Author: J.D. Vivian

Barn owls’ odd culinary habits provide hands-on lesson for kids

A student with the South Florida Fair’s 2016 Summer Ag-ucation Program examines a vole skull at EREC. Barn owls eat rodents, then regurgitate what isn’t digestible.   The Everglades Research and Education Center, south of Belle Glade and run by the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS), has long been respected. But the EREC professors and staff members who work in this far-western Palm Beach County facility don’t just conduct crucial agricultural research. In addition, they provide a variety of outreach programs, including those directed at growers and schoolchildren. “I like to connect kids with...

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How Does Your (Backyard) Garden Grow? Mounts Can Help

Mounts Botanical Garden in suburban West Palm Beach will host a seminar, Farm Your Backyard: Vegetable Growing, on Saturday, Sept. 17, from 9 a.m.-noon. The seminar, in Exhibit Hall A, will feature Arthur Kirstein, the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences’ extension coordinator of agricultural economic development. The seminar will focus on techniques to help you manage small vegetable projects. Topics include site preparation, seedling establishment, planting, maintenance, and harvesting; followed by a tour of the Mounts’ vegetable garden. $20, members; $30, nonmembers. 531 N. Military Trail, West Palm Beach. To register, call 561-233-1730 or visit...

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Tarpon Springs man lives in Florida’s first ‘hempcrete’ home

This house, in Tarpon Springs, looks just like many others throughout the Sunshine State. But don’t let its benign appearance fool you. This single-family home is unique (so far) in Florida. / Bob Clayton   Bob Clayton can boast about something that no other resident of the Sunshine State can (though he wants to change that). Clayton moved into his new home – made of “hempcrete” – in 2014. No one else in the state is known to have built a house composed of the hemp plant’s woody core and a lime-based binder. In almost every way, the home...

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