SUCCESSFUL SUMMER AND WINTER ROOT CROPS 8-21-2011
For a bounty of crisp crunchy carrots, daikons, sweet potatoes, true yams (Dioscorea) and more the keys are: correct crop for the right time of year, and improving this sand we call "soil". You'll taste fried true yam plus learn of local and mail order sources of truly cheap seeds to make your family self sufficient in these staples year round. The class date is August 21, and your harvests this winter will soon earn you back the class fee, with a huge bonanza awaiting you next summer. To RSVP call John Starnes at: 813 839 0881
FERMENTED FOODS 101 8-20-2011
Many folks are realizing the wide spectrum of health benefits of eating probiotic fermented foods, but that also they can be very pricey in the health food stores and grocery stores. Garden writer John Starnes (Fine Gardening, St. Pete Times, Florida Gardening) loves to grow and cook and prepare foods for friends and himself, and in this class will show easy very affordable ways to make your own kefir, natto, tempeh, kimchee, kombucha, bortago and cheese. There will be samples for tasting too. Be sure to bring a note pad and pen to write down the simple steps and ingredients, some of which can come from your own garden. The class will be held on August 20, from 11 AM until 1:30 PM, and the cost is $20 per student. The address is: 3212 West Paxton Avenue Tampa 33611 813 839 0881 Please park along the south side of Paxton to spare the lawns of my neighbors on the north side. Thanks. Come hungry! John
BACKYARD POULTRY RAISING 101 8-6-2011
Many folks these days are considering, or have followed through on, pursuing a long time desire to raise backyard chickens for fresh eggs or even meat they know the origins of. I've had chickens on and off since the mid 90s, and can share how to raise happy, healthy, antibiotic-free chickens and eggs VERY frugally. See also the ease of raising Muscovy ducks. I am teaching this well-received class again on August 6, this Saturday, from 11 AM until 1 PM, with a 30 minute Q & A session after. My address is: 3212 West Paxton Avenue, Tampa FL 33611, about 6 blocks south of Gandy and 1 1/2 blocks west of MacDill, jungly yard on the south side. Please park on my side of Paxton off of neighbors' lawns. The cost is $20 per student. Please bring a note pad and pen as we will cover many points. You will receive a pack of winter greens seeds to sow next fall to provide raw green plant matter VITAL to having healthy backyard chickens. 813 839 0881 or e-mail to RSVP. See you then! John Starnes
PLAN NOW FOR AN ABUNDANT ORGANIC WINTER VEGGIES GARDEN- $20 (south Tampa)
With it steamy hot, now might seem an odd time to think about a classic Florida cool weather veggies garden. But this is a great time if you are a super busy family person with either no garden site created yet, or if your past efforts yielded crops of disappointment instead of food for the dinner table, to get started. I had my first veggie garden here in 1967 when I was in 9th grade at Madison Junior High, and have learned since then core principals and techniques that make winter food gardening in central Florida both pleasant and productive. Forget pesticides, forget wasting money on plants and seeds and crops that fail, and forget thinking that you have a brown thumb. Learn how to create a fertile garden site that will bless you with fresh pesticide-free produce for the six cooler months of the year. I wrote about these techniques for eight years for The St. Pete Times and still do for 'Florida Gardening' magazine.
I am teaching this class twice in August, on the 13th and the 27th, from 11 AM until 1 PM. My address is: 3212 West Paxton Avenue, Tampa FL 33611, about 6 blocks south of Gandy and 1 1/2 blocks west of MacDill, jungly yard on the south side. Please park on my side of Paxton off of neighbors' lawns. The cost is $20 per student. You will receive two free packets of easy to grow winter crops seeds. I will provide a handout, but be sure to bring a notepad and pen. See you then! John Starnes
813 839 0881
COOKING WHAT YOU GROW 8-7-2011
Many of us grew up on" fast food" and processed foods, and so don't know easy frugal ways to transform the produce from our gardens into quick and easy yet satisfyingly savory meals for our family and friends. I LOVE to cook for friends by using what my urban farm is bearing at the moment at the catalyst for "cooking by the seat of your pants". You'll learn key basic spicing themes for ethnic cuisines including Thai, Indian, Mexican, Italian, Turkish, Chinese and more that can you can tweak and mix per your creative cooking spirit and your gardens' production throughout the year. In this class we will together harvest many key ingredients from my urban farm and whip up a delicious entree we will then share. This fun yet informative class costs $20 plus one onion and takes place on August 7, this Sunday, from 11 AM until 1 PM. at 3212 West Paxton Avenue in south Tampa. Call me, John Starnes, at 813 839 0881 to confirm your attendance. Thank You! John
GROW YOUR OWN SALADS 8-28-2011
Many folks want more than anything to simply grow a luscious, crisp, pesticide-free salad to enjoy each day. The upcoming winter season is stellar for the classic salad crops like arugula, chard, romaine lettuce, broccoli, sugar snap peas, scallions, cherry tomatoes and more, plus our hot muggy summers boast their own unique salad crops. This class covers the basic of creating healthy soil either in a garden or a container garden, crops selection and planting them from seeds to cut costs (most are VERY easy from seeds), pest control, proper watering and organic soil feeding. You will quickly recoup the cost of the class in your first dozen harvests of many many dozens to come this winter season. You will get two free packets of unusual seeds for vigorous, mild flavored leafy greens you will never see in the grocery store, and instructions on their easy culture. One nice thing about winter salad gardening here is that, except for the tomatoes, the crops not only are cold hardy they LIKE frosts.....makes them sweeter. Now is the time to plan for six months of home grown organic salads!
I am teaching this class on August 28th, from 11 AM until 1 PM, with a 30 minute Q & A session after. The cost is $20 per student. My address is: 3212 West Paxton Avenue Tampa 33611 813 839 0881
Why buy pricey little bags of corporate salads when you can grow fresh salads for just pennies a day?