Archive for May, 2010

Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program Coupons to be Mailed Early June

May 28, 2010

Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., said more than $300,000 worth of Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) coupon booklets will be mailed to qualifying senior citizens the first week of June.
Strain said the coupons give senior citizens an opportunity to buy fresh, locally grown produce and support state agriculture at the same time.
“The Farmers Market Nutrition Program is a very important program for our senior citizens and state farmers,” Strain said. “Senior citizens who qualified for the program will receive $24 worth of food coupons to be spent on fresh produce grown by local farmers.
“I set a goal to get the food vouchers in the hands of our senior citizens by the first week of June. In early June, it will be harvest time for a large variety of Louisiana produce and the selection for tomatoes, blueberries, peppers, squash, beans and melons will be at its peak. June will be one of the best months to redeem the coupons.”
Strain said each coupon booklet contains six $4 coupons that may only be redeemed at approved farmers markets and roadside stands to buy fresh fruits, vegetables, cut herbs and honey approved by the FMNP. The coupons can also be used during the fall harvest season but must be redeemed by Nov. 30, 2010.
A person must be at least 60 years old and earn less than 185 percent of the poverty level to have qualified for the program. Strain said for a one-person household, the annual income level should be $20,036 or less. The annual household income in a two-person household should be $26,955 or less.
For more information about the Farmers Market Nutrition Program, call 985-345-9483.


Florida Blueberries are Finally Ready!

May 27, 2010

After some weather delays, Florida blueberries are finally ready! Heather McPherson from the Orlando Sentinel lists some You-Pick-It operations in the article linked here.

Blueberries: A Natural Alternative to Use in Fighting Diseases

May 25, 2010

Blueberries provide a natural alternative to expensive and ineffective pharmaceuticals to help fight cancer and other diseases. Read this article for more information.

Frost Threatens Maine’s Blueberry Crops

May 12, 2010

Frost threatens Maine’s blueberry crops. Read this article for more information.

Fighting Frost with Ice

May 11, 2010

England blueberry producers are fighting frost with ice. Debora Van Brenk from The London Free Press tells all about it in this article.

Blueberry Fest! in Bartow, Fla.

May 6, 2010

“Blueberry Fest!” is the theme for the May Friday Festival in Bartow, Fla., scheduled for May 21, from 6-9 p.m. in downtown Bartow.

The street party will feature food, drink, and children’s activities, along with live musical entertainment. There also will be a Blueberry Cake Walk and an open Cruise-In for classic automobiles.

For more information, call 863.519.0508.

Dying Honey Bee Population Threatens U.S. Blueberry Crop

May 6, 2010

A bee expert is warning of a nationwide honey bee crisis after a survey released April 30 reveals one-third of commercial beekeepers’ colonies died over the winter, the fourth consecutive year that’s happened.

Growing Blueberries in Your Own Backyard

May 3, 2010

Blueberries are one sweet treat you can grow in your own backyard. Click here to read what Gary Gao, an Ohio State University Extension educator in agriculture and natural resources, has to say about this and more.