At Dancing Rabbit we are always looking for new useful plants that will grow in our climate and soil since it can be challenging given the poor land we inherited. I’ve been trying out many in the last two seasons. Two of these plants are new to me and one I’ve grown for many years and find a vital part of my harvest every year. I was really surprised by how easy these were to start from direct seeding outdoors. I’d tried them indoors the previous year with minimal success. See my other video from last year of me starting a number of permaculture plants.
A lot of people don’t know that figs can grow in a lot more places than the tropics. You see them in California and Florida, but there are people that get fruit off their fig trees every year here in northern Missouri. Of course, the trees do die back to the ground every winter, but they still come back and produce a crop every season. If you have a greenhouse or hoop house in a temperate region, your figs won’t die back to the ground. I knew someone who had a full-sized fig tree in their passive solar greenhouse in central Wisconsin.
In this video I show you how you can easily propagate your own figs trees. It’s really easy to turn one fig shoot into several fig trees in a short time, and within a couple years you can be harvesting fresh figs even in northern regions.
Despite the benefits a city can offer, city life can be stressful and polluted with both noise and light, all of which means people are having more trouble sleeping than ever. I used to have insomnia all the time when I lived in the city, and even when over the counter sedatives wouldn’t work I found that the gentle effect of a homemade herbal tincture would do the trick.
I made a valerian, hops, and chamomile tincture blend that served as a great sleeping potion to relax me enough to help me drift off at night. This spring I found a bunch of volunteer valerian growing in my garden so I thought it was time to make some more sleeping potion. I sleep really soundly most nights at Dancing Rabbit, but I figure I can send some of this to friends who live in the city, and it’s always good to have some on hand just in case.
Every year before the season starts I like to hit the Asian grocery store, not only to pick up my year’s supply of ingredients (since I live so far away from everything) but to get some plant stock to propagate for my garden. There are two plants I get every year–lemon grass and ing chai, or ong choy. Years ago I learned that I could grown my own of both of these useful plants from simple cuttings anyone can buy at their local Asian grocery store. Though native to tropical regions, these two plants have many uses and will produce prolifically, even in temperate regions. Like tomatoes and peppers though, they can only be grown as annuals in colder regions.
This is a more in depth tour of the garden with better quality footage to follow up on my previous garden and food forest videos. I’m amazed at how free off pests this garden is. It also combines fruit and vegetables in some places, so the plants can work together in true permaculture fashion. During winter the peach and nectarine trees have no leaves, so the winter greens and brassicas planted underneath can get plenty of sunlight. This garden produces abundant food for both the ecovillage and the surrounding community.
I already did a tour of the garden at the ecovillage here in St Petersburg, FL, but I left out the food forest, which takes up a section of the garden space and features a collection of tropical fruit trees. Examples of food production like this illustrate how easy it can be to grow your own fruit, but they also make me realize how disconnected people are from their food that they choose to buy fruit from a store that’s been shipped across the world instead of growing their own. These things seem to grow themselves with little effort, and the reward is a bounty of fresh fruit that tastes like nothing you could find at the store.
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