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Jason Long

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since Dec 01, 2010
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Recent posts by Jason Long

I am also curious about this. Bumping the post back to the light
10 years ago
Hey Tom,
I agree, there are many advantages with this much water. We are planning on lots of systems with subtropical, aquatic loving plants throughout. It is quite exciting. I can upload some photos to give more ideas.

Yes, keeping the roots dry is very important which is why I am here asking questions. We've already raised the area quite a significant amount to protect trees like mango, lychee, jackfruit and the others that do not like having wet feet. This is why I am trying real hard to make sure we are making the right moves with whatever it is that we are doing. We have massive amounts of opportunities for microclimates in the entire site, which is very exciting.

I am still wondering how to collect the water safely in a flat land that will protect the water sensitive trees, provide habitats for aquatic loving plants, keep mosquitos to a minimum, reduce/ eliminate piped irrigation systems, and keep our roads and structures from flooding (and everywhere else that we don't want flooding).

Did I mention we get 7,360,200 gallons of water ever year?

Thanks everyone!
10 years ago
We have a 5 acre property that receives 58" of rain a year, can flood, and has a water table around 3' from the surface in some areas on the farm. There is a pond in the center of the property, and a canal on the east edge of the property. We are in the subtropics and receive slightly less than 80% of our water during the wet season.

We want to install swales, diversion channels, and check dams through out this very flat property that was once the Everglades in South Florida. When this area of the Everglades was drained back in the 50s, it left very rich muck through out the area. Unfortunately, the area that we are in is old everglades, turned farm land, and now being developed into strip malls. However, because of this we have access to large amounts of rich soil, and we've already received 3,000 yards to help raise up certain areas that we are adding slope to so we can decide how to use earth works.

As I mentioned, the water table is already really high so I am curious how we would benefit or not from swales to collect water. I imagine alot of the water that doesn't evaporate goes into the soil anyways since it puddles through out. By grading the area when we add the soil and collecting it in certain areas we have the benefit of creating microclimates throughout.

Any advice on how to work it would be great.
10 years ago
Welcome Larry!

Thank you for continuing to spread the work of Fukuoka.
11 years ago
Xisca, Thank you very much I appreciate the compliments.

I am certain you could sow those now, it gets colder here in south florida. It often reaches 28F for a couple nights dthe during the winter and I did not lose any pigeon peas nor the canna.

We have lots of issues with zuchini here, the bugs love to eat the plants. We substitute young luffah as a perennial zuchini. And we use seminole pumpkin (a pumpkin that has been grown here for many generations, cultivated by tribes before europeans came) for a squash crop. It is a lot more resistent to the bugs.

I have not yet tried C. asiatica, but my partner is an herbalist and she has convinced me to get it planted in the wetter areas of the farm.

Ipomea batatas (sweet potatos, boniatos, etc) do do well in the moist areas, this is probably why they love copious amounts of mulch. The section I show on the video I use the leaves for food, as there are not tons of tubers. I planted them originally to form a ground cover and didn't plant densely (1ft x 1ft) for harvesting tubers. That was one of the lessons I have learned, the difference between heavy boniato ground cover and boniato ground cover with dense tuber production.

My friend has some C. verum in his nursery waiting for me to be ready to get it planted.

Pinapples probably need more water then you probably have. Maybe digging a depression, filling it with mulch and planting the pineapples inside the mulch might aid to extra moisture. It's always worth a short for some delicious sweet pinas!

Rollinia - Rollinia deliciosa is in the Anona family. Delicious lemon meringue or a lemon yogurt with honey and raisins flavor. (lol, the latter is what it reminds me of). May need more moisture than what you have, but could be worth a shot if you build proper microclimates, maybe have it fed by some greywater. Produces fruit as early as 3 years. Fruits true to type, so collecting and planting seeds is great since it fruits so young and will be like the mother plant.

Okinawa spinach - Gynura crepioides. Slightly pine tasting leaf that can be cooked or eaten raw. I've observed it best in partial shade, as the sun can burn the leaves or the partial shade can invite more bugs that eat the leaves. Can be used as a ground cover that is not walked on. Propagating is extremely easy by simple layering, or cuttings.

Chaya does fine in environments like mine, monsoon subtropics. It produces a lot of leaves in the summer time and slows down in the winter, probably due to water (78% rain in summer, 22% in winter). I suggest to plant it in the dry areas since it can do so well and save your more moist areas for plants that need it. You could always plant it in the moist place now and cut it out when you have another plant to take its place. This way you are just growing propagation material as well as food. I believe that chaya is a dynamic accumulator since it is extremely nutritious in so many different vitamins and nutrients.

I appreciate the acknowledgement of the hard work was done, as there is only 2-8 inches of soil on this site and the rest of rock. It sure is hard work!

Be well
11 years ago
Jim, Thank you for your comment.

I'll explain my thoughts on why I planted the pineapples and lemongrass the way I did.

Typically, you want to plant lemon grass on 3 ft spacing. I planted on 12-18 inch spacing (closer to 12in) in order to fill the space in quick without weeds popping up. I want to produce a lot of mulch in that area. One of my growing techniques is to plant densely to encourage a quick establishment. When the plants start to mature more, they are then harvested as mulch, product, or planting material if they were planted closer than recommended. It is much easier to maintain a nursery in the ground than it is in pots, as the pots often need lots of feeding and more attention.

We grew pineapples in hawaii and one of the issues the farmer use to have was weed competition. He started planting 1 ft apart to try to reduce the weeds. Nothing is worse than trying to weed your pineapple patch. He experienced great results, reduce weeds and no noticed plant competition. When searching through the web in the past recommends this as well. You are correct, pineapples do get quite large about 3 feet around and I have seen some almost 4 feet high.

Remember, I am working to establish a large food forest so these dense plantings will help reduce the need to weed, and will provide the extra products during the early stages.

This is my first time growing pine apples in South Florida so I am giving that technique a shot. Worst comes to worst, some plants are removed and re-planted - the good ol' nursery technique. I have faith it will work here though.

I will update this thread with some photos or video of the pineapple progress.

What do you think?
11 years ago
I would love to hear any comments or questions. I hope you enjoy

11 years ago
I was renting for $350/ month 5 acres of land. Small world eh?

No bermuda grass, but a whole lot of elephant grass. I remember clearing through 16 feet tall clumps of cane grass to start planting food forests. I sure miss it.
11 years ago
I lived in Pahoa for 3 months on Opihikao Rd.
Plant something around the bananas that will either deter the chickens away or provide the chickens with a distraction that is more rewarding towards them.

If you heavily tractor the area I am certain the birds will remove most of the bermuda, but it will probably grow back. You can always throw seed in the area of the bermuda grass so the chickens will be scratching to get to it. This will disturb the bermuda grass and you may be able to find something to replace it. I haven't started my battle yet so I am not sure the best way.

Good luck
11 years ago
They are eating your banana kei
kis? They're helping you keep you bananas from growing to dense. However, it seems that you are not ready for that phase.

Are you from Hawaii or how long did you spend there and what parts?
11 years ago