- August 28, 2013
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ORGANIC URBAN FARMING IS NOW THE NEW HYPE. Business is booming as home owners convert their lawn grass backyards and front yards into Productive vegetable and Fruit gardens.Organic produce are getting more and more UNAFFORDABLE as prices keep moving upwards.The demand is constantly increasing and in no match to supply.Farms in S.Florida are in diminishing as more developers convert the fertile landscapes of farms into cement boxes of developments.
Recently I was asked to help a family grow their own food at their backyard.When I came to assess the location I found number of raised beds covered with grass and weeds instead of vegetables.Few herbs were struggling at one of the raised beds which were built on top a plastic sheet .The height of the raised beds barely touched six or seven inches.There were fruit and palm trees surrounding the raised beds.The roots of the trees already penetrated the plastic ground cover and were established inside the raised beds sucking out the soil nutrients .The trees had branches all over ceiling the sunlight and dropping leaves and tree debris into the raised bed.The guy who did the work charged the family big money and took off to do more business .He was busy making big money and presumably trapping more home owners into his garden construction scheme.
Beware such fake schemes of self proclaimed professional urban farmers who lure you into their schemes .Here are some suggestions to avoid falling victims to fake self proclaimed organic gardeners or farmers :
1-Education.Ask for their qualifications:Do they have any education in teaching you how to grow your own food.Master gardeners do go to school and have experience and education.Certified Harborists,Horticulturists in addition to College Agriculture graduates and students qualify as well .education is of the essence so check that out and ask for a proof like a certificate or professional gardener ID like most Master Gardeners have.
2-Beware The Fraudulant Farmer :He or she are usually selfproclaimed witha a main stream media COLORFUL profile to cover up for lacking certifications in Florida local agriculture. . They dress to impress.They show colorful garden images ,webs ,graphics of gardens ON PAPER. ASK THEM TO SHOW YOU THEIR WORK ON THE GROUND NOT ON PAPER!!!detUncover their masks and colorful PONZY “garden” scheme laiden attached to their EXPENSIVE BILL.,
Know the difference between Farmers/gardners vand Sales Pros: They come knocking at your door ,representing agri business , nurseries ,distributors of organic garden soil and garden accessories or products from hydroponics to acquaponics to you name ponic… .Do not panic.Ask questions about their background .LOCAL Horticultural Education and experience do COUNT .
The alternative solution :You can simply prepare your own soil from scratch using compost , spaghnum peat moss and perlite for container gardens.Raised beds is a different story .Do not mix the same container garden soil into the RB raised bed..Come to my classes and ask me why and how to prep a different soil combo for RB.?