Thursday, April 16, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
In addition, a new course will be introduced in Fall 2009 specifically for women who are working in agribusiness. Annie's Project will be a more in depth and hands-on program with similar topics and there will be a charge for the course, which is yet to be determined.
Monday, April 6, 2009
I attended a great presentation by Dr. Jamie Ellis about African bees and thought you might be interested in some of the myths about the honey bee situation.
African bees were brought to our continent by a Brazilian scientist in the 1950's, because of their ability to thrive in a tropical environment. They have slowly moved into the US after landing in Texas. Many counties in Florida have reproducing colonies of African bees but so far none have been recorded in Sumter County. Scientists believe that 100% of the wild hives in Florida will contain African bees in the next few years.
African bees look just like our European bees but they are more prone to swarming and are superior reproductively. Increases in African bees will make it more difficult for our beekeepers and more costly due to having to requeen and a possible reduction in honey production.
It is important that people do not panic and develop a fear of all bees - i.e. the Savage Bee movies we watched in the 80's. Bees are vitally important to our agricultural industry and economy - but because of the possibility of running into more aggressive bees it would be smart to stay away from hives and swarms and eliminate possible nesting places around our homes.
And if you do happen on some bees the advice from Dr. Ellis is - RUN!
Friday, April 3, 2009
We closed the market and didn't open again for several reasons. First and most important, there were not enough local growers willing to sell at the market. Second, we needed funding, for a market manager (I love my job but couldn't work every Saturday at the market), insurance, etc.
I believe that we could have a viable local market in Sumter County. Many people respected that we were sticking to our local growers concept but it makes it harder to field enough vendors. Our rules were that the produce or plants had to be grown within 100 miles of Bushnell, and the grower or person who knew how the product was grown was to be the seller. Less than 10% of the vendors could be arts and crafts or products other than plants and produce. The reasons for these rules are to develop relationships between people and their food, to develop a community around those who grow our food.
Are you a person who might be interested in growing for a market? If so, we would love to help you. If there are enough of you out there, maybe the Sumter Growers' Market could come out of hiatus for a new season!