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Florida Permaculture Plant Sources

 
                              
Posts: 461
Location: Inland Central Florida, USA
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We could widen this to South Eastern USA but I'm hoping to find some sources of live plants in reasonable driving distance though.

One of my biggest frustrations this past few years has been sourcing plant materials appropriate to my climate to build a permaculture landscape/food forest etc.

Even seed for nitrogen fixing cover crops seems limited to very few varieties.

Mail ordering seed is fine for certain things but since most of the good seed companies I've found are definitely not in my climate, it limits what is appropriate to buy from them.

I am not very inclined to spend big money ordering live plants by mail order as few of them seem to be worth the extra cost with only minimal success rate. 

So, I'm in search of nurseries around Florida that carry some good permaculture plants.  Especially hard to find are nitrogen fixing shrubs.  (Partially due to the fact that people working in the nurseries don't realize that there are non-legumes that fix nitrogen.)

There are lots of nurseries that sell fruit plants in Florida but not much for the other parts of the food forest.

If anyone knows of specific places, please let me know. 

I'll list some of the places I know of.

ECHO in South Florida is of course a resource especially for the tropical stuff.  I have not actually visited in person but I have ordered moringa seeds from them online.

BioSphere in Winter Garden (West of Orlando) has quite a lot of Native landscape plants as well as some non natives.  Not a bad place but only a hand full of the 30 plants I got from them survived.


Here are some plants I am currently especially interested in finding locally if possible.

Elaeagnus Ebbingei
Elaeagnus Multiflora (Gumi)

black locust
Alder

Any other legumes/nitrogen fixers appropriate to sub-tropical climate that would fit into the shrub small tree layers that might produce well to use as chop and drop mulch.

 
                              
Posts: 461
Location: Inland Central Florida, USA
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Found another source that seems to be near me but they don't reveal their actual location.  Lots of tropical and sub-tropical fruit rather costly though.
http://www.plantogram.com/
 
                    
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I was down in Orlando this weekend and stopped in at Biosphere's nursery. They had gotten hit pretty hard by the winter weather - anything that was frost sensitive was knocked back to the roots or killed. I did get two spinach trees (Chaya, Cnidoscolus chayamansa) for permaculture food production.

Biosphere is a good source for adding plants to foster bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and a diverse ecology. I talked to Jim Thomas (the owner) and brought up permaculture - he said he was interested but they didn't have much at this time. Got some legume shrubs and other plants that will add to my little ecosystem, so the trip was a success. 
 
                    
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I went to a free lecture today on edible landscaping at Earth Works Nursery in Jacksonville. The lecture itself was more about organic methods than permaculture, but was good. They also had made an effort to have some PC plants in stock - perennial hibiscus, chayote, pomegranate, nopal, etc. Good to see nurseries moving in this direction.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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i've been having a similar problem for Michigan but i did find an actualy nursery in southern Michigan where i managed to get my mulberries from..I have ordered out of sagatuck valley ohio, but am still waiting on that order ship confirmation and to arrive..it's been over a week..but i'm hoping it will turn out to be a good source for me as it carrys a LOT of the plants that i have been looking for

hope you are able to locate good sources for your area
 
Jonathan 'yukkuri' Kame
Posts: 488
Location: Foothills north of L.A., zone 9ish mediterranean
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The dearth of permie nurseries in FL smacks of a nice niche for someone to fill. 

I am in martin county, south florida, east coast.  Don't have a patch of earth right now, just a mini container nursery. 

As far as permie plants go, I have malabar spinach (loving the heat!), moringa o. & winged bean.  Have some delicious japanese sweet potato (purplish skin with light yellow flesh).

Have a bunch of herbs, mint, greek oregano, red shiso, rosemary, thyme, lemongrass, turmeric, ginger.

Seedling trees include mango, avocado, loquat, surinam cherry & yuzu. Couple of pineapples just started - older ones didn't survive the winter.

Happy to share what I have, except the winged bean, because I only have a few backup seeds in case the 2 I have going now don't make it. 

Such a great climate for permaculture. 
 
Joel Hollingsworth
pollinator
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
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My favorite permacultural source for seeds is overgrown brush near sidewalks. Nitrogen-fixing groundcover shouldn't be hard to find at all, if you know what you're looking for (I have several different sorts of vetch and lupine from this source, for example). You'll also get some good information on what sorts of conditions that plant likes, and the shorter the driving/walking distance, the better confidence you'll have that the plant in question is adapted to local conditions. I also get the occasional cutting that neighbors have trimmed from their plants, if they're slow about picking up after themselves. Sidewalks are great.
 
                    
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The Edible Plant Project in Gainesville has a good assortment of permaculture plants - they set up a tent on the first Wednesday of each month at the farmer's market at the downtown square. I was able to drive down there for the first time yesterday, and touched bases with people that were knowledgeable and dedicated to promoting permaculture in their community. 
 
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