Tag Archives: Growing Organic Vegetables

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

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

In The Garden: More About Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are good for the soil. All summer long their vines and heart shaped leaves keep the soil covered. The mulch below the vines breaks down in cool comfort. The swelling potatoes gently move the soil repairing any compaction issues that existed before them. I find the soil below the potato vines to be black, well aggregated (lumpy) and loaded with worm castings. The weeds that are coming up around my transplants are easy to slip out of the soil where the potatoes were. The new crops are growing as if all of their soil needs are being met, and the soil is holding moisture much longer than the native soil.

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.

Education: My 2012 Summer to Spring 2013 Class Schedule

Here is the schedule for the classes I am teaching at Heathcote Botanical Gardens thru the spring of 2013. If you click on the link below you can see the pdf poster with dates and times. The composting class has already gone by, however, if there are enough who are interested I would be glad

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

The No Till No Dig Way: Revisiting Soil Tilth and The No Till Garden

My garden grows beautifully. All I do is feed the soil with lots of organic wastes. I don’t dig, I don’t worry, I don’t fertilize plants and I don’t spray plants. All in all I would say that growing the No Till No Dig Way is an easier, more successful way to nurture a food garden.

Harvests: This Summer In The Garden

This summer has been a whirlwind for me. I picked up some part time work at a local organic farm last winter and the job lasted way into the summer. A couple of months before the farm job started I began volunteering at the Community Vegetable Garden at Heathcote Botanical Gardens. Just as the farm

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: 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.

The No Till No Dig Way: Why Soil Should Not Be Disturbed

To grow in an organic manner in such a way as to decrease the cost of your inputs, increase the health and disease resistance in the garden, and increase garden yields, a grower must focus on the soil. This focus must be on maintaining optimum populations of the microbes and the invertebrates that are present in healthy soils.

The No Till No Dig Way: Revisiting The Lasagna Garden Mound

The concept of this no dig bed is simple. You don’t till or disturb the soil below, and you create a mound that roughly approximates a balanced pile of stable scrapings. This is a great way to start quickly and these mounds feed the soil below as the growing season progresses attracting beneficial insects and microbes to your growing area, and you won’t have to fertilize the plants growing in these mounds.