Residents in and around Oakland Park are taking advantage of the city’s wonderful Urban Farming Institute, where free classes are offered to help us all learn how to do what came naturally to our grandparents.
Whether it’s in pots on a balcony, in your own yard or in one of the many raised beds at the Institute, director Jon Albee and expert guest speakers will guide you through soil preparation, hydroponics, composting your own kitchen and yard scraps, pest management, the benefit of worms and the black gold they give us for free and much, much, more.
Classes are free, raised bed gardens are leased by the city through Parks and Leisure. The farm share is something you sign up and pay for in advance and the fruit, veggies and sprouts are packaged and available for pickup for the subscribers on a weekly basis.
Select fruit, veggies, sprouts and compost tea is available for purchase by non- subscribers at slightly higher prices. With guidance and recipes, the UFI offers a wonderful opportunity to try new foods.
Until your own garden takes root, participate in the Farm Share program to receive fresh and nutritious goodies from the institute’s own garden and from local farms.
Ever hear of Callaloo? Why not join your neighbors at this Saturday morning’s class and sample some of this “Jamaican Spinach” as Chef Bella whips up a delicious callaloo dish right before your eyes.
Do you like fresh honey? Did you know that an estimated 1/3 of our food supply is dependent upon pollination and that bees, the perfect little pollinator, pollinate over 70 different crops?
Pesticides and disease are wiping out bee colonies around the world. By becoming a backyard beekeeper you not only can get pounds of fresh honey, but you’ll be helping to increase the dwindling bee population and meet new friends in this exciting hobby. Recognizing the importance of the backyard beekeeper, in 2012 the State of Florida enacted a law pre-empting local ordinances and making it easier for residents and organizations to become beekeepers. Check the Urban Farming Institute’s schedule of classes for their upcoming backyard beekeeping class.
Click on the institute’s link, ufi.us.org, to subscribe to their newsletter and to learn more about the many other benefits they bring our community. If you’d like to drive past and visit the UFI to see their raised bed and hydroponic gardens, their shop and their classroom, they are at 1101 NE 40th Court, Oakland Park, FL.
Story written by RCWhite