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annecros

What Counts as Local In Florida?

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As for the restaurant using "local" ingredients - there aren't many on the menu.  A couple of fish (either pompano wasn't offered the night we dined there - or they were out of it - otherwise we would have ordered it) - and tomatoes.  Not a cause to complain about a Florida restaurant IMO - since we don't have many good local ingredients here (fish is an exception).  And the local ingredients in south Florida are different than those in north Florida.  But it's not a reason for a restaurant to boast either.  Robyn

Now, now, I am certain that you, and many other's who know and love Florida, are aware of the various climates, crops, microclimates, diversity, four USDA growing zones, a gulf and an ocean coast, that Florida has the benefit of being able to call "local."

Check out this report:

Click Here for Overview of Florida Agriculture

Vegetables and Melons combined comprise almost a quarter of Florida's Agricultural output. The number is $1,446,654,000. To put it in perspective, citrus (excluded from the above number and a category to itself) rings up only $1,242,029,000.

In that Vegetable and Melons category, there is an interesting statistic:

The 2004-2005 value of production and harvested acreage for the seven major vegetable crops, potatoes, berries and watermelons totaled $1,893,183,000 and 219,900, respectively. Production value was up15 percent from the 2003-2004 value of $1,650,000,000 and harvested acreage was down 64,300 acres (or 23 percent) at 219,900, from the 284,200 acres from the 2003-2004 season. All crops except sweet corn and bell peppers showed increases in the value of production.

Then, if one would just look at citrus as an isolated crop, although Florida produces 67% of US citrus production, it is only 18% of Florida's production.

Florida accounted for 67 percent of total U.S. citrus production. California totaled 29 percent, while Texas and Arizona produced the remaining 4 percent. U.S. citrus utilized production for the 2004-2005 season totaled 11.4 million tons. Production was down in all Florida commercial citrus production areas from the 2003-2004 season. Indian River area was down the most at 76 percent. Production did decrease in each of the 30 counties, because of the hurricanes of the 2004 season.

I don't think I need discuss the 2004 Hurricane Season, except to mention the names Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne.

Pompano is a regular menu item.

Then there is this topic, citing this quote:

''People have a perception that local cuisine is only about tropical fruit,'' he said. ``We have rabbit farms in Ocala. Frog legs come from the Everglades. They make goat cheese in Loxahatchee. There is stuff. You just have to find it.''

Typical of his relationship to locally grown foodstuffs is his connection to Paradise Farms in Homestead, an organic purveyor to top local restaurants. With owner Gabriele Marewski, Schwartz organized a monthly dinner series at the farm last winter to benefit small family farms damaged by Hurricane Katrina. It was so successful, they have reprised it this season, benefiting Earth Learning, an environmental education program.

These ''Dinners in Paradise'' bring local chefs to Homestead in pairs and trios to prepare elegant meals from mostly Paradise-grown products. Guests pay $150 for the pleasure of dining al fresco down on the farm.

'Michael is at the forefront of reminding chefs, `Let's use local products,' '' Marewski says. ``Even bigger than the organic movement is the local and sustainable movement. Our lifestyles are so fragmented that when people go to a place that is holistic, they derive satisfaction. That's what's genuine. The whole thing, the whole package.''

I think it is an excellent reason to boast - just in my opinion.

On a related note, Cattle and Calves make up 6.5& of Florida's Agridollar, Milk is 6%, Poultry and Eggs 5%.

After looking at the facts, it would be difficult to convince me that Florida only produces a couple of fish and tomatoes, and those isolated items are the only thing that Michael's Genuine can boast as "local."

Indeed, there are probably several menu items on quite a few menus on at least the Eastern Seaboard, that Florida can claim as homegrown.

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Everything on the menu that is local is listed as local. And those things are fish and tomatoes. Not really unusual. Although we have lots of cattle in Florida - they are neither finished nor slaughtered here. And our potato crop - which is mostly grown where I live in NE Florida - 350 miles north of Miami - is hardly a boutique crop (although some local chefs do use local potatoes in their cooking - I doubt any chef is going to travel 350 miles to buy his potatoes here). If the chef were truly interested in local - he wouldn't be serving jumbo prawns - which are clearly not local. Because we do have great shrimp in Florida. Robyn

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The first fresh water prawn farm in the continental United States was located in Dade County and was established in 1969. I of course, have no idea where the prawns on the menu are sourced, but do know that the prawns play an important part in keeping the talapia and catfish tanks clean, and the industry sustainable. I'm pretty sure the Key Limes and Mangoes would come from around here, as well.

Evidently Chef doesn't know where the prawns come from either:

Click for article "Local, Seasonal, Wishful"

“Local and seasonal” is certainly their ideal.

But once they adjust for the variety and the particular ingredients that we pampered diners expect, “local and seasonal” is not necessarily the reality.

On the phone with Mr. Schwartz, I remarked that while the restaurant’s menu notes “local pompano” and “local black grouper” and “local snapper,” it doesn’t use the word “local” before “yellowfin tuna tartare.”

I asked him about that.

“I got bamboozled into the tuna tartare on the menu,” he said. “When I opened, it was blackfin tuna season, and a lot of people don’t like those, because they’re not ruby red, which is the color people expect.”

“They were running for probably three months,” he continued, “and then for some reason, I don’t know, the season was over, people kept asking for the tartare, so I left it on, and we’re using yellowfin.”

I think it is unreasonable to expect any restaurant to be able to source every menu item locally - but it is important that they try.

And, after all:

It’s the nature of doing business. The shrimp or tuna nearest your door may not be the one that swims fastest out of your kitchen.

Thanks for acknowledging Florida's Animal Industry.

Florida 's livestock inventory includes 26 million poultry, 1.5 million beef cattle, 500,000 horses, 140,000 dairy cattle, 100,000 swine, 30,000 goats, 10,000 sheep, and millions of companion animals. Traditional farm/ranch livestock are raised along with exotic species from around the globe. Sales of Florida livestock and livestock products totaled over $1.48 billion in 2004, accounting for nearly 22 percent of cash receipts for Florida farms and ranches.

Beef, in particular, has a 500 year old history in Florida. The ability to calve year around gives Florida a nice niche.

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Everything on the menu that is local is listed as local.  And those things are fish and tomatoes.  Not really unusual.

So you're saying that if the menu doesn't specifically say "local" in the description, then it's not possible that an ingredient is local? Argument doesn't hold water; as Miami Danny says on his blog,

Also spotted was Michael Schwartz, of Michael's Genuine. Had a nice chat with him about farm fresh double yolk eggs, which he was buying at the market.

I just checked Michael's dinner menu, where a Wood Roasted Double Yolk Farm Egg is one of the small plates - it says nothing about the egg being local...yet it obviously is. So it's time to stop trying to cherry pick the menu (as it's obvious your cherry picking leads to inaccuricies)...we all now know you don't like Michael's...stay away and make it easier for those who want to go...most of whom actually have a pretty damn good time at a reasonable price.

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Everything on the menu that is local is listed as local.  And those things are fish and tomatoes.  Not really unusual.

So you're saying that if the menu doesn't specifically say "local" in the description, then it's not possible that an ingredient is local? Argument doesn't hold water; as Miami Danny says on his blog,

Also spotted was Michael Schwartz, of Michael's Genuine. Had a nice chat with him about farm fresh double yolk eggs, which he was buying at the market.

I just checked Michael's dinner menu, where a Wood Roasted Double Yolk Farm Egg is one of the small plates - it says nothing about the egg being local...yet it obviously is. So it's time to stop trying to cherry pick the menu (as it's obvious your cherry picking leads to inaccuricies)...we all now know you don't like Michael's...stay away and make it easier for those who want to go...most of whom actually have a pretty damn good time at a reasonable price.

Fuuny you mention the double-yolk egg dish. It is presented with a nice mound of organic greens, from Paradise Farms in Homestead. Not listed on the menu. The persimmon salad has local persimmons. Also not listed on the menu. I could go on.

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I think you all have overlooked the fact that I really don't care very much if ingredients are local as long as they're good. Heck - the best fish in the US for high end Japanese restaurants frequently is caught in the US - and comes back to the US via Tokyo.

I also believe in the ethical production of food. And I am not as impressed with how Paradise Farms works as all of you seem to be. It's basically a one woman operation with a (probably underpaid) single paid employee - and a bunch of volunteers! And a very small number of fancy chefs in town - about 5 - instead of working for the rights of Florida agricultural workers (many of whom work under totally miserable conditions) - and working in conjunction with established farmers to help them improve both the quality of their crops and their workers' conditions - choose to bestow their large amounts of money and influence on what is essentially a hobby farm (5 acres). IOW - Paradise Farms is not a model for sustainable local production on anything but a "microscale" (guess that's why they grow "microgreens"). For a good reason - Florida isn't California (where it's much easier to grow lots of things for large parts of the year).

BTW - I was curious how you produce microgreens (indeed any greens) in Florida when the temps are over 80 (I can't grow greens when it's 80 - they're strictly a winter crop even here in north Florida). And the website seems to indicate that they're grown inside in a cooler. Doesn't impress me as very "natural". Most other things aren't grown in the summer. Because - as any Florida gardener knows (and I do garden) - there isn't much that grows well when it's 90 degrees - although there are a few herbs that will do ok through the summer. This brings up another food issue - which is using foods in season. Which I believe in (although I'm not a fanatic about it). Instead of using using local out-of-season microgreens grown in a cooler - why not use greens that are in season elsewhere in parts of the state with cooler climates (like collards and turnip greens).

There is a final issue regarding local production - the environmental issue. A fair number of things that are grown here in Florida should not be grown here because they waste too much water and/or harm the environment (because - for example - they require too much fertilizer which runs off into water sources). On my part - I'd rather support sugar grown in Brazil than sugar grown on the edge of the Everglades (because I care less about Brazil than I care about the Everglades). Robyn

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P.S. When I first saw those "giant prawns" in Publix - I looked them up. They are basically farmed prawns from SE Asia - and there is a lot of controversy about the effect of their farming on the environment. I decided to pass. I am surprised that a chef doesn't know where his ingredients come from (I pretty much know where everything in my kitchen comes from - although I am not necessarily a fanatic of any kind when it comes to what I use). Robyn

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BTW - I was curious how you produce microgreens (indeed any greens) in Florida when the temps are over 80 (I can't grow greens when it's 80 - they're strictly a winter crop even here in north Florida).  And the website seems to indicate that they're grown inside in a cooler.  Doesn't impress me as very "natural".  Most other things aren't grown in the summer.  Because - as any Florida gardener knows (and I do garden) - there isn't much that grows well when it's 90 degrees - although there are a few herbs that will do ok through the summer.  This brings up another food issue - which is using foods in season.  Which I believe in (although I'm not a fanatic about it).  Instead of using using local out-of-season microgreens grown in a cooler - why not use greens that are in season elsewhere in parts of the state with cooler climates (like collards and turnip greens).

I thought I had seen photographs of Paradise Farms with raised beds? That would be the way I would go. I'll go look for them later.

The problem with growing greens in the Summer anywhere is that they bolt (go to seed) rapidly in the heat, and are not as sweet - not that they won't grow. I'm just a hobby gardener, but I grow them about 9 months out of the year. Particularly collards. They make a great crop for rotation. I have been pleased over the last few years to see farm trucks, with local tags, by the side of the road loaded with tons of beautiful, mature collards from Fall to Spring. If the weather has not been cool enough here at the house to "sweeten" the greens, I moisten the leaves and stick them (roots and all for turnips and mustard) in the freezer just until the water droplets freeze. Works very well, and may be the way she is utilizing the coolers.

As far as microgreens are concerned, they are only a few weeks old at harvest anyway, and too young to bolt. I've sown turnips, mustard and collards in late July/early August, and got great germination. In fact, they seem to germinate better than the ones I start in January (I have several beds, and rotate crops throughout the growing season through them). Irrigation should be no problem for her in Homestead, especially Summer. You can set your watch by the afternoon rains.

The usual rotation I follow down here are shell beans (black turtle, cranberry) and southern peas in the summer. They love the heat and humidity and thrive in our sandy soil. They also fix nitrogen from the atmosphere into the soil, reducing the need for fertilizer, and after picked get turned under as "green manure" which is really good for the soil. Tomatoes I stagger every two weeks, sowing late July through December. To cover the beds between beans and tomatoes, I plant melons, cukes and squash - sometimes green beans. I get free compost from the stables down the road. They are literally giving it away!

I've learned a lot of these tips and tricks by talking to Market Growers in the area, and observing the large acreage and what is planted in them in the vast fields to my west.

What I can't figure out is the pest control component in organic gardening in this area. Disease is easy, Daconil is organic. I use Bt, also organic, for hornworms and such. But, I still have to spray from time to time for the other critters.

What really tickled me was that one chef mentioned that she got "Beef Heart" tomato seed from California at his request, because he "had seen them all over Europe" and couldn't find them here. "Coeur de boeuf" is a generic term in France for Oxheart, but literally translates to "Beef Heart" or "Bull's Heart" of course. Right here in Ft. Myers:

Tomato Growers Supply

They have a great selection of Oxhearts, and I have grown Oxhearts for years. I picked one (Linnies Oxheart) this morning. They make better sauce than most paste types. I'm guessing she ordered them from TomatoFest in Berkley (and there's nothing wrong with that, I've ordered from them) but I would have gone with some of the more unique varieties that TomatoFest offers if I were going that far afield.

Peppers are the easiest - year around. I have a two year old Seranno out there right now, and at the last place I lived I left the six year old Seranno for the new owners.

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Anne - If you look at the Paradise Farms website - they don't come right out and say "we grow our greens in a cooler" - but they mention the cooler - and growing the greens in the cooler is kind of implied.

I can't get microgreens (immature spring mix stuff) to do anything here after about mid-April. It's just a waste of time. I buy my collards and other winter greens at Publix. I've found that Glory foods puts out a good product. Even though it isn't a "boutique" grower - it is a supporter of the Southern Foodways Alliance.

Pest control is kind of impossible up here for food crops without heavy use of chemicals (and bird netting for birds - they hate tomatoes but will poke holes in all of them just to make sure they all taste the same) once the weather warms up. So I figured if you can't beat 'em - join 'em - and all I raise in the summer is plants for birds (especially hummingbirds) - butterflies and bees. I plant stuff (like parsley) which is food for caterpillars - and am happy to see them munching away in June. BTW - one "organic" way to get rid of caterpillars is to pick them off plants by hand. No way I'm going to sit there all afternoon picking at caterpillars.

FWIW - my yard (about an acre) is very different than yours. Generally mucky soils which are subject to flooding in northeasters and tropical storms. It's much easier to grow native trees and shrubs than exotic anything. I like to plant herbs and the like in plastic "whiskey barrels" which you can find at Lowe's - Home Depot - etc. Easy to water by hand (so I can save water). Also - the termites don't eat plastic barrels the way they eat the real barrels. Robyn

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OK, now that I have looked into the production of micro greens from various sources, I am smacking myself on the forehead! It's just first true leaf stage, and they are harvested like 10 to 21 days after sowing! Should be easy peasy, and this is going to be my next little experiment. There are folks in the UK growing them in pure vermiculite on sunny windowsills! I'm sure I can get to first true leaf stage on the turnips, mustard and collards - but have asked advice from others on the lettuces and such. I have purslane growing wild, basil should be no problem, parsley should be no problem, bunching onions. Just worried about items like broccoli, some of the kales, beets, celery, kohnrabbi, some of the Asian greens, etc.

On the birds in the tomatoes thing, it is my understanding as well that they don't really care for the tomatoes, but what they are after is moisture. I keep bird baths and stuff about, do not use netting, and only lose about one or two. Mockingbirds are particularly notorious for this - and I have a regular. Although he will take the odd hornworm or two. Like you, I am not picking them off by hand and squashing them flat, though hubby enjoys the past time. I have too much time and my heart invested in my tomatoes to walk out one day and see them munched to nothing!

I try to keep my butterfly attractors in the front because of my use of Bt in the veg garden. I even have a very, very naughty juvenile iguana (we should probably exterminate it, but don't have the heart) that grazes on my hibiscus.

This Winter's big experiments are Marrowfat Beans and English Peas. The peas should be interesting, and I probably will not be able to pull them off unless it is an exceptionally cool Dec/Jan/Feb. I've purchased "Wando" seeds, which are supposedly the most heat tolerant out there. If I can get fresh garden peas, it will be worth it. Potatoes are pretty easy in bins (wireworm and nematodes here) and a good friend is sending me some South American seed potatoes to trial this winter.

I know that growing conditions up there are very different from mine. My eldest was born at NAS JAX 23 years ago. But you guys are able to grow nut trees and stone fruit that I just can't. I can't offer them the dormancy period they need.

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I have been to Paradise farms, and have written extensively about the owner, as well as photographed their growing areas. The argument that this is a 'hobby' farm is simply not worth addressing. It is an ongoing, profit-making venture.

People who work here on a volunteer basis, incidentally, do so because they are, like any interns, gaining valuable knowledge and insight. (They also get free room and board). They also believe in the cause.

PF products are in dozens of restaurants in S. Fla, and they do two farmers markets every week. I'm so tired of hearing these unsubstantiated guesses made by ill-informed haters, whose only form of 'research', is to stare into a flat-screen, scratching their head. This is an organic farm that grows organic food. People who actually have been here, as I have, and have researched their methods, as I have, know that it is a noble experiment that has succeeded.

Hate all you want on So.Fla, it is obvious that some 'gardener' is not going to understand farming, which, as any five-year-old can plainly see, is quite different.

And if your par list includes 200 items, and you don't know where one comes from, I don't see what the big deal is, when you know where the other 199 came from.

Additionally, you can't complain about there not being enough local items, and then complain that you are misunderstood, that you don't really care about local items. That's disingenuous and childish.

For actual information, visit A Day in Paradise...


Edited by Miami Danny (log)

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Anne - We have a "bird habitat". Bird baths - feeders - etc. So we frequently have dozens of birds at a time - no match for a few tomatoes.

It really doesn't get cold enough up here for stone fruit - usually not enough chill hours. And our yard is too soggy for things like potatoes (although they grow well in the higher drier western part of St. Johns County). Most herbs do well (some in the winter - others in the summer - I've just put in my summer basil). Robyn

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Miami Danny - Any place that throws monthly garden soirees seems a little too chichi to be called a real working farm.

BTW - after 35 years (and a huge amount of travel) in Florida - I think I know a fair amount about Florida agriculture. I've even been on a sugar plantation (guided tour courtesy of its lawyer). It's people who never get out of the metro areas who don't have a handle on Florida agriculture.

BTW - there's a good discussion of the "local" issue in the Bruni blog Anne cited above (Local, Seasonal, Wishful). No reason repeating everything that's mentioned there. Robyn

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Doing some spring cleaning today - getting out the fishing rods (we do a little fishing for fun at the JAX beach pier spring/summer/fall).

And I got to thinking. Anne says that the fresh local Pompano is a regular menu item at Michael's (although I don't recall it being available the nght we ate there). Now I fish for pompano - love it. But it is one tough bird in terms of fishing regulations - both in terms of how you can catch it (no nets)- bag limits (10 if I recall correctly) and size limits (no small ones - no big ones). The fish and game guys patrol the JAX beach pier regularly and give out $75 tickets all the time for violating Pompano fishing rules.

So Miami Danny - since you claim to be some kind of Miami food reporter - I want to know how a restaurant that is as busy as Michael's can serve fresh "local" Pompano to dozens of diners a night. Where do they get the fish from? They would certainly need just about every legal fish coming in on docks at places like Key Biscayne to serve their customers. Or perhaps Anne is wrong - and they only get a few - and run out.

Or maybe they just use the fishing boats that run out to the Bahamas (where the fishing regs are almost non-existent) - and hussle the stuff they catch in the Bahamas back to Florida? Inquiring minds would like to know. Robyn

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Update on the Micro Greens front - it is going really strong in Florida. There are several small market growers all over the state doing it. It just makes sense. All the seed require a 70 degree soil temperature (ambient temperature is irrelevant) for germination - so we got that year around. There is no requirement for sunlight until the seeds are in the soil (or soiless mix, or hydro) for five days. Five day greenoff in the sun and then harvest with scissors. No specialized equipment unless you intend to go hydro or are in Central Florida for a freeze. In Homestead, or my area, a bit of shade cloth two months out of the year will do the job if things are inclement, like they do with poinsettias.

Those weekly Garden Parties are for a very good cause, you know. The volunteers planting trees in Dade County are not so chichi.

Now why in the heck would a small commercial fisherman go all the way to the Bahamas for Pompano and hussle them back, when there is a Pompano Fishery in the Federal Waters three miles off the Coast? Not that they couldn't. I've been to the Bahamas on a tournament sized Grady White. A day out, a day fishing, and a day back.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute

Florida lands almost half a million pounds a year commercially, and the landings have actually increased, and the price has gone down, since the entangling nets were outlawed. Should be enough to keep Michael's going. Still being overfished, but it appears to be the recreational fishermen who are the problem, landing 725,000 pounds in 2000.

I see no bill fish on Michael's menu. That's a good thing. We've given them up, though they are tasty.

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I see no bill fish on Michael's menu. That's a good thing. We've given them up, though they are tasty.

MGFD has sometimes had locally caught pumpkin swordfish on the menu when they're running. I don't see much evidence that they are currently on any "avoid" lists. Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch has them as a "good alternative". It's only imported swordfish which is listed as an "avoid". The whole "Give Swordfish a Break" thing was nearly 10 years ago.

More generally (and I'm not referring to this particular post), I'm somewhat dismayed by all the self-righteous blather about whether a restaurant is "local" enough or "green" enough. South Florida is, for better or worse, still finding its way towards supporting local, sustainable food products. I don't believe - based on what's available here - that a restaurant is ever going to be capable of pulling off a pure "locavore" menu, but finding what's local and good, putting it on the menu, and supporting the folks who produce it are still worthy steps.

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Drosendorf - I agree with you about the "local" thing. We have the same problems with limited varieties of local items here in north Florida. If we insisted on eating 100% local - we'd be dining on grits and grunts (and shrimp) a lot of the time - with some potatoes and cabbage thrown in during the winter :smile: .

I would even go so far to say that it is better to grow things far away and eat them locally if raising those things locally doesn't make any sense environmentally. A good example of this is rice grown in California. A discussion of water is probably beyond the scope of this thread - but a lot of crops that don't make any environmental sense are those that are water-intensive - but are grown in regions that are short of water - or crops that are fertilizer/chemical intensive where fertilizer/chemical run-off threatens water supplies.

One reason I can't grow microgreens here after about April 1 is water. They must be watered every day when it starts to get hot - and we - as residential users - are restricted to 2 days a week of watering. Does it make sense to grow microgreens on a commercial scale if a lot of scarce water is wasted doing so? I would hope that the SFWMD is sensible in terms of the guidelines it uses in issuing consumptive use permits for commercial users (although most water districts - including ours - aren't - we're on permanent water restrictions and they're still giving out permits for water bottling plants!).

IOW - a big part of the "local" movement has to include the concept of "sustainable" IMO. And there are crops that are more "sustainable" than others (e.g., I've never heard anything bad about the environmental effects of growing strawberries - which are in season now - then again - I haven't done extensive research on the subject). Up where I live - the most sustainable crop is pine trees - which is why we have a lot of pine tree farms.

BTW Anne - my understanding is Pompano are mostly an "on-shore" fish - which is why we can catch them from the pier. Robyn

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Pompano are in shore and near shore, according to Fish Southwest Florida. but spawn off shore. Three miles out begins the Federal Waters, and according to the habitat, the reefs and beds of turtlegrass in various areas as much as 5 miles out (that I have dived) are well under 130 feet in depth, where they thrive. I've seen them out there. I have never dived deeper than 40 feet.

Would that hubby and I were still in shape to scuba! I so looked forward to Lobster mini season every year!

I picked up a cheap packet of Mesclan Mix seed yesterday, and will play around with it a bit later on when it is hotter (though we are already in the mid 80s.) I'm not sure that growing them elsewhere and shipping them in would not make a greater impact on the environment than misting green shoots once or twice a day for 10 days or so. SFWMD has us on once a week lawn watering, but commercial enterprises and golf courses that use reclaimed water are allowed to water as much as they like. They have to be inspected.

Wettest dry season in 10 years. My lawn never browned off, and I only had to drag the hoses out twice. I usually hand water. The lake is creeping up almost on a daily basis as well, but SFWMD has proclaimed that the restrictions will probably be permanent. The sugar farmers have offered to reclaim water and pump back into the Lake, but the water management district won't have it.

Peas have their fourth leaves, my last bin of potatoes has buds, and I am trialing some hot weather varieties of toms I just transplanted up. More beans next week after I solarize a bed.

I seem to remember lot's of tomatoes and corn, beans and peas up in your area. Son was born at NAS JAX, and sister lives in Savannah. I used to enjoy the Jacksonville Farmer's Market:

Click for JAX Farmer's Market Product Page

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Golf courses and the like up here use a lot of gray water too. But I don't think you want to irrigate things you eat with the stuff!

I think water restrictions for residential users like us should be permanent (and ours are). Two days a week if water is ok - fewer if things are bad or worse. And there should be restrictions on development too. The biggest water issue up here now is the diversion of millions of gallons of water from the St. Johns River to central Florida so thousands of new homeowners can water their lawns. It is shaping up to be a really huge water fight.

I like the idea of - to everything there is a season. The season for microgreens is - in most parts of the world - the spring - or - in a lot of Florida - the winter. No reason to try to grow or eat things out of season - which is generally wasteful environmentally IMO - as opposed to growing them in season. For similar reasons - I will wait until things like blueberries are ready in the US - as opposed to eating those grown thousands of miles away in South America. If nothing else - eating seasonally makes eating more interesting. Different things at different times of the year.

FWIW - with regard to scuba - my husband and I are both certified divers - but gave it up once our health insurance company stopped covering injuries caused as a result of it (our insurer puts in a high risk category like sky diving). Robyn

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Reclaimed water is not always gray. I reclaim the water that drips from my AC unit under the high heat in Summer, and it is the equivalent of distilled water. The plants love it, I wouldn't have a problem eating anything watered with it.

Wiki says:

Reclaimed water, sometimes called recycled water, is former wastewater (sewage) that has been treated and purified for reuse, rather than discharged into a body of water. In some locations, it is treated to be cleaner than standard drinking water,[1] and is used indirectly for drinking.

Now gray water on a golf course? Sheesh, lots of land there, growing nothing but a playground.

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