Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sumter County Will Have a New Growers' Market!

Starting in October, we will have a chance to purchase locally produced foods and crafts at the new Wildwood Growers' Market. The City of Wildwood is sponsoring the market on Saturdays between 9:00 AM and 1:00 PM on the beautiful grounds of Wildwood City Hall. The market is expected to run from October through April. UF/IFAS Sumter County Extension is a partner in the new market.

A Board of Directors is being established now that will make the rules for the new market but the concept will be locally grown and homemade goods. Vendors will be invited to sell their produce and ornamentals from within a 100 mile radius of Sumter County. A percentage of the number of vendors will be set aside for homemade art, crafts or products.

Why a Growers' Market and not a Farmers' Market? Because requiring the food to be grown locally supports our local food system, builds community, decreases our carbon footprint and helps the consumer connect with those who produce the food. Consumers will have a better understanding of how food is produced and they can discuss production methods with the farmers, such as organic production.

Interested in becoming a vendor? Contact me at (352) 793-2728.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Have You Seen This Vine?

Old World Climbing Fern (Lyngodium microphyllum) is rapidly invading flatwoods, hardwood hammocks and cypress swamps in Central Florida. It smothers other plants, including young and old trees, and creates thick mats on the ground. It helps carry fires into the tree canopy, wetlands and forested swamps and hammocks where fire is normally excluded.
Experts tell us that this is a more serious pest than the dreaded Kudzu vine! If you are a hiker or outdoors person and have noticed this vine please help stop the spread by reporting the sighting to Rosalind Rowe (863) 635-7506 or Brian Nelson at 800-423-1476 Special efforts are being made to stop the vine from taking over the Green Swamp and surrounding area.
Take note that there is a Japanese Climbing Fern in the same genus that is not invasive and looks similar. Visit to learn more!