Media Release

April Commercial Horticulture Programs

Monday, March 24, 2014 3:30 PM

ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - The UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Office is pleased to announce the following Commercial Horticulture Programs for April, 2014. These programs are being offered by Aparna Gazula, Commercial Horticulture Agent, at the UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Office (2800 NE 39 Avenue, Gainesville) unless otherwise indicated.

Grafting Vegetable Transplants Workshop – Tomatoes and Melons (with Wendy Wilber, Environmental Horticulture Agent and Dr. Xin Zhao, Associate Professor, UF Horticultural Sciences Department) – April 9, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Participants will learn the advantages and limitations of farming with grafted plants and will get a hands-on look at producing their own grafted transplants.

Becoming a Beekeeper – Beginners Short Course – April 19, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. (first of a four part series)

Topic: Hive Setup; Queen, Colony and Swarm Management, Working With the Hive Checklist

This course will allow the participants to receive a complete perspective of the process and expense involved with keeping honey bees as a hobby or alternative farm enterprise.

Classes are free. They will be handson short courses, where participants will be working with an active hive. Class is limited to first 50 registrants.

Food Safety Workshop: Building Your Own Farm’s Food Safety Manual – April 21, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the Straughn IFAS Extension Professional Development Center (2142 Shealy Drive, Gainesville).

The class is taught by Aparna Gazula, and other members of the UF/IFAS Small Farm Food Safety Implementation Team.

If you plan to develop a Food Safety Program for your fruit and/or vegetable farming operations, field or greenhouse, this one-day workshop is for you! 

A Food Safety Program is often required by farms to sell to most intermediate or large chain stores. Smaller operations selling directly to consumers may also be advised to develop a manual for their farm.  This issue has become an important component of doing business on farms and will be even more important in the future.

This one-day workshop helps growers develop food safety manuals. The main parts of a food safety manual will be developed during the day.

The class will be done on a computer (one laptop provided per farm if needed) and will be limited to 20 farms, using a web-based food safety manual development program.  Those farmers needing assistance on the computer can bring a helper. 

The registration fee is $30.00 for the first person representing a farm (Primary Participant), and $15.00 for an additional attendee (Secondary Participant). The registration fee includes refreshments and lunch for the day.  This training is supported with funding from a Specialty Crops Block Grant through the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Microgreens – A New Specialty Crop (with Bob Hochmuth) – April 24, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Frequently called "vegetable confetti," microgreens are young, tender greens that are used to enhance the color, texture, or flavor of salads, or to garnish a wide variety of main dishes. Harvested at the first true leaf stage and sold with the stem, cotyledons (seed leaves), and first true leaves attached, they are among a variety of novel salad greens available on the market that are typically distinguished categorically by their size and age. Participants will learn about producing microgreens for home use, commercial and local markets.

Green Industries Best Management Practices – April 29, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This workshop is designed to provide training in Best Management Practices for anyone working in the lawn, landscape, pest control, or municipal grounds areas. This is a required training class for all commercial and institutional fertilizer applicators in Alachua County according to the Alachua County Fertilizer Standards and Management Practices Code.

A “Commercial Fertilizer Applicator” means any person who applies fertilizer on turf and/or landscape plants in Alachua County in exchange for money, goods, services or other valuable consideration.

An “Institutional Fertilizer Applicator” means any person, other than a non-commercial or commercial applicator (unless such definitions also apply under the circumstances), that applies fertilizer for the purpose of maintaining turf and/or landscape plants. Institutional applicators shall include, but shall not be limited to, owners and managers of public lands, schools, parks, religious institutions, utilities, industrial or business sites and any residential properties maintained in condominium and/or common ownership.

Best Management Practices are focused on reducing non-point source pollution resulting from fertilization or pesticide application.  In some areas, you need to be certified in the BMPs to be able to bid on jobs or have commercial customers.  It will be mandatory throughout the state in the near future.  Stay a step ahead of the new requirements.

·        Earn CEUs for pesticide license holders.  For CEUs, get form signed before you leave.

·        (2) CORE, (2) Ornamental & Turf, Limited Commercial Landscape Maintenance categories.

Cost $25.00 includes materials and lunch.

There is no cost to attend these classes (unless otherwise indicated), space is limited; pre-register at least 3 days prior to class by calling 352-337-6209 (voice mail).

For more information about these programs, call 352-955-2402. Visit the Extension Office calendar for additional programs offered by the UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County.

An Equal Opportunity Institution. Extension Service, University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Nick T. Place, Dean. Single copies of Extension publications (excluding 4-H and youth publications) are available free to Florida residents from county Extension offices. Information about alternate formats is available from IFAS Communications, University of Florida, PO Box 110810, Gainesville, FL 32611-0810.


  • Mark Sexton
  • Communications & Legislative Affairs Director
  • Phone: 352-374-5204
  • Cell: 352-283-2317

If you have a disability and need an accommodation in order to participate in a County program, service or public meeting, please contact the Alachua County Equal Opportunity Office at 352-374-5275 at least 2 business days prior to the event. TTY users please call 711 (Florida Relay Service).