At FarmGal Flowers, we like to grow sunflowers that come in nontraditional colors like red and chocolate. We also primarily grow multi-branching sunflowers as opposed to the “one and done” varieties because we grow in urban spaces. So I am always on the lookout for new multi-branching varieties to try. I came across Italian White Sunflower (Helianthus dibilis) seeds as I perused the aisles at Eden Brothers Seeds just outside of Ashevillle, North Carolina last summer.
Italian White Sunflowers checked all of the important boxes:
Easy to grow
Multi-branching – LOTS and LOTS of blooms
4”-5” wide flowers which is a great size for our bouquets
Unique color (Note: it is close to white but not a pure white.)
Great vase life
I am particularly impressed with its vase life (about a week and blooms do not shatter easily) but what I really love is how each bloom has a little bend in its neck yet remains sturdy. This helps create that garden style look in our arrangements.
Italian White Sunflowers are currently blooming in the market garden at East End Market. Come check them out! Also, don’t forget about our next Girls’ Night Out at East End: Let’s Make a Wreath Workshop! Click here for more information! Hope you can join us!
It is with great pleasure that we announce that we are bringing The Urban Farmer Curtis Stone, best selling author and YouTuber down to Orlando, November 7th – 11th. While in Florida, Curtis will be giving a keynote and teaching some profitable urban farming workshops. Whether you are just ag-curious or a seasoned gardener looking to up your game, you are not going to want to miss being around this inspiring farmer and entrepreneur.
Almost 5 years ago I was upstairs here at the market pitching to IDEAS for Us a pedal powered urban farming concept I was calling Fleet Farming. As part of that pitch I showed a video of my inspiration, a revolutionary young urban farmer named Curtis Stone, who was profitably farming just a 1/4 acre of borrowed land in Kelowna, BC Canada and creating a system to share his hard won knowledge with other aspiring urban farmers.
Since that time Curtis has become an indispensable authority on small scale urban agriculture. Through his best selling book The Urban Farmer, his online courses, his YouTube channel with almost a quarter million subscribers and countless international workshops, conferences and consultations, Curtis continues to push the boundaries of urban farming and is at the cutting edge of urban ag’s innovation.
Whether you are looking for a sustainably minded side-hustle or you’re ready to make urban farming you’re main gig, Curtis has a time-tested system to make that dream a reality. To put it frankly, he is going to show you how you can make up to $100,000 on just a quarter acre of land. He’s done it and now it’s your turn.
As our communities increasingly look to know where their food comes from and who’s grown it, urban farming is poised to answer those questions one backyard farm at a time.
It is totally possible to farm profitably in backyards and small underutilized parcels of land. Profitability is often elusive for beginning farmers because they don’t use the the specific farming techniques these small plots require and aren’t growing the right crops for their farm and market.
Curtis will be sharing how specializing in high value crops with short growing cycles is the key when selling to niche markets like restaurants, CSA’s and retail store.
Since 2010, he’s been successfully farming on multiple urban plots in his city’s downtown and he’ll be demystifying his process for you. You too can farm on very small plots of land without the burden of buying you own land or the debt typically required to start up the usual infrastructure that most farms need. The truth is the financial barrier to entry in urban ag is actually pretty low. Thanks to his efforts and other pioneers, there are now tools that have been specifically designed and uniquely adapted to the small scale intensive farming Curtis’ espouses.
With the tips, strategies and tactics you’ll discover in his workshop you’ll shave two to three years off your farm’s start up and avoid the countless mistakes he made getting started. Even with more than a decade of hobby farming under my belt I always walk away from his workshops with a boatload of a’ha moments and knowledge bombs.
If you’ve even wondered if your passion for growing veggies could be a viable business, then these workshops are for you. You don’t need to make a huge financial investment or even own the land you want to farm. It’s all totally doable with the right ‘know how’ and that’s where these workshops come in!
Here is how you can Catch Curtis while he’s in our neck of the woods:
Wednesday November 7th:
His time with us begins Wednesday November 7th at 6:45pm at East End Market with a FREE keynote he’ll be giving at The HIVE, IDEAS for Us’ monthly Think + Do Tank. Details HERE.
Saturday and Sunday the 10th and 11th: TICKETS HERE
Then Curtis’ main workshop is a 2 day workshop Saturday November 10th and Sunday November 11th here in Orlando.
Day 1 is being hosted here at the market and will be a classroom / lecture style blitzkrieg distilling the the organic intensive techniques, tools and infrastructure he uses and focuses additionally on the business systems, software and labor efficiencies he’s developed to streamline your production.
Day 2 will be hosted at Sugar Top Farm in Clermont and is an on-farm demonstration / workshop day. Curtis will be demonstrating the small machinery, hand tools and DIY infrastructure that makes managing these mirco-farms efficient and keeps overhead expenses down. You’ll also be getting a behind the scenes look at Jessica and Jordan Coopers’ fantastic farm.
More details and ticketing information for the Orlando workshop is HERE
I do sincerely hope that you’ll join us for one of Curtis’ workshops and take your urban farming and market gardening to the next level. Besides being a friend, Curtis is truly an inspiration for the style of farming I do and a constant source of wisdom.
If you have any questions leave us a comment below and we look forward to seeing you soon.
Hello East Enders! Eileen here with FarmGal Flowers. If we haven’t met yet, I’m the flower gardener at East End. I receive a lot of questions when I’m working in the market garden so I thought I’d start sharing some information here with you on the East End blog about what’s growing. If there’s anything in particular you would like to learn about, please let me know!
First up is Cranberry Hibiscus (Hibiscus acetosella)! I learned about Cranberry Hibiscus when I began working in the market garden several years ago. Our Fleeting Farming friends planted it and it has remained a staple for many reasons…
At FarmGal Flowers, I always like to have a large crop of Cranberry Hibiscus for Fall bouquets. Let’s face it – we do not have a true Fall season here in Central Florida with the leaves changing colors, pumpkins on the vine, or apple picking. However, I’ve found that Cranberry Hibiscus foliage with its Maple leaf shaped leaves and vibrant red color make our bouquets feel like Fall. It also has a pretty flower later in the season too.
You can grow Cranberry Hibiscus from seed. In fact, it often self-sows in the market garden. I have also found that it is very easy to propagate from cuttings. Cut a piece from the top of a plant at a 45-degree angle, remove any leaves at the bottom of your stem, and place in a couple of inches of water. Within a week…
You can start Cranberry Hibiscus at the beginning of each growing season here in Zone 9b. It prefers full sun. I usually start growing it in preparation for the Fall season. That would be in August/September here. Sometimes we have it year-round although it does take a beating in the summer. It doesn’t need anything extra besides the usual compost and organic fertilizers that we give to all of our flowers. Pinch the main stem after 3 or 4 sets of leaves have grown to encourage a bushier plant. We do not have issues with any pests either!
In the Fall, we cut it in the morning or late afternoon. Sometimes it will wilt and I let it rehydrate for 24 hours or so. It always bounces right back. It has excellent vase life and eventually those stems may root for you as mentioned earlier.
Cranberry Hibiscus leaves are edible and very nutritious. Use caution though as they contain oxalic acid and should not be eaten in large quantities. Cranberry Hibiscus flowers bloom in the late fall and can be used to make tasty teas.
Watch for Cranberry Hibiscus in our bouquets this Fall. Come visit the market garden at East End to see it up close. If you are ready to add it to your garden, I might be able to share cuttings with you (sorry local gardeners only) – leave me a comment above. Please share your experience growing or eating Cranberry Hibiscus below (you can also reach me at farmgalflowers.com)! I’d love to hear about it!
One of our beloved retailers when we first opened was Old Inc. From home decor and customer furniture to vintage rentals Old inc. had a little something for everyone. By far the most notable pieces were custom built signature furnishings that were individually designed for their customer. Using reclaimed wood, metal and sustainable materials these items often became the show piece of many local homes, offices and restaurants.
That custom work has been a mainstay for Josh and Kristen Allen, Old Inc’s founders. Some of their most recent work can be seen in the outfittings at the recently opened Hunger Street Taco’s. While the custom work is arguably what Old Inc. is most known for, there has been a burning passion in Josh’s soul to take the brand in a new an exciting direction.
After leaving the market to expand their operation in a showroom/warehouse north of town, Josh met Paulina Wisniewski who would in many ways serve as a co-conspirator for the transition to Old’s new endeavor.
A Montreal native Paulina had earned her stripes working in design. Everything from children’s and men’s fashion to a stint in jewelry design for local non-profit. It was on a side gig as Old Inc’s administrative assistant where she began drawing Josh toward a new an exciting change for the Old Inc. brand.
Enter Beaver and Bison – The fusion of Josh and Paulina’s vision for a brand new aesthetic with clean lines and a strong utilitarian element to the design. The offering have a sense of dependability and simplicity. There is a feeling like the corner mirror and this seasons’s sofa for instance will grace the home of a customers for a lifetime if not reach heirloom status.
The name too is a fusion of sorts. With the Bison, America’s new national mammal, coming out of extinction and steadfastly anchoring the brands and the Beaver with its industriousness and wood worker skills is a nice nod to Paulina’s Canadian roots .
You can see the evolution of their brand in Beaver and Bison’s first capsule. This Winter / Spring collection hosts 12 items and furnishings made in house and 12 from makers and designers that the B&B team curate from the best-of-the-best around the world. Each year will showcase 2 capsules with the look and feel shifting to lead local and international trends as well as give a nod to the season of the year in which the capsule debuts.
What I love most about Old Inc’s story is this ongoing evolution. From operating their 200 Sft. shop in the market to now expanding into an internationally aware, yet locally based business, Old Inc. has adapted to both external trends and paid credence to internal yearnings.
One of the great assets of East End is its ability to provide a venue for small-scale entrepreneurs to get market validation for a concept without having to commit to a long term lease or exorbitant rent. The ability to pivot is part-and-parcel of the way the market was designed. By listening to their customers and to their heats the Allens have matured their business and brand in a way that feels really authentic and sustainable.
We wish them and Paulina the best of fortunes with the launch of Beaver and Bison and are totally stoked with their first capsule. With more high design and quality furnishings / decor in the pipeline we’re confident the brand will flourish.
Ramen! Ramen! Everywhere ramen! (And tacos.) But back to ramen – the city’s love affair with these noodly bowls has only deepened, and a break-up isn’t very likely. In my estimation, the trend hasn’t even peaked, and that’s hardly a surprise. Ramen is cheap, for one thing, and it’s wholly comforting. Plus it elicits a mild snobbery – “ramen connoisseurship,” as Jonathan Gold calls it – particularly among millennials, many of whom gladly queue up for hours for a chance to dribble tonkotsu down their bearded yaps……
Orlando’s latest claim to foodie fame comes courtesy of an artisan cookie shop that has enjoyed a cult following for nearly seven years.Tourism website TravelPulse posted a list of the country’s must-have delicacies titled “Dishes You Have To Shove In Your Gaping Maw Before You Die.” The title of Earth’s Best Cookies went to Orlando-based Gideon’s Bakehouse, known for its selection of decadent desserts that sell out almost as soon as they are stocked…..
Freehand Goods, is the latest pop-up in East End Market. Freehand Goods is a Florida-centric retail outfit run by Jacob Zepf, the man behind Outfitters Co in Winter Park, which we’ve written about previously, HERE. You may recognize their name from our Orlando Bungalower Instagram account, as we’ve posted a few photos of their mobile trailer shop that they park around town……