2 Permaculture Plants You Can Easily Propagate From The Asian Grocery Store

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.

So Many Useful Tropical Permaculture Plants at the ECHO Nursery

Continuing the tour of ECHO Farm, this is a little walk around the nursery, where you can buy almost any kind of useful plant for a reasonable price. Cinnamon, Mango, Sapote, Red Mombin, Katuk. It’s too bad I don’t have land in Florida to plant anything on. But I was definitely like a kid in a candy store at this place.

The Permaculture Potential of Florida at ECHO Farm: Pt 2

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.

ECHO Farm: A Botanical Garden of Edible and Useful Tropical Plants

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.

I’ve Never Eaten Fruit Like This Before: The Bounty of the Tropics

One of the big reasons I wanted to go to Florida for the winter was to be able to eat delicious tropical fruit in season. Like most other places, because of our inefficient market-driven food system, it’s difficult to find locally grown fruit in any local stores. I had to search everywhere. Even the St Pete farmers market had a sparse selection of in season local fruit–oranges, grapefruit, and the occasional papaya. Like most places, using land to grow food just doesn’t pay compared with using it for high rise condos and shopping malls, so even when you can find “local” produce, it comes from over a hundred miles away. Fortunately, I made it to ECHO farms (see future videos for the tour), and one of the local flea markets also featured a wide assortment of unusual, but easily locally grown, tropical fruit thanks to some southeast Asian vendors.

Urban Permaculture Oasis at St Pete Ecovillage

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.