Thursday, August 30, 2012

Ready to Grow Your Own?

Plants need very little. Much less than we do. In fact, they generally stay put, get some nutrition from the soil, a lot of sugars from the sun, and plenty of water when you wash your car. Unlike us, they can also survive without gin and cigars.

All you need to do is make them happy and they’ll feed you.

“But Dave... everything I touch dies...”

Unless you’re an entity made of antimatter, soon you won’t be able to say that. If everything is dying, you’re Not Doing It Right. But that’s okay. Most of us have succumbed to the Lowes Effect. Spring arrives, we see all the cute little tomatoes in flats and the garden junk for sale and we think “THIS YEAR I’M GONNA DO IT!” Then everything dies. It’s natural.

Florida isn’t kind to novices or Yankees. Yet that’s what most of us are as gardeners. We remember Grandpa’s garden in Upstate New York or the sweeping fields of Midwestern wildflowers... or the yuca and papaya of Mexico... and then the sands of sunny Florida bury us like Pompeii.

Most of us know that things are busted in the US. The price of everything is going up - and as the banks get bailed, the little guys get screwed. Practically everything in this nation is based on lies and distortions... from the GDP numbers to the Food Pyramid. And the chances that things are going to get better in the near-term are about equal with the chances that you can be the World’s Best Ballerina Astronaut.

So... if you’re smart, you’ve saved some cash... maybe bought some hard commodities... and hopefully are eliminating debt (or, Lord willing, are debt-free). What about food? Extra canned goods are nice... but healthy fresh produce is tops. If you don’t have your calories covered - and gas flies up to $10 a gallon - or your food stamps get canceled - you’re in trouble.

That’s why I've set up Florida presents some great opportunities for gardeners - but you have to work with her, not against her. Don’t expect broccoli in July or pineapples North of Okeechobee. What you can expect, though, is an incredible jungle of food if you play your cards right. Pomegranates, citrus, peaches, sweet potatoes, passion fruit, tobacco and melons all grow wonderfully - and they’ll taste better than any pesticide-laced offering you’ll find in your local grocery.

So... stick around. We’re gonna grow us some food, experiment with designs, take a little permaculture, a little organic know-how, a little madness and a lot of fun and mix them together into something that may just keep you afloat when all else is lost.

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