Continuing my tour of ECHO Farm, this time I talk about the demonstrations of their sustainable systems. So many incredible things to see at ECHO. Rocket stoves, water filters, aquaponic systems, biodigesters, water heating, oil pressing, and many other appropriate technologies mostly made from reused and reclaimed materials. You can also find open source directions and how to info about making all of these sustainable systems at their website echocommunity.org.
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.
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.
The Amara Zee is technically a sailboat, but because it has been adapted as a theater ship, it can’t use its sails anymore. But I had the chance to take a ride on true tall sailboat, the Lynx, when it was docked across from us. The Lynx is a small replica a schooner from the War of 1812 and features 12 sails to harness the wind’s power to maximum efficiency. We invited the crew of the Lynx to dinner at the Amara Zee one night, so they offered us free rides on their ship. It wasn’t the best day for wind, but nevertheless we got to see how the crew uses the power of the wind to sail a boat the old fashioned way. It takes a lot of hands to sail a boat like this and it was inspiring to see the skilled, strong women and men on their crew working together to hoist the sails.
This is some older footage from earlier in my trip to St Petersburg. There’s so much happening at St Pete and so much footage I’ve taken since being here, I can’t find time to get it all in. Here is a taste of a bunch of different activities I took part in during January of this year.