Reduce waste through home composting

Composting, Cooking, FL, Growing, Healthy Food, Local Orlando Businesses, Organic Herbs and Teas, Orlando News and Events, Recycling
Dandelion Community: Green Tip #1
Did you know that 24-percent of the municipal solid waste stream is food and yard waste? A great way to reduce your landfill contribution and create your own nutrient rich soil is home composting. City of Orlando offers free home composters and workshops through Mayor Buddy Dyer’s Green Works initiative.

Click here to sign up to receive your free composter. See our backyard composting handbook for more information about the benefits of composting and how to get started with your own composting bin!

Click here to sign up to receive your free composter!

Composting Guides

Backyard Composting Handbook
UF compost guide
EPA compost guide

Composting Workshops

The City of Orlando and the Orange County IFAS Extension Office are partnering to bring you free composting workshops. Residents of the City of Orlando can pick up a FREE backyard composter. The first 20 attendees will receive a FREE kitchen scraps collector!

We’ve wrapped up our spring 2016 workshops, our summer 2016 workshop schedule will be coming soon.

Compost  Drop-Off Sites

Can’t use all of your compost? A colorful bin will be placed at these community garden sites to accept finished compost in case residents are not able to use all of their compost:

  • Parramore Community Garden
    654 W. Robinson St.
    Orlando, FL
  • Colonialtown North Community Garden
    1517 Lake Highland Dr.
    Orlando, FL
  • Festival Park Community Garden
    2911 E. Robinson St.
    Orlando, FL

Raw Collard Green Salad

Cooking, FL, Growing, Healthy Food, Local Orlando Businesses, Organic Herbs and Teas, Recipes

Inspired by a FarmDaddy Customer

FarmDaddy Raw Collard Green Salad 1
FarmDaddy Raw Collard Green Salad 2

Ingredients:

FarmDaddy Raw Collard Green Salad 3

1 bunch collard greens, washed

1/2 cup olive oil

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

1 cup raw apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup raw sugar – or to taste

Salt & pepper to taste

1 cup walnuts

1 cup cranberries

1/2 cup feta cheese

1/2 cup mandarin oranges, drained

 

Directions:

Remove ribs and stems from collards. Dry collards and stack on top of one another. Roll collards into a cigar shape. Slice very thin using a serrated knife. Place into large bowl. Add olive oil to collards, work thoroughly into greens with hands or a wooden spoon.

Thinly slice red onions using  a “v-slicer” or mandoline for best results. Mix apple cider vinegar and sugar together. Mix until sugar granules are dissolved.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Place red onions into apple cider vinaigrette and allow to marinate for at least 10 minutes.

Add red onions/apple cider vinaigrette into the collards greens along with walnuts, cranberries, feta cheese. Gently combine ingredients.  Top with mandarin oranges and serve.

http://www.farmdaddy.com/blog/

 

Enjoying the little things in life

camping, canoeing, FL, Growing, Healthy Food, hiking, Inspiration, Local Orlando Businesses, Organic Herbs and Teas, Orlando News and Events
Little things in Orlando

Little things in life

Little Doors on Trees in Orlando where is 1- 13?

 

It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important. Arthur Conan Doyle

 

 

I still get wildly enthusiastic about little things… I play with leaves. I skip down the street and run against the wind. Leo Buscaglia

Paying attention

Little doors can be found by paying attention

My view is that life is too short. I’m not being melodramatic or anything, but when your mother dies in your arms – just you and her, and it’s one o’clock in the morning, and you’re waiting for her to exhale – you just think, life’s too bloody short to argue about the little things. Saffron Aldridge

I don’t have to take a trip around the world or be on a yacht in the Mediterranean to have happiness. I can find it in the little things, like looking out into my backyard and seeing deer in the fields. Queen LatifahI 

Bugs everywhere

Wooden Bear sculpture in a tree

I found that if you take a few minutes out of your day to look around and find a few special little things in life— it is amazing how quickly all the big problems you thought you had all of the sudden seem smaller. Nanette Gregory

BRAISED CAULIFLOWER TACOS

Cooking, FL, Growing, Healthy Food, Local Orlando Businesses, Organic Herbs and Teas, Orlando News and Events, Recipes

Ingredients:

  • garlic – 2 cloves, finely minced
  • yellow onion – 1 finely diced
  • extra virgin olive oil – 2 tbsp
  • kosher salt – to taste
  • vegetable stock – 2 cups
  • cauliflower – 1 head, roughly chopped
  • bay leaf – 1
  • diced fire roasted tomatoes with juice – 1 can (15 oz)
  • oregano – ½ tsp
  • chili powder – 2 tsp
  • pimenton (spanish paprika) – 1 tsp
  • cumin – 1 tsp
  • maple sugar – 1 tsp
  • gravy master (optional; contains soy) – ½ tsp

Directions:

Heat large pan over medium-high heat. Add in evoo, onion, pinch of salt. The salt helps draw the moisture out of the onion. Once the onion starts to brown, stir, reduce heat to medium, add garlic. Cook for a couple more minutes, then add veg stock, then cauliflower. Next, add bay leaf, diced tomatoes, oregano, chili powder, pimenton, cumin, maple sugar, pinch of salt, and gravy master.

After this starts to boil, turn heat down to low. Cover, let simmer.

Now is a good time to take a little break, maybe check out our Instagram page!

Simmer the cauliflower blend for 20-30 minutes until the cauliflower is as tender as you like. Uncover and simmer to cook down the juices some more if you like.

Warm some tortillas, and eat it up!

Good ideas for additional toppings:

avocado, cilantro, sliced radishes, salsa, diced tomatoes, refried beans, shredded cheddar (we used daiya), or whatever else your heart desires!

 

cauliflower tacos-1-2

cauliflower tacos-1-3

cauliflower tacos-1-4

cauliflower tacos-1-5

 

 

cauliflower tacos-1-6

http://dandelion.kitchen/portfolio/braised-cauliflower-tacos/

One good way to get involved in your Central Florida Community

Cooking, FL, Growing, Healthy activities, Healthy Food, Local Orlando Businesses, Orlando News and Events
Picnic Project Sanford Florida

Picnic Project Sanford Florida

THE PICNIC PROJECT.  Like Food Not Bombs, the Picnic Project feeds people and families in need in the Sanford area every Sunday (FYI – Picnic Project prepares conventional non-vegetarian food for the families they serve).
Mark a Dandelion Cafe team member is involved in the creation and development of the This Picnic Project and has volunteered countless hours with them over the past 5+ years.  Most weeks Mark gets involved with the SundayCommunity Meal that’s served at 1pm in Downtown Sanford area.

If any of you are interested in supporting the Picnic Project, please talk to Mark or email them at thepicnicproject@yahoo.com, or visit their Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/picnicproject/

Win a FREE Ticket to the 2016 Florida Herbal Conference!

Cooking, Growing, Healthy Food, Organic Herbs and Teas, Orlando News and Events

Mountain Rose Herbs is giving away one free ticket before January 8th

We are so excited to share this interview with Emily Ruff, the Executive Director of the Florida School of Holistic Living and a community herbalist who has practiced the art and science of plant healing for over a decade. Her studies have taken her around three continents where she has studied under healers of many traditions. Emily’s dedication to preserving bioregional medicinal plant traditions and ecosystems led her to serve as a Board Member of United Plant Savers. Inspired by a need for greater connection among her regional community, she founded the Florida Herbal Conference event in 2012, an event which continues to sell out annually. Enjoy the interview and be sure to enter for a chance to win free registration to the 2016 conference!  
Florida Herbal Conference - win a free ticket!

Organic Urban Gardening In Orlando, Florida

Cooking, Growing, Healthy Food, Uncategorized

On this blog, The Dandelion Community is sharing stories from urban organic farmers to help those who want to add fresh vegetables to their daily meals at home, and those who are thinking about going even bigger by contributing to local restaurants, co-ops, and famers’ markets.

urban1lr

Photo Caption: Mint growing in soil at Southern Urban Gardens. They trim often to ensure continuous growth throughout the year.

The biggest challenges associated with organic urban gardening include finding space to grow enough food to feed a family. Much like gardeners all over the world, they must also find a way to cope with local environmental conditions such as weather and access to clean water and soil.

Urban2lr

Photo Caption: Constantly developing seedlings is necessary to support the growth needed to grow daily vegetables for meals.

Here is a story of Ralph Holweck and Gail Tyree from Southern Urban Gardens in Orlando, Florida. They have been organic gardening seriously for several years and have found solutions for overcoming the challenges of space, heat, water, and soil, so they can produce vegetables for their own table and grow enough extra vegetables to supply two local co-ops.

Urbanlr3

Photo Caption: Organic aeroponic “Tower Garden” used by Southern Urban Gardens supports their family and two local co-ops with leafy vegetables throughout the year.

Gail and Ralph currently combine an aeroponic growing system and soil-based gardening to get the best results. Ralph and Gail spent a lot of time researching the best methods of urban gardening and started out slowly so they would not get overwhelmed and quit. They continue to find better ways to get more vegetables within the small space of their backyard.

urbanlr4

Photo Caption: Ralph and Gail found suitable organic seeds to grow healthy and great tasting bell peppers in their tower garden.

They made a decision to use their tower garden for the steady production of leafy vegetables as it reduces the amount of space needed and is easy enough to manage without needing a greenhouse. Finding the right varieties of vegetables that will grow in the heat and tower garden is a challenge. However, Gail and Ralph learned that urban gardening is a lot like the rest of life. You have good days with wonderful leafy vegetables for a daily salad. Then, there are bad days in which the heat is too much for the seedlings they choose to plant that week. Or, to know how to have enough seedlings growing constantly so you will enjoy vegetables daily.

Yet, Ralph and Gail seem to thrive on these little challenges and find ways to make it work. They both agree that there is nothing better than having organic vegetables to set upon their table day in and day out.

To accommodate the heat in Orlando, Gail and Ralph have added a reflective gardening shade cloth over the towers. They found that it is worth the extra money, in comparison, to the performance of typical gardening shade covers.

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Photo Caption: Gail and Ralph invested in reflective gardening shades in order to be able to grow veggies throughout the summer.

Gail and Ralph put a lot of effort towards developing the right soil mixture to grow additional plants that are not suited for the tower gardens. Due to the unusual heat throughout October of this year, Southern Urban Gardens has just started to plant additional vegetables in the soil area of the garden. This area in their yard is finally seeing the cooler nights that are the right temperature for growing in soil. They are looking forward to digging in the soil and seeing what varieties of vegetables successfully grow this year, as compared to last year.

Photo caption for the two images below: Gail loves nothing better than walking out in the soil section of their garden, in the morning, to find the red cranberry hibiscus in full bloom. Days like this make the work seem more like a labor of love.urbanlr5urbanlr7

Ralph and Gail of Southern Urban Gardens are more than willing to share their stories of urban farming and show you how you can benefit by using a mix of aeroponic systems and soil gardening to enjoy fresh, organic vegetables almost every day of the year.  Southern Urban Gardens sell the “Tower Garden” (by Juice Plus) systems.  We (**or Dandelion**) purchased a system from them and Ralph and Gail were extremely helpful in educating and helping us get setup to have a running start.   If you’re interested in organic hydroponic gardening, contact Southern Urban Gardens through Ralph at rdholweck@gmail.com, or call at (407) 247-3843.