I am new on this forum and fairly new to permaculture. I took a permaculture course about a year and half ago. Right now, am working on a project to grow food for a chimp sanctuary. I am designing and maintaining their garden and I would like to create a food forest. We are planning growing sugar cane, bamboo, hibiscus, sweet gum, banana. I would like to add papaya and figs, but need to ask the director first. Does anyone have advise on how to start? I have never done gardening on this scale and I am looking for any advice I can get.
-Sandy soil in Florida, the land was once an orange grove so I am a little concerned about pesticide residue -Zone 9 -The sanctuary has hundreds of acres. I will work on as much as I can though, 1-2 acres by myself and more if I can find other volunteers
jamierenee wrote: -Sandy soil in Florida, the land was once an orange grove so I am a little concerned about pesticide residue -Zone 9 -The sanctuary has hundreds of acres. I will work on as much as I can though, 1-2 acres by myself and more if I can find other volunteers
Where in Florida are you? I'm near Mount Dora. I've never taken any permaculture classes but I'm interested enough to perhaps help out on occasion.
What resources do you have in good supply? Like organic matter to mulch and build the soil? Are there any plants that would be considered a NO-NO (like is there anything really bad for chimps?)
I've got bananas and papayas growing here but freezes do set them back.
I've got a few types of bamboo. Beware some types of bamboo can be really invasive. I have one that I've been keeping in post that is a runner, gets to about the thickness of my thumb if allowed to. Currently most of it is only like pencil think because it is root bound. I've also got some clumpers that grow nice and big.
Do you have much of a budget to get plants?
I find I'm having difficulty sourcing nitrogen fixing shrub level plants here in Florida and the variety of cover crop legumes is rather small from most sources here. Are peanuts safe for chimps?
Good luck with it, hope to hear more about the project.
Sorry, got a little busy this week so haven't been on here...
The annual rainfall is 53.5 inches. There is a clear area about the size of a football field that I can work with. Mostly flat land and the surrounding area is mostly scrub.
The soil is very sandy, I did a soil sample and the pH is 7. I spoke with someone who adds clay from a clay mine to their gardens. I don't think there is one close by here though.
We are trying to get plants donated from nurseries, so right now their isn't a budget. We already have garden tools and such.
Peanuts are safe for most of the chimps except one is allergic (their diet is similar to us). I think peanuts would be a good idea for a cover crop. I am not sure about nitrogen fixing shrubs or trees though, I don't know much about them.
Where are you located (aprox) As I said, I'm in Central Florida and have been working on researching lots and lots of different plants lately.
I've ordered a couple Elaeagnus multiflora (Gumi) plants they are shrubs that have a nitrogen fixing relationship as well as providing edible fruits. I fear I might be in a warmer location that they like but I'm still gonna try, I'll just give a little more shade to them. I've also ordered some Pithecellobium flexicaule (Texas Ebony) with is another nitrogen fixer with pods similar to tamarind for the sweet material between the beans.
Bananas can survive and produce in my location though they are taking some major freeze damage this season. Once you get a few banana plants, it is easy to propagate more.
Moringa is also a good one for lots of nutrition.
Of course citrus is a good one for around Flroida.
I've been searching through the top tropicals web site, they have good information on plants but they are further south from me so I fear many of their "sub-tropicals" are actually probably too cold sensitive for my location. http://toptropicals.com/index.htm
If not mined clay, you might find a quarry that will give you fine silt from their sifting process. That might take some careful consideration or experimentation, to see what varieties of stone would help and if any might be detrimental.
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