Summer is finally upon us and whether we like it or not, the days are getting longer and the sun is getting hotter. But while the Florida heat and humidity may be too suffocating for the average human, there are those persnickety vegetables here that thrive in it. Keeping in mind that it’s mid-May, I’ve put together a list of fruits and vegetables that, if planted now, will reap the benefits of Florida’s summer sun.
[do action=”button” linkurl=”https://eastendmkt.com/gardening/a-quick-guide-to-summer-planting/” target=”_self”]See list here![/do]
We know you all have been wondering about the progress of East End Market, so here is our monthly update! Thank you for your patience and encouragement as we develop East End Market. Because there has never been a project exactly like this before, there are surprises all along the way, and as Owner John Rife would say, “If it was easy, it would have been done before.”
Not only is East End a learning experience for us, but we also hope that it will offer many educational experiences for you once we open. Our edible landscaping and market garden will be just one of the opportunities to explore and learn at East End. It will awaken you to the possibilities of growing food, says Henry Melendy, Founder of My Yard Farm and landscape designer of East End Market. And John Rife can’t wait to have a market garden, which “will be the billboard for what’s in season.” So, take a peak at what we have accomplished over the past couple of months and leave your comments below.
Already running out of ideas on how to keep your kids busy this summer? Or has the rain made them a little stir crazy? Not to fear, summer camps are here with lots of East End approved activities!
Garden Detectives Camp
@ Leu Gardens
August 5-9, 9am-3pm
Fee: $115 (Member $95)
Designed for the nature explorer who has completed 4th or 5th grade, this camp includes daily hikes investigating the benefits of plants, plant adaptations, and environmental/conservation concerns. Inside activities include games, artwork and videos. Lunch is outside followed by a scavenger hunt in the gardens. Pack a sack lunch and send your kids off to explore the beauty at Leu. Find more information on their website, here.
@ Orlando Science Center
Think chemistry is only for laboratories? Check out how chefs, cooks, and every day people use chemistry to prepare our favorite foods. Your 5th or 6th grader will experiment with ingredients to make baked goods rise, turn liquid egg yolk into solid food and more! This camp includes a cooking demonstration at Stonewood Grill & Tavern. Visit the Orlando Science Center’s Camp registration page for more information.
4-H Garden Explorers
@ Orange County Extension Education Center
July 22-26, 8am-12:30pm
Your camper will learn about weather, hydroponic vegetable gardening, nature photography, vermacomposting, terrariums, plant safety, insects and more hands on horticulture activities! Each day students will receive a brief nutrition lesson and learn how to make healthy snacks. A field trip on Friday is included. If you have a 9-11 year old that would be interested, visit their registration page for more information!
Basic Survival Skills Camp
@ Bill Frederick Park at Turkey Lake
Fee: City Residents $25/session Non-City Residents $30/session
This one makes us all want to be kids again! Really?!? Why can’t they make this for adults? The areas focused on in the Basic Survival Skills Camp series are gardening, fishing, farming and animal behavior. This year your camper will be the first to wander the sensory Nature Connect Trail at Bill Frederick Park. The camp is strictly for children who have completed the 3rd – 6th grade. Register here.
Eco Adventure Camp
@ Ed Yarborough Nature Center 3485 N. County Road 426 Geneva, FL 32732
July 8-August 2, 9am-4pm daily
At Eco Adventure Summer Camp you’ll have fun while learning about the natural world! Seminole County Greenways & Natural Lands is offering the ultimate camp experience for children interested in nature, science, the environment and preservation. More information here.
Young Naturalist Camp
@ Mead Botanical Garden
ALL SESSIONS NOW FULL
Lastly, and unfortunately, Mead Botanical Garden offers a Young Naturalist camp that is now full. If you would like to be added to a waiting list you can visit their website for more information. But hey, there’s always next summer! They offer 6 week long sessions for $205/week. Each day they play games, do outdoor arts and crafts and learn all about wetlands, wildlife and plants, gardening and more all on their 47 acres of wildland in the heart of Winter Park.
Photo from Recent National Geographic article, Fertilized World
As summer sets in, we can expect to receive our share of showers. With more rain, runoff increases, which means we need to be extra aware of what we put on our soil. A timely National Geographic article, Fertilized World, reveals the affects of nitrogen fertilizer on our environment, atmosphere, and even our own bodies. In fact, “almost half of the nitrogen found in our bodies’ muscle and organ tissue started out in a fertilizer factory.” However, it’s made clear that our current civilization’s diet would not be possible without our current nitrogen-usage.
Living in a state surrounded by water, with lakes and waterways dispersed throughout, it’s important to know the impacts of our fertilizer usage, or of any chemical or nutrient-rich products. Be Floridian is a public service campaign sponsored by the Tampa Bay Estuary Program in partnership with neighboring counties and the city of Tampa. Their message warns Floridians to “never fertilize in the summer,” and their Facebook page is a resourceful place to learn about creating a water-wise and fertilizer-free landscape. As we prepare to put in the Urban Farm at East End Market, we are making mindful decisions about enhancing the soil without harmful fertilizers. If you are looking for some extra nutrients, we suggest using a rich soil mixture, like Monterey Mushroom Farm‘s compost, or using a nitrogen-fixing cover crop in your garden this summer like sun hemp or cowpeas.
Be Floridian is a public service campaign that promotes awareness of over-nitrification from fertilization
In Fertilized World, an elderly spry farmer from a Chinese village recalls the day when he once composted household waste and manure for fertilizer too. Unfortunately, excess nutrients are now “damaging fisheries in China’s coastal areas in the same way that fertilizer runoff flowing down the Mississippi has destroyed fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico: by creating dead zones in which algae and phytoplankton bloom, die, and decompose, using up oxygen and suffocating fish.” On the other hand, Tampa Bay’s seagrasses have regained 1,752 more acres of seagrass habitat from 2010-2012, and are now just 3,300 acres away from a baywide goal of 38,000 acres. With increasing awareness, we hope that we can continue to reverse the damage!