Farm Update | All about the Strawberries | Festival | Florida Radiance | Camarosa | Fish Tank Heaters | Harvest Baskets

VertiGro installation is nearing the end as all the drip irrigation was added. Next come the misters for heating and the hoop house structure.

Vertigro Drip Installation

Vertigro Drip Installation

Drip Installation

Drip Installation

Vertigro Drip Install

Vertigro Drip Install

 

Radiance Strawberries

Florida Radiance Strawberries

Festival Strawberry

Festival Strawberry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Strawberries are loving the cooler weather.

All 560 strawberry plants seem to have taken. Planted 3 varieties – Camarosa, Festival and Florida Radiance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The tilapia are happy again. We had to add fish tank heaters and heavy exterior tank insulation this week as the water temps started dropping after two nights in a row in the 40s and a day in between with little or no sunshine to warm ambient air up past 58F. They enjoyed the brief sunshine during the day once we hit the 70s again, but will be covered and wrapped each night below 50F.

Red Nile Tilapia with Heater

Red Nile Tilapia with Heater

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 Farmer’s Market at Pelican Preserve was a bit chilly this week, but there were the faithful who braved the cold for their healthy produce.

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These are our two Organic Harvest Baskets for this week.  The one on the left is a $25 Organic Harvest Basket, which includes 2 lettuces, corn, green beans, rainbow carrots, apples, shallots, potatoes, radish and a choice of cranberries, pie pumpkin or roma tomatoes.  The one on the right is a $20 Organic Harvest Basket, which includes 2 lettuces, corn, green beans, rainbow carrots, apples, shallots, and potatoes. To sign up for the Buying Club, click here and to buy either one click here.

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Farm update | Microgreens are here | Winter Beekeeping Workshop

Radish Microgreens

Radish Microgreens

So nutritious…if you haven’t tried them yet, please stop by one of our farmers markets for a tasting. You won’t believe what you’ve been missing if you don’t at least give them a try. Since they haven’t expended all their energy on building leaves and roots, all the nutritional benefits are packed into their tiny stem and cotyledons. You can eat just a few and get the benefits of it’s full size counterpart. Recent studies have shown positive results that they are nutritional powerhouses. Spinkle a few on your salad and sandwich and you will be amazed at their great fresh taste.

Sunflower Microgreens

Sunflower Microgreens

 

We generally have sunflower, china rose radish, broccoli, kale and wheat grass along with others that we rotate out like onion, fenugreek, red clover, alfalfa, buckwheat, barley, pea tendrils, and more. All chemical-free from organic, pathogen tested seeds.

Click here to order

Young Wheatgrass

Young Wheatgrass


 

The Lee County Beekeepers Association held a free workshop at our farm for members of the FSBA (Florida State Beekeepers Association) on how to prepare your hives for the winter and store you gear without being invaded by the wax moths that can do 100s of dollars of damage to your boxes, frames and foundations.

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Robert Hartman, president of the Lee County Beekeepers Association

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Farm Update | New Honey Bees and How-To Pages

We had a new Honey Bee ( Apis mellifera ) delivery in the early part of the week from the Bees Choice.  Yay!  There were some minor delays in getting queens this year due to the massive pesticide incident in California during the end of the pollination of the almond crops. Someone “accidentally” killed 80,000 colonies by tank-mixing pesticides and spraying during the daytime hours while the bees were out foraging. That’s a LOT of bees when you multiply that by 40,000-80,000 per hive. So sad. 1,300 beekeepers suffered losses. This also started the initiatives from the White House to Save the Bees!  Without these wonderful pollinators, the United States would be out of food in less that four years!

This brings me back to our little story…in Florida, we have an africanized honey bee drone population for queens to mate with (a no-no), so we have to buy queens from areas that are not yet infiltrated or ones that were artificially inseminated to help dilute this current drone population. The goal is that the more beekeepers we have in Florida that follow the best management practices, the more we can dilute the undesirable traits of the africanized drone population. The beekeepers in most of the southern states have to order queens, in addition to the 1,300 beekeepers that lost their colonies in California, which caused an unexpected high demand and therefore, low supplies and delays. Our queens made a long journey from Hawaii to be with us.

Our two 5-frame NUCs should be ready to be transferred to their new lavender 10-frame Langstroth hives very soon.

GreenView Aquaponics Family Farm and Apiary NUCs GreenView Aquaponics Family Farm and Apiary NUCs GreenView Aquaponics Family Farm and Apiary NUCs


This week, we were at Mote Marine’s Aquaculture Park (sturgeon facility) and ECHO where we made some new friends and met up with the Phil and the crew from Morningstar Fishermen.

The remainder of the week was a clean up week since it’s a holiday weekend – Happy Birthday America!

  • Lots of mowing and weedeating since the grass, pastures and weeds grow REALLY fast down here in Florida with our hot, rainy summers. By the time you finish, you have to start all over again if you don’t get rained out in the process. 😉
  • Getting materials for next weeks projects – end wall posts to be installed. Yay!
  • Procured a walk-in cooler that we disassembled and transported most of last week that needs a new home in the Quonset. Still trying to figure out exactly where.

We’ve added some Resource pages under HOW-TO link in the menu above. Pages that have links are completed, those that do not are planned and we hope to keep adding to these as we go along. Those following us on this blog and Facebook will be the first to know! So, don’t forget to follow us and LIKE us, if you haven’t already.

Currently, we have:

Florida Gardening – planting calendars, guide for herbs, guide for vegetables/fruits, integrated pest identification and options and other useful online resources that we have come across. More coming soon

Florida Beekeeping – calendar of blooming plants, FL BMPs, diseases and pest of the honey bees, beekeeping associations, and other useful online resources that we have come across.

Aquaponics – here we plan to add Q&A type info from the questions we tend to be asked more frequently. Got ?s, let us know.  The most specific information on aquaponics will be in the DIY Projects section for those that have attended our classes.

Recipes – here we plan to add recipes for many of the items as we get ready to harvest to  allow everyone to see the versatility that heirloom vegetables and fruits can have.

DIY Projects – here we plan to put all the handouts and materials from our various classes. It will be a members-only section, log-in information will be provided at each class.


Still planting and harvesting microgreens (sunflower, radish, broccoli, wheat grass available) and our 3 foot basils (genovese, citrus and thai available). The citrus basil knocks our socks off. It’s really flavorful. Let us know if you want to pop by for an order.

GreenView Aquaponics Family Farm Genovese Basil

Genovese Basil

GreenView Aquaponics Family Farm Citrus Basil and Thai Basil

Thai Basil and Citrus Basil

Farm Update | City of Cape Coral gave us the Thumbs Up!

After 6 weeks of discussions, we finally have our occupational license from the City of Cape Coral!! A great big THANK YOU to Vince Cautero for making it happen! 


Microgreens are back in production!

Available next week: Wheat Grass, Popcorn shoots (green and blanched), Pea Shoots w Tendrils; and Microgreens: Broccoli, Fenugreek, Kale, Mustard, Radish, Sunflower

GreenView Aquaponics Family Farm | Wheat Grass | local microgreens

Wheat Grass

GreenView Aquaponics Family Farm | Sunflower | local microgreens

Sunflower Microgreens

 

GreenView Aquaponics Family Farm | Popcorn Shoots | local microgreens

Green Popcorn Shoots (also available blanched)


 

Grape tomatoes are growing like crazy!

GreenView Aquaponics Family Farm | Grape Tomatoes | Local Produce

Aquaponically grown                   Grape Tomatoes

GreenView Aquaponics Family Farm | Grape Tomatoes | Local Produce

Grape Tomatoes in the Hoophouse

Farm Update | Tilapia Release | DutchBucket and DWC update

The Red Nile Tilapia were released from their mini-home to the whole tank. Some were too small on arrival and would have gone through the pick up tube into the media bed to their demise. No kamikaze’s here…all made it safe and sound!

Red Nile Tilapia Release Red Nile Tilapia in Tank


Lettuces are growing like crazy in the DWC, but it’s starting to get hot. We’ll see how well they do in the coming weeks. Hit 92 already this week!Lettuce growing at GreenView Aquaponics Family Farm and Apiary in Cape Coral FL Lettuce growing at GreenView Aquaponics Family Farm and Apiary in Cape Coral FL Lettuce growing at GreenView Aquaponics Family Farm and Apiary in Cape Coral FL

Wheat Grass and the microgreens are doing great. The Cucumbers in the Dutch Buckets are having a flower fest with tiny cukes forming every few inches.

Wheat Grass and Microgreens growing at GreenView Aquaponics Family Farm and Apiary in Cape Coral FL Cucumbers growing at GreenView Aquaponics Family Farm and Apiary in Cape Coral FL


Chickens still growing and check out those feathers! Btw…the chick’s not really that red (even though it’s a Rhode Island Red) that’s just the glow from the heat lamp to make it look like a pschydelic bird.  Gave them a roost last week and they have all figured it out, but only 10 of the 12 fit up there…Heat lamp goes off this week.  Americauna Chick at GreenView Aquaponics Family Farm and Apiary in Cape Coral FL Rhode Island Red Chick at GreenView Aquaponics Family Farm and Apiary in Cape Coral FL The flock of Chicks at GreenView Aquaponics Family Farm and Apiary in Cape Coral FL

Farm Update | Katana visits the farm | Chicks

Today we had a new helper at the farm – Katana (Astrid’s niece). She helped feed all the fish, played with the wheat grass and the chicks. After all that hard work, it was lounge time with Maggie and Sponge Bob.

Katana feeding blue tilapia Katana feeding red tilapia

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Katana and the chicks Katana and Maggie

Chicken Update

Everyone’s doing well…and growing fast. Still kind of awkward looking, but feathers are coming in.

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Farm Update | 12 chicks + 50 fish + 1 dog | Dutch Bucket | Microgreens

It’s been an exciting and eventful week!

We have our first chickens ever!  Picked up six Rhode Island Reds and six Ameraucana 2-week old chicks in Wildwood, FL on Thursday on our way back home from Mother Earth News Fair in Asheville, NC this past weekend It was a traveling zoo after we picked up the next 50 Red Nile Tilapia fingerling in Clearwater, FL. Then it was the 12 chicks, 50 fish, and our 19-year old Jack Russell Terrier crammed in amongst the farm goodies and camping supplies for the last couple hundred miles. Not to mention, duckweed, 10 strawberry starts and a raspberry plant. 🙂


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A big shout out to our neighbor – Denny – for watching after the farm in our absence! THANK YOU Denny!  Everything is growing great!

Can’t believe we have cucumber blossoms a week after transplanting!

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And a big Thank You to Rob for uncovering the sunflower microgreens!

It’s HARVEST TIME!!

If you are interested in buying any of our wheat grass and/or microgreens,                     please pre-order at our online square marketplace.

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Farm Update | Sunflower Microgreens | DIY Dutch Bucket system build

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We have Sunflower Microgreens! Yummy!  Our microgreens are available for sale online as a pre-order for those in Lee, Charlotte and/or Collier counties at our square marketplace. Several other varieties are available as well, such as kale, radish, broccoli, pea shoots, and wheat grass for juicing! We offer farm pick up for the online pre-orders on Wednesdays from 4pm – 7pm and Saturdays from 10am – 2pm. Contact us if you need delivery or large quantities.

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In our greenhouse whole organic sunflower seeds are planted in a soilless mixture and grown for 7 days until they become baby plants, also referred to as microgreens. These  microgreens provide us with incredible health benefits and are delicious eaten as snacks on their own or can transform even the most ordinary of salads, sandwiches or wraps into a presentation that is equally impressive and nourishing. Simply put, sunflower microgreens are one of the best foods you can add to your diet for overall health and well being.

Unfortunately, like all microgreens, it is virtually impossible to find them fresh on the market. This is why we have set up a system that allows you to pre-order your sunflower microgreens to receive them the very same day that they are harvested.

Health Benefits:

  • Sunflower greens are a nutritional powerhouse packed with vitamins A, B complex, D, and E; they also contain minerals including calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus.
  • They are a perfect source of complete protein. In fact, they are considered to be the most balanced of all of the sources of essential amino acids. Protein is well-known for its ability to repair muscle tissue and aid in enzymatic functions in the body.
  • Sunflower microgreens may activate every cell in the immune system.
  • They are high in B vitamins, especially folate. Folate (or folic acid) is a necessary B vitamin for pregnant women. Folate helps to protect babies from developing neural tube defects (NTDs). The combination of B vitamins also assists in the mother’s circulation as well as aids in stress relief. In fact, sunflower microgreens are rich in all of the nutrients that are important during pregnancy such as iron, calcium, essential fats, and folate.
  • Sunflower microgreens are a rich source of lecithin, which helps break down fatty acids into an easily digestible water soluble form.
  • They are rich in chlorophyll, which benefits many functions within the body, including building blood supply, revitalizing tissue, calming inflammation, activating enzymes, and deodorizing the body.
  • Sunflower microgreen is a natural expectorant for chest congestion: In Ayurvedic medicine, these greens are thought to have the ability to encourage clearance of the lungs. Natural expectorants may also be used as a preventative measure against lower respiratory infections to deter the invasion of pathogens.
  • They may boost your antioxidant capacity since these sunflower microgreens contain high amounts of vitamin E. Vitamin E works synergistically with vitamin C and selenium to reduce blood pressure, increase the elasticity of arteries and prevent heart disease.
  • Sunflower microgreens may build the skeletal, muscular, and neurological systems.
  • They may boost your fertility since they contain high amounts of zinc. Zinc is a well-researched mineral that is essential for the development of sperm.
  • Sunflower microgreens are low in calories and high in nutrition, making them ideal for any natural and healthy fat loss program

DIY Dutch Bucket System for Aquaponics

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Our dutch bucket system is based on the one in this YouTube video by mhpgardner with some improvements to make it work in our aquaponics system. Make sure if you are using recycled buckets that they are food grade or had something food grade stored in them. We planted ours with field peas and cucumbers. Let’s see how they do.

Farm update | Microgreen and Seedling Tables + Tomatoes get a haircut

THANK YOU to Mr Crowther of Crowther Roofing for generously donating some roofing, which provided the beginnings of the microgreen tables and seedling tables.

They will be three rows high, two that are 20 ft long and the bottom one that is 10 ft long. These will be supplied with rainwater harvested from the hoop house into rain barrels to a reservoir. This water will pump on regular intervals up through the panels and then drain via gravity back to the reservoir.

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Wild tomatoes get a drastic haircut to allow for better ventilation and more fruit!
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First batch of seedlings transplanted from the propagation float tray to net pots in their new full-sized rafts

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Florida Farm to School Week

We are very excited to be invited to participate in Florida Farm to School week and engaged with approximately 144 second graders at Gulf Elementary PLC in Cape Coral.  Bring on Farmer Tim and the sunflower microgreens!

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Florida Farm to School Week 2013 – Bring a Farmer to School Day

IMG_4163 The Division of Food, Nutrition and Wellness is working diligently to connect Florida’s farmers and schools together to increase access to healthy foods and support our local economy. A new component of their Farm to School Program is Florida Farm to School Week, which occurs November 18-22, 2013. This week is reserved to celebrate Florida’s amazing bounty of fresh crops. Florida Farm to School Week is a great opportunity for us to talk to our students about agriculture, nutrition and economics.What is a better way to teach children about the food they eat than by the people who grow it?

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