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Fifth Annual Collards Festival & Winter Garden Expo

By Meaghan Goepferich Posted on December 26, 2019

January 11, 2020 – 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Grand Gardens on Grand Boulevard, New Port Richey

Fifth Annual Collards Festival & Winter Garden Expo

On Saturday, January 11, 2020, New Port Richey FarmNet will present the 2020 Collards Festival and Winter Garden Expo from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Grand Gardens (5721 Grand Blvd, NPR, 34652).
 
The Festival is hosted by Ecology Florida and Creative Institute of Dental Arts and features FarmNet growers and The West Pasco Seed and Plant Exchange.  It is also supported and endorsed by the Environmental Committee of the City of New Port Richey.
 
The Annual Collards Festival & Winter Garden Expo will feature cool weather produce, bedding plants, organic and heirloom seeds, locally-grown vegetable, and flower seedlings, locally grown loquat fruit trees, local honey, and a Collard Greens cookbook.
 
There will be opportunities to acquire a plot at Grand Gardens. Promotional t-shirts for local agriculture projects and published booklets about loquats will be available.  Produce will be from local organic farms and gardens, and will feature cool weather crops: collards, kales, swiss chard, bok choy, and arugula – among others.  Organizers are expecting broccoli, but cannot guarantee quantities.
 
All who attend will receive a small packet of milkweed seeds to promote the establishment of milkweed, the primary food and life-source for the imperiled Monarch Butterfly. Through the Environmental Committee of New Port Richey, the city is pursuing recognition as a Monarch Butterfly City.  Seeds are offered through West Pasco Seed and Plant Exchange and New Port Richey FarmNet.

Tours of Grand Gardens will be offered and a program about FarmNet and New Port Richey’s growing urban agriculture project will be presented by Dell Dechant, USF Religious Studies Department Associate Chair and FarmNet curator. The program will also include details about the Habitat for Humanity Gardens and local restaurants that feature farm-to-table menus and events. Permaculture activists will also be present at the festival.
 
A new addition to this year’s festival is The West Pasco Seed and Plant Exchange.  The Exchange meets monthly, and for January’s meeting, the group will be at the Collards Festival. The Seed and Plant Exchange will feature plants and seeds of edibles, exotics, ornamentals, trees and nectar sources from ten local garden hobbyists.
 
At the conclusion of the Festival, at 2:00 p.m., those who are interested will have an opportunity to acquire a plot at Grand Gardens or registers for the first farm-to-table dinner of 2020.  
 
FarmNet was developed through funding and support from Friendship Farms & Fare, West Pasco Habitat for Humanity, Ecology Florida, East Madison Growers, and local residents. The establishment of community gardens and urban farms in New Port Richey was made possible through New Port Richey’s ground-breaking Urban Agriculture Ordinance, which promotes the transformation of vacant lots in the City into productive community gardens and farms, and encourages persons to use their property for food-producing gardens.

There is no charge to attend this event and it is open to the public. Donations will be gratefully received, with 100% of all donations going to FarmNet programming.

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