Sunday, December 16, 2012

Feasts of Season

The crew at 3 Boys Farm extend a warm holiday welcome to our newest customers:

Emeril's Orlando

We're honored and excited! Be sure to look for 3 Boys Farm organic greens, tomatoes, herbs, and more when you visit these wonderful establishments.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Lettuce Celebrate!

As the holidays approach, Robert and the crew at 3 Boys Farm want to express their appreciation to loyal customers for their continued support, and to say "Welcome!" to new friends who are joining the tasty, healthful world of farming re-imagined. And, of course, to wish everyone peace and joy--now, and in the year to come.

Speaking of which, may 2013 be a prosperous, magic-filled year for all!

In no particular order, warm wishes and sincere thanks go out to our colleagues at:

Rosen Hotels
Loews Resorts
Hyatt Resorts
Restaurant Partners
The Great Irish Pub
The Walt Disney World Company...

...and all who buy produce from 3 Boys Farm and support our unique, innovative, and sustainable methods of growing organic hydroponic foods.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Come on down to Downtown St. Pete: 3 Boys Farm's got the goods

Deborah and Tyler--and lots of delicious organic hydroponic lettuces, tomatoes, and herbs--will be at the Saturday Market today in downtown St. Petersburg (corner of 1st Avenue S. and 1st Street SE), between 9:00 am and 2:00 pm.

See you there!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

3 Boys Farm now at St.Petersburg's Saturday Market!

At long last, the weather is gorgeous--our fall and "winter" seasons are why so many people live here (or at least, why they come south for a few months).

And by popular demand, we're now offering select 3 Boys Farm organic and hydroponic goodies--including several varieties of ultra-fresh lettuce, herbs (like our highly-demanded Genovese basil), and Italian heirloom tomatoes--at our booth at the Saturday Market in downtown St. Petersburg (corner of 1st Avenue S. and 1st Street SE), between 9:00 am and 2:00 pm every Saturday.

We invite residents of the Tampa Bay area to stop by and see why local, sustainably-grown organic hydroponics are the best thing since sliced bread. (Of which, incidentally, there are plenty of delicious varieties sold by our fellow vendors at the Saturday Market.)

Come and say Hello to Tyler, Deborah (mother of the 3 Boys), and on low-homework weekends, at least one or two of the 3 Boys themselves.

And if you're out walking with a four-legged friend, we'll have plenty of fresh water and dog treats on hand.

See you on Saturday!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Water, water...well, nowhere. But 3 Boys Farm can handle the drought.

Drought-stressed corn (Image: CraneStation/Flickr)

As severe drought conditions destroy record numbers of crops and endanger yet more across the United States, farmers are understandably reassessing the bill of goods they were sold by multinational Big Biotech companies who pushed GMO (genetically modified) seeds, always promising greater yields, no matter what conditions were, no matter what was sprayed on them. The truth about those products, as usual, turns out to be much more complicated than the superficial claims dreamed up by advertising copywriters.

We're reminded of a television ad from the 1970's in which a tiara-wearing fairy goddess scolds people who've just given her a muffin slathered with margarine that she is supposed to have mistaken for real butter:

It's not NICE to fool Mother Nature!

No, it isn't. Fooling Mother Nature is also a feat that, in the long run, is pretty much impossible to pull off--something Big Ag and Big Biotech companies would do well to realize.

From Wired's Science section comes this sobering post, entitled Why King Corn Wasn't Ready for the Drought.  Apparently, even as GMO seeds--ones designed to tolerate, say, massive applications of weedkiller or pesticide--wind up causing unintended consequences (you guessed it: they're breeding Super-Weeds and Super-Bugs), biotech companies are still trying to fool Mother Nature, creating seeds they claim will handle drought.  The benefits will be limited, however, and one agricultural economist says it's because Big Biotech has not, to date, viewed drought-tolerance as a moneymaking thing into which to pour research dollars:
If they work as advertised, the varieties could be quite useful in droughts of low to moderate intensity. Their utility in the crucible that much of the central and western United States is expected to become, however, will likely be limited. 
It’s a far cry from traits like Bt pesticide production and Roundup herbicide tolerance. Those are powerful and ubiquitous, the agricultural analogues of blockbuster drugs, and have dominated company research efforts. “They are incredibly large products, and that’s why the companies have emphasized them,” said agricultural economist Greg Graff of Colorado State University. 
Given the costs of developing new products, agriculture companies, just like drug companies, focus on those with the biggest payoffs. As for drought tolerance, said Graff, “We haven’t been trying that hard for that long.
As you know, 3 Boys Farm is a largely hydroponic facility--we are, by definition, water-users.

But--and this is important--we never try to fool Mother Nature.  We much prefer listening to her, learning from her, and working alongside her.

Which is why we grow from organic, heirloom seeds.  And rather than ask "What manipulations can we make to the DNA of a plant in order to make it tolerate low-water conditions?" we instead think:
What can we do to ensure the water we DO get from our environment is put to its highest use? 
Can we significantly reduce the amount of water we drain from the earth by capturing it from the sky, and saving it? 
How can we prevent wasting water?
For answers to those questions, take a peek at the video at the top of the sidebar.-->

The solution to growing food in dry conditions does not lie within lab-altered seeds, especially given that such seeds then become the patented properties of corporate interests, ones that don't always align with human interests.

The solution to growing food for a growing world is to maximize yields within available resource limits. And you do this by combining simple, time-tested conservation methods (like rainwater catchment) with modern materials, such as light-filtering fabrics and solar-powered cooling systems.

Just as we've been doing at 3 Boys Farm.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Demand for locally-grown produces continues to rise

The number of American farmers' markets continues to climb. (Photo via.)

Whether it's asking their local supermarket manager to please stock more produce grown close-to-home--and thus reduce the carbon footprint associated with their dinner plates--or visiting one of a growing number of farmers' markets cropping up around the country (see what we did there?!), Americans are voting with their wallets: clearly, they appreciate the superior fresh flavor and nutritive value of vegetables that spend as little time as possible in storage and transit.

Professional chefs are leading the way, too.  As diners become more selective about the food they put on their own tables, so too are they asking for local-and-fresh when they go out to eat.

Chefs have long led the way when it comes to introducing new flavors and kicking off trends in cuisine--remember when the only kind of salad one could get at a steakhouse, say, was iceberg lettuce strewn with a few tough bits of tomato and drowned in Thousand Island dressing?

Creative cooks in forward-leaning regions--particularly those blessed with both the climate and terrain that supports a strong agricultural community, like northern California--helped introduce America to the range of delicious and wildly different salad greens we take for granted these days.  The "Eat Local" movement is happening in large part because professionals led the way, one baby arugula salad with Meyer lemon vinaigrette at a time.  It's only logical that diners would eventually want to make those fresh, unique salads themselves--hence, farmers' markets:

"Farmers markets are a critical ingredient to our nation's food system," USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan said. "These outlets provide benefits not only to the farmers looking for important income opportunities, but also to the communities looking for fresh, healthy foods."

After 18 years of steady increases, the number of farmers markets across the country now registered with the USDA is 7,864. In 1994, there were 1,744. Organizations such as Slow Food, founded in 1989 to counter fast-food, junk-food lifestyles, first ignited consumer demand for fresh, local produce.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Meanwhile, back at the farm...(after the ACF Convention)

Returning home inspired!

Sales Manager Michael Bresnahan and Robert Tornello returned home this week from a very successful industry trade show: the ACF Convention, in Orlando.  We were delighted to finally be able to meet the people behind the names, that is, the top professional chefs--in Florida and beyond--with whom we have been working this past year.

And we have to say, we were inordinately pleased to meet executive chefs from across the country who already knew about 3 Boys Farm, and who had read about our leadership in sustainable agriculture.

In addition to having made new friends--and of course realized new business for the farm, thanks to the show--Robert was asked by executive chefs in Florida to assist them with their farm-to-school programs.

We'd like to thank the local ACF chapters for inviting 3 Boys Farm to participate in this superb trade show--we will definitely be at the next Florida ACF Convention.

And finally, we want to let you know that both Michael and Robert are available, at no charge, to speak about sustainable farming at your chapter meetings. (Please contact Michael-- Mike@3BoysFarm -- to schedule this.) 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

3 Boys Farm at annual ACF Chefs' Convention in Orlando--Visit us today & tomorrow

Sales Manager Michael Bresnahan discussing salad and sustainability 

Calling all chefs: Be sure to stop by 3 Boys Farm's booth (#122) at the ACF Chefs' Convention, taking place right now (and tomorrow) at the Marriot World Center in Orlando, Florida.

Got greens? Why, yes we do--delicious, living greens at that. Come taste for yourself!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Robert Tornello & 3 Boys Farm on the cover of In The Field

Click here to go to the online version of In The Field, Hillsborough County's monthly agriculture periodical.  3 Boys Farm is featured on pages 54-56.

Congrats, Robert!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Organic farming in America today: A picture says a thousand words

(Click to enlarge)

At 3 Boys Farm, we're obviously 100%-PRO-organic farming, and not just because that's what we do here in western Florida.  We love cooking for our own family using fresh, local ingredients; our family are both consumers and producers of organics.

It's gratifying to see the movement taking hold--in areas beyond California, too--and with good reason: Customers want nutritious, high-quality produce that comes from time-tested, heirloom seeds, that's grown with care, that's harvested locally (or as close-to-locally as possible), and most importantly, that's free from dangerous pesticides and chemical fertilizers.

We've got your salad plates covered.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Live greens equal lively taste: Eating is believing!

Since we last posted, we've been crazy-busy here at 3 Boys Farm, what with test-plantings, crop harvests (almost a daily event now that production has reached a truly impressive level and continues to grow--so to speak!) and, of course, with taking area chefs on tour.

As people who truly love good food, we always enjoy showing off to the professionals whose life work involves creating delicious dishes. And when chefs visit the farm, we can just sit back and let our lettuces, tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and herbs sell themselves. (Well, there might be a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar involved.)

Time and again, we've found that the best advertising is "taste of mouth"--in other words, we sit our visitors down, toss a lovely fresh salad, and show them how our product will work for them. Sometimes, chefs will just grab the utensils themselves and play for a while, which we're more than happy to let them do.

Produce and lettuce are harvested and prepared, and everyone enjoys a wonderful al fresco lunch. Visiting chefs, once they taste real, organic produce--and know they will be getting it directly from the farm--tend to say they'll never go back to using traditional distributor-supplied produce, given its inferior taste and nutritive values thanks to the long storage times (sometimes weeks) involved.

Chefs' tours can be arranged by contacting 3 Boys Farm via e-mail or phone (in the sidebar); you'll need to schedule your visit at least 3-4 weeks in advance during Florida's off-season. (During peak season, visits will necessarily be limited as we are a working farm.)