Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Apply for Organic Conversion EQIP Grant Now!

Are you a producer who is working toward going organic certification? Are you already a certified organic producer? Are interested in adopting additional conservation measures? If you can answer "yes" to any of these there is an opportunity for you to apply for $20,000 per year to assist with organic transition.

Time is short to apply for NRCS stimulus funds to help producers transition into organic production. Apply by May 29th for your part of the $1.3 million of the funds allotted to Florida.

Some of the priorities for the grant include:

Resource conserving crop rotations
Cover crops
Nutrient management
Pest management
Prescribed grazing
Forage harvest management

Contact your local NRCS office for more information on this opportunity. For Sumter County, please contact Kesha Martin at (352) 343-2481. Good luck and let me know if you are fortunate enough to get one of these!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Garden for a good cause

Have you driven past the Sumter Youth Center in Bushnell lately and noticed the large garden on the grounds? The Victory Farm is a project headed up by Billy Ray pictured here picking beans to take to a local SCARC group home. The garden is a project of the United Way Human Care Network and a great way for people in our community to get involved in helping to feed the needy with fresh, locally grown produce.

Billy enjoys working in the garden but needs help with harvesting, planting, weeding and maintaining the large vegetable garden. All of the vegetables produced are going to be distributed to partner agencies and will be feeding many hungry people. He also has family garden plots available, 20 x 25' spaces that seven families so far have planted. He charges a small monthly fee to help pay for the water used on the gardens.

What a great way to gain hands-on gardening experience while helping others! If you can help call Billy Ray at (352) 568-8722.