Thursday, July 7, 2011

Evolving My Urban Farm

I've been influenced by both Joel Salatin and the "Food Forest" concept and my urban farm's evolution by trial and error (weed control is my nemesis!) is being shaped by both, and so to help create some LIGHT shade cover for this hot full sun yard while adding the green and ripe papaya fruits that were a staple for me until two successive hard winters nuked all of mine, I yesterday bought a Caribbean Red papaya from Publix (EXCELLENT flavor) and started the seeds in a big tray. My goal is to pepper my yard, front and back, with a minimum of 50 papaya plants. I have about a dozen papayas in 4 inch pots from an earlier fruit purchase, and so today I will plant three just outside my kitchen window that faces south. A month ago I planted out back where I once had an experimental salt water pond stocked with life from Tampa Bay the loquat tree that Mary Jo gave me, am planting out front  amongst the roses one  I got from the RFC meeting, and today am sticking into the ground out back a few woody moringa cuttings I made yesterday from my east side tree. Moringa leaves lose their horseradishy/bitter taste when dried or cooked briefly, and due to their extremely nutritious natures I want to add a few more trees to my fledgling food forest. I want to emulate my Asian neighbors who know when to pick and cook the long bean-like seed pods when they are tender.....I love the idea of pickling some. My intent is to grow them in my main center bed where each summer I've lost the battle against bidens (Spanish Needle) that my chickens are currently re-grazing down for me, and have it once again be a very productive sweet potato patch. And wouldn't you know...yesterday when I went to the nearby restaurant that daily saves kitchen scraps for me in a lidded 7 gallon bucket (I give them Lesbos basil, hot peppers, thornless cactus and eggs in return) the chef had put in the bucket a few HUGE sweet potatoes that had sprouted heavily...and here we have rainy weather coming....
Talk about the Universe and synchronicity helping me out! John

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