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Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Archive for September, 2016

What is a Boondoggle?

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On September 23, 2016

If you are looking for an unusual gift for yourself or others, then the old fashioned heritage craft known as a boondoggle will fit the bill.

Boondoggle are woven from sabal palm and legend has it that they ward off lightning strikes and bring good luck to the household. They were a traditional wedding present, and they are just plain beautiful.

The Edison Ford stores have boondoggles for sale in all of the locations, Museum Store, Ford Cottage Shoppe and the Edison Ford Shoppe at Bell Tower Shops. They are made by local crafts person and a beautiful addition to any home or building.


Mark Your Calendars – Film Screening and Exhibit Opening

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On September 20, 2016

October 28, 2016 – 5:30 p.m.

Did you know that both the Edison and Ford families had a fondness for local birdlife? Two exciting events will take place to honor their shared interest:

  • A new original exhibit, Birds of Southwest Florida, will open in the Edison Caretaker’s House. A brief lecture will detail the creation of this exhibit, via historic photographs, artwork, and objects.
  • Immediately following, a screening of the classic 1958 film Wind Across the Everglades will take place on the Ford lawn. This adventure film chronicles the tragic era of bird plume hunting in the Florida Everglades.

Wind Across the Everglades features a uniquely star-studded  cast, including Burl Ives and Christopher Plummer. KC Schulberg, a third-generation film executive and nephew of writer Budd Schulberg, will speak about the production of the movie.

wind across the everglades poster

September Great Book Picks in all our Edison Ford Stores

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On September 18, 2016

Mistakes that Worked – by Charlotte Jones & Illustrator John O’Brien.
Some call them accidents, some call them mistakes.book picks aug 2016 The truth is an amazing amount of products and everyday household items had surprisingly haphazard beginnings. Using weird and amazing facts as well as hilarious cartoons, this fun-filled book covers 40 familiar inventions and their serendipitous developments.

Key Lime Cookin’ – by Joyce LaFray.
If you’ve ever tried Key Lime, you know it has a refreshing taste and bouquet unlike regular limes. Their delicious flavor, a hint of sweetness with a blend of tartness, is truly tantalizing to the taste buds. Food critic, lecturer, and author Joyce LaFray has compiled over 50 recipes for those of us who can not get enough of the delicious fruit. Recipes include delicious desserts, enticing entrees and even a whole chapter dedicated to key lime inspired beverages.

AC/DC: The Savage Tale of the First Standards War – by Tom McNichol.
Before there was VHS versus Betamax or Mac versus Windows, the first, and arguably fiercest, standards war was fought between direct current and alternating current. In this fantastically written and well-researched book, author Tom McNichol explores the AC/DC war that was fought between investors and inventors alike. Those who enjoy social or technological history will certainly enjoy this book.

These books are available for purchase in our Museum Store or on-line store. Remember Edison Ford Members always receive a 10% discount in all of our retail shops and at the Edison Ford Shoppe at Bell Tower Shops.

Mangoes for Everyone

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On September 16, 2016

By now everyone knows that Henry and Clara Ford owned a Florida estate named “The Mangoes,” for the allée of mango trees that lined their property and the Edison Estate along McGregor Boulevard. The Edison family added innumerable orchids in the mango trees on this area of their property, which they called “Orchid Lane.”

Today Edison Ford continues the tradition begun by the Edison and Ford families. In fact, there are 17 different mango varieties on the property (including the “old Florida turpentine mango”).

group with debbie and mangoes in bucketsEdison Ford collaborates with ECHO (Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization) in North Fort Myers. ECHO Farm Manager, Tim Watkins, and interns assisted Senior Horticulturist, Debbie Hughes gather turpentine mangoes (approximately 1,000). ECHO Nursery grows the seeds as rootstock, grafts mango varieties to the rootstock, and distributes grafted fruit trees to needy communities around the globe to help grow their own. Edison’s old mangoes have made their way around the world.

Garden staff gathers fruit from the property and will sell what is available in the Museum Store. Because mangoes ripen differently, it’s always good to call ahead to see what is ripe and available for sale. This time of year, there is starfruit, and eventually Meyer lemons, calamondins, key limes, and limequats seasonally. For more information on what’s available call, the Museum Store at 239-334-7419.

MEMBERS Mark Your Calendar

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On September 14, 2016

member celebration mr edisonAnnual Member Celebration – November 13, 3:00 – 6:00 p.m   

Members will join trustees, staff and invited guests on the NEW Edison Ford River Pavilion to enjoy live music by Flash Back for listening and dancing, tasty food and a cash bar. This will be a great event and time to meet with friends and stay involved.

Watch for more details in our October monthly update!

Petting Zoo at Edison Ford

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On September 12, 2016
  • September 25, October 30 – 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

 petting zoo july 2016       We have moved the Petting Zoo to the Banyan Tree and Café area for shade from the trees, seating, and refreshments. Tickets are required and can be purchased at the main ticket office.  Parking available in the main parking lot off of McGregor Boulevard or the new parking areas on Larchmont Avenue. Cost: Adults free; children entering the petting zoo gate will be $1.00 per child.

Call Leeanne Criswell, Edison Ford Program Registrar for more information at 239-334-7419.

Calling All Area Educators!

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On September 10, 2016

FREE Admission and FREE Programs and Other Discounts …

Weekend of Saturday, September 24 & Sunday, September 25

Pearce and Edison Ford Robotics Group     The popular free weekend for educators and their families is back again this year, and it will be full of special activities, program tours, and a 10% discount in the Edison Ford Stores. There are no reservations required, just plan to come with your family and sign in to participate. The program extends to teachers in public and private schools, homeschoolers, and support staff including curriculum specialists, principals and everyone in making education happen in the five-county area (Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties).

  • Hands-on activities will be available in science, art, history and gardening
  • Family and school audio tours
  • Lesson plans and other materials will be available at no charge

You must show a school-issued identification badge to participate. Educators will also receive a 10% discount off the purchase price of an Edison Ford membership.

For more information, check the Edison Ford website for specific times and activities or call Leeanne Criswell, Program Registrar, at 239-334-7419. Plan to catch up on the new offerings for the school year and programs for after school and weekends.

Edison Ford Volunteer Meeting and Lecture

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On September 9, 2016
  • September 13, 10:00 a.m. – Butterfly Gardening – Lecture Hall in South Florida Water Management

monarch and duranta        Did you know Edison Ford has a butterfly garden certified by The North American Butterfly Association? Learn about Edison Ford’s participation in the official North American Butterfly Association Fourth of July 2017 butterfly count.

Join us for our September volunteer meeting with Senior Horticulturist, Debbie Hughes as she shares how you can create your own butterfly garden in the ground or in a container.

Butterfly plants will be available to purchase and Edison Ford volunteers and members will receive a 20% discount.

Volunteer Meetings are open to current and potential volunteers. For more information on how to become a volunteer, contact Holly Shaffer or Bobby Feldman, Volunteer Coordinators at 239-334-7419.

Creative Movement Classes with Brittany Robbins – Ages Two – Six

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On September 8, 2016

yoga cartoon● Beginning September 12 classes will be held the second Monday of each month from September to February on the Riverside Property – 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.

Classes will offer young children an opportunity to explore creative expression and movement through song, dance, and basic yoga postures. Movement can help children to process and express their emotions and have fun doing so! Each class offers children the chance to think creatively, work collaboratively, and develop their sense of personal and shared space.

Brittany Robbins is a certified yoga instructor (RYT-200) and grew up in her family’s dance studio where she first found her love of expressive movement.

Cost: Edison Ford Members $5 (one adult; one child) or $25 for all 6 classes; non-members $10 (one adult; one child) or $50 for all 6 classes. Each additional child $5.

Registration is required. For more information or to register contact Leeanne Criswell, Edison Ford Program Registrar at lcriswell@edisonfordwinterestates.org or 239-334-7419.

Edison Ford Homeschool Programs 2016 – 2017

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On September 6, 2016

Science & Engineering Series – Morning & Afternoon Classes

Pearce robotics     The Edison Ford Homeschool Science & Engineering Series will present students with a variety of subjects that challenge the mind and encourage collaboration and innovation. Students will learn to think like Thomas Edison and Henry Ford as they explore and solve a variety of hands-on activities and learn the key concepts and strategies of science and engineering.

Each session follows the Next Generation Florida Sunshine State Standards (Common Core).

  • September 9 – Biology: The Science of Life, Grades 1st – 3rd, 10:00 a.m. – Noon; Grades 4th – 6th, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Students will observe and learn about the processes of a wide variety of the living things in our world, many right here at Edison Ford!

Upcoming classes include: October 14 – Computer Science and Video Game Design; November 10 – Physics: The Dynamic Universe; December 9 – Make Anything: 3D Design and Printing; January 13 – Kitchen Chemistry; February 10 – Animation in Action; March 10 – Super Solar Scientists; April 7 – Robotics


Graphic Art & Design Series – Morning & Afternoon Classes

student with computerThe creative field of graphic art & design offers an abundance of career opportunities in the commercial art world today. Students will learn some commonly used tricks-of-the-trade as we focus on a different area of design each month in our innovative digital design series. Students will be inspired by some of the greatest innovators of all time, Thomas Edison and Henry Ford.

Each session follows the Next Generation Florida Sunshine State Standards (Common Core).

  • September 14 – Graphic Design, Grades 1st – 3rd, 10:00 a.m. – Noon; Grades 4th – 6th, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. (These classes will be held at the Edison Ford Shoppe at Bell Tower Shops)

Students will learn what a graphic designer does on a day-to-day basis and some of their tricks-of-the-trade. They will create visually dynamic graphics using many common concepts such as “4-part design,” “double-flip,” and “black and white design.”

Upcoming classes include: October 12 – Architecture & Interior Design; November 9 – Fashion & Shoe Design; December 14 – Printmaking Design; January 11 – Industrial Product Design; February 8 – Marketing & Logo Design; March 8 – Cartoon & Animation Design; April 19 – Transportation Design

To register email Leeanne Criswell at lcriswell@edisonfordwinterestates.org or call 239-334-7419.

Cost per class: Edison Ford Members $15 (one adult; one child); non-members $25 (one adult; one child). Each additional child is $15.

Sign up for all eight classes and receive a discount: Edison Ford Members $105 (one adult; one child); non-members $150 (one adult; one child).

Full payment is required at the time of registration and no refunds are possible due to material costs.