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Get out!

Planter's Ball promises organic fun

Sweetwater Organic Farm will benefit from the Saturday night gala, which will feature music and organic food and wine.

By JACKIE RIPLEY
Published October 22, 2004

TOWN 'N COUNTRY - There are nights when it doesn't get much better than supper in the barn and dancing under the stars. Especially if you like your food organically grown and your music locally made.

Organizers promise a night of feasting, dancing and wine tasting at the Planter's Ball on Saturday night at Sweetwater Organic Farm in Town 'N Country.

"The fields are being planted, the greenhouse is bursting and we are generally on schedule to have another terrific year at the Farm," said Ann Kramer, Sweetwater board president.

The community farm's first fundraiser of the season, which is open to the public, features a potluck buffet, a wine tasting of organic wines and a night of dancing to the eclectic sounds of the Urban Gypsies.

Attendees are asked to bring a potluck dish that would feed 8 to 10 people. A $10 donation also is requested. Money raised will go toward the farm's tractor fund.

Supper is served at 5:30 p.m. in the barn and the Urban Gypsies, a St. Petersburg group that blends an Afro-Euro sound, strikes up an hour later.

Sweetwater Organic Farm, 6942 W Comanche Ave., is a nonprofit organization with about 100 members. It encompasses 6 acres of suburban property along Sweetwater Creek.

Farm members can help grow their own organic vegetables. Or they can simply enjoy a supply of fresh produce they can safely say is free of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.

Members get about 30 weeks worth of produce from the farm's September through May growing season. Some of the vegetables grown there include your typical carrots, cucumbers and beets as well as some not-so-typical vegetables such as bok choy and arugula.

Sweetwater was founded 10 years ago by Rick Martinez, a former engineer who decided to go into farming more than two decades ago. He also works as an organic farm inspector.

- Jackie Ripley can be reached at 813 269-5308 or ripley@sptimes.com

If you go

From I-275 in Tampa, take the Veteran's Expressway exit but do not take the Veterans. Pass Tampa International Airport and Courtney Campbell Parkway and take the Hillsborough Avenue exit. Go west on Hillsborough. At the fourth light, turn right on Hanley Road. Take the second right, Comanche Avenue, to the end. Park on the grass and look for the creek bridge.

For more information, 813 887-4066 or www.sweetwater-organic.org

[Last modified October 21, 2004, 13:21:19]

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