Jan Norris: Food and Florida

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I’m Eating Homegrown Tomatoes, and Learned How to Grow Them at the Mounts’ Popular Farm Your Backyard Class

January 6th, 2012 · 2 Comments

If you follow me on Facebook, you know my garden has produced its first tomato, which I ate happily over the sink. I’ve thrown okra from the garden into a soup, and given away jalapenos to friends. I ate collards on New Years and plan a mess of Swiss chard for dinner — probably tonight.

My garden is only 4-by-4-feet square. You can see photos of it at the bottom of this story. I have friends with gardens in pots around their pool, and others who are “farming” their flower beds. There’s a lot of cross your fingers luck involved, thanks to South Florida’s weather. But you can learn other details that will guarantee success at the Farm Your Backyard class I took at the Mounts Botanical Garden in West Palm Beach.

To learn how to grow a great pot of tomatoes or a field of beans, sign up for the informative class Jan. 14 at the Mounts Building, given by Arthur Kirstein, coordinator of agriculture development. It’s a 5-hour class (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) with plenty of information, tips and maybe some free seedlings. It’s not too late – indeed, this is a perfect time for growing in South Florida.

Mounts Botanical Garden, 531 N. Military Trail, West Palm Beach; 561-233-1747; www.mounts.org

  • Farm Your Backyard Class
  • Jan. 14, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Cost $40 non-Mounts members; $35 for members

Tags: Gardens: Grow Your Own Food

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Arthur Kirstein // Mar 15, 2012 at 8:22 am

    Just one tomato? come by in July and I’ll provide you with disease-resistance variety seedlings. Then you’ll have a lot of tomatoes.

  • 2 Jan Norris // Mar 15, 2012 at 8:35 am

    Oh, Art – it was my first one! I don’t know why, but they took a long time to come to fruit. I’m now awash in tomatoes. No diseases – just not knowing how much/when to water – exactly. Some of them have split on the vine and I’m told it’s from uneven watering.

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