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Made it to Florida! Officially a permaculture snowbird.

 
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I made it to Florida with my small family. Drove down in an old motorhome with a bathtub full of tropical seedlings started in Michigan, running from storms the whole way. We're 30 miles from the nearest town, out in the middle of nowhere on 1.25 acres and loving it. Totally off grid. Solar, compost toilet. I drove a 15', 2" well with a sledgehammer, which I run with a 12v submersible environmental sampling pump, and filter for drinking with a Berkey filter. Over 100 trees planted so far, as well as perennial vegetables. I'm using canal muck to make tree mounds because we are on very marginal land with a high water table. We got a pond dug and have been stocking it with tilapia and shrimp cast netted from local canals. If there's any interest in what were doing I'd be happy to share, as well as get feedback... Because this environment is totally new to me. I made the leap to be able to eat good food year round in two climates and hopefully control autoimmune issues that I have been struggling with for about 5 years.
 
Dan Allen
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Florida!!! Lots of wildlife out here, and wild food. I've been harvesting smilax and shepherds needle as well as coconuts and wild oranges.

Trees planted as seedlings by the 10's ish:
Pomegranates, papaya, lemons, tangerines, key limes, sweet oranges, kiwis, passion fruit, avocado, starfruits.

Trees planted as grafted and or fruiting size, locally purchased:
2 mango varieties Carrie and Valencia pride, 4 papaya, 2 varieties of pink guava, 2 avocadoes mexicola grande and Lila, 1 jackfruit, 2 moringa, 1 dwarf Malaysian  coconut, 1 Valencia orange, 2 calamondin, 1 loquat, 1 pomegranate,. 1 starfruit, around 20 bananas dwarf Cavendish and blue Java, plus some unknown banana roots picked up off the corner in town, 1 Barbados cherry, 1 sugar apple, 1 brown turkey fig, 1 gojiberry.

Perennial vegetables: Chaya, chayote, lemon grass, Chilis, sugar cane.

Fruits already on site wild:
Lots of persimmon, muscadine grape, peppervine, blackberries, smilax, shepherds needle, Wapato.

Native trees on site:
Red maple, sabal palms, saw palmetto, Walther viburnum, persimmon, wax Myrtle.
 
Dan Allen
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Some pics.
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Dan Allen
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More pics, hope you enjoy.
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Dan Allen
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Just a few more pics for now.
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pollinator
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That's fantastic, Dan!  The site looks beautiful and you sure have a lot going on for a 1.25 acre lot.  Love the well and the plants look great!
 
Dan Allen
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Timothy Markus wrote:That's fantastic, Dan!  The site looks beautiful and you sure have a lot going on for a 1.25 acre lot.  Love the well and the plants look great!



Thanks for the kind words. I am definitely over planting for the lot size but im trying to convert it from a fire ecosystem to a rainforest with canopy, while at the same time preserving the trees that are already here.
 
Dan Allen
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Here's a couple pictures of wild dwarf pawpaw (assimina obovata). I'll definitely be returning to collect fruit for seeds. I found several large patches of these in a live oak hammock.
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Dan Allen
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Added 1 last batch of trees to the food forest for this season today, and picked up some pidgeon pea seeds and coffee seedlings at the post office. Added 1 more jackfruit, 1 coffee tree, 1 hybrid red jaboticaba, 1 lychee, 1 cherry of the Rio grande, 1 more coconut, and a rainbow eucalyptus just for fun.  It's going to be hard to leave this place for the summer.
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Dan Allen
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Wild persimmon flower.
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Dan Allen
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Some more pics of the blossoming food forest. First a conch shell marking out a coffee seedling, cuban tree frog napping in an Orange leaf, a lychee fruit, a Florida mole skink hiding behind a dragon fruit, a gopher tortoise in my corn patch, apparently enjoying some beans, a nice coppernose bluegill, pomegranate blossoms, and baby Lila avocadoes.
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pollinator
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Location: East tn
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Looking good!

Tried swamp cabbage yet? (Heart of palm)

What about dollar weed tubers?

Palm fronds break down quick but make good shade cloth around planted food trees.

For more local ideas, connect with greene dean of eatheweeds fame. He is in central florida and does foraging / native plant id classes around the area.
 
Dan Allen
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J Davis wrote:Looking good!

Tried swamp cabbage yet? (Heart of palm)

What about dollar weed tubers?

Palm fronds break down quick but make good shade cloth around planted food trees.

For more local ideas, connect with greene dean of eatheweeds fame. He is in central florida and does foraging / native plant id classes around the area.



Haven't tried swamp cabbage yet, cause I read that harvesting kills it and I haven't had the heart to harvest it, nor dollar weed root, haven't learned to identify it yet, but now I will. Thanks for the idea on using palm fronds for shade cloth, genius idea....hadn't thought of it, but even this early in the year the sun is radioactive, so I will be trying that. Green Dean has been a huge resource for learning the Flora, also I enjoy David the good and Pete kanaris, and growables.com. those have been indispensable resources of knowledge. Thanks for the compliment.... Are you in Florida too?
 
pollinator
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Welcome to Florida,

I moved down about 6 years ago from Indiana to Summerfield Fl,

The weirdest thing for me was no snow at Christmas time,   but I sure adore the temps.

The big thing to learn about down here is root nematodes, they sure can drive you crazy.

Nice pics,    I am sure Florida will help your health it sure did me.
 
Dan Allen
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Thanks, it is nice down here. I was born in Michigan but spent time in Indiana and had lots of family reunions there with the Amish. It seems root knot nematodes are one of the biggest hurdles to overcome down here, but I'll take that over snow any day. My health issues are food related, so I think I'll flourish here. Already tempted to sell out and move down full time.
 
J Davis
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Dan Allen wrote:
Haven't tried swamp cabbage yet, cause I read that harvesting kills it and I haven't had the heart to harvest it, nor dollar weed root, haven't learned to identify it yet, but now I will. Thanks for the idea on using palm fronds for shade cloth, genius idea....hadn't thought of it, but even this early in the year the sun is radioactive, so I will be trying that. Green Dean has been a huge resource for learning the Flora, also I enjoy David the good and Pete kanaris, and growables.com. those have been indispensable resources of knowledge. Thanks for the compliment.... Are you in Florida too?



I am a Floridian that pulled up and moved to tn.

The quick way to try swamp cabbage is to pull up the center stalk of a very young palm frond plant. Then nibble off the (white) tip. Similar to eating the smilax tips.

Dollarweed is also called pennywort. Young leaves are good to eat. Old leaves are leathery but wont kill ya. If you throw palm fronds over dollarweed, they will run for the Sun, as they do they leave white tubers that are like sprouts. Good in salads.

Now when you figure out 1) what animal can convert palmetto bugs to food you would eat (eggs/meat) or 2) how to raise and skin armidillos (without leprosy) youve got it made.
 
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I definitely get the health issues.

I had a major episode in my 20s (I'm 39 now) with inflammation and depleted vitamins in addition to migraine auras. I was treated with injections, pills, and whatnot for a year to get me back to somewhat normal.

In hindsight, I noticed that my issues all seemed to stem from a crap diet: lots of processed foods, little to no raw ingredients.

Nowadays I avoid anything that comes from a box or has preservatives that read like chemistry ingredients. Sure, I still have my occasional sugar fix but now when I donate blood (my cheap way to check my vitamin levels) they say my blood looks great!

I attribute that to eating organic as much as possible. I'm upping my food forest volume and converting my backyard to less grass and much more food plots. I don't really eat anything deep fat fried anymore and I avoid bread items unless it's cake or pie.... nom!

I've replaced my white sugar with local raw honey in my coffee and noticed allergies have decreased. We also eat at least once a week deer/elk/antelope from our fall/winter hunts with dad.

Things we have converted to self-reliance:
- Onions (Reds, yellows, whites and green; haven't bought in 1 year)
- Peppermint (Plenty in the raspberry patches, husband drinks tea from it daily)
- Rosemary (several varieties thriving)
- Oregano (dried and gift many a bottle over the course of a year)
- Asparagus (one patch is 3 years old and finally producing reliably. I put in another patch last fall and have another 2 years to wait on that output.)
- Okra (tried for the first time and still have 1 bag left in the freezer.

Items ~50% self-reliant:
- Garlic (almost 100% reliant, working on growing up the patch in numbers)
- Hosta (have 6 plants and just bought 10 more so that We can seasonally eat them in the future)
- Peppers (previously giving them away due to not preserving in the freezer, learned that they work great frozen in halves for the majority of our needs, will correct that behavior this year.)

Items I want to learn to preserve/can
-Tomatoes
-Fruit
 
Mart Hale
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I recommend you check out David the Good's web site as it deals with growing here in Florida.


http://www.thesurvivalgardener.com




 
Dan Allen
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I found a four leaf clover. I have one clover plant here in Florida that sprouted out of my compost from Michigan. I'm going to take it as a sign of good sign of things to come in the Florida food forest.
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