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Fresh Take

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Fresh Take

Florida Certified Organic Growers & Consumers, INC.

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Fresh Take is your roundup of all things related to organic and sustainable living. Join Florida Organic Growers staff and guest experts as we discuss everything you need to know about sustainable living, organic agriculture, and how to make the best lifestyle choices that benefit you and the environment. So if you’re an eco-warrior, a dedicated farmer, or just someone looking to make more conscious decisions, tune in every Monday to get your Fresh Take.
 
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Farm Aid was founded in 1985 in the midst of the 1980’s farm crisis. As a response to farmers in dire need of assistance, Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp held the first concert which raised over $7 million for America’s family farmers. Since then, Farm Aid has continued to support farmers through a variety of programs. We speak with C…
 
Founded in 1990, Rural Advancement for Farmers International (RAFI-USA) challenges the root causes of unjust food systems, supporting and advocating for economically, racially, and ecologically just farm communities. Lisa Misch, Director of Farmer Outreach and Technical Assistance at RAFI-USA, highlights some of the organization’s programs and fund…
 
Jen Speedy is a farmer and Collective Member of Siembra Farm, a small-scale, sustainable farm in SE Gainesville, FL. With plans to open a new flower farm, Jen talks to us about things people should consider when setting up a new farm. In this episode hear about: - Challenges new farmers may face when starting a farm - Avoiding farmer burnout - Meth…
 
In Episode 1 of FOG’s Food Safety for Farmers Podcast Series, Dr. Keith Schneider, Professor and Extension Specialist in the Food Science and Human Nutrition Department at the University of Florida, discusses microbiology concepts that help farmers better understand how to produce food safely. Tune in to learn about: The Produce Safety Rule Problem…
 
Aviva Asher and Daniel Robleto are founders and owners of Nicoya Farm, a family fruit and vegetable farm located in Gainesville, Florida. In 2015 they began Nicoya Farm on leased land in South Florida and transitioned the farm to collectively owned land in SE Gainesville. In this episode, hear about: - How Aviva and Daniel got started farming - The…
 
Fleet Farming is a non-profit urban agriculture program of IDEAS For Us located in Orlando, Florida. With a mission to empower all generations to grow food to increase local food accessibility, Fleet Farming transforms the average American lawn into a bio-verse, productive micro farms and edible gardens. In this episode, Fleet Farming Program Manag…
 
The use of technology to solve challenges in organic agriculture is increasing. Jessica Shade, Director of Science Programs at The Organic Center, joins us for a conversation about agricultural technology in organic farming and the upcoming Hack@Organic event. In this episode, hear about: - Challenges that sustainable and organic farmers often face…
 
The Sustainable Living Project (SLP) is an urban farm and education center located in Tampa, Florida. Georgea Snyder, Director of SLP, speaks about her experience and how current programs at the farm are helping educate the community. In this episode, hear about: - Educational opportunities that the Sustainable Living Project offers - Implementing …
 
Aaron and Derek, Founders and Owners of Handsome Harvest Farm, discuss their experience starting a farm and share thoughts on how to become more knowledgeable in organic and sustainable farming practices. In this episode, hear about: - How Derek and Aaron got into sustainable agriculture - Ways to get started and develop experience in organic farmi…
 
Fresh Take welcomes Wendy Wesley, Registered Dietician and Nutritionist, for a conversation about how to be healthier with food in the New Year. In this episode, Wendy shares with us: - Reprioritizing time for healthier “shopping, chopping and eating” - Foods we should add to our diets - What to look for when shopping for groceries - The importance…
 
The holidays are here! This season, more consumers are looking for sustainable, organic and local gifts. Jillian Childs, Founder of Florida Farm Finder, and Juan Carlos Rodriguez give us some ideas on how to find and support local growers and businesses through gift-giving this holiday season. In this episode, hear about: - How Florida Farm Finder …
 
Quality Certification Services (QCS) is the certification program of Florida Organic Growers (FOG), which began certifying organic growers in 1989 and received its USDA accreditation in 2001. QCS has grown to provide a variety of quality certification and verification options that can help companies market their products as certified organic, promo…
 
The Florida Farmers’ Market Association (FFMA) was established in 2019 with the mission to connect the vast array of farmers markets in Florida into one membership-driven network and provide training and resources for vendors, market managers, and consumers. Since then, FFMA has grown its membership and offerings. In this episode, hear about: - The…
 
Florida Certified Organic Growers and Consumers Inc. (FOG) was established in 1987 with the mission to support and promote organic, regenerative, and sustainable agriculture. Since then, FOG’s staff and programs have grown greatly. In this episode, hear from FOG staff members Dr. Juan Carlos Rodriguez, Andi Emrich and Kyndra Love, as they discuss t…
 
Grow Next Door launched in April 2020 with a mission to create opportunities of access to farming and to support creating a sustainable planet through intentional agriculture. The Grow Next Door platform helps South Florida residents connect directly with local farmers to buy organic and sustainably grown produce. Jonathan Cox, Founder and CEO, tal…
 
Florida is historically and still currently an agricultural state. However, with rapid urbanization, the food systems landscape is changing. Currently, 44 of the 67 counties are classified as “urban” by the USDA, and over 87 percent of residents now live in urban areas. In this episode, learn about: - How urban agriculture is defined - What urban f…
 
Zion Farms & Market started in 2016 on a 20-acre farm in Apopka, Florida, with a mission to establish urban farms throughout Central Florida and be an affordable source of organic produce and education to the community at large. Registered as a 501(c)(3) organization, through collaboration with other urban farmers in the Central Florida area the al…
 
Interest in local food systems has been steadily increasing as shown by the growing supply of and demand for local foods. Some evidence of this growth includes the number of farmers’ markets that have nearly tripled, and the initiation of thousands of farm-to-school programs across the U.S. Additionally, local foods have often topped consumer and f…
 
On this episode, hear about two unique farms in South Florida that are providing support for their communities: Empower farms, a certified organic and eco-friendly farm for people of all abilities, and Aloha Redland, a female-led farm blending art and nutrition for a more vibrant local community. Learn about: - How their CSA programs were started a…
 
Frog Song Organics, located in Alachua County, started in 2011 with a mission to provide nutritious foods to the local community through sustainable farming. One way they do this is through their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. In this episode, hear about: - What led Frog Song to start their CSA - How their CSA model has evolved over…
 
Community supported agriculture is one model through which producers and consumers can be more connected. We sat down with Rick Martinez, Founder of Sweetwater Organic Farm, which is thought to be the first CSA in Florida, to talk about his experience with this food systems model. In this episode, hear about: - The history of the CSA model at Sweet…
 
Every day, there are millions of children and adults who do not get the meals they need to thrive. According to Feeding America, Florida is 3rd in the nation with the highest number of people living in food-insecure households—over 2,500,000 people. In this episode, Katie Delaney, Fresh Access Bucks (FAB) Co-Manager, and Andi Emrich, Florida Farmer…
 
In our 50th episode, hear from Elizabeth Whitlow and Dr. Juan Carlos Rodriguez as they discuss Regenerative Organic Certified™ (ROC™) and how this form of regenerative agriculture may be one solution to the climate crisis. Tune in to learn about: - Regenerative agriculture’s place in organic and sustainable agriculture systems - Ways that regenerat…
 
Agriculture has an enormous impact on global ecosystems. As effects from climate change become more visible, it is important to address agriculture’s impact and the potential solutions that come from implementing organic and sustainable production methods. In this episode, Dr. Shade and Dr. Rodriguez discuss: - How organic agriculture can mitigate …
 
There is a lot of misinformation surrounding climate change. In this episode, Mary-Elizabeth Estrada and Dr. Ram Balasubramanian discuss three climate myths: Myth 1 - Beef consumption is bad for climate change. Meat and dairy specifically account for around 14.5% of global greenhouse emissions. By using sustainable practices when producing meat and…
 
There are a lot of myths surrounding food safety. In this episode, our guest speaker Dr. Schneider breaks down the truth about these often-heard food safety suggestions: - Always wash your fruits and vegetables, even when pre-washed. - Wash raw chicken before cooking. - Freezing food kills harmful bacteria. - It’s okay to thaw meat on the counter. …
 
Gardening in summer can be a challenge, especially with the Florida heat. But if you have plan, growing a summer garden is possible. In this episode, our guest speaker Dr. Rodriguez discusses: - starting a garden in summer, - what to grow in your garden, - purchasing seeds and seedlings, - and methods for growing in different areas. When creating a…
 
In this episode, we have a conversation with Dr. Tatiana Sanchez about strategies for keeping organic gardens healthy. Dr. Sanchez gives tips on: - understanding and maintaining soil health, - strategies for preventing disease, - managing pests in your soil, - and how to correctly manage plant nutrients in your garden. When starting your garden, it…
 
Since COVID-19, farms across the nation have had to adapt to new and unpredictable circumstances. In Florida alone, more than $500 million dollars in crop losses were reported due to the pandemic. In this episode, our guest speaker Logan Petrey discusses: - how COVID-19 has affected her farm, - steps that have been taken to increase food safety on …
 
We welcome Dr. Katie Sieving who is an expert in avian ecology and behavior and holds a PhD in Ecology, Ethology, & Evolution. In this episode, Dr. Sieving discusses: how to identify birds, methods that can attract birds to your garden, why birds are important for gardens, and how to deter birds from feeding on crops. Depending on where you live, y…
 
Gardening provides several health benefits. Among them, our guest speaker explains how designing and nurturing your garden can contribute to your self-care. Ms. Marewski first became interested in sacred gardens through active meditation, which is a style of meditation that advocates movement followed by silence. She explains that what we are doing…
 
Do you know how perceptions about environmental issues in politics have changed over time in Florida? How can we achieve bipartisan support on these important issues? Dr. Ram Balasubramanian and Ryan Smart provide some background on these questions and suggest strategies moving forward. Before 2010, environmental issues such as protecting Florida’s…
 
Our guests answer questions such as: How are Florida’s springs being protected? How do large companies like Seven Springs receive permits to take water for bottling purposes? What can you do to help? We cover these topics and more. With over 700 springs, Florida has the largest concentration of fresh water springs in the world. More than 90 percent…
 
Is the food we consume safe from COVID-19? How are farmers making sure it is safe to eat the fruits and vegetables they grow for all of us? Dr. Keith Schneider, food safety expert and a professor at the University of Florida’s Food Science and Human Nutrition Department answers these questions and provides more information about our food system dur…
 
On this episode of Fresh Take we welcome Dr. Taylor Clem, the Alachua County Environmental and Community Horticulture Agent. Tune in to learn how you can attract hummingbirds to your garden! Dr. Clem will help our listeners identify the ruby throated hummingbird, give landscaping tips on how to attract the beautiful bird, and inform you of the bene…
 
On this Fresh Take episode we welcome Dr. Ram Balasubramanian and Dr. Stephen Forbes. Tune in to listen to our experts share about genetically modified mosquitoes scheduled to be released in Florida and Texas. Dr. Forbes, an expert in microbiology and genetics, holds a PhD in Biomedical Sciences (Immunology and Infectious diseases track), while Dr.…
 
Welcome Amy Vu and Dr. JC Rodriguez! We discuss the Asian Giant Hornet “murder hornet” with Amy, Extension coordinator for the Honey Bee Research and Extension Lab (HBREL) @ UF, and Dr. JC Rodriguez, appreciated member of our staff. Amy and JC are both passionate about bees, both started their bee keeping journey during college. JC shares with us h…
 
Join our talk with Tripp Pomeroy CEO of Sweetwater Organic Coffee! We chat about certified Fair Trade, certified Organic, and sustainable coffee. We also touch on the unprecedented times we are living in along with Tripp’s efforts to adapt and protect business, people, and earth! Sweetwater Beginnings In 2004, Tripp was given the opportunity to buy…
 
Today, we welcome back Ram, CEO of Quality Certification Services (QCS) and an experienced Food Safety Auditor and trainer on various food safety topics. Join us to learn more about how to safely shop during unprecedented times! COVID-19 is not a foodborne illness! Sanitizers vs. Disinfectants: - Sanitizer are substance that significantly reduces t…
 
Join Ram, CEO of Quality Certification Services, while he talks about the financial impact of COVID-19 on Florida's agriculture and the financial resources available to farmers. 1. Federal Assistance administered by SBA 1.1 Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) 1.2 Economic Injury Disaster Loan - unable to accept new application 2. Assistance not admin…
 
On this episode we welcome Quality Certification Services (QCS) staff to talk about Organic Certification during the COVID19 pandemic. Our panelists are Beth Rota, policy and quality assurance manager, Brian Rakita, inspection manager, and Ram, CEO of QCS. Ram shares with us that the agricultural sector is holding strong, with some operations even …
 
Second part is here! We continue our conversation with Dan and Adam regarding organic certification. On this episode, we touch on common misconceptions surrounding organic certification, transitional organic, and a final rundown on the certification process! Fresh Take is your weekly dose of all things related to organic and sustainable living. Joi…
 
On today's episode, Dan Zaman and Adam Maxwell chat with us regarding what it takes to get certified organic, what the label means, and the level of scrutiny they follow. Get your questions answered HERE! Dan and Adam have the appropriate background and extensive training on the certification process, they understand what is behind the label and ha…
 
It is our pleasure to present our very special guest for today's episode! Anna Prizzia – Director of UF IFAS Field & Fork and Board Member of Working Foods Karissa Raskin – City of Gainesville Civic Collaboration Specialist Yvette Thomas– Planner for the City of Gainesville Different stakeholder groups, UF IFAS Field & Fork, Working Foods, Levin Co…
 
Do you want to start a farmers market business, but you don’t know how or where to start? The Farmers Market Promotion Program is here to help you! Today, we talked with Dr. Sarah Cervone and Andi Emrich and learned about the amazing work they do managing the Farmers Market Promotion Program! This USDA grant funds the creation and dissemination of …
 
Dr. Taylor Clem from UF IFAS Alachua county extension services joins us to talk about the Florida Yard and Neighborhood program. Tune in to find out about the 9 principles of Florida Friendly Yards, and other best practices you can implement at home! How to introduce this practices to your HOA ... and more! Check here The Florida Yards and Neighbor…
 
Join Sarah, JC, Isabel, and Jessica while they tackle #7 common myths and misconceptions that surround Eco-friendly living. Fresh Take is your weekly dose of all things related to organic and sustainable living. Join Florida Organic Growers staff and guest experts as we discuss everything you need to know about sustainable living, organic agricultu…
 
Have you ever wonderer who protects the integrity of the certified organic label? Join us in our chat with NOP Deputy Administrator, Dr. Jenny Tucker. We talk about organic standards, organic label integrity, NOP's actions against fraud, barriers and challenges organic producers face, NOP's support for the organic program, and resources for consume…
 
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