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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

1/26/2018: Media Roundtable; Olive Weekend; Ben Sparaco


Friday on First Coast Connect our weekly Media Roundtable featured Folio Weekly Editor Claire Goforth, WJCT contributor and board member Charles Griggs and Florida Politics Reporter A.G Gancarski. (01:17).

We spoke with Scott Meyer who operates Congaree and Penn farm about the upcoming Olive Weekend (38:50).

Musician and Florida native Ben Sparaco performed live in-studio (46:00).  

Media Roundtable

Our panel discussed a judge’s ruling denying the St. Johns Riverkeeper’s request to delay the dredging of the river by JAXPORT, Jaguars owner Shad Khan being named to an NFL committee on social justice and the announcement that Jacksonville’s own Lynyrd Skynyrd is kicking off a farewell tour.      

Olive Weekend

Local farm, Congaree and Penn is hosting an Olive Weekend Saturday and Sunday.

The weekend will feature a farm to fork olive dinner and a chance to check out farm operations.

At the open farm day, people will have the opportunity to learn about growing olives in Florida, get their own olive tree, participate in workshops, wagon rides, and olive oil and wine tastings.

Born in 2014, Congaree and Penn began as a tiny rice farm.

Since then, they have grown from four acres of rice paddies into a thriving farm of orchards and animals.

Ben Sparaco

He’s a Florida native now based in Nashville but Ben Sparaco and his band, The New Effect has been winning praise for being able to blend elements of Americana, Blues, Folk and Funk.

Their latest single, There is No Them was released in December.

Their national tour includes stops this weekend in Daytona Beach, Tallahassee and Sunday in Jacksonville Beach at The Blue Jay Listening Room.

Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at, 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @KMeerschaertJax.