Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Events

Saturday festival will celebrate the sweet potato

NEW PORT RICHEY — It's harvest time for the sweet potato.

And for those who have a hankering, the 2017 Sweet Potato Round-Up and Fall Farming Market will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the West Pasco Habitat for Humanity Restore on Madison Street.

The Sweet Potato Round-Up is part of a larger project that harmonizes with other annual events, such as the Okra Occasion, now in its third year, and the Loquat Festival, which will celebrate its fifth anniversary in March, said Dell deChant.

Getting the events off the ground is a passion for deChant, associate chairman of religious studies at the University of South Florida.

"These events stress education and encouragement and engagement within the community," said deChant, who serves locally on a variety of urban gardening ventures, including as chairman of the New Port Richey Environmental Committee and as a steering committee member for Friendship Farm and Fare. "The idea is to educate folks about local seasons, local foods, local markets and local economy."

Those who have relocated to Florida are often unfamiliar with Southern growing seasons, said Sylvia Spencer, manager of the Habitat garden as well as the Grand Garden community plot on Grand Boulevard.

"A lot of people don't know what you can grow here in the hot summer months," Spencer said, listing what's been planted in some of the 30 raised beds at the Habitat garden. "There's sweet potatoes, okra, eggplant. We just harvested 11 pounds of peanuts good for boiling."

About 300 pounds of heirloom sweet potatoes pulled from the gardens of local organic growers will be up for the offering on Saturday, Spencer said.

"It's almost like a treasure box, digging them out of the dirt," she said. "You never know what you're going to find — how many, how big they are, what kind."

Varieties available at the Round-Up will include Georgia Jets, Beauregards, Centennials and Nancy Halls. Sizes will vary from small fingerlings to extra-large.

And don't expect them all to be pretty.

"They're not going to be perfect like in the supermarket," Spencer said, adding that some will have blemishes and may need trimming. That's the trade-off when it comes the "waste not/want not" organic philosophy.

This is a twofold event that also includes the Fall Farming Festival, for those who want to purchase cool-weather seeds and seedlings for fall vegetable gardens and perhaps get some advice from local organic gardeners.

Information will also be available for consumers and organic growers interested in joining the FarmNet online market and the weekly Saturday Market at the Habitat for Humanity Restore in New Port Richey.

Comments
Smashing Pumpkins or Dave Matthews Band? Plus Rascal Flatts, Chicago and more concert picks

Smashing Pumpkins or Dave Matthews Band? Plus Rascal Flatts, Chicago and more concert picks

The best concerts this week in Tampa Bay.
Updated: 3 hours ago
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for July 19

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for July 19

Sunrise Sale and Pajama Party: If you forgot to set your alarm for this sale that starts at 6:43 a.m., you can still find deals into the noon hour. Wear your pajamas for extra deals and a free gift. The starting point is at Beach Drive and Second Ave...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Where to get a good hot dog in Tampa Bay for National Hot Dog Day

Where to get a good hot dog in Tampa Bay for National Hot Dog Day

Monday, July 23, is National Hot Dog Day. I don’t know precisely why, but I think some major lobbying from the sausage board was involved. It’s baseball season, it’s barbecue season, it’s I-don’t-feel-like-cooking season. Those are plenty of reasons....
Updated: 3 hours ago
Paul Stankard creates ‘Unseen Worlds’ in glass, plus art for kids this week

Paul Stankard creates ‘Unseen Worlds’ in glass, plus art for kids this week

NOW OPEN: UNSEEN WORLDSGlass paperweights always fascinated me when I was a child, but not because I understood the artistry and skill that goes into making one. It’s the tiny worlds encapsulated in glass that let my imagination run wild. Those world...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Top things to do this week: Tampa Theatre BeerFest, Metrocon, #MomTruths, swimsuit bar crawl

Top things to do this week: Tampa Theatre BeerFest, Metrocon, #MomTruths, swimsuit bar crawl

BEERFEST: Hop Gun Tampa Theatre’s annual movie-themed fundraiser, BeerFest, has produced parties with tongue-in-cheek themes like Barley’s Angels, the Brews Brothers and Hoppy Gilmore. This year it’s "Hop Gun," and partygoers are e...
Updated: 3 hours ago
What’s on stage this week: Hawk & Wayne does politics, Opera Tampa toasts Gilbert & Sullivan

What’s on stage this week: Hawk & Wayne does politics, Opera Tampa toasts Gilbert & Sullivan

OPEN SEASON: TRUST METwo candidates will square off Friday to debate one of the hottest topics of the political season: immigration. You can see them in action at the First Unity Spiritual Campus, where you also may spot campaign staffers, managers a...
Updated: 3 hours ago
In theaters this week: ‘Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again,’ ‘The Equalizer 2,’ silent film ‘Safety Last’

In theaters this week: ‘Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again,’ ‘The Equalizer 2,’ silent film ‘Safety Last’

OPENING FRIDAY:MAMMA MIA: HERE WE GO AGAINSophie (Amanda Seyfried) learns about the past of her mother (Meryl Streep in present time, Lily James in flashbacks) while pregnant herself in this sequel to the Abba-fueled musical comedy. With Pierce Brosn...
Updated: 3 hours ago
5 things to do under $5 this week: Puppet show, bike night, shuffleboard, butterfly count

5 things to do under $5 this week: Puppet show, bike night, shuffleboard, butterfly count

1 Butterfly Count: You can learn to identify common Florida butterflies and how organized butterfly counts work. The count information will be used to populate data for Florida Nature Trackers. For ages 12 and older. Noon-2 p.m. Friday. Chinsegut Con...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Review: Ace Atkins’ ‘The Sinners’ a bloody, and funny, trip to the altar

Review: Ace Atkins’ ‘The Sinners’ a bloody, and funny, trip to the altar

There’s always so much to deal with in the weeks before your wedding. For Quinn Colson, there’s his mother’s threat to sing Elvis karaoke if he doesn’t hire a band, the question of whether his long-gone stuntman daddy will show up at all, his bride-t...
Published: 07/18/18
Bowled over: From acai to poke, the top 10 bowls in Tampa Bay

Bowled over: From acai to poke, the top 10 bowls in Tampa Bay

Why, exactly, are bowls the new plates? The Wall Street Journal declared it so. Tableware companies like Fiesta have reported serious double-digit growth in the sale of bowls, salad bowls, cereal bowls, you name it. Fast-food restaurants have jumped...
Published: 07/17/18