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DPI Diary

March 1, 2016

Safe Travels

PrintCapture out some Don’t Pack a Pest coloring books and learn while you color. Learning with Linus is a fun and informative way to teach your little ones about the importance of packing. If you’re planning on traveling this summer take some time to look at what you should not bring back from your vacation destination.

Some Plants Like it Dry

Record heat and above-normal rainfall have played havoc with fruit and vegetable farming in Florida, making tighter supplies and higher prices likely for at least the next couple of months, agriculture experts say.

South Florida was hit the worst with eight inches of rain in four days causing a decline in: cucumbers, endive, escarole, radishes, squash, grape and roma tomatoes.

“When plants get too much water, it crowds out the oxygen in the soil and the roots cannot breathe,” said Paul Orsenigo. Paul grows corn, green beans and leafy vegetables on his farm, Growers Management, in Palm Beach County.

Turning Research into Wine

Florida A&M University Center for Viticulture and Small Fruit Research has been around since 1978. They are currently working on a long-term project focused on the many variations of the muscadine grape through traditional breeding, biotechnology and in-vitro selection. The college creates jellies, jams, spreads, wine and toppings for ice cream in its quest for knowledge.

“Our research in muscadine grapes is very important because it places us at FAMU as one of the world’s leaders in developing new muscadine varieties for both eating as well as wine making. Grapes are one of the most nutritious fruits in the world, loaded with nutraceuticals and phytochemicals which can fight cancer, high blood pressure, [and] improve health of the heart,” said Robert Taylor dean of the College of Agricultural and Food Sciences.

Bee CollegeCapture

Zarchary Huang of Michigan State University and Kim Flottum of Bee Culture Magazine along with DPI’s very own apiary department will be speaking at the Bee College, an upcoming event in St. Augustine in early March. The event is open to all enthusiasts, beekeepers, gardeners, and naturalists. If you are interested in the event please pre-register, walk-ins will incur an additional fee. To see a full list of classes and find out how to register, please visit their website.

Summer Camp

UF’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences is conducting a new summer program “to immerse student to issues and disciplines in agriculture and life sciences and how it relates to the community, Florida and globally,” said Charlotte Emerson, the director of student development and recruitment for the college.

The program will be held July 10 to July 15, it will take up to 25 students and cost $350 Florida residents will be given preference. The program will include a banquet for all students and two guest lecturers: Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam, and Elaine Turner, the dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.

Giant African Land Snails

A reminder for the residents of Miami-Dade and Broward counties: please be on the lookout for giant African land snails. These invasive snails, of which more than 160,000 have been collected since 2011, are known for causing massive amounts of damage to plants and buildings, as well as carrying a parasite that can infect humans and animals. Visit FreshFromFlorida.com to see images of the invasive snail, and if you think you have seen a giant African land snail call our helpline:

Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. gals_web

1-888-397-1517

(352) 395-4600 (Outside North America)

Or email us at: DPIHelpline@FreshFromFlorida.com

What’s in season now?

During the month of March you can buy these Fresh From Florida crops: bell pepper, broccoli, cabbage, carambola, cauliflower, celery, eggplant, grapefruit, guava, lettuce, mushroom, orange, papaya, peanut, potato, radish, snap bean, squash, strawberry, sweet corn, tangerine, and tomato.

If you’re interested in the freshest crops check out the Florida Fresh app. This new app shows you what to plant in your area and what crops are in season! Check it out now on your Android or IOS device.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!

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