Tag Archives: Grow Food At Home

The Compost Gardener: I Am The Gardener You Hire To Tell You What To Do

“What does The Compost Gardener do?” I was recently asked on my newest Google internet listing. The closest two choices I had were Gardener, and Landscaper. Both are accurate, and neither are spot on. A friend asked me the same question and I had to consider what I do for people in their gardens that

Education: Planning The Summer Garden

Planning The Summer Garden is key for Florida gardeners as this is our opportunity to go fallow in the garden, grow summer annual crops or to plant green mulch, and cover crops. This class will help you to decide which to do, and how to go about it. We will also cover some of the many perennial leaf crops we can grow here for our summer table greens.

Permaculture: Lemons To Lemonade

In April bull dozers came to the canal behind our property and pulled down all of the deep shade that had grown there. The water management district had a project to do back there, and in a few days my west side fence that had been buried in the deep shade of Brazilian pepper trees

In The Garden: Fall & Winter 2012 and 2013

This fall and winter there is a great deal to see and to eat in my South Florida Garden. I have gained a little extra time this year to spend at the homestead garden and I can see how that is paying off. I have been harvesting turmeric and ginger that grew all summer in

Education: Making A Garden Plan Class @ Heathcote Botanical Gardens

I will be presenting a garden planning class 10 AM Saturday August 11, 2012 at Heathcote Botanical Gardens in the office meeting room in the old house. Participants will make an actual plan on paper. We will learn about choosing a garden location, orientation of the garden, crop successions, preparing gardens and soil, companion plants,

Education: Workshop For Permies Coming In July.

On Saturday July 21st 2012 from 9am to 3pm join us for a one-day introduction and interactive experience to learn about permaculture at Heathcote Botanical Gardens in Ft. Pierce with Tia Meer, permaculturalist and founder of Simple Living Institute from Orlando, FL. This workshop will focus on the project of transitioning the annual vegetable garden to a perennial food forest. We will cover permaculture ethics, principals, site survey, and site design and get our hands dirty and put permaculture into practice by designing and installing an edible perennial garden on site.

In The Garden: Revisiting Sweet Potatoes

The sweet potato plant has multiple uses in the garden as a root crop, a leaf crop, and a cover crop. All parts can be used to feed livestock as well as people and it is at its best growing in hot dry sandy soil. This is a great permaculture crop for South Florida.

Education: What to Plant in The Summer Garden @ Heathcote Botanical Gardens

I am back in my own garden again with a vengeance after the permaculture workshop at Heathcote Botanical Gardens. Time is flying and I have begun to consider what I am planting this summer, and when. At 1:00 PM on Sunday February 5 at Heathcote Botanical Gardens I will be presenting a class on what

In The Garden: October 2011, Plant Now!

Fall is the beginning of our cold crop planting season in South and Central Florida. Tomatoes, Peppers, Eggplant, Basil and Beans that were started in August may be getting ready to fruit, and may ripen fruit before our first frost. If you are starting those plants now you will have to protect them from the

The No Till No Dig Way: Gardening 101, It’s Easy, Really!

I made a new friend who is not yet gardening and was rather intimidated by it and quite sure it would take him a long time to learn how to grow food. He mentioned to me that he thought he should take a Gardening for Dummies Class, and that what I had to offer was

In The Garden: Summer Crops For South Florida

For many years I let my gardens fallow over the summer all the while feeling quite sure that there were crops that we could grow here in South Florida in the summer time, but I couldn’t figure out what they were, and I didn’t know who to ask. In order to save you the same

Inner Life: Shelling Peas

How is it, you may wonder, that shelling peas could have anything to do with our sacred inner life? Two summers ago I had lots of Black Eye Peas in my garden. I passed a big bag of peas to my rancher friend Linda from Crazy Hart Ranch. The following week, as she smacked her

Friends’ and Clients’ Gardens: My Brother’s Garden

“I prepared my bed, just as you instructed when we discussed preparing my garden. The soil was in pretty good shape already so I simply raked-out compost I prepared over the winter and then spread straw on top of that to keep down the weeds. When I planted my vegetables, I sprinkled the bunny and

Friends: Heathcote Botanical Garden’s Community Garden

Photos by Nan and Adina Heathcote Botanical Garden recently decided to create a community garden. I was fortunate to be at the first meeting about a year ago, and I was able to get involved with this project at the beginning. This community garden is currently focused on growing for a Sarah’s Kitchen in Port

Friends’ & Clients’ Gardens: Tami’s place

These Pictures were taken by Tami and Melody. This past winter Tami bought fresh vegetables from my garden, and carried a bucket of kitchen garbage to me for my compost every week. Everything changed when she ate the fresh broccoli I put into her bag. Tami said she didn’t know fresh broccoli wouldn’t stink when

In The Garden: When It Got Cold

The fall of 2009 was very hot and humid. We didn’t have night time temperatures below 70 degrees f. until it was officially winter time. By the time New Years Eve rolled around we had begun to have extremely cold weather and it continued well into February giving us very few warm days in between

Garden Pests: No Problem If You Foster Soil Life, Diversity and Balance

After I wrote the article Garden Pests: Nematodes I received a comment from Naomi. She wrote “Wow, mind boggling how many things can go wrong in a vegetable garden!” Her comment made me realize that I did not bring home the point of my article very well. While there are lots of potential problems […]

Friends’ and Clients’ Gardens: My Neighbors’ Fabulous Garden

My neighbors grow in compost not because it is the organic or no till or healthy thing to do. They grow this way because it fosters the most vigorous plant growth and the most flavorful vegetables, in a place that once seemed much less hospitable for growing food.

In The Garden: Growing Legumes

Many growers have forgotten about legumes as nitrogen fixers, or have forgotten how to use them to help build garden soil. This would be unforgettable information except that it is easier to buy a bag of fertilizer. The bag of fertilizer method is easier for sure, but it is more expensive, hard on soil, and is a potential pollution threat to our water ways. Legumes lock up nitrogen for future use. Plants know how to tease nutrients out of soil, and how to attract and make deals with bacteria, fungi, and protozoa for the nutrients they hold in their bodies. Growing legumes enriches the soil and the microbes in the soil with nitrogen that plants are able to use.

In The Garden: Summer 2009

Here’s what’s going on in the garden this summer of 2009. I am growing okra, black eye peas, peanuts, green peppers and sweet potatoes as well as my perennial, asparagus. Long Beans have just quit, and new long beans are in the ground. It is perfect timing for some new seeds, so I put in