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FNGLA Tours

Orange County Extension Office

While visiting the Florida Flower trials in Orlando we enjoyed the many gardens at the Extension office: Formal, vegetable, pollinator, wet/rain, dry, and native.

 

 

 

 

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florida gardening Flower Trials FNGLA Tours

Harry P. Leu Gardens, Orlando

While at the Flower Trials we had time to wander throughout the 40+ acre gardens.

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florida gardening FNGLA Tours

Harry P. Leu Gardens, Orlando, FL

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florida gardening FNGLA Tours

U.F. Extension, Apopka Bedding Plants

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florida gardening FNGLA Tours

Disney’s Nursery Flower Trials, May, 2015

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florida gardening flowers FNGLA Tours

Epcot’s Flower Festival, Orlando, May, 2015

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florida gardening Tours

Bok Tower Gardens

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FNGLA Tours

Jacksonville Zoo Botanical Garden

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FNGLA Tours

Collier County Agriculture Tour

Oakes Farms: kale and Swiss chard, organically grown.
Oakes Farms: kale and Swiss chard, organically grown.
Yellow bell peppers at Oakes Farms.
Yellow bell peppers at Oakes Farms.
Lunch at ITEC in Immokalee, served by their culinary class.
Lunch at ITEC in Immokalee, served by their culinary class.
American Farms, Naples
Far right: Alex Salazar (grower and co-owner) of American Farms, Naples describes how they grow 77 acres of bedding plants.

Four busloads of people spent a day looking “beyond the beaches” in Collier County on Wednesday, March 19. After American Farms we went to Oakes Farms, an organic vegetable and fish producer, Lipman Company, the largest tomato packing plant in Immokalee, Silver Strand citrus groves and the farmers market.

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Tours

Who would pay $60.00 to see a farm?

A busload of tourists, heading out to the farm.
A busload of tourists, heading out to the farms.

Four air-conditioned busses gathered at Collier County Extension office on Wednesday, March 20th. They filled with vacationers and home owners eager to learn about what’s growing “Beyond the Beaches”.

Once a year the extension office promotes agriculture/horticulture to the public and invites them on a day-long tour of nurseries, tomato fields, packing houses to see the size and significance of ‘ag.’ in Collier County.

I rode shotgun along with Dr.Mongi Zekri (citrus specialist) and Dr. Doug Caldwell (Collier Co. Commercial Hort. Agent) as we passed the microphone between us.

Our first stop was the most florid: 40 acres in full bloom at American Farms. Our guide there, Alex Salazar, gave detailed information about how they grow and ship hundreds of thousands of plants each year.

Alex Salazar shows off one of American Farms greenhouses.
Alex Salazar leads  us through American Farms mechanized potting area.

Other stops included an organic farm near Ave’ Maria University, lunch at a technical school in Immokalee, a shopping spree at the Farmer’s Market and concluded at Silver Strand: a 1000 acre citrus grove and nursery.

Each year the destinations change for variety. In previous years we have visited historical cattle ranch sites, tomato seed breeding greenhouses and a pineapple nursery.