We are so excited to offer a huge variety of tomatoes this spring! Our friend and Forage member, Tim Noyes who you might say is obsessed with growing tomatoes, has graciously helped us grow this year! Tim chooses varieties based on their taste, adaptability to southern gardens and their disease tolerances. We would like to thank the Edible Plant Project and the Grow Gainesville Community for their support with this project.
As they are available, we will be brining them to each of our seed dispersal events. We may also have some pop up sales at other locations.Please check in on our Facebook page to know what varieties we will be brining and where.
For Wednesday February 15th we will have the following only in 1/2 gallon sizes:
Pink Berkley Tie Dye
Mortgage Lifter- Radiator Charlie
Barry’s Crazy Cherry
UF Garden Gem
- $3 each
- 2 for $5 ($2.50 each)
- 5 for $10 ($2.00 each)
1/2 gallon bags
- $5 each
- 2 for $9 ($4.50 each)
- 5 for $20 ($4.00each)
Finally, you won’t want to miss our first ever “Tomato Boot Camp” workshop. We’ll teach you most of what you need to know to grow the best tomatoes in the south! Mark you calendars for Sunday March 12th from 11am-2pm. More details coming soon.
We have changed some of our membership donation levels this year to better cover the costs of running our organization. If you are accessing our seed collection, we kindly ask that you consider donating $20 per season or $40 per year.
For many years we kept our base membership level at a very low annual fee, which was mostly used by folks interested in accessing our seed collection. As our organization has grown, simply put we have more costs to cover. We can’t drive our van to farms and gardens hauling supplies and dried seeds to be cleaned, cover the insurance in case someone is hurt, have a small office, and all the supplies needed, if we only ask for $25 a year. That barely covers the cost of the seeds, envelopes and labels.
Donations at a higher level help us to grow our seed gardens, support youth garden program development and keep the lights on and gas tank full.
We have always held the philosophy that EVERYBODY GROWS. So, in partnership with the Grow Gainesville group, we will continue to subsidize the cost of seeds for anyone that simply cannot afford it. Please don’t be shy to ask if you need a lower donation cost or a free waiver for the year!
With the average gardener taking home between 10-25 packets each season, valued at $2 each that is about $20-50 just for a season. Or $40-100 for the year. So at a minimum donation request of $40 per year, you are still getting a good deal, while helping us a bit more to keep in the black.
If you have already paid previously, this will go into effect whenever you are due to renew, not this season immediately.
Thank you for your understanding!
Mark your calendars for dates and times for our upcoming spring and summer seed dispersals! Please note only summer/spring seeds are available at upcoming dispersals. If you would like any cool season fall/winter seeds in the meantime, email Melissa (firstname.lastname@example.org) to set up a time to meet at the office to pick up.
Support Forage by shopping at Lucky’s today! Shop all day and 10% of sales benefit Forage. From 11am-2pm we will be sampling some tasty locally-inspired goodies. Stop by and say hi!
We are so lucky (pun intended) for this opportunity, that Lucky’s has givenus for a third time now! Their support has helped fund our seed collective and gardening programs. Help us make the donation go further by stocking up on essentials!
February is a wonderful time to celebrate the bounty provided by our local farmers and the land! We’ve been celebrating Local Food Week for years now, offering you ideas for connecting to your local food community. Once food week is over, don’t stop celebrating! Continue connecting with farmers, organizations and restaurants that work day in and day out to make our food community better.
LOCAL FOOD WEEK EVENTS
Florida Earthskills Gathering
Wednesday February 8th through Sunday February 12
Join us at Earthskills for a special SEED SWAP on Sunday February 12th from 1:30-3:30PM
Cinema Verde International Environmental Film and Arts Festival
Located at the Hippodrome State Theater, there will be a wide selection of environmental films to view. February 11 there will be a selection of shorts related to agriculture.
Dine Local Today!
Tuesday February, 14
With so many restaurants in town featuring local food, there are plenty of options for those wanting to support local. Here are a few suggestions from last year’s list.
Southern Heritage Seed Collective Spring Seed Dispersal #2 of 5
Wednesday February 15, 4:00-7PM at the downtown Union Street Farmers Market
If you’re a gardener or know someone who is, join the seed collective! Get good seeds for southern gardens and support Forage’s efforts to protect seed biodiversity!
Shop at the downtown Union Street Farmers Market
Wednesday February 15, 4:00-7:00PM
Tune in for TV 20’s “What’s Growing On?” Weekly Local Food News
Thursday February 16, 2017 at 5:45 PM (you can always catch them later online)
We Challenge you to Cook Local at Home!
Perhaps you’ve shopped at one of the local farmers markets this past week, so get in the kitchen and work some magic. For inspiration, check out Hogtown HomeGrown’s seasonal recipes
OTHER LOCAL FOOD EVENTS IN FEBRUARY
Swallowtail Farm to Table Dinner featuring Cassie Lycan
Saturday February 11, 4:30-10:00
Grow Gainesville’s Third Monday Meeting
Monday February 20, 7:00-9:00PM
Each month, the gardening community gathers to learn about a range of homesteading topics. This month is a special Southern Heritage Seed Collective Spring Seed Dispersal, #3 of 5
Southern Heritage Seed Collective Spring Seed Dispersal #4 of 5
Saturday February 25, 8:30AM-12:00PM at the Haile Farmers Market
Seed Cabinet and Seed Saving 101 Roadshow!
Tuesday February 28, 6:30-8:30PM at the High Springs Branch Public Library
Don’t miss our ongoing roadshow of an interactive seed cabinet that will be visiting each Alachua County Library Branch over the next several months. See our calendar for all dates and times.
|As 2016 nears an end, and we reflect on the ever growing community support for our work, we are truly humbled and grateful! For five years, Forage has been working hard to protect southeastern seed biodiversity, and providing quality programs that benefit growers and eaters of all ages. The many hours of hard work come with dirty hands, frustrations, rewards and joy.
2016 has been a significant transition year for us, as we continue to learn how to focus and effectively accomplish our mission-driven work. We’ve become known in the seed world as the only grass-roots organization truly aware and active in Florida. As we grow, so do partnerships and community building efforts that are helping protect our shared cultural biodiversity of seed.
Reluctantly but with good intention this summer, we decided to rest the farm in cover crop for a couple of seasons due to limited resources and significant infrastructure repair. Fortunate as we are, our community came together, allowing continued growth and progress even without a farm! Individuals and organizations stepped up, providing seedlings, garden space, many hours of time in their garden, equipment repair, and financial and emotional support because they believe in the mission. Meanwhile, our workshops, classes, and planning for a community food center are humming right along. This is how community works, folks! It truly takes a village to accomplish this work, and we couldn’t do it without y’all!
If you would like to read more about what we do, check out our recent blog post.
Please consider making a donation today, or becoming a sustaining member of Forage. Thank you, and happy new year! May 2017 be fruitful and prosperous.
The Forage Crew
We have some wonderful items available for sale, just in time for the holiday season. All proceeds benefit our programs! We will have them at this Sunday’s citrus tasting event. You can also order and pick up in Gainesville by emailing Melissa: email@example.com.
Botanical prints of some of our favorite crops in our Southern Heritage Seed Collective. Hand drawn and colored by Miami artist (family friend), Leo Hernandez. $25 for 11×14″, $15 for 4×6″, and a set of 6 notecards (two prints each) for $18.
Flour sack dish towels, two designs available reflecting our north Florida seasons: fall/winter and spring/summer. Art by Melissa DeSa. $10 each
Forage pint glasses, with a shape that we really love! Only $5
Some other odds and ends:
- Seed packets with new art design. Packed heavier than our typical packets. $4 each.
- Gift certificate for one year of seeds plus two packets, great gift for a gardener! (note that we will be increasing our seed membership in the coming year, this new price reflects this) $40
- Luffa sponges both small and large $3-$5.
- Moksa bar and liquid soaps $6-$12
- Hand painted and grown at Forage gourds, small and large. $5-$20
With some changes upon us this year in staff and priorities, we’ve decided (reluctantly) to let the farm rest for a season or two. It’s a lot of work to maintain and given the circumstances we’ve re-directed some of our energy for now, knowing that we’ll be back out there farming again soon!
Some of the infrastructure needed repair before we could keep going. A broken tractor bit that is crucial to operating the farm needs repair, our deer fencing is in bad shape, and the irrigation needs an upgrade. We’re slowly working away at this list.
Currently our dedicated staff time has been focused on program development which includes expanding our network locally and regionally of seed savers. This helps broaden the engagement, work and commitment of protecting our crop biodiversity so that it’s not just one entity in control. We are happy to steer the ship but need more passengers. We’ve successfully found others that are interested in this work, who are along for the ride!
We are also working on a proposal to develop a robust “Garden Collective” that will help support after school and community gardening efforts throughout our city. It’s much needed but there exists no formal way for such efforts to succeed. We think we can help.
So all this meant that we were simply too short-staffed to run a farm. But we are still actively growing at the Alachua County Farm to School garden at Loften High School, and have a few folks out there growing some crops for us as well!
About a week ago, the UF Crew Team came out as they have done for the past few years to help out at the farm. Over 20 showed up…without an actual productive farm to work at! Ha! Well we found plenty of work; removing old fence posts and stacking them, removing old trellises, cleaning up the greenhouse, tidying up and harvesting the last of the roselle and luffa crop. In only two hours a whole lot of work got done that seemed daunting.
Next up, some friends are helping us find the right part for our tractor, and hopefully we’ll get the irrigation system a minor upgrade it needs, and a fence up. Cover crops will nurture the soil for a couple seasons till we’re ready to get back out there.
Come join us for our annual holiday citrus tasting event at First Magnitude Brewery! Each season we offer a delicious line up of seasonal varieties from sour to sweet, so you can sample our region’s great diversity of citrus flavors! Light finger foods featuring citrus will be provided along with a specially paired brew with your ticket. Drawing prizes, live music and more! A lemonade stand run by kids, for kids will also be available!
Buy your tickets ahead of time to make sure you get in! Only $20 and all proceeds benefit Forage!
Here’s a video from our 2015 tasting, look how fun it is!