soil: wow, that sounds great. i would love to try that in a few spots, but the area i'm working on is about 3 acres so i had to do something that would cover more ground.
lynx: yeah, 6 weeks wouldn't do it. martin crawford leaves his on for 12 months before planting into it. i left mine on for about 5 months before removing it. is ur ground very sandy? when i think of florida, i think of sand.
And not to put it in terms of capitalistic growth, but I think a forest garden can be viewed as a long term investment as well. Back before everyone had to have a six figure salary to be successful, wealth was viewed in terms of tangible goods - the woodshed full of fuel, the grainary bursting with seed, the cellar containing crocks of ferments, ciders, veggies. We see our forest garden as a tangible, edible retirement plan. We're spending time and money today so that we can feed ourselves with less effort when we're old. I want to die out here, and make it so awesome that my kids are excited to live here too. Our forest garden is central to this dream.
I've never seen anything like the peas we have (but I'm new to california - grew up in colorado). I call them cow peas because that's what the old timer neighbors here call it. From the ground up they look like any vigorous pea, except they have a....grassier looking stem?
dansgarden.com has a terrific seed and plant exchange forum.
So how much time Have you gotten to spend exploring your 100 acres to see what treasures might be living there?
Yes, Kathleen, we're on the western slope. A little bowl of a valley, I guess clouds get stuck here. We get more precipitation than most places around us. You're more high-dessert, right?
Nature puts things there for a reason and if your non-native plants can't out compete the weeds then they might not belong there in the first place.