McKenzie FarmsMcKenzie Farms is a real gem and so is Mr. McKenzie. He gave me the grand tour and explained many of the ins and outs of growing citrus in our zone7b/8a.
Underneath a large row of willows there are rows and rows of, not only citrus, but a large variety of beautiful and many very unusual plants.
So many different types of citrus and other fruiting as well as ornamentals I could never list them all here.
He sells the Kiwi in sets of three, two females and one male; I brought home three very healthy looking plants. He also suggested two citrus for me and gave me directions for how to care for them.
He seems to be quite the expert so I told him what I was looking for – grow in the ground, not in a pot, want tasty fruit, and as for the kiwi, want the type purchased in the grocery store. Then I let him pick out the plants since he knows a heck of a lot more about growing them than I do. I have a lime and a mandarin.
I can answer questions if you have them but for now I’ll just get these pics uploaded – it has been a long day around here. Oh, and I MUST go back for that pink grapefruit – I am really coveting that tree.
Ryan, you are right - those particular trees are not cold hardy for our area. In the winter he fills the 55gal drums with water and covers the whole thing with plastic. In contrast the trees out in the orchard have been there for 5 years. We didn't have much of a winter at all this past season so they look great. But the winter before was brutal for our area and Mr. McKenzie said that it looked pretty pitifull come springtime - but they all bounced right back. He said on nights that it drops to (I forgot but he would tell you the temp) he has misters that run along the top of the trees. They run during the night to ice down the trees and that protects them from the cold.
Not exactly permaculture but I would rather do that and have fruit right out of my back yard.
John, I agree. There is a local organic farmer that thinks you do not have 'true' seed unless it is acclimated to your local area. I like to buy a plant or seed that has lived in my area for at least a couple of seasons.
We live up in the Blythewood Area, I've been seeing your questions all over the permies.com site so I thought i'd say hello. We looked at purchasing over in the Hopkins area too but it just didn't work out.
Are you south or north of 378? I ask b/c the soils are very different depending on which side you live on. If your are north your soils are actually similar ours up here where it's got a good bit of sand. The soil south of 378 is lowland and can be swampy in areas, but if it's not swampy it can be really really good farmland. The property I looked at there was south of 378 and the soil was Norfolk which is prime farmland.
Anyway, I know you've been doing the PC thing and asking lots of questions so I hope things have been working for you.
I'd love to hear what's bee working and how you've put together some of your guilds.
I have since divorced and no longer live at that location.
I am currently trying to close on another house in Sumter. This one is very urban and I plan to focus on very small urban permaculture. I think the lot will be very hospitable to citrus, ginger and turmeric.
It has been and will be a long road to get back on the 'permie path' but I think I'm getting closer each day. Looking forward to having new things to share in the future.
It's a new direction for me and one that I think I will like.