August 28, 2015
Sometimes we think of DPI Diary as a tasty fruit salad of information that’s just too juicy to pass up. (And sometimes we pass along recipes for actual salad.)
Think before you bring ag products into Florida
Specific rules and regulations apply to importing agricultural products into Florida. Commercial shippers and travelers have to follow them, so we posted a summary of the state and federal rules here. Travelers can get help from www.dontpackapest.com
Who will be Florida’s next Great Student Chef?
TheFlorida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has kicked off its popular “Student Chef Cook-Off.” Students in 4th through 12th grade can submit snack recipes featuring Florida-grown products for a chance to compete in the regional and state cook-off. The deadline to enter is Sunday, Sept. 13. For more rules and to submit an entry, visit FreshFromFlorida.com/Cookoff.
Mall signs remind shoppers to watch for GALS
This month we have had signs posted at the #Dadeland Mall reminding back-to-school shoppers to watch for & report giant African land snails. For four years our teams have been on a continuous seek and-destroy mission against the invasive pests. Look for Them! Report Them! Call our Helpline, 1-888-397-1517.
Master Gardeners serve their communities
Master Gardener Cindy Paulhus of Seffner was recognized in the Tampa Tribune this week for her work at Seeds of Faith Community Garden at Bay Life Church in Brandon. Garden organizers offer garden plots for rent to the general public for $35 a year, during the growing season.
A teachable moment
We linked to a blog post pointing out that this would be a good week for parents to explain to kids how farms play a key role in producing most of those back-to-school clothes and supplies, a landscape architect very correctly tweeted: “Let’s not forget the lesson about farm plants that need pollinators that need wildflowers as much as Sunshine n rain.” Point well taken.
In another post we noted the important role native bees, butterflies, moths and other insects and animals play in pollination. We pointed to Native Buzz, a University of Florida citizen science project aimed at learning more about nesting preferences, diversity and distribution of native bees and wasps. Some kind folks are providing homes for such creatures. Fascinating.
Erika approaches; Florida is in the cone of uncertainty
Craig Fugate, head of FEMA and former head of Florida’s emergency preparedness programs, tweeted “It’s Hurricane Season, #Erika may head your way Florida, Got A Plan? This link will take you to a useful set of templates to guide you through the process: http://flgetaplan.com
Here is a helpful link to the National Hurricane Center.
We also passed along a poster from UF IFAS Solultions that links to tips for disaster prep and planning.
Is agriculture really important?
You bet! Witness this factoid posted by Agribusiness at FAMU: “Agriculture is an essential sector of the U.S. economy. It is the nation’s largest employer, generating more than 23 million jobs, with 17 percent of the civilian workforce involved in some facet of American agriculture.”
This week we harkened back to the days — not so long ago — when Lake County led the state in citrus production. The Citrus Tower at Clermont, one of Florida’s oldest tourist attractions, is still in place. Its namesake crop is not. The tower opened in 1956. You can still ascend to the top, but the view no longer includes citrus trees spreading to the horizon.
Dr. Temple Grandin to speak at UF
Our colleagues at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine reminded us that on Sept. 24, renowned farm animal behaviorist and autism advocate Dr. Temple Grandin will be speaking at 7 p.m. at the UF Phillips Center for the Performing Arts on “Helping Different Kinds of Minds Be Successful.” Free and open to the public.