Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Geraldson Community Farm, Bradenton, Fla:Coastal Loving

Despite being in a tidal pool zone Geraldson Community Farm is thriving. Located just steps away from Tampa Bay, this 10-acre sandy-soiled organic farm produces enough food to feed its' 180 members and more.

Brackish water loving cattails in ditch at Geraldson
Community Farm, Bradenton, Fla.
In 2005, the Florida West Coast RC & D started leasing the land from the Geraldson Family, according to farm manager Claudie Babineaux. It was decided the farm would operate under the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model. Meaning the general public could support the farm by becoming members and buy shares in each season's crop, then get a box of produce, every week or two weeks for that share, like a dividend.

Sandy-soiled land of certified organic Geraldson
Community Farm, Bradenton, Fla.
Community support for this farm often goes beyond buying shares. Many members volunteer their time, like Susan Smith, a half-share member who helps seed the fields, "Sometimes I just like to do it. It feels good."

Claudie Babineaux explains how reflective mulch works,
Geraldson Community Farm, Bradenton, Fla.
Geraldson Community Farm likes to support the environment by using many sustainable practices like putting reflective mulch on their raised beds, and allowing weeds to grow between the beds. The mulch confuses whiteflies, making them think the sky is below them, so they don't land on the plants. And the weeds invite in friendly bugs to take care of the rest of the pest insect problems.

To find out more about Geraldson Community Farm you can call them at 941-981-0111 or visit them at their Sunday farm market at 1401 99th Street NW, Bradenton, FL 34209, 11am to 3pm.

Or go to their webpage


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