Agritourism, Is it a Good Fit for Your Operation?

I'm sure there is a fit for ornamental operations to successfully engage in Agritourism, especially operating in such a highly sought out area between Tampa and Orlando.  We have Mickey on one side and cruiselines on the other.  The question is what can you do to include activities or become part of a group that promotes what we do to the public as part of tourism.  This might be a secondary stream of income without changing a whole lot to your operation.  Polk county is having a meeting that you might want to attend.  Please see the information below. 

Agritourism: Status Check & Charting a Course for the Future

Noticed a surge of interest in visiting farms for fun? Recreational farm visits, or agritourism, are on the rise around the state and the country, but how well is Polk County positioned to benefit from this trend?  The UF/IFAS Extension Polk County Small Farms program and Polk County Tourism & Sports Marketing (PCTSM) are joining forces to host a meeting to discuss the current status of agritourism in Central Florida and chart a course for future efforts.  Presentations and panel discussions, including speakers from local agritourism operations and the President of the Florida Agritourism Association, will bring attendees up to speed on where we are at and where we could go in developing agritourism in our area.  Topics include: “How does Central Florida Agritourism Stack up Against State and National Trends?”; “The Florida Agritourism Association: What does it do, why is it needed, and what is going on around the state?”; “Current Central Florida Agritourism Operations: What are we doing now and where would we like to be in the future?”; and “How should we move forward in developing Agritourism in Central Florida?”.  The meeting will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, November 12 at Lake Myrtle Sports Park, 2701 Lake Myrtle Park Road, Auburndale, FL. Lunch will be provided by PCTSM. Agricultural enterprises and others interested in developing agritourism are encouraged to come out and be a part of the discussion!

When: Wednesday, November 12: 9:30 AM - 2 PM.
Where: Lake Myrtle Sports Park, 2701 Lake Myrtle Park Road, Auburndale, FL
Register: See the detailed agenda and free registration on the calendar page of http://polksmallfarms.com 
Contact: Mary Beth Henry at 863-519-1049 or mbhenry@ufl.edu


Recycling Plastic Containers?

Every once in a while I notice a really crafty idea while visiting nurseries that I like to share.  I happened across this idea while visiting a nursery of a different sort.  While going to pick up my children and wife at the church nursery I came across this unique use for recycling nursery containers.  One broken tibia, one fraying heel, one crafty dad, and one intelligent solution; problem solved.  Here is one more example of how our products positively benefit everyday lives.  Thanks H.'s for sharing your solution with us.



Operation Cleansweep is Back

If you have old chemicals and want to get rid of them at no cost (up to 500 lbs.) then here is a program for you.  Again in 2014-2015, Operation Cleansweep will provide farmers, nursery operators, golf course operators, and pest control services a one-time safe and economical way to dispose of their cancelled, suspended, and unusable pesticides. Now is your chance to get rid of those jugs and bags in your pesticide shed that you have no idea what they are, before you have an inspection. You will need to schedule a pickup.  Your business can register for free pickup and disposal of cancelled, suspended or unusable pesticides by email (cleansweep@freshfromflorida.com) by phone at 877.851.5285.   If you want to get rid of more than 500 lbs of material then there are provisions for that.  You will need to pay a reduced rate but a fee will need to be paid on extra poundage.  Click on the hyperlink for more information and contacts.  http://www.dep.state.fl.us/waste/categories/cleansweep-pesticides/

Scouting Help from North Florida

Dr. Mathews Paret from the UF/IFAS Quincy Research and Education Center has some really good disease information resources that can be used for your own information or for some of your crop scouting.  Please scan below to see what is available on his U-scout web page.

New in Plant Disease Blog:  http://nfrec.ifas.ufl.edu/paret/u-scout/Blog/Blog.html
Phytophthora crown and root rot of scotch bonnet
Phytophthora root rot of boxwood
Phytopthora root rot of gardenia
Daylily rust

New in Extension Tutor:   http://nfrec.ifas.ufl.edu/paret/u-scout/Tutor.html

Latest field trial data on bacterial spot, bacterial wilt, target spot and root-knot nematode management on tomato.
Latest field trial data on gummy stem blight (watermelon), powdery mildew (watermelon, cantaloupe), and Phytophthora crown and root rot of squash.
Latest field trial findings on management of diseases of crape myrtle using resistant varieties
History and present status of watermelon rind necrosis

This section also includes tutorials on many other aspects: hands on identification of tomato and cucurbit diseases, Florida and South Eastern Vegetable production handbooks 2014, rose and cucurbit diseases and management, and other topics on plant disease management.

Plant disease databases: Databases includes 100s of pictures of vegetable diseases (tomato, cucurbits, pepper, and brassica crops) and ornamentals (rose, crape myrtle, hydrangea, and magnolia). Most of the pictures are field shots and reflect how you may see the disease in the field.

Tomato:  http://nfrec.ifas.ufl.edu/paret/u-scout/Tomato/Tomato.html
Cucurbits:  http://nfrec.ifas.ufl.edu/paret/u-scout/Cucurbits/Cucurbits.html
Pepper:  http://nfrec.ifas.ufl.edu/paret/u-scout/Pepper/Pepper.html
Brassica:  http://nfrec.ifas.ufl.edu/paret/u-scout/Brassica/Brassica.html
Rose:  http://nfrec.ifas.ufl.edu/paret/u-scout/Rose/Rose.html
Crape Myrtle:  http://nfrec.ifas.ufl.edu/paret/u-scout/Crapemyrtle/Crapemyrtle.html
Hydrangea:   http://nfrec.ifas.ufl.edu/paret/u-scout/Hydrangea/Hydrangea.html
Magnolia:   http://nfrec.ifas.ufl.edu/paret/u-scout/Magnolia/Magnolia.html

Disease Watch section for tomato, cucurbits, rose and hydrangea for Fall 2014 is issued and details can be found in the following link.

Pest Alert: First discovery of Rose Rosette Virus in Florida

Poinsettia Field Day at UF Gainesville

Growers have the opportunity to visit UF/IFAS Poinsettia Trial Field Day in Gainesville.  Here is your opportunity to see what grows best for us in Florida.  Please see the specifics below.

Title: Industry Poinsettia Trial Field Day
Host: UF/IFAS Extension
When: Tuesday, December 9, 9.15am to 2 pm
Where: University of Florida Environmental Horticulture Greenhouses, Gainesville FL.
Web page and registration: http://ufpoinsettia.eventbrite.com
Contact: Paul Fisher, pfisher@ufl.edu
Registration cost: free
Lunch provided, sponsored by Syngenta.

Includes tour of national poinsettia trials by Dr. Jim Barrett, discussion of alternatives to neonicitinoid pesticides by Dr. Lance Osborne, and new greenhouse production research by Dr. Paul Fisher.


Future Tree Use, Tradeshow, and Landscape Architects Class

What do all these things have in common?  A Hillsborough County Extension new class venture bridging the gap between growers, landscape architects and city planners on expectations of how, when, why, and where trees should be used.  The class "Tree Selection and Changing Urban Demands" is a fresh perspective on the future City of Tampa's Urban tree plan and what that will mean to growers and landscape architects.  Dr. Ed Gillman will look at tree grades and standards using real trees in a nursery as examples.  I will discuss how trees are grown in the area, how long it takes, and where to find plant material availabilities.  Mr. Rob Northrop will discuss the City of Tampa Urban Tree plan and what changes will be taking place as a model system for future municipalites.  We will then have an open discussion including City of Tampa Natural Resources to talk about opportunities and challenges for all involved.  Area growers are welcome to bring plants to the mini-tradeshow for landscape architects to view.  We will have FNGLA CEUs and LA CEUs available.  We will also have regionally famous JP's BBQ served for dinner as well.  This alone is almost worth the price of the class.  Only 50 seats available so hurry and get yours reserved! 
When:  December 11, 2014
Time:  1:30-7:00 pm
Where:  Stardust Tree Farm, 1001 Stardust Ln. Lutz, FL 33548
Cost - $100.00 (plus transaction fees)
CEUs-LA Continuing Education Credits-4, FNGLA Credits-TBD
For a link to register click here https://latrees.eventbrite.com

UF/IFAS Research and Extension in Hillsborough County get FNGLA Research Award

Extension and research at UF/IFAS work hand-in-hand to solve problems and deliver solutions to growers.  Sometimes it is a top-down approach, with research developed in the lab to deliver to local clients.  Other times extension and research also work from the bottom up at a grassroots level. Occasionally, an Extension agent in the field notices problems that the growers are having and lets researchers know there is a gap in our knowledge of a problem or situation.  Here is an example of a local case where a grass roots approach is working to solve problems growers are encountering every day. I was on a nursery visit at the request of Troy Gordon of Alafia Tropical Foliage, to look at light levels through shade cloth to see what was going on at plant canopy heights.  Mr. Gordon mentioned having very few herbicide tools at his disposal labeled for weeds associated with tropical plants.  I went back to the office to do some digging and found that this research was seemingly lacking in the industry, even though tropical plants comprise nearly 35% of the ornamental trade in Florida and account for $1.4 billion in sales (2010 numbers).  I mentioned this to our local weed science specialist Dr. Nathan Boyd at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center and proposed we write a grant to research herbicides for use in tropical ornamentals.  Dr. Boyd suggested we try the Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association research grants.  The good news for our local growers and growers throughout the state is that our grant received funding.  We will now start preparing for the research and will bring you the results when we get them.  This is a great example of how Extension brings “Solutions for Your Life” and how your continued support as a grower of FNGLA and their research endowment helps the industry as a whole stay productive.


Lake Region FNGLA Fundraiser

The FNGLA Lake Region Chapter is fundraising for youth horticulture and community horticulture education.
Come join us!!!!!!
Have Fun at our Fund Raiser playing in our 2nd Annual Putt Putt Golf Tournament

Win Big Prizes playing Putt Putt!!

DATE: Tuesday, October 7, 2014 CHAPTER MEETING. PLACE:  Family Fun Center, 4825 S. Florida Ave., Lakeland TIME:  6:00 - 9:00 pm COST:  Adults $20.00, Kids $10:00 (Price includes dinner, golf and 12 tokens)  Proceeds from event goes to FNGLA Lake region chapter.   Please call Karen by Monday Oct. 6.  863.644.6491

100 Years of Extension

Extension is celebrating its 100th birthday this year.  You are invited to the party!  Hillsborough County Extension office is having an open house on October 9th to celebrate.  See some of the the great work that Extension is doing in Hillsborough County and beyond.  The festivities will start at 4:00 pm.  We will have food, giveaways (including seedling cypress trees) and a birthday cake.  I will also be planting a Centennial Tree to commemorate the occasion.  This is a 25 gallon winged elm donated by our friends at Sun City Tree Farm.  So come and enjoy the celebration!  We will also be honoring our Extension Agriculture Volunteer of the Year, Mr. Audie Ham with Diamond R Turf.

You may be interested in seeing the video of the anniversary celebration at USDA.

You can view the video at:  1.usa.gov/1oucSrL  Dr, Martin Draper, National Program Leader (Plant Systems), opened the ceremony by reading a proclamation from President Obama marking Extension’s 100 years, and NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy delivered a rousing address about the history and future of Cooperative Extension.

FNGLA Hockey Fundraising Event

The FNGLA is planning an event to raise money and build some enthusiasm for our local Tampa chapter.  This event will be raising money to support youth education and scholarships in horticulture related fields for local students.  Our hope is to have students join our horticulture field when their education is finished. 

 Join the FNGLA for a family-friendly exciting event you won't find anywhere! Only 100 Spots Available!

Sign up now by emailing amanda@bigearthsupply.com.

Thursday, November 13 attend the FNGLA Cornhole Tournament on the Bud Light Deck at Amalie Arena 4:30-6:30.
Admission fee of $25 includes:
Entrance to the Bud Light Deck
Free Tailgate Style Food
You will receive CLUB LEVEL Ticket to watch the San Jose Sharks play the Lightning, Face-off at 7:30pm.CAN'T GET THIS OFFER ANYWHERE ELSE, normally $90-100 this offer includes CLUB LEVEL SEAT, FOOD AT BUD LIGHT DECK EVENT AND RAFFLE PRIZES

For Cornhole Enthusiasts, $60 per team: Includes entrance to tournament to win, 2 CLUB LEVEL tickets and Food at Bud Light Deck

Special FREE Raffle for Kids ages 4-15 year old: Chance for child & guardian to win the experience of high-fiving the Lightning players when the enter the ice !

Other Raffle Prizes will include Lightning Tickets, signed merchandise, gift cards to local establishments, prizes and more !

Look forward to seeing you at this exciting event. Remember, only 100 spots available so act fast!

Thank you warmly,
FNGLA Tampa Chapter