fcw.

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Florida

Asian Guavas

By Sandy Sun, M.S. Clinical Medicines, B.S. Nutrition Science A tropical fruit with a mild, sweet flavor, the guava is considered a “superfruit” in terms of nutritional and health benefits. Guavas may have thick or thin skins, depending upon the variety. Skin color is light green to yellow and the flesh may be white, yellow, pink or red. The fruit is usually oval in shape with small edible seeds inside. Fresh guava is delicious out of hand, but is also commonly used in juice, jams, jellies, paste, marmalade, desserts, and pastries. In the United States, commercial guava production is found in Florida, California, and Hawaii. In Florida, guava is harvested year-round. Asian guavas look like a large textured pear, but its texture is hard and crisp like a combination between an apple and pear. The outer shell is light green and the inner fruit is a creamy white color. Asian guavas are delicious eaten either hard or soft, depending on how long you let it ripen. It tastes like a very sweet Granny Smith apple. Compared with other types of guava, Asian guavas are larger and harder. Asian guavas are sometimes called Bangkok guavas or southeast Asian white guavas.

Nutritional Profile

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, a 100g portion of fresh guava (about 1.5 medium fruits) contains 68 calories, 2.55g of protein, 0.95 g of fat, 14.3 g of carbohydrate, and 5.4 g of fiber. It provides a whopping 396% of the Daily Reference Intake for vitamin C, 21% for vitamin A, 14% for dietary fiber, 12.5% for folate, 9% for potassium, and significant amounts of magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, calcium, B vitamins and iron. That’s a big mouthful of nutrients in this tropical treat!

Vitamin C

Guava is an excellent source of the antioxidant vitamin C, providing roughly four times the amount in an average orange. One serving of this fruit provides almost 400% of your daily needs! Most of the vitamin is concentrated in the outer rind. Scientific studies have shown that regular consumption of fruits rich in vitamin C helps fight off infectious agents, resulting in fewer colds, or colds of shorter duration. This antioxidant also neutralizes harmful free radicals from the body. Antioxidants may reduce the risk of some diseases, including several forms of cancer. Additionally, vitamin C is essential for collagen synthesis in the body. Collagen is the main structural protein in the body required for maintaining the integrity of blood vessels, skin, organs, and bones.

Dietary Fiber

One serving of guava provides 14% of your daily fiber needs, which helps keep your digestive system running smoothly. The fiber also helps to protect against colon cancer and other conditions by speeding up transit time through the gut. Fiber can also help lower cholesterol, assist with digestion, and prevent constipation. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, a diet high in fiber may decrease the risk of several types of cancer including colon, rectum, breast, and

Vitamin A

Guava is also a very good source of vitamin A and beta carotene. Vitamin A also acts as an antioxidant and is essential for optimum health. This vitamin plays an important role in maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Guava, and other foods rich in vitamin A, may also be beneficial for lung health. Researchers at Kansas State University discovered that carcinogens in cigarette smoke may deplete the body’s stores of vitamin A, and increase the likelihood of developing emphysema and lung cancer. They also discovered that a diet rich in vitamin A can reduce the risk of emphysema in smokers.

How to Select & Store

Choose fresh guava with smooth, intact skin free of cuts, bruises or patches. Ripe Asian guavas will have some yellow on its skin and have a fragrant aroma that is mild and pleasant. The shells of ripe fruit should yield to gentle pressure. Unripe guavas can be ripened at room temperature until they yield to gentle pressure. Ripe guavas can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days. Guava may also be stored in the freezer for up to a year. Guava is commonly found as a paste, juice, or nectar, which is used in recipes for desserts, syrups, sauces, or beverages. It can be used in pies, cakes, pastries, puddings, sauce, ice cream, sorbet, jam, marmalade, chutney, relish, and other products. While guavas are sweet and delicious eaten out of hand, other serving ideas include: • Cut guava in half. Remove seeds and fill the guava shells with cottage cheese. • Toss guava chunks into a fruit salad • Use guava chunks in a crisp or cobbler. • Make guava shortcake (in the same way as strawberry shortcake) • Use guava sauce to top pudding, cake, or ice cream. • Add guava juice or nectar to punch or carbonated water. • Use guava juice to make sorbet or popsicles. • Stew guava and serve with cream cheese. With so many ways to enjoy this delicious fruit, eat more fresh Florida Asian guavas. These locally grown treats are sweet and delicious, low in calories, and a wealth of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Selected References

http://www.whfoods.com http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/guava.html INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

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pancreas. A single serving of fresh guava provides 14% of the daily value for fiber, which has been shown to reduce high cholesterol levels, which in turn helps prevent atherosclerosis. Fiber can also help maintain steady blood sugar levels.


By Jack Payne

Jack Payne and Jim Strickland talk to US Rep Kathy Castor about climate change during a visit to Lynetta Usher’s Farm in Chiefland

A grower recently told me he wasn’t sure about the causes of climate change. But he said he’s seeing change happening in his fields that he needs to respond to. That has guided the approach I’ve taken in assembling the Florida Climate Smart Agriculture Working Group. It’s a producer-led discussion about how to respond to climate change, not to debate its causes. What started in a meeting early this year has grown into a movement to explore ideas on how to get ahead of higher temperatures, stronger hurricanes, and rising sea levels that put salt in the soil. More farmers are resolving to be a source of solutions to face this threat to their livelihoods and yours.

There are some programs that will pay producers not to pave. That’s a start. For the most part, though, farmers, foresters, and ranchers get paid for what they produce, not what they protect. Producers don’t get much credit – in public image nor in their bank accounts – for their land stewardship or methods of production that mitigate climate change. The Working Group aims to drive a deeper discussion about how to change the economics of land use in Florida. We as producers and scientists will continue to bring climate-conscious ideas as well as food to the table.

Because the people who produce our food are a bit defensive about being labeled villains in the climate crisis, they have hesitated to come to the public policy table to discuss responses. But as a rancher told U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor of Tampa, when we recently hosted her on a farm visit, “If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu!”

Ideas include no-till farming that keeps carbon in the soil instead of released to the air. The use of soil sensors can tell us we can shut off water pumps – and emissions from the fuel that runs them. We can reduce carbon miles from field to fork by figuring out how to grow food here instead of importing it. Farmers can’t be expected to bear all the costs for this.

Inviting a Hillsborough-area congresswoman to hear the real story of agriculture was one way we’ve begun taking the table to us. Castor is in a key public policy position as chair of the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.

Climate smart agriculture means producing more food with less water and fewer chemicals. It means getting started on research now instead of waiting for triple-digit temperatures to fry our fields. It means farming in a way that sequesters more carbon.

Her committee will issue a report in March with recommendations on how to respond to climate change. We wanted to make sure she was acquainted with the ways Florida farms, ranches, and forests are already contributing to environmental stewardship and how we might do even more.

In Florida, at least, we’re not content to talk. The leadership of visionary farmers, foresters, and ranchers, the science of solutions from UF/IFAS, and the support of the facilitating group, Solutions from the Land, will produce an action agenda.

Castor told the group at a kitchen table discussion, “We’re looking at ways to make sure producers who are contributing to climate solutions like that get credit for doing so.” We also hosted her at a forum that same day where she heard from ag producers that included talk of how to incentivize farmers to engage in climate smart agriculture instead of mandating that they do so. Much of the technology needed for a better farm of the future exists now. Climate-friendly practices could be more affordably adopted with the right incentives as part of a society wide climate strategy. PAGE

Caster leads a kitchen table discussion at Usher Griner’s Farm

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Farmers, foresters, and ranchers have too long let themselves be painted as the problem. This is our way of becoming part of the solution.

Jack Payne is the University of Florida’s senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources and leader of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


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THE NEED TO START THINKING LIKE AN

Island

By Jim Frankowiak

The headline may prompt some questions, but Dr. Brooke Hansen, an anthropologist specializing in food and agriculture with the Patel College of Global Sustainability at the University of South Florida, can quickly provide clarification based upon her varied activities, educational initiatives and experiences. Initially a “Jersey girl,” Hansen and her family moved from New Jersey to Southport Island off the coast of Maine, where the family focus was on the boating industry. When it came time for college, Hansen opted for a warmer climate and enrolled at the University of South Florida where she earned her undergraduate degree, majoring in psychology and anthropology. She then pursued her doctorate in cultural and medical anthropology at the University of Arizona – Tucson. Dr. Hansen spent the next 20 years at Ithaca College in New York where she met her husband, Jack Rossen, an archaeologist and Scientific Recovery Expert for History Flight, who spends regular periods of time locating and returning the remains of World War II soldiers from the Battle of Tarawa in the Republic of Kiribati. Hansen and Rossen have a daughter, Sierra, also an alumna of USF with a Masters in Counseling and now working with BayCare Health System. A sustainability focused anthropologist with specialties in tourism, food, farming, indigenous studies, transcultural health care, service learning and women’s studies, she ran a 70-acre organic farm and cultural heritage center in central New York while at Ithaca College with the Haudenosaunee, a Native American Confederacy, involving members of the Mohawk, Onondaga, Oneida, Cayuga and Seneca tribes, and local community members. At the Cayuga SHARE Farm, she directed student interns, taught service learning classes and installed and maintained a Native American medical herb garden. Dr. Hansen also collaborated on the development of cultural tours of the area as part of student orientation to the Cayuga homeland.

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“For 15 years during my time at Ithaca College, we organized sustainability and service learning classes in Hawai`i,” she said. “Those winter field classes focused on the connections between cultural revitalization, island food security, heritage

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interpretation and the economic engine and environmental impact of tourism.” This ultimately led to a decision by Hansen and her husband to relocate to Hawai`i in 2016 where she became associated with the College of Agriculture at the University of Hawai`i at Hilo, teaching courses in agriculture, food tourism, spice agribusiness and women in farming. She also became involved with local farmers and the challenges they faced, leading to initiatives in agritourism within the serious regulatory confines of the islands. The volcanic eruption and hurricanes that beset the islands in 2017 made Hansen aware of the need for all to start thing like an island when those disasters “made us realize the islands had food sufficient for just four days and were heavily reliant upon shipments coming in by boat,” she said. Even Governor Ige of Hawai`i initiated numerous programs to focus on local food production to increase food security in the state. The disruptive weather and volcanic events, coupled with a financial crisis at the university, prompted Hansen and her husband to return to the U.S., relocating to the Tampa Bay area and becoming affiliated with the Patel College at USF. “I teach in the areas of sustainable tourism with a focus on agritourism and food systems,” she said. Hansen is a member of the Tampa Bay Network to End Hunger, the Urban Food Sovereignty Group, Florida Agritourism Association, Florida Food Policy Council and the new USF Center for the Advancement of Food Security and Healthy Communities. She is also a member of the Hillsborough County Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee and has served on the Advisory Board of Tampa Bay Farm to School, helping to build school gardens in Hillsborough County. “I am currently working with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services new farm to school state outreach coordinator Andrew Smith to do a census of school gardens across the state,” she noted. “I have suggested a pilot program here in Hillsborough County as a starting point.” “I am passionate about increasing local food production, especially through systems and circular thinking to recapture food waste, compost, and grow food,” said Hansen. “One thing WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


landowners or backyard gardeners. “No matter where you live in Florida, there are ways to grow food,” she said. To that end, Dr. Hansen is working on a book entitled, “Staking Our Ground: Forging Local Food Sovereignty in America”. If you would like to “start thinking like an island,” contact Dr. Hansen via email: kbhansen@usf.edu for suggestions on how to begin.

I have noticed along with others who have relocated here is the absence of fresh markets like we were used to in other places, particularly in the northeast and upper Midwest. I think there’s potential for markets that offer 100 percent Florida grown products, including new specialty spice crops including vanilla, clove and allspice.” “All farmers, regardless of size, ought to be involved in this so we never have to worry about where our food is coming from like they do in the islands,” she said. “This self-sufficiency is a matter of national security, in addition to sustainability. Frankly, I see no reason why every resident of Florida should not be involved in this quest to reduce any vulnerability that we may have in terms of food shortages.” And, she does not limit that participation to

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CALLING ALL THAT ARE CREATIVE! RECYCLED YARD ART CONTEST 2019 HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY FAIR

Lynn Barber and Lisa Meredith, UF/IFAS Extension Hillsborough County

As you may well know by now, twice each a year, we, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Hillsborough County Extension, sponsor Recycled Yard Art Contests, one at the Hillsborough County Fair and one at the Florida State Fair. The purpose of the Recycled Yard Art Contest is to increase environmental awareness and encourage reuse/recycling of materials into yard art. The competition involves two and three dimensional art created from items already used for their original purpose. We are looking for entries from all of you with the creative gene or the desire to give it a try! There are four categories for entries: adult, high school, middle school and grade school, individual or group submissions. Each category has one winner and there is a people’s choice winner which is the creation that receives the most votes from the public. Past entries have included many types of items, from metal to glass, tires to fence posts and CDs to footwear. Items need to be able to withstand outdoor elements, ready for installation and weigh less than 40 pounds.

and the rules at: http://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/media/sfylifasufledu/hillsborough/docs/pdf/Recycled-Yard-Art-Rules-.pdf. First place award winners in each category will receive a gift basket filled with items to help you practice Florida-Friendly LandscapingTM principles. All of the contest winning entries will be on display at the UF/IFAS Extension office, 5339 County Road 579, Seffner, FL 33584, and possibly at the Hillsborough County Center in Tampa, for one month after the contest ends and fair closes. For more information, contact Lisa Meredith, MeredithL@hcflgov.net, or call her at 813-7445519 x 54146. Get your creative hat on and good luck! Thanks for Reducing, Reusing, Recycling and Repeating!

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It’s time to stop pondering and start creating your submissions! The Hillsborough County Fair starts on October 17 and runs from October 17-20 and October 24-27, 2018. Entries need to be delivered to the Hillsborough County Fairgrounds, State Road 60 and Sydney Washer Road in Dover, east of Valrico, on Saturday, October 12, 2019 between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. or Monday, October 14, 2019 between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Entries must be accompanied by an entry form which includes the participant’s name, address, telephone number, etc. You can access the entry form at: http://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/media/sfylifasufledu/hillsborough/docs/pdf/Entry-Form.pdf

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4TH ANNUAL SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT PLANT AUCTION OCTOBER 19

By Jim Frankowiak If you’re looking for beautiful annuals, azalea bushes, bromeliads, landscape and butterfly plants, citrus and other trees, as well as plant nutrition items, then you won’t want to miss the 4th Annual HSWCD Plant Auction. Presented by the Hillsborough Soil and Water Conservation District (HSWCD,) in cooperation with local nurserymen, the event will begin at noon on October 19 at the Hillsborough County Fairgrounds (SR 60 and Sydney-Washer Road). “This is a great opportunity to purchase high quality plant material grown and donated by local nurseries,” said Sale Chairman Roy Davis. “All auction proceeds benefit HSWCD youth programs, the Hillsborough 100 Conservation Challenge and agricultural college scholarships.” Auction items may be previewed beginning at 9 a.m. on the 19th with the auction beginning promptly at noon. According to HSWCD Board Chairman Mark Proctor, “through the generosity of area nurserymen, landscapers, and allied chemical companies we’ve been able to raise thousands of dollars for our HSWCD Youth Programs. Last year alone we awarded four scholarships to area youth, honoring our Auction Chairman Roy Davis”.

Fochler Home

The Auction is open to the public, as well as area businesses, and assistance will be available to load plants at the conclusion of the event. Access to the Hillsborough County Fairgrounds is located at 215 Sydney-Washer Road, Dover, FL 33527, just a short distance north of State Road 60. Additional information is available by contacting HSWCD Executive Director Betty Jo Tompkins at 201 South Collins Street, Suite 202, Plant City, FL 33563. She may also be reached by telephone: 813/752-1474, Ext. 3 or 813/4778332, or email: bjt6890@yahoo.com. INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

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CROP INSURANCE: IT PAYS TO MANAGE YOUR RISK When you purchase risk management coverage with Farm Credit of Central Florida, we return a portion of our commission as patronage dividends to eligible stockholders. Patronage dividends could help lower the cost of insurance premiums, saving you money as you manage your risk. Farm Credit of Central Florida is glad to discuss how we can save you money on your crop insurance with patronage dividends. Feel free to contact our crop insurance specialist, Regina Thomas, at 407.721.4687 or rthomas@farmcreditcfl.com. Patronage dividend distribution is subject to eligibility. Certain limitations, conditions, and exclusions apply for crop insurance. Please refer to the policy for more details.

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Blueberries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nov. 20

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HIGHLAND AG SOLUTIONS: HELPING FARMERS REACH THEIR FULL POTENTIAL

BY Jim Frankowiak

First in a series on the ways Highland Ag is meeting this commitment Farming – regardless of the size of the operation – is challenging at each step, from preparing the soil for crops, to getting the best price for what farmers have grown and beyond, to the most appropriate post-harvest practices. The family of companies that comprise Highland Ag Solutions is totally dedicated to helping farmers realize their full potential. Those companies – Highland Precision Ag, Highland Fresh Technologies and Coastal Ag Supply – assist farmers from “soil to sale” with tools they can all afford that optimize available and emerging technologies without comprising their attention to what they do best.

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“Precision ag, smart farming, or precision farming, are the terms frequently used to describe everything that helps a farmer reduce time, save money and increase production and profitability while preserving our natural resources,” said Steve Maxwell, Chief Executive Officer and company Cofounder. “A farmer may use imagery, a GPS-guided tractor, soil samples and moisture sensors to help make more informed decisions that result in more precision and sustain-

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able farming methods. And we make this possible for them by pushing an easy button on their smart phones. Highland Precision Ag (HPA) goes further than most precision ag companies. We focus on technology and software in the areas of regulation and marketing, as well.” “From predatory mites and parasitoids to biologically derived fungicides and insecticides, biological and biorational approaches can help provide effective pest control, while reducing harm to natural enemies and the ecosystem,” noted Chris Crockett, Business Systems Analyst and Technical Advisor at Highland Ag Solutions. “Highland Ag Solutions specializes in helping growers leverage these strategies in order to develop holistic and sustainable integrated pest management programs. To further enrich ecosystem services and help improve crop characteristics, Highland also helps manage on farm pollination service through the distribution and monitoring of bumblebee products.” Maxwell and his team achieve this by “getting their boots on the ground” with growers to learn first- hand what their spe-

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cific challenges and needs are. “That also helped us to learn that farmers wanted to do this from their devices because quite often, a cell phone and the front seat of their truck serve as their office,” he said. HPA provides solutions and assistance in every aspect of farming operations. Its online farm management system, Highland Hub, enables growers to study the past, see the present and plant for the future. Food safety programs and all record keeping are virtual while monitoring critical control points, crop protection usages and input costs. Thanks to Highland Ag’s newest tool, FS 365, farmers can now “stick a fork” in the old ways of collecting, saving and accessing all of the information needed for full compliance with Food Safety requirements. FS365 allows growers and packers to conduct real-time monitoring of their food safety programs, from any device, anywhere. Growers and packers can complete records, conduct internal audits and track corrective actions, helping maintain compliance with 3rd party, FDA and customer requirements, and more:

• Create, manage customized documentation including records and SOPs. • Receive notifications when a record is due or when a document needs approval. • Receive real-time notifications of CCP monitoring + activities occurring on the farm or in the packing house. • Create custom permissions for each user, restricting access throughout the system. • Complete internal audits and see real-time scores for your operation. • Manage all 3rd party, regulatory and customer requirements in one, user-friendly system. • Link your spray records and lab results right to your virtual food safety manual. • Add your own checklist for quality, sustainability or customer requirements • Manage supplier information and documentation, receiving notifications when new information is needed. HPA also offers weather and soil monitoring tools that are competitively priced, making them affordable for all growers no matter the size of their operation. Weather stations and soil probes accurately measure temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, heat index, dew point, wet bulb, wind speed,

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wind direction, rainfall, wind chill and more with all data delivered to growers in five-minute increments via Highland Hub. Growers can also view lab results, create work orders for crop protection and fertilizer applications, track inventory and manage their costs. HPA scouts and agronomists identify issues, analyze data and provide recommendations that are specific to the grower’s crop and land. HPA through its partnership with Waypoint Analytical has a nationwide lab presence and that means timely analysis and the provision of results. Coastal Ag Supply is a full-service distributor of crop protection products (herbicides, fungicides and insecticides) for conventional and organic growers with focus on specialty crops such as strawberries, blackberries, watermelon, squash and tomatoes. Fertilizers include liquid products, as well as bagged and bulk dry fertilizers. Coastal Ag also offers supplemental nutritionals for foliar deficiencies.

Crop consultations and recommendations are provided by a team of Certified Crop Advisors with highly competitive pricing and same-day delivery options. Highland Fresh Technologies features products specifically formulated to work under real-world condition in the fresh produce industry by way of its 4 Step Process. Step 1 covers product washing, cleaning and coatings; Step 2 addresses equipment cleaning and maintenance with verification the focus of Step 3 and facility sanitation the target of Step 4. Highland Fresh also offers OMRI certified products for use in organic processing. Our next article will take a close look at how Highland Ag Solutions is helping farmers make more informed decisions at the time of sales.

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LOVEBUGS AGAIN ALREADY?!

by John Dicks

Splat!! There it was, along with another quick two or three; splat, splat, splat! After several months of a relatively clear and a blissfully bug free windshield, it was a more than subtle reminder that “nothing lasts forever” and that the scourge of the south is rising again.

Florida for introducing, or even genetically creating, the honeymooning flies (which is what they really are). The myth has it that they were unleashed as an attempt at mosquito control. It’s simply not so, says the folks at UF’s IFAS extension. They even maintain a fact-filled web page to dispel the “old wives’ tale.”

As regular as clockwork here they are again, ready to wreak havoc on windshields and the front ends of cars and trucks both big and small.

Lovebugs are, indeed, an invasive creature; but they migrated here on their own from Central America. They are certainly an annoyance, though harmless to humans. Supposedly they do not bite, sting, or transmit diseases. Nor are they known to be poisonous

Just like the Swallows of Capistrano which, as legend has it, make their annual return on March 19 to the Mission San Juan Capistrano in California, following their 6,000 mile migration from Argentina, we Floridians also have an annual tradition to “crow” about.

What they love (other than each other) is decomposing plant debris. They are attracted to and swarm towards such odors, and according to IFAS (and for some odd reason as we all well know), confuse the scent of chemicals in exhaust fumes with that of what they otherwise consider to be yummy treats!

Of course with the case of lovebugs, their emergence provides such fun that we get to enjoy their presence (or is it presents?) twice each year.

That’s why they so heartedly come out to greet you when you’re driving, or even more annoying, while you are hard at work with your lawn mower.

They don’t make much of a trip, though. Unlike the swallows with their 6,000 mile journey, lovebugs seem to just appear, hatching as they do from tiny eggs hidden last spring during their last romantic adventure.

One reason there seems to be so many of them is that they face few, if any, natural predators. Not even bats have a chance to eat them since lovebugs are hidden away at night, while “resting,” and really are only active during the day between 10 am and 6 pm, and only when it’s above 84 degrees.

I’m talking about Lovebugs!

Lovebugs proliferate in Florida during the months of May and September. Frankly, for me, they mark a rite of passage as I flash back each year to my drive many years ago to start school at the University of Florida. The swarms of lovebugs were so massive I still remember stopping before reaching Gainesville some four times just to smear the splattering bug guts from my windshield, then boldly pressing onward with my journey towards becoming a UF Gator. The memory still lingers vividly in my mind, stuck there as firmly as their flattened carcasses did to my bumper! There’s an Urban Legend that pops up each year blaming the University of

All of that seems to make them sound somewhat like “lazybugs” as well as lovebugs, but I suppose we should give them a bit of a break since their entire life cycle lasts only for about four days! Basically, it’s just long enough to eat, mate and lay eggs. They’re prolific at it, too. No doubt you’ll be thrilled to learn, as did I, that when it comes to the laying of eggs, the females are quite productive, depositing an average of some 350! Maybe when we transition from the end of summer September to the touch of autumn October we’ll look back at the month and be thankful that the lovebugs this fall didn’t bring quite the messy business they brought us this past spring. Indeed, hope springs eternal!

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John Dicks is both a lawyer and businessman, including an interest in farming. He and his family have owned a blueberry farm and have agricultural lands, which they lease for cattle operations, as John says, “to someone who knows and handles cattle much better than I do.” John is both a Gator, having received his undergraduate degree from the University of Florida, and a Seminole, with his Law Degree from Florida State University. John serves as Of Counsel to Trinkle Redman, a law firm in Plant City where he also served nine years as City Commissioner, including three terms as Mayor.

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E n d a n g e r e d S p e c i es

Not a Flamingo:

ROSEATE SPOONBILL By Ginny Mink

Life has a way of keeping things interesting. So, when you and your three children end up staying in a borrowed camper while you await the purchase of your new house, it is quite possible that you’ll end up staying the night in a county park. Such was our situation last week. And, while there, we had the opportunity to view some pieces of wildlife that we probably wouldn’t have been as up close and personal with had we been anywhere else. One morning, on our way to school we saw a doe coming out of the brush. And there was a rather scary night confrontation with a very large racoon. But, multiple days, thanks to all the rain and flooding, we encountered Roseate spoonbills. Having seen their pink flamingo-like personages before, this wasn’t that awe inspiring. Yet, as we sat down to prepare for the monthly endangered species article, imagine the surprise to find that these seemingly fluorescent birds are actually on Florida’s Threatened Species list! While they are not listed nationally, our state has determined that they are worthy of some level of protection. The Roseate spoonbill is the only spoonbill that is native to the Western hemisphere. Like vultures and wood storks, they don’t have feathers on their heads, and are often mistaken for flamingos by those who don’t realize there are other pink birds out there. These are exceptionally large birds that have a tendency to hang out with other wading birds.¹ Their wings can span to nearly six foot in length, and their bodies are between three and three and a half feet long. Based on the name, it should be easy to determine that their bills are shaped liked spoons. They use these uniquely shaped appendages to sweep back and forth in shallow water hoping to capture their food. These bills are highly sensitized and enable them to find small fish, crayfish, crabs, and shrimp in the shallow waters. These foods contain carotenoids (organic pigments) that give them their dazzling pink hues.² The Audubon Magazine reveals some other interesting facts. Apparently, these birds have had many names over the years including: Flame Bird, and Rose-Coloured Curlew. Many people still think the Roseate spoonbill is one of the weirdest birds in the world. Scientists consider these birds mysterious and are currently studying their decline, specifically in the Everglades.³

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While there appears to be no visible difference between males and females, they do have separate jobs within their family units. The males are responsible for collecting all the materials necessary for the nests and the females build them. Their nests are quite deep and the female will lay up to five eggs. Both parents will take turns incubating the eggs for 24 days. Additionally, both parents will feed the young while they remain for the next 35-42 days. At six weeks old, the babies have enough strength and feathers to fly.¹

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Though Roseate spoonbills breed in South America and the Caribbean, they can also be found in coastal areas on the Gulf of Mexico. We see them most in Brevard County, Florida Bay, and Tampa Bay. Historically, they have been hunted for their feathers. This has been outlawed, of course, and now their issues include habitat loss, pesticides, illegal shootings, and other domestic disturbances.² The scientists we mentioned previously have noted that populations are shrinking due to salinity levels and altered water depths. It is believed that these spoonbills and their decline are indicators of the “overall health of the Everglades.”³ Scientists suggests that they are representatives of that entire ecosystem. So serious are these matters than they have stated, “As goes the spoonbills, so goes the bay.”³ Though many people might be inclined to believe that the Everglades is well protected thanks to all the conservation laws, fences, signs, etc., none of those things change the condition of the water there. Spoonbills feed on animals that feed on aquatic vegetation and that vegetation requires freshwater. This chain in the food cycle makes the condition all the more serious. We need to realize that biodiversity is important and that the decline of one animal, the Roseate spoonbill in this case, could be a significant indicator of the potential decline in other areas. Protecting birds may not seem like a top priority, but ensuring that we protect our waters is an absolutely critical endeavor. We are here, by the grace of God, and our jobs are to protect and provide for those creatures He has entrusted into our care. Roseate spoonbills and all they represent are valuable to Him. Therefore, they should be valuable to us as well. Resources: ¹Admin. (2019). Endangered Roseate Spoonbill. The Wildlife Center of Venice Inc. https://wildlifecenterofvenice.org/endangered-roseate-spoonbill/ ²Roseate Spoonbill Platalea ajaja. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. https://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/profiles/birds/waterbirds/roseate-spoonbill/ ³Ebersole, R. (2013). Roseate Spoonbills Send Warning Signs about the Florida Everglades. Audubon Magazine. https:// www.audubon.org/magazine/may-june-2013/roseatespoonbills-send-warning-signs-about Photo Credits: McGann, Patty. (2017). Roseate Spoonbill. (Flickr). https://flic. kr/p/SiFdc5 Shell Game. (2009). Roseate Spoonbill. (Flickr). https://flic.kr/ p/6VSmef Rosenbaum, Michael. (2011). US Fish and Wildlife Services. Roseate Spoonbill Courtship Dance. (Flickr). https://flic.kr/p/ bsoz2V

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HURRICANES SEASON 2019 & YOUR PETS

By Christy Layton, DVM Hurricane season 2019 has arrived!! The months of September and October have notoriously brought some of the most powerful and damaging hurricanes to the United States, so it is time to make sure that you are prepared for your pets. Just as getting ready for the human concerns during a hurricane, there are many things that you should make sure you have together for your pet’s safety ahead of the next storm. 1) Have your pet micro-chipped as a permanent identification in case they were to get lost or separated from you during a disaster. Microchips have saved thousands of lives and aided in reuniting many pets after past hurricanes. The main thing to remember once you have a microchip implanted into your pet is that they are only as good as the information that you keep on file with the microchip company. I recommend keeping multiple phone numbers including numbers from family and friends that are out of town on file. After Hurricane Irma passed through our area in 2017, we found it difficult to get in touch with owners of rescued pets that did not have out of town numbers on file since many home phones and cell towers were not working for a while after the storm. Also make sure all of your information is updated yearly prior to hurricane season or immediately after any changes occur in case your pet gets lost. 2) Get together a list of pet friendly hotels, shelters or boarding facilities in case you need to evacuate. Also, think about friends/family out of the area that would be willing to care for you and your pet during an evacuation. 3) Make sure that your pet’s vaccinations are up to date in case of emergency evacuation. (Most emergency shelters will require a copy of this) 4) Assemble a Pet ID kit for each of your pets and place it in a waterproof package. Its should contain:

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• Microchip company information and number • Medications that your pet may need for at least two weeks with instructions on dosing

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• Vaccination records/Rabies License & Contact Information of your Veterinarian • Photo of you and your pet together as proof of ownership 5) In addition to the above Pet ID kit, you should also put some other supplies together if a hurricane should threaten our area. • Carrier or crate large enough for a pet to stand and move around inside • Food and water bowls • Towels, pillows, blankets and toys or anything that may make your pet more comfortable • Enough food and water for your pet for one week along with non-electric can opener if you are bringing canned food • Collar with tags and leash • Kitty litter and small litter box for cats; paper towels and plastic baggies for waste disposal **Make sure all of the above items are labeled with your pet’s first and last name to aid in identification. As you can see, planning ahead is the key to riding out a hurricane successfully with your pet or a successful reunion with your pet (if they were to get lost) after the storm has passed. Below are websites to aid with your planning for the 2019 Hurricane season: ** www.HAHF.org (Hillsborough Animal Health Foundation) In the Community - Hurricane Preparedness ** www.hillsboroughcounty.org/residents/animals-and-pets

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LOCAL, AMATEUR PHOTOGRAPHER TAKES TOP FARM BUREAU PRIZE HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY

By Jim Frankowiak

Mariah Perez, an amateur photographer residing in Hillsborough County with her husband Yuni and their daughter Allonah Rose, has won the Florida Farm Bureau 1st Place prize in the Natural Florida and Wildlife category for her photo, “Bobcat in the Wild.” Perez took the photo while returning from a fishing trip in Polk County. She and her husband, a Mosaic employee, are members of the Mosaic Employees’ Club permitted to enjoy fishing and other pursuits on the company’s lands as part of their annual membership. “I saw the bobcat in a wooded area also on Mosaic land and asked my husband to stop so I could take the photo.” A stay-

“My grandparents – Terry and Michelle Jones --have been Farm Bureau members for more than 40 years,” said Perez. “They suggested that I enter the contest with my photo.” The competition was open to amateur photographers from across Florida. Judging was done by an outside professional photographer. Perez will receive a check for $150 from Florida Farm Bureau for her winning entry.

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at-home mom, Perez is expecting four-year-old Allonah Rose’s sister.


s e p i c e R

Courtesy of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Chef Justin Timineri

Florida Beef Vegetable and Pasta Casserole

q Ingredients q

PREPARATION Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare pasta shy of al dente, drain and set aside. In a saucepot add the milk, heavy cream, butter, and all-purpose seasoning. Bring to a simmer and add the Parmesan cheese, ½ cup cheddar cheese and stir until smooth and creamy.

Remove from heat and set aside. Preheat a sauté pan on medium-high heat, season ground beef and brown, draining excess oil. Next, sauté the vegetables until crisp tender. In a large bowl combine the cooked beef, sautéed vegetables, cooked

pasta, fresh herbs, ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese, and mix. Place into a buttered casserole dish and pour the cheese sauce over the mixture. Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup cheddar cheese on top and bake for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

1 pound Florida lean ground beef 1 pint Florida mushrooms, slice thin 1 Florida zucchini, medium dice 1 Florida squash, medium dice 1 pound pasta (your favorite) 2 garlic cloves, chopped fine 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped fine 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped fine 1 cup heavy cream ½ cup milk ½ stick unsalted butter ½ cup Parmesan cheese, shredded 1 ½ cups cheddar cheese, shredded 1 teaspoon oil, for cooking 1 teaspoon all-purpose seasoning (your favorite) Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Florida Spinach and Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms q Ingredients q 1-pound Florida mushrooms 4 cups fresh Florida spinach 5 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled ½ onion, diced fine 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled 6 ounces cream cheese,

softened to room temperature 2 tablespoons unsalted butter Oil, for cooking Pinch of red pepper flakes Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

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Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook bacon until crispy and drain on paper towel (reserve ¼ cup of bacon drippings). Coarsely crumble bacon. Heat 2 teaspoons reserved bacon drippings in skillet

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over medium heat. Add chopped onion and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl and allow to cool. Mix in bacon, spinach, feta, cream cheese and crushed red pepper. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss mushrooms and remaining bacon fat in large bowl to coat and season with salt and pepper. Place mushrooms,

rounded side down, on baking sheet and bake until centers fill with liquid (about 15 minutes). Turn mushrooms over and bake for another 5 minutes. Remove from oven, fill with spinach mixture, and return to oven for additional 7 minutes. Transfer to platter and serve warm. WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


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By Ginny Mink

Ornamental Gardening in Florida Five years is a long time to be reading one book. And yet, we have been on this Literary Time Machine journey through Ornamental Gardening in Florida for exactly five years this month! It’s hard to believe so much time has passed since we first began to traverse the pages of this nearly one hundred year old text. Over time, the cover has become detached and some of the pages are trying to fall out. Still, though, we inevitably discover something new each month and so that’s what we are hoping will continue as we dive into our five-year anniversary. This month the Quisqualis indica, or Rangoon creeper, really grabbed our attention. Mr. Torrey-Simpson writes, “(It) is occasionally grown in South Florida, and it has a profusion of starry flowers that are white in the morning and change to dark red by night.”¹ The idea of a color-changing flower is certainly intriguing. Enough so, that we had to look it up. Southern Living had an incredibly informative article based on this plant. Apparently, the Latin meaning of the name is translated, “Who? And What?”² This is because early botanists were confused by the color changing flowers. In fact, its Transformer-like nature stumped many of them because it starts off like a shrub but eventually becomes an impressively sprawling vine capable of reaching heights of 30 feet. In case you’d like to invest in this plant, Southern Living suggests that it is easy to grow and can handle most soil varieties. So, if you’re even slightly interested, this might be a great plant to try out in the yard.² Moving along, another plant caught our eye, the S. seaforthianum. This plant has some unique qualities. He explains, “(It) has smaller and darker colored flowers followed by bright red berries which are much relished by mocking birds and which sometimes intoxicate them.”¹ Birds getting drunk off a plant’s seeds amused us and made us wonder what caused the intoxication he noticed. Better known as Brazilian Nightshade, the information we gathered from Dave’s Garden states that all parts of the plant are poisonous if ingested. The flowers’ colors vary from pink to white, to dark purples. They bloom in the mid and late summer as well as early fall. And, Brazilian Nightshade grows in a variety of places in Florida, including: Tampa, Venice, Sarasota, Lakeland, Leesburg, Bartow, and quite a few others.³ So, while Mr. Torrey-Simpson may have assumed the birds were getting wasted off the seeds, they were possibly committing slow suicides.

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However, the Missouri Botanical Gardens revealed that the vine’s Latin name is translated to, “comfort, solace, or soothing in reference to the purported sedative and healing effects obtained from the application of the leaves…to cuts, wounds, inflammations or skin problems.”⁴ Elsewhere we read that this

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plant is poisonous to cattle, sheep, pigs, children, and poultry.⁵ Perhaps then, the mocking birds were enjoying the sedative qualities more than the deadly ones. This would account for them appearing intoxicated upon eating them. Two extraordinarily odd plants on one trip is not unusual if you have been joining us regularly. But plants that stump botanists or get birds blasted is slightly off course for our normal adventures. Fearing that the next plants would be less exciting, we trekked on nonetheless and arrived at the end of the chapter. But before we got there, we discovered a couple of other nice sounding plants he recommended, specifically Zebrina pendula, which he says, “…cannot be spoiled by changing its name and everywhere that house plants are grown it is a favorite.”¹ Maybe you have heard of it by its common name, Wandering Jew? Though an attractive ornamental vine, it just can’t muster up to the previous two. So, having arrived at a new chapter, it seemed fitting to end this piece giving you a vision of what to hope for on our next trip on the Literary Time Machine. When we meet again, we will be delving into the world of Exotic Herbaceous Plants. We’re not sure what mysteries discoveries that chapter will hold but having spent the last five years with Mr. Torrey-Simpson, we are relatively certain that something of interest will grab our attention. Until then, dear friends, continue learning about the plants you seek to add to your landscape and as we always tell you, happy gardening! We’ll see you next month! Resources: ¹ Simpson, Charles T. (1926). Ornamental Gardening in Florida. Published by the Author; Little River, FL. Printed by J.J. Little and Ives Company, New York. (p. 187-188). ²Southern Living. Rangoon Creeper. https://www.southernliving.com/plants/rangoon-creeper ³Dave’s Garden. Brazilian Nightshade, St. Vincent Lilac, Italian Jasmine. https://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/ go/31445/#b ⁴Missouri Botanical Garden. Solanum seaforthianum. http:// www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?taxonid=287171&isprofile=0&= ⁵Rojas-Sandoval, J. & Acevedo-Rodriguez, P. (2014). CABI Invasive Species Compendium. Solanum seaforthianum (Brazilian nightshade). https://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/50548 Photo Credits: Jennyhsu47. (2009). Rangoon Creeper. (Flickr). https://flic.kr/ p/6KHYVr Tatters. (2010). Brazilian Nightshade- flower and fruit. (Flickr). https://flic.kr/p/7HWY16 Culbert, Dick. (2015). Tradescantia zebrina. (Flickr). https://flic. kr/p/xD9fVe WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


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2019 HARVEST AWARD HONOREES ANNOUNCED

By Jim Frankowiak The Hillsborough County Fair will honor four individuals, a garden ministry and a farm family with the 2019 Harvest Award Thursday, October 17, at a noon event at the fairgrounds. The luncheon, sponsored by Mosaic, will officially kick off the 2019 Hillsborough County Fair. The Harvest Awards were initially established by the Cooperative Extension Service as a way to preserve the agricultural heritage of Hillsborough County and to celebrate those outstanding pioneers in the farming community. The Hillsborough County Fair assumed the awards initiative several years ago. This is the 19th annual event.

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THE BILLY SIMMONS FAMILY is the 19th farm family to be honored as Farm Family of the Year. Farming for the family traces back in Hillsborough County agricultural history and to the beginning of Plant City’s legacy as the winter strawberry capitol of the world. Billy and Carol Simmons have been growing strawberries since 1977. However, the family traces its farming root back to both Billy and

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Carol’s great-grandparents who grew strawberries in the 1800’s.

RON WETHERINGTON will receive this

year’s Lifetime Achievement in Agriculture Award for his lifelong commitment to the industry. Born in 1937 in Sydney, Florida, Ron graduated from Turkey Creek High School and began working on the family farm growing berries and vegetables. He went on to receive his American FFA Degree in 1958, based on his livestock projects, raising crops and community service. Ron has also been honored as the Plant City Agriculturalist of the Year and he is a recipient of the Florida Farm Bureau Federation Distinguished Service Award. Seventh generation cattleman and farmer DENNIS CARLTON, Jr., will be honored as this year’s Outstanding Young Farmer/Rancher/Nurseryman. Dennis is a partner of Carlton and Carlton Ranch, a cow-calf operation located in six Florida counties. In 2007, Dennis earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance degree from the University of South

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Florida. Dennis’ achievements as a cattleman and rancher, agricultural and community leader and youth supporter of 4-H and FFA are just some of the reasons Dennis was given this honor. He is also current president of the Hillsborough County Farm Bureau Board of Directors. Synonymous with the mention of FFA in Hillsborough County is the name Pam Walden. The recently retired Career Technical Education Supervisor of Agriculture, Automotive and Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) was with the Hillsborough County School system for over 40 years. The 2019 Woman in Agriculture award recipient, Walden is totally immersed in programs relating to fairs and festivals. She sits on livestock committees at the Florida Strawberry Festival, Florida State Fair and the Hillsborough County Fair. Nationally, she judges proficiencies and prepared public speaking. Walden holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University. This year’s Outstanding Public & Community Service Award is jointly recognizes Master Gardener CINDY PAULHUS and the Seeds of Faith Community Garden. After graduating from the University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Master Gardener Program, Cindy worked at the Hillsborough County Extension office, helping residents with the gardening problems and answering their questions, providing them with science-based information in a timely manner. She was regularly featured on area television news shows, giving advice on plants and cold weather protection. Cindy currently serves as garden director for the Seeds of Faith Community Garden for the Bay Life Church in Brandon, Florida. The garden was started on an old orange grove site adjacent to the church by seven volunteers with one gar-

The awards luncheon is complimentary, but advanced reservations are required by contacting the Fair office via email at: hillsboroughcountyfair@verizon.net or at www.hillsboroughcountyfairm.com. The reservation deadline is Monday, October 14. Added information is available by calling the Fair office at 813/737-3247.

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den house and 100 cement blocks. The two major goals for the garden were to provide a space for congregants and residents of the surrounding community to grow fresh vegetables and to donate produce to local food banks. To date, Seeds of Faith has donated over 18,000 pounds of fresh produce to ECHO and other area food banks.


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A Closer Look

by Sean Green

Greenhouse Frog (Eleutherodactylus planirostris)

Take a look inside your potted plants, or front yard shrubbery for that matter; you never really know what you’ll find. I was standing outside on my front porch and casually look down at a pot of soil I had meant to populate. What I saw at first glance was potting soil and a few spherical objects on the surface of the soil. My mind initially registered the small globes in the soil as the supplement we know as perlite; but then I saw it move! I bent down to take a closer look and soon realized these small globes were not soil additives but were eggs of some sort. The round eggs were transparent with a golden hue and about the size of a salmon egg or a snail egg. I began considering the type of egg they could be. They were not leathery, so I ruled out a reptile egg. They did not have a hard shell, so I knew it was not a bird. This was not an egg of any insects that I know of. Snails lay eggs that are transparent at first, but they get harder and opaque as they age. These eggs were transparent enough that I could see it was no snail, then it wiggled again, and I was close enough to see that the wiggling was a tadpole like embryo inside the egg. I continue to think about it and entertained the thought that it might be a frog or a toad, but quickly dismissed the idea concluding the frogs and toads both lay their eggs in water. I asked around and many suggested a salamander egg. I had not even considered the possibility of a salamander because I am not close enough to water to have an appropriate habitat for a salamander. I posted a picture and video to a social media education group of reptile and amphibian enthusiast. Ashley Fiedler, a marine biology student at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, recognized the eggs as those of the Greenhouse frog and offered some enlightening information about the species that inspired a closer look. The greenhouse frog (Eleutherodactylus planirostris) is native to Cuba, the Bahamas and the Cayman Islands. These frogs are members of the family Eleutherodactylidae, commonly known as “rain frogs.” This non-native species is thought to have been introduced to Florida and Georgia from Cuba; most likely in tropical plant shipments. The earliest Florida record of this species dates to 1875 in Dade County. Breeding populations that have exceeded 10 consecutive years or more are confirmed in more than 33 counties throughout Florida and are well on their way to becoming naturalized like other invasive species. This species is easily spread through the distribution of potted plants and isolated populations are established in the Florida Panhandle, Southern Alabama, Georgia, and New Orleans, Louisiana, all with relatively little environmental impact; at least compared to other invasive animal species. Populations in Hawaii, however, have become a real concern. Documented populations in Hawaii are as dense as tens of thousands per hectare. Studies have revealed the diets of these frogs and demonstrated that that

For an island ecosystem, the potential for an invasive species to consume an indigenous species into extinction could have a devastating chain reaction. The greenhouse frogs that were accidently imported to Hawaii could easily disrupt the balance of the island ecosystem and have become an important research priority. These frogs breed all year long in Florida and this time of year we see an increase in breeding activity that will continue through the wet season. Greenhouse frogs are a nocturnal species; males will sing their mating call late at night and tend to call more frequently during a rainstorm, which is why they have the common name of rain frog. Sprinkler systems will incite the mating choir, each singing male trying to outdo the other. The song of the greenhouse frog sounds a bit like a cricket or a child’s wet sneakers on a tile floor. The song is not as loud as other frogs, and if you really want to have fun, look up “greenhouse frog song” on the internet and play it late at night (after 9 or 10pm), you will get a kick out of hearing the surrounding frogs sing back to you. If your recording intimidates the other males in the field, they will leave; the territorial characteristics of this animal does not include violence, the weak singers just give up and go elsewhere. The characteristic of this frog that got my attention was that it is a terrestrial frog and lays its eggs on damp soil rather than in water like other frogs. This frog never goes through a tadpole stage, the metamorphosis occurs within the egg and when the frog emerges it does so as a tiny version of the adult with the exception of a tail end nub that will fall off soon after hatching. This method of development is called direct birth. Adult greenhouse frogs are generally good parents, often guarding the eggs and laboring to make sure the eggs stay moist until they hatch. Greenhouse frogs prefer damp habitats such as in leaf litter, under logs or other debris and have adapted well to Florida and can be found sharing the den of a gopher tortoise. These tiny little frogs can be a nuisance in some environments, and they are technically considered invasive, but in the Florida neotropics they have enough predators to prevent them from becoming problematic. They are adorable little frogs that can sometimes appear in populations so great that it is difficult to walk through them without stepping on them. Should you happen to find any wiggling globes of jelly looking eggs in your garden or your potted plants take a closer look and if you have a couple of weeks to watch them you may get to see the tiny frogs emerge. INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

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the frogs are proliferating with so little competition that they are consuming important invertebrates in greater portions that can be sustained. This is a problem when the main diet of the frogs includes indigenous keystone invertebrates such as ants in the family Formicidae.


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Capturing Florida’s whimsy By Breanne Williams

Plant City artist Angie Klein has mastered the art of transferring her memories of ‘Old Florida’ into whimsical paintings.

When Patrick D. Smith crafted a tale of the MacIvey family scratching out a living in the rural Florida landscape he was able to spark a new wave of conservationism in readers across the country, filling hearts that had never even stepped foot on the peninsula’s soil with a deep love for the land.

“Now I paint things from my childhood that I really love,” Klein said. “I grew up in Plant City playing hide and seek in orange groves, riding horses through those orange groves, and it really just makes me so sad when you look around and you see how much of that ‘old Florida’ has gone away.”

Angie Klein was one of Smith’s many captivated readers and she knows first hand how heartwarming the beauty of Florida’s wildlife and agriculture industries truly can be. A native Plant Citian, she now has transformed her passion for Florida into a variety of whimsical art series and in her own way is spreading her love for the Sunshine State to everyone who catches a glimpse of her work.

Her father was the first agriculture detective for Hillsborough County and she said she remembers growing up on different ranches and spending time with the cattle and on ride-alongs with her father.

It’s a trait that comes as naturally to her as breathing. Looking back she said her entire family is filled with a hodgepodge of makers. Everyone in one way or another uses their skills to add a creative flair to their world, to leave their mark on their community. Klein serendipitously found herself carrying the same torch.

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Armed with impeccable artistic ability she turned canvases into works of art, using images of a Florida nearly forgotten as her ever evolving muse. Born into an ag family, Klein said it was only natural that her love of farming and nature bled into her art.

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“What I remember most is his conversations,” Klein said. “He would come in and tell us that the price of a flat of berries was at an all-time high at the festival or he would walk through the door and be able to tell us everything about what was happening with the produce in season right at that very moment. We’d go on stake-outs with him — remember he was an ag detective so it wasn’t exactly dangerous most of the time —and we’d be in a field with binoculars. Agriculture was our lives.” Though she’s been creating on canvases for the past three and a half years her recently breakthrough in the ag community came last fall when she released a strawberry themed series. Through her posts online and her appearance at the Florida Strawberry Festival, Klein quickly developed a dedicated following and her work can be found in the homes of folks from across the nation. WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


Her local Plant Citians took their adoration a step further and many not only own her art, but wear it, rocking strawberry shirts and drinking from Klein strawberry mugs. “Strawberries really seemed to strike a cord with people,” Klein said. “And I think what set me apart was the fact that I did strawberries in a new way, my art isn’t your stereotypical pieces. People really seemed to respond to that. There were so many people that said looking at the pieces made them feel nostalgic for a Florida that is disappearing. Not just the culture, but the actual agriculture industry as well. We’re seeing development over orange groves and strawberry fields. It’s such an essential part of what Florida is and I hope my art is drawing attention to that. Of course they also seemed to like my signature bee.” The bee in question is found throughout the majority of Klein’s work. Hovering over orange blossoms, diving toward a flower or flitting among strawberry plants, the bee has become a symbol of her curious and whimsical nature. Klein has been painting murals for more than 20 years, but just recently made the switch to canvas. She has created a variety of series including religious pieces like “Angels Among Us,” which capture the portraits of angels walking among mortals. Though she had endless options she decided to begin painting the industry that has surrounded her life for as long as she could remember. Though experience has earned her an abundance of knowledge she dove into research for many of her pieces, taking time to learn more about the essential role bees play in local agriculture as well as their impact on the environment. She may be an artist, but her deep love of agriculture has led to her becoming a novice scholar on the topic and she said she doubts there will ever be a day that she isn’t learning more about the world in which she lives.

After its completion, however, Klein found herself pausing before blasting the latest work on social media. While she loves all of her creations, this one seemed to strike a deeper cord. “I just have a feeling this is supposed to be used for something,” Klein said. “It’s why I haven’t done anything with it really yet because I’m confident the right opportunity will present itself. God has a plan for this, I’m just kind of waiting right now to see what it is.” Her intuition is telling her the painting may be used to help promote Florida agriculture. The whimsical nature of her style mixed with the hyper-realistic acrylic usage makes each piece a truly stunning work of art. Whether it is adopted by an agriculture agency or used in partnership with a local organization, Klein said she has the hope big things are on the horizon. “I just think agriculture is a part of our roots, it’s a part of our history and I’m one of those people that changing too much too quickly makes me pause,” Klein said. “I don’t want those memories to go away. I understand both sides, but I believe its important we don’t forget what Florida is about. It’s hard when you’re driving down the road and you’re with someone who didn’t grow up here. You’re looking out the window and thinking, ‘I remember when there were hundreds of orange groves here,’ and they have no idea.” For more information visit AngieKleinArt.com or follow Angie Klein Art on Facebook and Instagram. INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

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Recently, Klein completed a Florida-themed painting that immediately evoked strong responses from those lucky enough to view it. The state is crafted from three key elements, honeycomb, strawberry plants and ripening oranges. Bees suckle from the pollen-filled buds at the base of the fruits and fly among sticky drops of honey.


Healthy Inside and Out By Libby Hopkins

Nothing looks as good on a person as feeling healthy and Lyani Powers’ goal is to help clients feel healthy inside and out. She is the owner of Modern Herbal Apothecary, which recently opened in South Tampa. “Modern Herbal Apothecary is a clinical herbalist practice, bulk apothecary, café and micro-farm,” Powers said. “All of our products and herbs are completely organic and sourced locally whenever possible. We offer custom blends for a wide range of everyday remedies for the whole family. We pride ourselves on being your resource for modern takes on traditional solutions.” She is a clinical herbalist and doula. “I come from a long line of green thumbs,” Powers said. “Both sets of my great and grandparents worked the land and although both of my parents enlisted in the Army, they maintained that legacy by always having a large kitchen garden at our home. I have always grown and nurtured something.” Even living in New York, where greenspace is limited, Powers still had window boxes full of herbs and worked in community gardens. “I took that love and blended it with my other passion, design,” Powers said. “I was a production and interior designer for HGTV and DIY for years and I am still co-owner of Stix and Mortar, a New York based urban farmscaping design company. We have mostly focused on designs for tenement buildings and schools in limited access areas and food deserts making them more self-sufficient and sustainable.” Powers created Modern Herbal Apothecary as an answer to the growing need of preventive care and natural solutions that she saw missing in today’s approach to healthcare. “After studying ethnobotany and clinical herbalism in New York with Richard Mendenbaum of Arbor Vitae and when I came here to Florida,” Powers said, “I completed the rosemary glad star course. I continued my studies, targeting women’s health, specifically pre and postnatal, as well as whole family care. I wanted to create a space for families to learn, interact, and become fluent in herbal remedies and how they can even be a part of their concurrent care working with their doctors.”

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As I mentioned earlier, Powers is a doula. If you were wondering what a doula is, they are a trained non-medical companion who supports another individual through a significant health-related experience such as childbirth. A doula may also provide support to the partner, family and friends. The overall goal of a doula in any context is for their client to feel safe, be informed and feel comfortable. “Among other things, I am gearing my shop to be a resource for birth workers and

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modern mommas,” Powers said. “After the birth of my first child I realized how much support women should have during this time of transition. I studied how different women all over the world practiced self-care and healing during and after pregnancy and I became certified as a postpartum and fertility doula. During that time, I was able to network with some of Tampa’s most amazing doula service providers and I wanted the space to be a hub for them, supplying them and their clients with support.” What makes Modern Herbal Apothecary different from other herbal shops in the area is that it’s a one-stop shop for all your health needs, including herbal teas. “I love a tea shop, but I wanted to offer more and, as someone who is convenience obsessed, I wanted the shop to offer an all in one experience,” Powers said. “When I moved down here I had trouble finding medicinal herbs and supplies for my family close to my South Tampa home, so I when I can’t find something, I create it.” The shop will be offering natural support and herbal solutions for common health challenges for everyone in the family, even pets. “We will have bulk herbs, teas, salves and tinctures,” Powers said. “We have a refillery area for oils, butters, plant based beauty and household goods like cleaners and vinegars.” Modern Herbal Apothecary will also have gardens as well as an interactive kid’s garden with some ongoing programming in addition to offering small batch honey from their onsite hives. “The space will be open for workshops and meetups so we can all get together and talk health, babies, herbs and whatever else needs discussing. I aim to house everything someone might need and if I don’t have it, I’ll make it, or I probably know who to call or where to send you.” If you’d like to learn more about Modern Herbal Apothecary, you can visit their website at www.modernherbalshop.com. The shop is located at 6412 S. MacDill in South Tampa near MacDill Air Force Base in the Ballast Point area. WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


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NEWS BRIEFS Compiled by Jim Frankowiak NRCS Can Help with Flooding on your Property The U.S. Department of Agriculture Nature Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) offers assistance to landowners experiencing flooding issues on their property after devastating weather events. This assistance is offered through the Emergency Watershed Protection Programs (EWPP) Floodplain Easement Program (FWP). The FWP is a voluntary program that offers landowners the means and the opportunity to protect, restore and enhance lands subject to repeated flooding and flood damage. Eligible applicants agree to sell a permanent conservation easement to the U.S. through the NRCS. Compensation is based on the value of the easement as determined by an appraisal or market analysis. These easements can take place on public or private agricultural land or residential properties damaged by flooding and natural disasters. More information is available at the USDA Plant City Service Center, 201 South Collins Street, Suite 201. Plant City, FL 33563. Contact District Conservationist Diana AvellanetEchevarria, Telephone: 813/473-4882 or email: Diana.Avellanet@fl.usda.gov. UF Introduces Guide to Help ID Commonly Confused Animals, Plants Florida is home to a diverse array of animals, plants and insects, many of which may be difficult to tell apart. The new “This or That” identification deck from the University of Florida can help not only tell species apart, but also help conserve the state’s native and endangered species. “This or That” covers nearly 100 commonly misidentified animals, plants and insects, pairing side-by-side photos and descriptions of each species’ distinguishing features. “This or That? A Beginner’s Guide to Commonly Misidentified Plants & Animals in Florida’ is available through the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension bookstore at: ifasbooks.com or by calling 352/392-1764. Legislative Days/Taste of Florida Event December 10 The Florida Farm Bureau Federation will continue to host its annual Legislative Days event in Tallahassee with this year’s event to be held Tuesday, December 10, during the final committee week prior to the 2020 legislative session. The date change was prompted by scheduling issues at the Capitol court yard.

Understanding soil health means assessing and managing soil so that it functions optimally now and is not degraded for future use. More information is available at the local NRCS office, 201 South Collins Street, Suite 202, Plant City, FL 33563. Telephone: 813/752-1474, Ext. 3, or email District Conservationist Diana Avellanet at Diana.Avellanet@usda.gov. NRCS is also inviting landowners to learn more about the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), a voluntary conservation program that helps producers in a way that promotes Ag production and environmental quality. Through EQIP producers receive financial and technical assistance to implement structural and management conservation practices that optimize environmental benefits on working agricultural land. This includes improved water and air quality, conserved ground and surface water, reduced soil erosion and sedimentation or improved or created wildlife habitat. More information about EQIP and the application process is available at the Plant City NRCS office. Registration Open for Florida Ag Expo November 21 Registration is now open for Florida Ag Expo Thursday, November 21, at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Gulf Coast Research and Education Center at Balm. Florida Director of Cannabis, Holly Bell, will provide an overview of the growing hemp industry and there will be a hemp panel discussion and field tour. Educational sessions will focus on soil fumigation issues and pest management in vegetables. To register and/or learn more about the event, visit www.floridaagexpo.net. FBGA Announces Organizational Changes The Florida Blueberry Growers Association (FBGA) has announced several organizational changes. Brittany Lee has resigned as the acting FBGA present. Ryan Atwood has agreed to serve as interim president and Leonard Park has assumed the role of vice president. Lee has agreed to work part time as the FBGA’s Executive Director. More information about the FBGA is available at its Trade Website: www.floridablueberrygrowers.org or Consumer website: http://blueberriesfromflorida.com.

More information will be forthcoming as the date draws near.

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NRCS Continues to Promote Benefits & Importance of Soil Health The U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is continuing to promote the benefits and importance of soil health, also referred to as soil quality and defined as the continued capacity of soil to function as a vital, living ecosystem that sustains plants, animals and humans.

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UPDATED FLORIDA VEGETABLE PRODUCTION HANDBOOK NOW AVAILABLE By Jim Frankowiak The “2019-2020 Vegetable Production Handbook of Florida,” produced by a team of University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension Faculty, is now available. Introduced at the recent Citrus Expo, the 400-page softback book is available at UF/IFAS Extension county offices while supplies last. “The updated handbook is available at no cost, and an online version has been posted to the UF/IFAS Electronic Data Information Source (EDIS),” said UF/IFAS Entomologist Hugh Smith, an associate professor at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center who led the handbook’s editorial team this year. The EDIS link is http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu. “The handbook is designed for use in commercial operations and is updated annually by a multidisciplinary team of UF/ IFAS Extension specialists and agents with expertise in topics such as entomology, nematology, weed science, horticulture, soil and water science and plant pathology,” Smith said. “The handbook contains introductory chapters that outline fundamental principles of managing fertilizer, irrigation and pests in Florida vegetables and strawberries with an emphasis on best management practices,” Smith said. “There are 14 additional chapters that provide information on cultivars, fertilization, irrigation and pest management for key crops and crop groups. Each of these chapters contains tables summarizing the fungicides, herbicides, insecticides and nematicides registered for use in each crop group.” The updated handbook’s final chapter covers biopesticides and alternative products for management of diseases, arthropods and nematodes, including products registered for use on certified organic farms.

“SUPERHERO SUMMER” A WIN-WIN FOR WISH FARMS AND FEEDING AMERICA

By Jim Frankowiak The recently completed “Summer Superhero” campaign provided substantial benefits to campaign partners Wish Farms and Feeding America®. “We reached a nationwide audience of over 1.1 million, with over 2.1 million impressions on Instagram,” said Wish Farms’ Marketing Coordinator Hailey Clark. Clark noted for each Instagram engagement (like, tag and follow) on the campaign posts; Wish Farms donated a meal to help families in need. “The efforts of our Instagram community have led to 50,000 meals donated to our local food bank,” said Clark. The campaign posts ran from June 12 through August 12, featuring GIFs (Graphic Interchange Formats) of Wish Farms’ growers in various comedic, superhero poses, spinning off from a video the international grower and year-round marketer of strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries released last winter that recognized growers their growers with the slogan: “Farmers: Real-Life Superheroes. Saving the World by Feeding the World.”

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The initiative also included Isabel Reis Laessig of Sunday Supper through which “we carefully chose twenty-five influences in the lifestyle, food, parenting and health and wellness segments. “They engineered an incredible amount of excitement with their Instagram audiences by giving back and doing good in our world,” said Clark.

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The campaign also included Wish Farms’ employee involvement with teams volunteering at the Feeding Tampa Bay distribution hub, a part of the company’s social responsibility commitment that permits employees to volunteer during working hours. “Wish Farms is continuing the effort to fight hunger,” said Clark. “For each Berry Lover email signup on our website, Wish Farms will donate one meal to Feeding America. Every dollar provides at least 10 meals secured by Feeding America on behalf of local member food banks. Feeding America is the largest hunger relief organization in the United States. Through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, the organization provides meals to more than 46 million people annually. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food securing among the people served; educates the public about the problem of hunger and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


SECOND ANNUAL ‘SCIENCE MATTERS’ SURVEY CONFIRMS LOW AWARENESS OF AG CAREER OPTIONS;

LIMITING APPLICANTS AND CHALLENGING THE INDUSTRY By Jim Frankowiak The results of the second annual “Science Matters” survey, a collaborative effort involving Bayer and the 4-H Council, has confirmed that low awareness of career options in agriculture is a primary factor leading to the limited pool of skilled applicants for agricultural science positions. The survey explored the opinions of parents, teachers and, for the first time, students nationally on the importance of agri-science in high school curriculum. “The 2019 Science Matters study shows a disconnect between students’ perceived value of agricultural science and their awareness of tangible, fulfilling and diverse career opportunities, which presents an enormous opportunity for the agricultural community,” said Lisa Safarian, President, North America Commercial, at the Crop Science Division of Bayer. “These survey results are a call to action for the industry to come together and invest in our youth, educating them and developing their skills in areas where it has been traditionally challenging to identify and recruit a qualified workforce and highlight the success and impact they can have in a multitude of diverse careers.” This major opportunity prompted Bayer and the National 4-H Council to create Science Matters, an educational outreach program that leverages a variety of strategic and creative programing to pique students’ curiosity about agri-science and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. The study has shown that more than half of the students surveyed believe that agri-science is an exciting, creative and interesting subject to study, but more must be done to convert interest into action. The launch of Science Matters in 2017 also included a commitment by Bayer and the National 4-H Council to equip at least 25,000 students from rural, urban and suburban communities with the tolls and support they need to deepen their understanding of science. The program contributes to youth development through curricula provided by 4-H to its network of local club leaders; creative initiatives to heighten young people’s awareness of the role science plays in their daily lives; scholarships to attend the 4-H National Youth Summit on AgriScience; and, engaging with 4-H clubs across the U.S. through community grants and local volunteerism to enhance the STEM education experience. More information on Science Matters is available at: 4-H.org/Bayer.

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INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

September 2019

75

PAGE

WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


PAGE

76

INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

September 2019

WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM

Profile for Berry Publications, Inc

In The Field magazine Hillsborough edition  

Agriculture magazine covering Hillsborough County in Florida

In The Field magazine Hillsborough edition  

Agriculture magazine covering Hillsborough County in Florida