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Thursday, July 3, 2014


This Fantastic Exhibit Closes This Month.  

 This comprehensive exhibition is part of an extended exhibition program called, Tapestry: The Cultural Threads of First America. 

The first leg or “thread” of this exhibition is a retrospective of African-American history beginning in 1565 when both freed and enslaved Blacks landed with St. Augustine founder Pedro Menendez, through Fort Mose, the first freed Black settlement in the U.S., to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, and beyond. 

The purpose of the exhibit is to elevate awareness of the important role African-Americans played in the cultural and historical development of St. Augustine and thus, America.

Attending: Betty Dubose, Linda Lee, Mary Ann Robinson, Gerda Brun, Dale Slongwhite, Sarah Downs and Jeannie Economos. 

With a guided tour by a docent, the exhibit starts with pre-settlement by white settlers and continues thru slavery up to the Civil Rights movement/era. The tour included a video about civil rights activity in St. Augustine in the early 1960s.  

Thursday, June 26, 2014

"Lessons learned from Lake Apopka" at Central Florida Health Careers Camp

FWAF presented "Lessons Learned from Lake Apopka" as part of the Central Florida Health Careers Camp 4 day program for H.S. students from the Central Florida region as part of the Central FL AHEC (Area Health Education Center) summer camp program.

Lessons Learned from Lake Apopka: The Importance of Sustainable Agriculture for Healthy Living -- A comprehensive educational curriculum for middle and high school classes

The students attending the 4 day Central Florida Health Careers Camp program were very attentive to the presentation given by Jeannie Economos and Sarah Downs. Following the curriculum the students learned about:

I. Building knowledge about the adverse impacts of pesticides on farmworking communities
II. Discussing  the working conditions of modern day farmworkers

III. Making informed choices in students’ own food consumption

IV. Activities and Resources for further learning

A Case Study of Lake Apopka, the video Out of the Muck, and presentations on pesticides, sustainable living, and problems facing farmworkers were used to introduce the idea of where food comes from, how it gets to us and how it affects the lives of farmworkers and their communities. 

Students were encouraged to ask questions, use critical thinking, and present their own opinions in their study groups and in front of the class. They were given suggested activities for after the class for further study and self enrichment.

"Lessons Learned from Lake Apopka" was developed as part of two grants awarded to FWAF. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


FWAF was a part of the Florida Folk Life Area at the 62nd annual Florida Folk Festival in White Springs, FL. 

 The Quilts were on display, along with information and the book Fed Up: The High Costs of Cheap Food.  Former nursery & farmworker, Reina Zelaya, did a cooking demonstration of Honduran recipes all 3 days of the festival - very popular!

Former Lake Apopka Farmworker Linda Lee, former citrus worker Blanca Moreno, and pesticide project coordinator Jeannie Economos spoke on a panel each day - Friday, Saturday and Sunday - about farmworkers in Florida and the Quilt Project. 

 The Quilts were a big hit at the Folk Life tent at the Festival.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Quilts & FED UP: the High Costs of Cheap Food author Dale Slongwhite, FWAF, and Betty DeBose in Gainesville, FL for 2 engagements!

Gainesville, FL, radio station, WGOT-LP 94.7 FM, during their program "Good Company" interviewed FED UP author Dale Slongwhite, FWAF's Jeannie Economos,  on May 23rd, 2014. 

Hosted by Lynne Loewenthal, the discussion covered the histories of the former Lake Apopka farmworkers and the writing and research for Dale's book, FED UP: The High Costs of Cheap Food.

Listen here for the radio broadcast: CLICK!

On May 21,2014, preceding this event,  Dale appeared with Jeannie Economos and former Lake Apopka farmworker , Betty DeBose,  at the Civic Media Center in Gainesville FL, for a reading of Dale's book, FED UP: The High Costs of Cheap Food.  

The Gainsville Sun newspaper covered the reading and described her book :

"In "Fed Up: The High Costs of Cheap Food," Dale Slongwhite collects the nearly inconceivable and chilling oral histories of African American farmworkers in Florida whose lives, and those of their families, were forever altered by one of the most disturbing pesticide exposure incidents in United States’ history.For decades, the farms and farmworkers around Lake Apopka, Florida’s third largest lake, were sprayed with chemicals ranging from the now-banned DDT to toxaphene."

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Listen to Radio interview of Dale Slongwhite and Jeannie Economos about Lake Apopka Farmworkers

New book explores the history of Florida's Lake Apopka and the impact of pesticides on farm workers

05/14/14 Robert Lorei 
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (May 14, 2014) | 
photo by University Press of Florida

Just a few miles to the west and north of Orlando- sits Lake Apopka. The third largest lake in Florida. It was once home to some of the best freshwater fishing in all of Florida. The lake supported thousands of birds and alligators.
In the early 1940’s the lowlands surrounding Lake Apopka were turned into farms- some of the most productive farms in all of Florida. the soil was some of the richest in the state. At the same time- what were then modern chemicals were used in large amounts- DDT, Chlordane, Toxaphene—to keep down the pest population and spur the growth of tomato, corn and the many other fruits and vegetables that grew along its banks.
In time the pristine water of Lake Apopka turned neon green, there were massive bird kills, the fishing declined and alligators grew up with deformed genitals. The effect on the animal populations was widely covered at the time. But what about the humans who worked on the farms? Their stories are gathered in a brand new book- FED UP: THE HIGH COST OF CHEAP FOOD written by Dale Finley Slongwhite, Broadcast  May 14, 2014 on Radioactivity, Rob Lorei speaks with author Dale Finely Slongwhite and Jeannie Economos Pesticide Safety and Environmental Health Project Coordinator at Farmworker Association of Florida.

Dale Slongwhite author of FED UP: HIgh Costs of Cheap Food, participates in an author event in Orlando!

This is a great opportunity to see Dale and have her sign your book!
Come out and join her on 
May 18, 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm, 
in Orlando, Florida 
Dale Slongwhite author of FED UP: The High Costs of Cheap Food 
will participate in this Author Event:

LOCALLY GROWN WORDS SUMMER BOOK FAIR at East End Market, 3201 Corrine Drive, Orlando (just past Leu Gardens)

East End Market is a grow-eat-shop-local location with an aim to include locally grown words.  Click on Bookmark It to see more information.The mission is to provide opportunities to connect Central Florida readers and writers and to encourage building a strong literary community.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

"FED UP: THE HIGH COSTS OF CHEAP FOOD" is released for purchase TODAY, May 6, 2014

Fed Up: The High Costs of Cheap Food  by Dale Slongwhite and published by the University Press of Florida is available for purchase as of today, 

May 6, 2014.


Listen to the interviews in the book of the farmworkers via this link,

Barry Estabrook, author of Tomatoland praises this book: 

 "Poignant, gut-wrenching, and real, this book should be required reading for everyone who eats."

In this book, author Dale Slongwhite asks the question: "But what about the people, the farmworkers who suffered along with Lake Apopka  as decades of pesticides were showered on them and mixed with the soil where they harvested the vegetables and fruits?"  
"What about the farmworkers?!"
Millions of dollar paid to farmers and more millions spent on the continuing recovery program for Lake Apopka, but what about the farmworkers?


Order this book, read the book, request a copy from your library, donate a copy to your public library!  

Advance reviews are very positive! 

It is listed on Amazon, use, selecting Farmworker Association of Florida as your charity and FWAF will receive a donation from Amazon.