When most people think of Florida, they think of retirees, vacation resorts, and strange politics, but I think this place shows the potential of Florida. It could be a permaculture paradise instead of an eyesore. In this video, I continue the tour of ECHO Farm in Ft Myers, FL. Useful plants familiar to us, used-everyday-but-never-seen, and very unusual are on display in this tropical oasis in the desert of malls and condos. You should go there sometime in person, but until then you can take a little trip there in this video.
If you are ever in Florida, you have to check this place out. I was able to catch a ride down to ECHO Farms in Ft Myers, FL with the Sustainable Urban Agriculture Coalition of St Pete for their annual open house event. I’d known about this place for years, but hadn’t ever been. It surpassed even all the amazing things I’d heard about it. These next two videos are about the established gardens at ECHO, but I’ve also got footage about the many different sustainable systems they’ve implemented at their farm and that they share with people in Third World countries to help them become more self sufficient. But these systems aren’t just for people somewhere else. They are perfectly usable anywhere in the world. I’ll be doing separate videos about those systems and about the fruit tree nursery, where you can buy potted versions of everything you see in this video, plus much more.
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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It’s been a little while since I uploaded a video because I’m working all the time here in Florida. But now I’ve got a backlog of videos to post about what I’ve been doing in St Petersburg. This is a little tour of one of my first visits to the St Pete Ecovillage, which is a very newly established ecovillage in Florida with ambitious goals.
I love that in January and February there is abundant produce coming from the garden. There are fruits and veggies that ripen only at this time of year, but year round there is something coming from the garden. It was in a subtropical region that the modern form of permaculture originated, and Florida is perfectly suited to it. In just a month I’ve seen romaine lettuce go from seedling to harvestable heads. It’s truly unbelievable.
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I’m escaping to the garden in this video and planting my fall garlic. Garlic is one of my favorite crops because it grows well every year, it doesn’t get any disease, and it’s easy to maintain. You just drop the cloves in in the fall after most other stuff is done and it comes up first thing in the spring. By mid July it’s finished up and you can follow it with a second fall crop.
If you couldn’t tell, this footage was taken just after the election in November.