Hydroponic Farming of Bekemeyer Family Farm in Winter Garden, Florida
Dear Friends & Neighbors,
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It’s a gorgeous and sunny day here in Central Florida on a beautiful weekend afternoon! One cannot help but feeling as though there’s much good things in life waiting to be discovered…..and voila! Just as we (hubby and I) were pulling up to E. Story Road in Winter Garden, (Bekemeyer Hydroponic Farm, 1055 E. Story Road, Winter Garden, FL, to be exact), we’ve noticed a vegetable stand with many rows of clear dome-shaped tents behind….
is this the hydroponic gardening/farming I’ve been hearing much about (including part of Disney’s Epcot display in Living With The Land 8:40-10:59) in recent years? Naturally, I wanted to stop and find out more because fresh plants and vegetables always make me feel good.
As it turned out, this is the Bekemeyer Hydroponic Farm (1055 E. Story Road, Winter Garden, FL, BekemeyerFamilyFarm@gmail.com, 407-917-8068), a family farm that has evolved from a 20 acres citrus (orange grove) and 3-4 acres of vegetable farm since 1920’s into the current hydroponic farm of a great variety of produce (from UPick strawberries, eggplants, tomatoes, zucchini, kale, broccoli, cabbages, radishes, peppers, onions, squash, chives, cilantro, corn, etc.).
- It produces greater yield per acre (even though this is Bekemeyer Family’s first year in hydroponic farming, they are already yielding at 6x the level per acre as compared to their land farming outcome.).
In many parts of the country where the growing season is short, having a more controllable environment such as hydroponic farming would help to increase the duration of growing season.
- Instead of using all herbicides or pesticides, many/most hydroponic farmers also utilize beneficial insects or good bugs such as lady beetles, green lacewings, and praying mantis , translating into much smaller quantities of chemicals being sprayed into the environment.
- Do not forget TASTE: locally grown food or produce simply taste much better than food or produce transported in from far away land. With greater control of the growing environment, hydroponic produce may eventually have greater nutrition value than land grown produce. The tomatoes from Bekemeyer Hydroponic Farm are simply marvelously delicious! Local homes and restaurants would do well to check out these organically grown hydroponic produce.
As I walked through Bekemeyer Hydroponic Farm, I also met Jason and Nancy Walker (Executive Team Consultant of Jason Walker & Associates, LLC, Food For Families Ministry of Bread of Life Fellowship, Inc.), Benny McLean (production manager of Uncle Matt’s Organic Farm) of Clermont, Rev. Peter Ndamba from Zimbabwe (Missions To Africa, Zimbabwe Address: P.O. Box 208, Mvurwi, Zimbabwe, Africa, cell: +263 772352372, USA Address: 83 N. Avondale, Amarillo, TX 79106, cell: 1 (806)3670101). It is exciting to realize that organic and hydroponic farming is a global movement through interactions of these individuals.
Check out Bekemeyer Family Farm of Winter Garden and Uncle Matt’s Organic Farm of Clermont when you get a chance. Connect with Rev. Peter Ndamba if you are interested in becoming involved with Missions To Africa (Rev. Ndamba will be in Orlando until end of June: USA Address: 83 N. Avondale, Amarillo, TX 79106, cell: 1 (806)3670101)). As it turned out, Uncle Matt’s organic probiotic juices and organic blackberries are on sale right now in your local Publix! I do need to remind you that Bekemeyer’s strawberries have mostly been picked, so please give them a call (407-917-8068) to ascertain what is available before you go out there.
In the process of researching for this post, I have also learned about a wonderful resource for those of you interested in organic farming, Mineral Nutrition of Higher Plants by Petra Marschner.
To remind you all how important minerals are for sustenance of our human body, please take a look at one of our earlier posts, How To Spot & Prevent Magnesium Deficiency.
~Let’s Help One Another~
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