Eco-friendly Food and Garden

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Catalina Madrinan shows BambooCo Cycle that will aid a community in
an area of Cali, Colombia.

At the Food and Garden fest Saturday morning, Catalina Madrinan was still furnishing her booth when we wandered over to talk. Worm castings and worm tea, a calendar called Ladies of Manure and a few small plants were her tabletop display, but the really attractive bamboo bicycle was a prize. It was the first one finished in a program that Cata and her friend Sonia Quintero have started in the Montebello neighborhood of Cali, Colombia to train community members to build the frames and generate income for the densely populated neighborhood. Ecocultura, the women’s company, held a contest to name the bike frame and the winner was BambooCo Cycle. The frame now sells for $600 because it takes a week to make, Catalina said. I signed up to receive updates on the project.

Ladybug swing made of old tire.

Over at the Re-tired Tire booth, ladybug tires suitable for swings, black and white chicken planters and tread-y alligators are delightfully clever uses for something we have too many of, used tires.

Spring plant sales drew many buyers.

Leila Warner, who works at the Fairchild Farm, was at the fruit pavilion, where displays included beautiful baskets of papaya, canistel, mangos and vanilla orchid cuttings, honey and Everglades tomatoes. Leila reports that she went camping at Myakka State Park recently and came up with the idea of how to start a charcoal fire using a homemade candle. She gathered a lot of oak twigs and melted candle wax over them in a small container. These can be used in the center of briquettes to avoid that awful smell of lighting fluid.

Sales of Fairchild’s nursery-grown plants were brisk, and lots of people seemed to be refurbishing their butterfly gardens with plants Mary Collins readied, including two kinds of native passionflower, moujean tea, a dwarf shrub from the Bahamas, Croton linearis, a host for two rare butterflies, Bartram’s’ Hairstreak and Florida Leafwing.

Plenty of vegetable and flower garden-y things to buy, from miracle fruit to 15-foot fruit pickers. There are talks and demonstrations scheduled throughout today and Sunday.