Growing Tomatoes in Pinellas

The spring tomato growing season is here.  Learn how to make organic tomato gardening easier through:

  • Variety selection
  • Crop management
  • Pest control
  • Propagation & seed saving

This is a free workshop
Bring a friend and your curiosity

Pam Brown has served as the University of Florida/IFAS Horticulture Extension Agent for Pinellas County from 2000 – 2009. Upon retiring, she was granted Emeritus Extension Agent status. In addition, she started Pampered Gardeners, LLC where she serves as a gardening coach or mentor. No longer taking new clients, she is passionate about gardening and Florida’s fragile natural environment, and enjoys working with people

Container gardening

Join us to learn more about growing food in containers.  Perfect for finding the right micro environment for sensitive plants and living with patios and balconies.

A Hog Island Thanksgiving with Chef Michael Webb

Create a Thanksgiving dinner right from your yard, Florida style.   Join the always entertaining, classically trained Chef Michael as he takes a page or two from the cookbook of Caladesi resident and Great Floridian, Myrtle Scharrer Betz (1895-1992) and shows how to prepare these in 2017.    Join us and learn about:

  • Caladesi Hog Island-inspired recipes
  • Preparing what grows in from the soil and sea of Caladesi
  • Using food to bring people together

Chef Michael Webb – A native Floridian, received formal training at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco.  Classically French trained, he worked for 3 years under a celebrity chefs, including Bradley Ogden and Wolfgang Puck.  Returning to Tampa Bay, Chef worked at Kelly’s, Keegan’s and Bobby’s Bistro before venturing out as a private catering chef.

Growing Herbs in Pinellas

Whether you are starting out or want to build on to your edible garden, herbs are the way to go.  The trick is finding varieties that thrive in our area.  Learn about:  The right season, the right variety, Container vs bed cultivation, harvesting, propagation and seed collecting.

Speaker, Pam Brown

Digging into Myrtles Betz’s Caladesi Victory Garden

Join us to learn how Great Floridian Myrtle Betz (1895-1992) cultivated community with the food she grew on Caladesi Island 100 years ago. Myrtle, a master gardener, learned growing basics from her immigrant father.  She then created her own approach to raising food for their pioneer home on Caladesi Island. Listen in as Myrtle’s granddaughter, Terry Fortner, a well known speaker, uses intimate archival photos and anecdotes to share:

– What varieties of fruits, vegetables and herbs in the Caladesi garden of Myrtle Scharrer Betz
– Cultivation techniques used by Caladesi pioneers
– Buying, propagation and seed saving circa 1917

Speaker Terry Fortner enjoys celebrating the accomplishments of her maternal grandmother, Myrtle Scharrer Betz. From 1977-1983, with her grandmother’s involvement, Terry lived, worked, and grew a garden in a local citrus grove, an experience that has gained value with time’s passing.  Terry’s work life activities include being a teacher, horseback-riding instructor, and long time personal assistant to Gladys Douglas. She is active in Pinellas County historic preservation and proactive for projects at Caladesi Island.


Give your Edible Plants a Break with Biodiversity

Transform your yard into a hot spot of biodiversity.  Dive into the science behind minimizing the impacts of pests in your edible garden.   Gain a better understanding of how biodiversity serves as enablers for rare species, plant and animal communities, predator-prey interactions and their importance for gardeners.  Join us to learn how to build habitats and micro habitats in your yard.

Speaker, Bill Bilodeau of St. Petersburg is a retired landscape gardener and designer and a past president of the Pinellas Chapter, Florida Native Plant Society. He was a founder of the permaculture group Gaia’s Guardians and a co-founder of the Eco-Village Garden formerly known as the Faith House Garden, a popular urban agriculture demonstration garden in existence for over seven years. Currently Bill is the vice-president of SUAC, the Sustainable Urban Agriculture Coalition, whose mission is to promote and support urban agriculture in southern Pinellas County

Cooking plants that Nourish

Re-think what food is by seeing how perennials can add more nutrition to your diet.  Learn about:  An appreciation for edible perennials as a summer crop,  ease of using edible perennials in everyday cooking, chaya, longevity and Okinawa spinach, cranberry hibiscus, katuk, and waterleaf lettuce.

Bring you appetite and a friend to this free event.

Some plants will be available for purchase afterward.

Heat up your Summer Garden with Peppers

There is nothing sweet about growing peppers in the summer.  Be it green or any other color in the rainbow, you can grow edible peppers in June and later.  Join us for hot information on summer pepper growing.  Make organic pepper gardening easier through: Variety selection, Choosing the right Scoville (heat) rating, Landscaping, Care and Maintenance, Propagation & seed saving.

Small Scale Market Gardening with Jim Kovaleski

See how Small Scale Market Gardening is happening in our area. Speaker Jim Kovaleski embodies the idea of sustainable living and is known for sharing his knowledge of growing produce to sell, share and trade.  Attendees will also learn about: Community and neighborhood impact, Successful growing, producing volume, Who’s growing & Selling.

This is a free workshop.  Bring your curiosity and a few buddies.