Hugh Holland

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since Jan 09, 2012
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Recent posts by Hugh Holland

Thanks S Bengi.  I recently purchased some Pawpaw seedlings from http://www.justfruitsandexotics.com/JFE/.  They are a couple hours away from me in the panhandle.  Admittedly, I've never tried a Pawpaw.  I've read about them though and some varieties show promise for Florida!  I recently completed a PDC in Costa Rica and tried Guanabana while in Central America.  Loved it!  I appreciate the tips, the web-site and your quick response!  Thanks, brother!
7 months ago
I was wondering if anyone has experience growing Soursop/Guanabana in a container?  If one knows of a dwarf variety and any experience caring for this wonderful tree?  I live in north Florida (zone 8b/9a), just a bit to much out of it's range!  Any help would be appreciated!  
7 months ago
David The Good Humorist!  That was awesome!
7 months ago
Love this song by Thousand Foot Krutch!
Stevie Ray Vaughan's cover of Jimi Hendrix Little Wing touches the soul!
8 months ago
Greetings Peter!  I definitely agree with you that what a person thinks is "Best" will get multiple different answers.  Especially with Permaculture folk!  What I wrote, answered why the areas that I picked in Tennessee were superior in may way of thinking.  The Upper Cumberlands have better weather, reasonable land prices, good education centers, low taxes, great towns and communities.  Leah's question/statement included rural and homestead and so I focused on those key words.  She also asked, where do ya'll live and or recommend?  I've visited most, if not all of the southern states that she mentioned, have even actively looked at real estate in others, but I've had the pleasure of living in two of those, Tennessee and Florida, hence my focus.  Western North Carolina and North Georgia, when compared to Tennessee, just fall behind on many levels in my mind, as I've studied those areas.  I second James Fryers opinion above that North Georgia is expensive and I personally think that Tennessee is a better fit.  Hugh Lovel's "A Biodynamic Farm" is a classic from that wonderful North Georgia area though and he probably would have a different "Best" opinion than mine: )   They are wonderful and beautiful states for sure and people would pick those areas for different reasons (Asheville, Earthaven Ecovillage to name a few), but I stated that I did not want to disparage or take anything away from them.  So I focused on what I knew and the reasons for "My Best".  

Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville are not rural by any means and the suburban sprawl around Nashville is legendary.  Just look up the 840 corridor as mentioned above and you'll see.  It's one of the many reasons people are fighting it and I doubt that even the small communities in those areas will stay rural.  Leah wanted that when passing the homestead along to her children in the future.  I spoke of the areas that I've personally lived in and gave my honest answers for her questions.  Florida is my home state and my perspective is on my growing up here.  I love the Cumberland Plateau, for the weather (a little higher elevation) and the great communities surrounding it.  Much like southern Arizona where you are from.  I love Patagonia, Sonoita and Elgin and their higher elevation gives them a better climate than say Tucson or Marana.  Brad Lancaster "LOVES!!!" his Tucson neighborhood and Bean Tree Farm is a wonderful place in those lower areas.  Perhaps folks would like the higher elevations further south with different climes?  Your "Best" in southern Arizona is indeed different from other Permaculture minded people living in that area.  I recently took a PDC in Costa Rica and we had people from North, Central and South America attending.  I can assure you that all of our "Best" were different!  People were focused on urban/rural and everything in-between.  We had a guy from South America more focused on land/farming as he had a cacao operation.  Definitely different than the rest of us and we all had different reasons and "Best"!  In closing, I love Southern Arizona and can't wait to return next year!  You are blessed to call that area home!

Blessings...Hugh
9 months ago
Greetings Leah, My generations run deep here in beautiful North Florida, born and raised!  I too, lived off grid, in the wonderful state of Tennessee.  I'll give you my two cents worth on both.  As for Tennessee it is a lovely state with much to offer.  I've lived in the east, central and west areas of Tennessee and by far the Upper Cumberlands are the best!  The Knoxville area and the Tri-Cities area are getting crowded.  Nashville...well it's Nashville.  West Tennessee we found to be a bit too warm, but there are lots of creeks, springs and reasonably priced land to definitely make it worth looking at.  The areas around Cookeville are hard to beat.  Depending on the area you will probably be between 1500 and 2000 feet above sea level (nicer summers), land is starting to go up, but still affordable.  Higher education can be found at Tennessee Tech University, which has a great organic program. and the surrounding communities are hard to beat!  Putnam, Overton, Jackson, White and Fentress counties have awesome little towns with unique cities and towns that make them so inviting!  There is no state income tax and local taxes are pretty low.  I recently spoke with a Nurse from Arkansas and she was trying to explain all the taxes to me and I couldn't keep up with it all.  Years ago I spoke with a gentleman who retired to North Carolina and he left saying that it was to expansive for regular folk.  I definitely do not want to knock or disparage these other states, just saying it so you can do your homework completely when considering all things.

Florida is great if you can handle the heat and humidity!  North Florida is kind of neat as we can grow citrus along side apples!  I live in zone 8b and though it can be hard to manage, it offers many and great possibilities.  Now for us, living off the grid here would be hard (not saying that it couldn't be done!).  Florida as Tennessee has no state income tax and I find it a reasonable place to live.  I sometimes wish my hardiness zone was a little further south, but I'm thankful for the quiet North Florida land and communities.  When I traveled to Belize CA, I found that the Mennonite run town of Spanish Lookout reminded me of a small North Florida/South Georgia rural community!  We have great food and culture (who doesn't like cornbread!) and many springs, rivers, the Gulf and the Atlantic all within very short commutes!  Our seafood is second to none.  If you have any questions especially about Tennessee and or Florida I would be honored to help in anyway possible!

Blessings...Hugh
9 months ago
Hello Esmee, I seen Costa Rica on your list and wondered have you considered Belize? It is the only English speaking country in Central America and has large amounts of German speakers, due to the Anabaptist immigrations that still continue today. Mainly from the US, Canada and some South American countries. Three different German dialects are spoken High, Low and Pennsylvania Dutch. In the town Spanish Lookout between the capital of Belmopan and the Guatemalan border, just about all its inhabitants speak German, as the town is founded by Mennonites. I spoke with a German family who moved to Belize a number of years ago and they love it. Homeschooling was a major issue for them, as was affordable land. It is my understanding that Belize has pretty relaxed immigration laws. Coming from the EU, you do not need a visa to enter. Check out the Qualified Retired Persons Incentive Act to see if you qualify. It is a beautiful country, eco-friendly and affordable.
2 years ago
More pics from Belize. These oxen did everything by voice command. Strong, steady and smart!
2 years ago
When I visited Belize a few years ago they were using oxen. What was interesting is that the Old Order Mennonites who used them spoke English/German. The oxen were trained in Spanish. So all the voice commands used, were spoken in Spanish. They loved the calmness of the oxen, as this day they were hauling Sapodilla trees out of the bush for fence post.
2 years ago