Our commitment to growing produce that is beyond organic means we work with nature, not against it. Diversity in plant and insect life is the key to our successful garden. Keeping the land, animals, and (most of all) YOU, healthy the organic way. Simultaneously, we are able to minimize our carbon footprint by eliminating extra packaging and food miles.
Many farmers may say that they only use organic pesticides, or they only use pesticides when absolutely necessary. I would ask questions about what they do in a worst case scenario. What do they do when they are devastated by an insect? How do they control ants around their farm?
This one is a tricky one. Most vegetable farmers will not use herbicides directly around their crops as it would damage the sensitive leaves of most annual crops like vegetables. But ask your farmer if they use herbicides (like round up) in the summer months when they are not growing any crops?
Seeds are not labeled as GMO, instead they are often labeled as a protected or selected variety by the seed company. Ask your farmer if they ever buy a trademarked or protected plant variety? Please ask your farmer if they ever purchase treated seeds? Also, ask them if they start all their own transplants or if they purchase them from a nursery? When purchasing from a nursery you are not in control of what methods they are using and what seeds they are using.
This is a big Deal, and this is one claim that farmers may neglect to mention when trying to show you how clean and “organic like” their produce is. Florida is not known for having as rich of soils as other parts of the country, but this does not mean that we cannot grow without the use of chemical fertilizers. Ask your farmer how he/she fertilizes their crops? Fertilizers may not seem as dangerous as pesticides to our health, but they are detrimental to our waterways and with such a shallow water shed (we Floridians know that digging a hole 3 or 4 feet deep will yield ground water) these Fertilizers are adversely affecting our Indian River each day. Please check out the information at floridatoday.com & planetnatural.com
Ask your farmer what they do for disease control? A big problem here in Florida is Nematodes, ask what they do to suppress Nematodes? Also, cucumbers and squash have many mold and bacterial diseases (like Downy Mildew or Bacterial Wilt); ask your farmer what they use to help stop these?
We strive to provide a beautiful and fruitful ecosystem filled with a biodiversity of plants and insects. This fosters competition and helps keep insects and plant diseases in check. We do till our soil from time to time, but also use no till methods to keep our soil alive with bacteria and fungi that create mutually beneficial relationships with plants’ roots and enable veggies to uptake nutrients otherwise unusable to plants in the soil .We strive to work with nature, and have decided that this means not using any pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides, fungicides or any other chemical in our fields. We would rather choose natures diversity to man’s interference. This means that we do step in fire ants from time to time but we also get to be witness to lady bugs eating aphids, as well as wasps and spiders taking care of hornworms and lacewings. When dealing with plant diseases we use compost to make teas to strengthen the plants. We rely on the strength of a healthy plant to recover, while we may have to prune back unhealthy parts and compost them. We take growing delicious veggies very seriously and we hope that you can taste a difference! When trying to make responsible decisions about your produce choices you may have to be a bit of an investigator these days. We all know that the terminologies used like “organic” and “all natural” have sometimes been bent to help sell to more customers.You may hear growers describing their farm as pesticide free or almost organic. I want to help educate you as to what farmers may be alluding to when selling you on their produce. Here are the main claims of Organic Agriculture, and here are some good questions to ask your farmer/grower so that you can make your own choices about what you are purchasing. Some of their answers may surprise you.
Green Flamingo not only specializes in growing top quality vegetables, but raises free range chickens as well. Along with seasonal organic produce, we have dedicated ourselves to raising the most content pastured poultry around. Raised on grass, scrap vegetables and chicken scratch, these birds live in the sunshine, forage the bugs, and have an active chicken life.Simply put, this means our chickens have an exquisite flavor! They are naturally more moist and juicy and provide superior nutritional qualities rich in antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, beta carotene, and vitamin E and are the cleanest and healthiest source of protein you will find. We respect and work with nature by not using anything artificial such as growth hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, herbicides or chemicals of any kind.Our birds are raised with pride and we enjoy selling them direct to the public at the New Smyrna Beach Farmer’s Market. Come talk to us anytime about our happy poultry!Price per pound: $6 ($5.40 for CSA members) Average chicken weight: 2-4lbs
We have also joined forces with other local farms to help give new life to organic agriculture in our area. We can't grow everything, so we connect with other local growers in cooperation, not competition.
There are good organic practices that farmers have been using for thousands of years to help face all the challenges associated with growing vegetables in Florida, so do not be fooled if a farmer tells you that it is impossible to grow everything organic on their farm.
NSB native, Elizabeth Dannemiller, owns and operates Green Flamingo Organics. After gardening at Organic Farms across the country through WWOOF USA, Liz has come back to her home town to help bring organic produce to her community.
Farm manager Tara Allen has been working at Green Flamingo Organics since 2014 and managing since 2015. She fell in love with growing organic produce after WWOOFing in both the UK and Italy for 8 months. Originally from Florida, Tara went to high school in Minnesota. After studying Human Ecology at College of the Atlantic in Maine she decided to bring her dedication for farming back to her home state of Florida.
World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, known simply as WWOOF, connects sustainable farmers with willing volunteers. WWOOFers, as they are known, learn about the organic movement and sustainable agriculture while receiving room and board. It is an educational and cultural exchange program where volunteers learn practical farming skills, become part of the organic agriculture movement and experience the heart of American agrarian culture. Host farms and WWOOFers exchange education, culture and sweat to bring forth wholesome agricultural products from organic farms world wide. They encourage all types of WWOOFers and hosts who would like to work together to strengthen sustainable agriculture. For more information visit the WWOOF-USA website: wwoofusa.org/
Check out this video about our farm!