Friday, March 22, 2013

The Great South Florida Food Forest Project: Pt. III

Thus far in our story, Dad and I have hit a tropical plant nursery... taken down a scheffelera tree... planted an acerola cherry and had a tiff over the relative usefulness of cinnamon in a survival situation.

Today, I'm going to show you what I did with a formerly almost-useless set of plants in a front planter.

This is what we started with:

NOTE: The Prius isn't my family's. We can't afford pricey electric toys. Neener neener.

There you'll see some incredibly thorny bromeliads, asparagus fern, and a natal plum I didn't realize was an edible until recently (thanks, Grower Jim!)

Anyhow - that's what I started with. It took some work, but I removed the landscape plants in an hour or so, then started digging.

After I dug a big hole (it was at least 3' deep - the picture is rather deceiving), I filled it with compost along with lots of scheffelera logs and debris.

Then, I topped it off with dirt... and planted Dad's brand-new jaboticaba tree. HECK YEAH! IN LIKE, SEVENTEEN YEARS, WE'LL HAVE FRUIT!

This looked better after I added mulch. I don't have a picture, though. Maybe next time...

Along with finishing that little planter, I also got busy planting trees out back.

It's hard to believe this little mulberry will one day tower overhead... but it will... and they grow so darned fast, it won't take long. This one is in the back yard.

By the back wall, little guava replaced some aralia plants Mom pulled up:

Next time I visit, I'll be sure to post some updated photos. Soon this yard is going to be overflowing with fruit... and it'll take very little work to keep things going. (Right now I'm trying to convince Dad to replace the Royal Poinciana in the front yard with a tamarind I just bought... we shall see how that pans out. It'll be awesome, Dad! I promise!) Watch for updates in the future: I may be going back down there in the next couple of months and I'll make sure to take more pictures.

As a final note: anyone can do this. Florida, especially South Florida, is a really lucky state when it comes to growing food. Year-round, baby... especially if you're in zone 10. Start thinking about what you can do - right now - that will feed you and your family, friends, church and neighborhood for years and years to come.

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At March 24, 2013 at 8:54 PM , Blogger rycamor said...


"Err, uh... no, can't say that I ever have. But I'm starting to think I might like to."

At March 25, 2013 at 5:33 PM , Blogger Ten at Eat Your Sands said...

aralia plants? Reeeeeeeeealy? was your mom growing pot? ;)

At March 25, 2013 at 9:50 PM , Blogger David The Good said...

If you were to make a list of the people least likely to ever grow pot, my mom would be on there, right next to Billy Graham, Mother Teresa and Carrie Nation...

At March 26, 2013 at 1:30 PM , Blogger Ten at Eat Your Sands said...

i don't know if mother theresa would be on that list. what do you think she did to get away from the pain and misery of the natives during her missionary work? (hehe i can make fun of her because i'm catholic, but if you do it it's racist or something) :)

At March 26, 2013 at 1:32 PM , Blogger David The Good said...

Suddenly I'm picturing her on the stage at Marley Fest...

At March 10, 2014 at 9:23 PM , Blogger drgnflyz said...

Hows that jabuticaba doing? Did you plant a seed grown or grafted variety? I understand that grafted plants fruit much faster. Mine just went in the ground 4 weeks ago.

At March 10, 2014 at 9:37 PM , Blogger David The Good said...

It's poking along - not growing much. The one I have in a pot up here in N FL is growing much quicker than the one in the ground down there.

I believe they were grafted - I'll have to check. Glad you have one too - they're really cool trees. Apparently the trick to quick Jabuticaba growth is lots and lots of water.


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