South Florida isn't exactly a locavore's paradise-- "locally grown" around here usually means mangoes filched from your neighbor's tree in the dead of night (at least for me).
But maybe that's beginning to change, or at least we're finally starting to get some credible sources of locally grown food. New "urban farms" are sprouting up with growers using sophisticated, space-saving methods to grow fresh, local produce.
There's Marando Farms right in downtown Fort Lauderdale, The Girls Strawberry U-pick hydroponic farm in Delray, and now the Urban Farmer in Pompano Beach is jumping in with classes aimed at aspiring food farmers.
Like any smart vegetable and fruit farmer, the Urban Farmer wants to
make life easy. Forget about working with Florida's lousy soils or
freakish insect problems. Instead, classes are aimed at teaching
locavores how to easily grow your own fruits and vegetables in
self-watering Earthboxes and hanging hydroponic gardens. Don't worry,
it's not as hard as it sounds.
The class schedule for December includes:
An introduction to about the only "sure-fire" thing in gardening ... if
you're new to vegetable gardening and want to actually harvest some
veggies, try an Earthbox. This class includes a Earthbox growing system.
Saturday December 11th at 10:30 am
Sunday December 12th at 10:30 am
Wednesday December 15th at 10:30 am
Saturday December 18th at 10:30 am
Sunday December 19th at 10:30 am
Vertigro (Beginner Class):
The Vertigo system consists of stackable containers that are fed a
continuous solution of fertilizer. The system looks complicated, and
requires a little bit of set-up, but if you want to really grow some
amazing produce, this is the way to do it.
Saturday December 11th at 10:45 am
Saturday December 18th at 10:45 am
Backyard Farming Techniques:
This class is aimed at anyone who wants to grow food to eat, rather than
just as a hobby. Students will learn about crop rotation, growing
media, and pollination.
Wednesday December 8th at 2:00 pm
Saturday December 11th at 3:00 pm
Saturday December 18th at 3:00 pm
Parent and Child (ages 8-12):
This is a three-part series that teaches children the different steps
and the basics for what is needed to grow food. Each class runs about
thirty minutes and covers topics like how to start seeds, what bugs live
in the garden and transplanting seeds. Adults must be present with the
Sunday December 12th at 11:00 am
Sunday December 19th at 11:00 am
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For more information about The Urban Farmer, call (954) 586-6686, or visit their website at www.theurbanfarmerflorida.com.
Follow Clean Plate Charlie on Twitter: @CleanPlateBPB.