food bank needs

zzackey(8b GA)August 26, 2013

What is easy and prolific to grow? Our food bank lost it's truck, driver and USDA monthly food. We feed over 1,000 families a month. We are in dire need of food. I don't have anything but peppers to donate now. What grows easily here this time of year? I never grew mustard greens. I know collards do well here.

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derbyka

Sweet potatoes would be a good bet this time of year to produce a lot of filling food.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 10:18PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Kale is consider by nutritionist as a super food, they are the easiest to grow, produce an abundant crop, has many uses in soups, salads, side dishes and even kale chips. Can be frozen for later. We are coming to cooler weather, it does great even if we get a freeze.

Silvia

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 9:42AM
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zzackey(8b GA)

Thanks for the ideas. I was going to grow a big bed of collards. I don't eat greens myself. This old Yankee just never liked the flavor. I like eating kale raw in the garden. I have seeds of both and it is time to plant them. I have one sweet potato in the ground now. I never grew them before. I think I will have to wait until next year to grow more. I do have alot of grapes and some peppers growing I can take in on Saturday when I work there. We feed over 1,000 families a month, so this is quite a challenge for all of us.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 10:20AM
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writersblock

If you're in a Publix area, have you talked to your local Publix manager? In our area Publix periodically offers a chance to make a donation to the local food bank at checkout and all those little donations add up to a lot of money. For some other food charities they have premade bags of necessities you can pick up and donate at checkout. I don't know about Harris Teeter and the others up your way, but it wouldn't hurt to talk to them.

Target also makes grants to charities.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 11:32AM
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zzackey(8b GA)

We live an hour from those stores. The local Winn Dixie gives to a food bank in Jacksonville instead of to the local food bank. I talked to the manager about this, but it didn't change anything. Must be a corporate decision. We just need a regular driver and a truck. We were getting lots of food in before.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 11:54AM
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keiki(10 FL)

Don't forget to try walmart. I hear they donate a lot of food

As for growing how about some red noodle beans or any pole beans. They are quick and dont take up a lot of space, okinawa spinache grows like a weed in this weather.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 10:06AM
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zzackey(8b GA)

Good ideas, keiki. We used to get food from Walmart. Losing the truck and driver is our main problem. Had a man come in today with about 100 eggs from his chickens and he is willing to drive and pick up food and bread every week. Praying this works out.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 3:56PM
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Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake

I believe okra is a good, abundant summer crop for most of the South. Too bad I ha... severely dislike okra.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 4:52PM
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zzackey(8b GA)

Great idea! It grows so well here. So hard to get southerners to try new foods. They turn up their noses to anything they aren't used to eating. This is the land of greens, fried food, catfish and BBQ.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 5:16PM
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Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake

Growing up in SC with a 'Bama mom, I learned to enjoy many southern dishes. Okra, not even fried okra, wasn't one of them. Never developed a taste for black-eyed or field peas either. Both of which might be options as well.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 9:35PM
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locteach(Orlando)

You probably could grow some lettuce and green beans now before it gets too cold. As far as sweet potatoes . . . you can cover some of the vine and leaves it will foster more potatoes. I tend to cut off a foot or so of leaves and replant for another plant. The yield seems better to me.

If you hustle, like in the next couple of days you could get cucumbers and summer squash.

Best wishes, Hopefully you will be able to get a truck etc. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Please keep us posted.

Laurie

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 7:17PM
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zzackey(8b GA)

Thanks for the suggestions. I will try the sweet potato trick. I'm starting lettuce tomorrow. I had bad luck with squash this year between SVB and too much rain. I never got a single squash and I had several different varieties. My pumpkins are growing nicely, but I just put them in a few weeks ago. I'm growing giant ones and either Jack Be Littles or something about that size. Not sure if they are edible. I'm guessing they are. Do I just put soil over the vine of the sweet potato? I'm running out of garden room! I want to plant broccoli and collards soon and then carrots and salsify (if I can find the seeds without ordering them through the mail.
We did have a man that offered to be our delivery driver, but he is 78 years old. Seems physically able. Biggest problem is the boxes of food can weigh as much as 50 lbs. He wants a helper. We have a few men that can help now and then, but maybe not all the time. I'm praying this works out! We did get our USDA food delivered last week, so that was a big help. Plus several private donations. So things are looking alot brighter now.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 2:13AM
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JCTsai(8B - Jacksonville, FL)

Try cowpeas next year, growing calendar is from March to August in my zone 8B, it is very easy to grow.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 9:34PM
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Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake

Just remember that, with the sweet potatoes, you want rather poor soil. I just harvested a 30 gal bucket that I started last November. I only had one really good tuber and the rest were little more than twice the size of a golf ball. After doing a little research, I found out that I had given them soil that was MUCH too nice. I need to get maybe two bags of playground sand and mix that into the soil if I want a decent harvest in the future.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 9:54PM
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zzackey(8b GA)

That's weird! Mine is at the lower side of our first hugel. Mostly sand, some compost and old grass on top.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2013 at 12:11AM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Zackey, what is a hugel?

Carol

    Bookmark   September 4, 2013 at 12:39AM
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Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake

A hugel, as I understand the concept, is a downed log that has been covered with compost and maybe soil. As the log rots, it feeds the plants growing around it and the plants help with the decomposing by sending their roots into the log and slowly breaking it apart. The rotting log also helps with watering as it holds on to moisture for quite a long time.

This post was edited by Leekle2ManE on Wed, Sep 4, 13 at 5:15

    Bookmark   September 4, 2013 at 5:12AM
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zzackey(8b GA)

It's a German word for a weird looking raised bed. My veggies and flowers really grew well in it this year. I did lose all of the nice Florida heirloom tomatoes though. Not sure if it was the hugel or too much rain. Google it. Tons of info on the web.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2013 at 8:20AM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Ah... hugelkultur. Thanks!

(Of course I did Google before asking... nothing on first page for "hugel".)

This post was edited by love_the_yard on Wed, Sep 4, 13 at 9:24

    Bookmark   September 4, 2013 at 9:08AM
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zzackey(8b GA)

We got drivers in for everything but the bread run. Looks like another man is going to be doing that. Thank God that didn't take long to correct!

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 2:43AM
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locteach(Orlando)

So happy to hear that your food bank has new alternatives. Food banks make such a tangible difference. At my church today: there were people there from a local food bank seeking more volunteers, and there were people there whose lives were stablized and homelessness prevented due to the gereosity of a local food bank.

Keep up the good work!

To answer your sweet potato question, I am testing whether covering the vine or cutting and covering the vine is better. I tend to think cutting the vine from the main plant and burying some of it will yield more than just covering the vine and all the energy will be from the one plant.

Best wishes,
L.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 9:46PM
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zzackey(8b GA)

Things are picking up! We got the bread run back! That is a big deal for us. We had over 150 loaves of bread on Saturday and the bread run is on Tuesday. A tractor trailer was in a wreck nearby today and we got 20 big boxes of produce. It was a sorry way to get food, but I am thankful anyway. It didn't look like anyone got really hurt in the accident, just a fender bender.

This post was edited by zackey on Sun, Sep 15, 13 at 19:12

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 9:21PM
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Wipa4246(9a)

I am on the growing committee for our community garden that runs through our church. We grow collard, kale, tomato, carrots, green beans, radishes, and squash this month. Last growing season up until end of June, we harvested the above including cucumbers, onions and green peppers. I know the local food banks are grateful for the fresh produce.

Here is a link that might be useful: Seeds of Faith Community Garden

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 2:57PM
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Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake
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