Do you want to know if it’s the right time of year to plant a vegetable? Want to buy Florida produce but you don’t know whether it’s in season? UF/IFAS has a new app to guide you!
It’s called the Florida Fresh veggie app, and you can now download it for free on any mobile device. The idea to create this new mobile friendly app emanated from one of the most popular Extension documents ever written: “The Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide.”
It’s pretty simple: enter your zip code, and the app tells you what vegetables to plant at that time of year. But the app’s uses go way beyond timely planting of vegetables. You can also discover the seasonal availability of Florida-grown produce. And there’s more. If you touch any of the photos, the app provides detailed information about each fruit and vegetable, including planting tips, best varieties for Florida and nutritional value. Additionally, the app gives you links to Extension documents about the plants, best practices for successful gardening and much more.
Bok Tower Gardens and UF/IFAS Extension are in a long term partnership to promote school and community gardening, native-plant and wildlife gardening, and garden classes through existing IFAS programs such as Florida Friendly Landscaping. Our goal is to create opportunities together to help your gardens and healthy lifestyle thrive!
A new partnership is emerging between the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension and historic Bok Tower Gardens.
The partnership between the state’s preeminent land-grant university and this historic garden will provide onsite demonstration gardens, education programs and conservation research, as well as outreach programs to help people better see, appreciate, and connect with plants. A new school and community gardens program has already begun operations to teach food gardening to students and residents.
Chef Matt Fulwood shares his vision for the Blue Palmetto Café and what he’s working on this summer to tempt our taste buds!
by Matthew Fulwood, Chef & Café Services Manager
Recently, I was offered the opportunity to take over as head chef at Bok Tower Gardens. I was extremely excited, and maybe a little nervous. After all, this is something I have been working toward since beginning in the food service industry more than 12 years ago. The support from co-workers and guests has been outstanding, and I look forward to keeping the Blue Palmetto Café moving in the same direction it has been—UP! We’ve enjoyed significant growth since I started at the Gardens a year-and-a-half ago, and more is on the horizon with the addition of a new outdoor kitchen and plenty of extra terrace seating at the café.
One of my biggest pleasures since coming to work at Bok Tower Gardens has been building relationships with local farmers and growers. My grandparents grew their own produce, introducing me to the joy of picking vegetables and preparing them the same day. I still remember how delicious that fresh food tasted.
Those memories have continued throughout my culinary career, working for farm-to-table restaurants and searching for creative ways to bring our Blue Palmetto Café customers those same fresh and delicious flavors. There’s still nothing like going to the farm and picking your own produce. Our Sous Chef Matt Fulwood says we’re like kids in a candy store!
One of our sources for local produce is Roosevelt Farms in Lake Wales, a student-run working farm on the Roosevelt Academy campus under the supervision of Ray Cruze. Ray’s zeal and passion for teaching and growing and has taught me much about growing vegetables in Florida.
Roosevelt Farms, started in 1995, is managed by Roosevelt Academy’s agriculture students. The students apply what they learn in the classroom to crop production. Math and science concepts are used to calculate fertilizer and pH levels.