Updates from The Great South Florida Food Forest Project: Fall 2016
It’s been too long since the last update on The Great South Florida Food Forest Project.
Mom sent me photos from just before Hurricane Matthew limped past the coast. There was no damage after the storm but the clouds in the pictures look amazing.
First, take a look at the tropical almond (background) and the black sapote (foreground, right):
See that little Senna alata (AKA candlestick cassia) growing to the left of the chocolate pudding fruit tree? We planted some of those when establishing the food forest and they seem to have naturalized… all over the place.
Now take a look at the avocado seedling:
It’s over 6′ tall now and is a Thai type which makes huge avocados the size of honeydew melons. It just needs to get big so it can start bearing!
Here’s another look at the chocolate pudding fruit tree:
Definitely getting taller and it looks very happy. Those are passionfruit and yam vines growing in the fence behind it.
Now check out the starfruit tree:
Mom reports that this tree produces gallons and gallons of fruit twice a year with long harvest seasons. The fruit are very good and sweet. Quite refreshing. Note the cassava on the right side of the image. The fallen sticks all over the ground are chopped-and-dropped Tithonia diversifolia stems. Great food for the soil.
Here’s a good looking chaya growing in front of the neighbor’s fence:
That’s the deeply lobed variety as opposed to the maple leaf type. I have both growing in The Great South Florida Food Forest.
Out in the front yard, Dad prepared for Hurricane Matthew by cutting back the acerola cherry:
That tree bears year-round and has sweet fruit. It’s been a huge blessing to my nieces and nephews, not to mention the children of the many friends who visit my parents’ place. They all love fresh-picked cherries!
Another big blessing has been the mango tree. It bears large crops of fine-fleshed wonderfully sweet orange-fleshed mangoes.
The ferns on the ground beneath it planted themselves. I love those “accidents” of nature.
Here you can see the mango to the left, coconut palms in foreground left, moringa tree in center and the Thai avocado to the right. Yam vines (Dioscorea alata) are draping across the trees through the center.
Now here’s a nice tree to see: the 6th Street Mulberry is flying!
That is going to be a lovely, multi-branched tree. It’s already been bearing fruit. Hard to believe it looked like this not long ago:
Here’s a view of the profusion from the other side. Isn’t this MUCH more interesting than a lawn?
Moringa, cassava, mango, yams, sunflowers, mother-in-law tongues, ferns, orchids, starfruit, bananas… it’s a lovely mess of great plants!
Here’s another view of the starfruit with the moringa on its right:
And back around to the front yard again, on the other side, to see the tamarind and the canistel:
That canistel is now my height (tree in foreground) and the tamarind is almost 4 times my height. I love to see them both growing happily.
If you’re interested in starting your own Florida food forest, you’ll find inspiration and lots of ideas for plant species in my little book Create Your Own Florida Food Forest.
It’s also available in audiobook form, read by me.
This is a great way to use your property. As the trees mature, you get more and more fruit… for less and less work. My parents aren’t even “plant people” and they greatly enjoy seeing the trees grow and having all the extra fruit to share with friends and family.
Go for it – you have nothing to lose but your boring grass!