Urban Agriculture is home vegetable gardens, community gardens, hydroponics, community supported agriculture, fish farming, farm to school, farmer’s markets and other small scale production. UF/IFAS Extension supports community food system development through innovative local food programs and participation in local food networks. Extension provides educational workshops on alternative growing methods, building a food business, food safety, and much more.
Next time you head to a “U-pick” farm, stop at a roadside stand, or swing by a farmers market, know that you’re not just picking up something good to eat, but also keeping your community healthy in all aspects of the word.
DON’T SEE YOUR GARDEN LISTED HERE?
Enter your garden into the map by completing this survey form, and we’ll update the map within a few days. This information will be used to inform residents about gardens in their area, assist urban agriculture efforts in Orange County via needs and assets assessment, network building, and policy updates. If you have any questions, please call Caitlyn Glatting at 407-254-9226 or email at email@example.com.
Food Systems & Sustainability
Sustainability as a goal means to use resources in a way that conserves and maintains that resource base, while also providing social, economic, and environmental benefits. Encouraging local food systems can help to incorporate sustainable practices into the food we eat.
UF/IFAS’s Partnership for Water, Agriculture, and Community Sustainability at Hastings defines a sustainable food system as a collaborative network of farmers, consumers, and communities that partner to create a more locally based, self-reliant food system. Farmers markets are one example of where this network comes together.
Local food systems enhance the social relationships between farmers and consumers; support small and family farmers; keep local agricultural economies viable; maintain genetic diversity of food crops; and preserve natural resources, rural land areas, and wildlife spaces.
Florida’s warm weather means you can find a wide variety of local foods grown year-round, as opposed to the limited growing seasons of more northern locations. Here are some resources to help you find information on Florida foods and where to buy them:
- Finding Florida Fresh Produce—UF/IFAS
- Florida Fresh Series—UF/IFAS
- Community Supported Agriculture in Florida—Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS)
- Florida Community Farmers’ Markets—FDACS
- Florida Crops, Seasonal Availability—FDACS
- Florida “Farm to School” Program—FDACS
- Florida Seafood—FDACS
Good Food Central Florida
Established in 2013, Good Food Central Florida (GFCF) is a local food policy council comprised of people who are interested in building and advocating for a healthier, more sustainable food system. Our vision is to create a vibrant local food economy that supports access to affordable, healthy food in every neighborhood. With help and support from surrounding municipalities, GFCF continues to sustain a vibrant local food economy for the Central Florida region. GFCF meets weekly on the third Thursday of the month from 2p-4:30p at rotating locations. To find out about the next meeting, add your email to the GFCF listserv, click here to sign up.
Small Farms / Urban Farms / Food Production
Small farms represent over 90% of all farms in Florida, based on the USDA definition of a small farm as one with up to $250,000 in sales. These farms make about 15% of all farm product sales in Florida and have gained much greater visibility as an important sector of the agricultural industry in the “Sunshine State”. Small farmers and allied organizations have identified critical issues facing small farms in Florida. The issues include access to profitable markets, business skills development, accessible technical information, and alternative crops and enterprises.
The Small Farms Extension team provides this web page so you can find commonly needed information from "getting started" to "evaluating an alternative enterprise", to "finding a market", all in one place on the web. In addition, the team coordinates several regional workshops, a statewide Florida Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Conference and regional small farms working groups that meet periodically on operating small farms. You can find the schedule of all of these activities by visiting the Calendar of Events section of the UF/IFAS Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises website.