Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog - Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

President’s Update for May 2012

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 11, 2012

Chris Pendleton, President & CEO

With the completion of the three-year restoration of the Edison Botanic Laboratory building, I receive lots of questions about ‘what’s next?’  Although we have completed almost $14 million in restoration and improvements during the past decade, we are not finished yet!

The area surrounding the Laboratory will continue to be developed and restored back to the original research gardens, propagating nursery, and experimental areas for green science – Edison Ford style.

Our organic garden on Larchmont Avenue is already very productive with crops of old fashioned heritage beans, lettuce, tomatoes and towering golden sunflowers. The garden is tended by our dedicated group of volunteers (including some UF Master Gardeners) and staff horticulturalists. It is a great spot to drop by for ideas and information about organic garden products (soil amendments from ‘worm poop,’ crab shell and sludge), irrigation drip systems, hydroponics and container gardening, and new varieties of old fashioned Florida favorites such as mangoes, bananas, citrus and other fruit trees. The popularity of this project continues to grow with our regular talks on FOX4 Morning Blend, monthly garden lectures on Saturdays and the new weekly Garden & Estates Tours on Tuesdays.

We are also not finished with site development and completion of the Master Plan. With building restoration completed, and the administrative trailer complex on Larchmont Avenue and McGregor Blvd. removed, staff offices have been relocated to buildings on Larchmont and plans are underway for the new Edison Ford Education & Innovation Center which will connect to the Museum with covered porches and walkways through the garden. This year, we will move forward with preparation of the garden and more classes in this area as we continue to overflow the classrooms in the Edison Caretaker’s House and Museum areas.

We have learned that we are both a visitor attraction as well as a community resource for programs and activities in science, history and the arts. We are also an important part of the school curriculum for both traditional education formats in the schools as well as our homeschool program and preschool activities. We are also part of the national Elderhostel program, teacher in-service and learning opportunities for not only the Edison Ford volunteers but also volunteers from our schools and colleges. Classroom, activity and teaching areas will continue to be at a premium and very important to us.

Our Five Year Report (out this summer) will track our progress and plans for the future. I look forward to sharing it with you as we continue to move Edison Ford into the new millennium!


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