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Feeling good about my garden.

 
Bryan Cooper
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Hey everyone. I am 24 and live in Orlando, FL. I have a small permaculture/synergistic garden experiment in my back yard. I rehabilitated a grapefruit tree by putting a compost bin underneath it, mulching the entire area around it, and planting garlic, onions, sweet potato and legumes underneath. This has worked wonders! It not only came back but has two small buds poised to become grapefruit. I created a raised bed out of old cinder blocks and planted a mixture of perennials and self seeding annuals in it. Right now I have blueberry, Japanese eggplant, green beans, fern leaf dill, basil, celery, orange mint, onions, garlic, chives, fennel, radishes, and honestly much more that I'm forgetting. I then have a very tropical guild consisting of a banana tree shading the developing lemon grass planted at its base surrounded with sweet potato, and soon pineapples and pigeon peas. I put two logs in as lizard habitat and its all backed up to a surinam cherry under-story. I have a small strawberry, and raspberry guild, and a watermelon/cantaloupe patch with fennel intermingled. Fennel is a very large part of my overall defense against unwanted pests. It not only has a strong aroma most bugs don't like, but has attracted a swarm of parasitic wasps that are decimating my pest population. Last but not least is my central garden that has too many things for me to list. I will attach pictures when I can. So whats the point of bragging about my garden? When I was first getting into permaculture I found that there is an abundance of general information about levels and bacterial nodes, but not a lot of solid examples and lists of working systems that require no irrigation. I have no water catchment system right now but honestly I don't need it. The annual rainfall in Orlando is sporadic but when it rains it pours so I mulch heavily and plant things according to their water needs. Thirsty plants go in depressions and my hummus trench, while the camels of my garden such as eggplant and rosemary go in the small hugelkulture beds. Although I feel great about what I am doing I am also hungry to learn more but don't really agree with the idea of paying for earth and life saving knowledge. I am always willing to give up my knowledge freely so that others will have an even better platform to launch from, but I also understand the cost of teaching large groups so I am not dogging anyone. If you feel like you could give me any advice I would really appreciate it. My goal is to establish a permaculture based homestead/abused farm animal rescue but I have a lot to learn before then.
 
John Polk
steward
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Welcome to permies Bryan.

It sounds like your garden is doing well. Having a good diversity of plants like that is certainly a big step towards a natural balance of insects and soil microbes. Keep up the good work, and don't let 'sour grapes' neighbors deter your efforts.

 
Jim Alan
Posts: 15
Location: Michiana
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You have gotten an awesome start, and reading about it makes me very excited for the day when we can finally escape from an apartment in the suburbs to our own permaculture paradise! I can completely relate to your last point about paying for knowledge... I totally understand that people have to make a living, but at our stage in life (I'm just a year older than you), extra money is hard to come by, since we are just getting started. I signed up for Permies for the same reason as you, to gain the knowledge to put these techniques into practice.

I've seen that there are some good regional boards as well, so you might even be able to connect with some people in your area that could teach you more in person!
 
Bryan Cooper
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Thanks for the support! I am going to check out the regional boards soon. I promised pictures so here they are.

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L shaped hugelkulture bed wrapped around the southeast side of a square lasagna bed. The mulch is just weeds from my neighbors yard.
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This is the same bed 2 months later. Lots off veggies and herbs. The hanging pots are dahlia.
 
Bryan Cooper
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..
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This was my first real meal that was picked from my garden.
 
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