Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Great South Florida Food Forest Project: Pt. II

In my last post, I told you what we nabbed from Spyke's Grove Nursery... and then let things hang.

We didn't buy a jackfruit... but I was tempted. Too big!

Before I go any further, though, I have to tell you... Dad totally gave me a hard time over the cinnamon tree. When I was a kid, Dad was basically a landscape and lawn guy. As I've grown as a gardener and shared some of my experiments with him, he's seen how I've been transforming useless landscaping into edibles. Though Dad has many more important things on his mind that outrank gardening (he's an internationally published author, the chief of staff for an international student ministry, a regular speaker on worldview issues, and the senior pastor of a church), he's also realistic. If something low maintenance and useless can be replaced by something low maintenance and useful... he's game.

Going to Spyke's Grove Nursery and getting fruit trees to replace some of the weedy backyard made sense. But then Dad asked about the cinnamon tree.

DAD: So... why did you get that one, Dave?

ME: Well... cinnamon is really useful... you know... it helps with insulin response... it's antiseptic... it's... uh...

DAD: So when civilization collapses, I'm really going to be glad it's back here? We'll eat cinnamon?

ME: It's just... uh... you know... luxury spices might be useful...

DAD: Right, I'm sure... when people are starving, the stores are empty, we're just trying to find something to eat and...

ME: Fine! I just bought it because I think it's cool as heck you can grow a cinnamon tree!

DAD: think Mom and I will be out here, cutting sticks off it to use? All that labor? Drying them in the sun?

ME: Right - fine! I just bought it because it's NEAT! Satisfied?

DAD: Sure, I see how it is. Mmm-hmm... survival gardener... RIIIIIIGHT...

ME: ...

Anyhow, Dad still let me plant it. And he tells me he's been watering it along with the rest of them... but of course, he's right; it was a stretch.

The controversial cinnamon tree, surrounded by recently "chop 'n' dropped" senna leaves.

That aside, Dad also surprised me by suggesting we cut down his scheffelera tree out front, then plant something useful in its place.

Now... that scheffelera has been there forever. I grew up with that tree. We used the long leaf stalks it dropped as swords and climbed it all the time. Up north, scheffeleras are indoors plants - in Ft. Lauderdale, they're a good-sized tree with a cool umbrella shape.

But Dad was right - the tree is useless (except for making swords). So... it had to go!

Dad: the world's most bad-to-the-bone pastor.
We took it to pieces (thanks to a helpful neighbor lending us a chainsaw) in a few hours and dumped the leaves and stumps into the backyard food forest.

Here's a "before" picture of the corner of the house:

And here's an "after" picture, showing the acerola cherry we planted to replace the scheffelera.

It's just about 5' now... but soon it will be amazing. In my next post, I'll show what we did with one of the front planters. Stay tuned...


At October 19, 2014 at 1:07 AM , Blogger Leppy said...

How close is the cherry tree to the house? I am looking for trees to plant in the flower beds that are about 5 feet from the house. Any ideas for Orlando area?

At October 19, 2014 at 7:45 PM , Blogger David The Good said...

About 10 feet. Up closer to the house, I'd plant surinam cherry, bananas, papaya, Monstera and other smaller stuff. Japanese persimmons are a pretty small tree as well.

At April 14, 2015 at 3:43 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am in West Palm Beach. Do you have any idea where I can get a good monstera deliciosa nearby?
I only have access to a small car.


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