Paul calls up a Floridian landowner by the name of Sarah to do a review of her land. Cue “Flaahriduh” jokes by the dozen...
Paul doesn’t have much experience with hot climates, what with him being almost as far away from Florida as he can be in the states, but he has been talking with people who do have such experiences such as Alexander Ojeda and the Bernal Brothers.
Sara came up with cardboard mulching even with minimal exposure to permaculture, but apparently some people put cardboard or newspaper mulch down and it starts suffocating the soil below for years as it just doesn’t rot down even in places like Seattle. Paul’s old roommate claims the obvious answer is to punch holes in the mulch when you put it down, to which Paul contests the obvious-ness of the solution as he’s never seen it done before. Furthermore, Paul doesn’t recommend using cardboard mulch due to almost all cardboard being made with toxic gick nowadays. Chances are it’ll work, but he’d prefer you to chop unwanted plants down and lay them over a smaller area than what you cut to discourage further growth - Sarah has plenty of palm trees and saw palmettos for this.
Her property is a mere 6ft above sea level, so brackish water (fresh water that has been contaminated by salt water) can occur, which can be toxic to some plants. Paul thinks that a chinampa might be useful in allowing such water to be used in growing non-salt-resistant plants. Although, perhaps building swales would be a better bet, seeing as they collect fresh water and block encroaching salt water, solving both problems at the same time. They also help create microclimates that are always useful, particularly for growing avocados that have historically had trouble with excess sun on her land.
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Florida is a very interesting and challenging place. We host as natives nearly half of the tree species native to North America ( including Mexico ). I read about 1000 for North America and about 460 for Florida. We have about 150 in this biodiversity hot spot near Tallahassee.
We are also low and suffering sea level rise. Some developments near my home town have already been abandoned. I moved north to higher ground just to be safe.
I welcome Paul and other members of the Permie community to come this far south and see our challenges and to see the benefits too. I know I would learn a lot. And, hopefully have something to share.
Cardboard rots really quickly, so we use planks sometimes.
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