About This Site
TheSurvivalGardener.com is the official gardening blog of author David The Good. It’s all about growing the most food for the least amount of work. If you want to know how to garden and feed your family no matter what happens, this site is for you.
I highly recommend you sign up for my newsletter – there I cover in-depth stuff I may not post here on the blog, plus you’ll see when I put out a new book and all that cool stuff.
Back in August 2012 this site started as FloridaSurvivalGardening.com and rapidly grew in readership until it was obvious that just covering Florida wasn’t enough – it was time to go international. In August 2015 we migrated to TheSurvivalGardener.com to welcome in serious gardeners worldwide.
Who Is David The Good?
He also has a YouTube channel:
Confession: David is not a complete organic purist, though he refrains from pesticide use (with the exception of Amdro for fire ants) and truly hates RoundUp. Almost all of what he grows is fed with compost and natural fertilizers such as manure, fish emulsion and bone meal – yet he’s been known to get frustrated with slow fruit trees and throw on some 10-10-10 now and again.
In May of 2016 David The Good moved from Florida to the equatorial tropics to experiment with a new range of crops and gardening methods. In 2020, he moved back to the states and now resides in South Alabama, near the Florida border.
Primarily, David The Good’s gardening is based on old-fashioned farming mixed with permaculture and lots of experimentation. He loves strange and exotic perennial crops, reads voraciously, is a devout Christian, uses lots of Latin and spend lots of time wandering through the wilderness looking for interesting plants and animals he can document and share with you.
Providing healthy food for his wife and children is a major focus of David’s gardening efforts… and if you follow along, you’ll learn to feed yourself as well.
To get started, check out the survival plant profiles for super-easy crops, plus subscribe to my YouTube channel to see a wide range of helpful videos (and some completely bizarre and non-helpful ones).
This site is supported by the sale of books and some advertising. If you click through and buy anything off the Amazon or eBay links, David makes a few cents. (Thank you for that!)
You can also e-mail David your questions and he will try to respond personally or here on the blog.
Now is the time to start gardening – let’s grow tons of food together!
In order for David to make huge piles of cash, he may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for the endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Florida Food Forests, Inc. (the terrifyingly evil corporation that owns this site) is also a participant in the Amazon Associates Program and the eBay affiliates program, both advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking. All that means is that if you buy something through one of his Amazon or eBay links, Davy G gets a little bit of $ and it costs you nothing extra. Please use his links so he can roll around in piles of hundred dollar bills when he’s not digging up sweet potatoes.
I can't access my email program on my laptop, but wanted to invite you to our Earrh Day Fest. Karen Epple, firstname.lastname@example.org
We are looking for some great groups, like you folks,, to table at the event. No fee to participate, for non-profits, but we are asking for a small donation for vendors. We'll have a great time and share our vision for a better world. Please join us!
We will have some help to schlep stuff, if you need it.
Just found your site through your publishers blog. Bookmarked.
I noticed you live in Florida, so I was wondering if you've heard of Green Deane over at EatTheWeeds[dot]com. I noticed a few of your blog posts where you asked people if they knew what a plant was, so that's why I thought of Green Deane and his forum where we frequently post pictures of plants we don't know.
Dave, I noticed you have lid on your rain water stored in a garbage can possibly due to mosquito breeding. I’ve been adding new oil to my water and so far I see no larvae.
It works, but the oil gummed up my watering cans and started turning into weird clumps, so I quit with it last year.
I have been following you since I caught your video on the food summit. I really appreciate your Florida gardening knowledge since I live in Central Florida and have started collecting plants for my garden -Chaya, Perennial Tree Collard cuttings, Sunchokes… I always had an interest in the exotics so it is nice to know what grows here well and what does not.
My boyfriend and I would like to plan a road-trip to purchase a few plant you might have and meet you if possible. We are looking to purchase Mexican sunflowers, cranberry hibiscus, Seminole pumpkin seeds, and coffee plants to name a few.
Looking forward to hearing back from you,
Hi Jan – I sent you an e-mail. Thanks.
I Just got back to read your reply, sorry your e-mail must have gone to junk mail and I missed it. ; (
Please resend if possible and I will check and put you on the safe list,.
(junk e-mail dumps automatically at 30 days.)
I really enjoyed your new book on Florida Gardening, thanks for writing it.
John- it seems sometimes that there are 2 kinds of pploee in the world- 1) those who decide to learn from every moment and 2) those who are compelled to always comment negatively and complain about every moment. Great job at handling the # 2 s.I appreciate your videos and? learn something every time.
I relate to your bio in so many ways. We, meaning my husband King Davy and I have been working towards self suffincey for over 40 years. 23 years on a 40 acre homestead in NC foothills, and 17 years here in the Dominican Republic. As you say, we have also been mostly organic. Termites and ants being our biggest problems. I have been feeding some neem leaves to the chickens in a small house that had a problem with both these pests. The problem has now been gone for a couple of years. I also mulch my gardens with neem and have had absolutely no insect problems. We use a lot of mulch and I just add the neem leaves strait from the tree. We are still working at self sufficiency, which is really the same thing as survivalist when you think about it. We raise our own meat,(sheep), poultry, (turkeys & chickens for eggs), and fish, ( mostly for fun). Permaculture is a new word for tree crops. We practice 2 and 3 story agriculture. One of the biggest challenges is growing veg in the hot summer. I have trouble growing enough leafy greens. Now we are looking to stop feeding store bought animal feed. Starting duck weed and hopefully soldier flys very soon. Projects never end even in your 70’s.
Hey Marilyn, that all sounds great. Those are the types of things I’ve been working toward. I’d like to know how you’ve been feeding your fish and what kind etc. I understand that pigeon pea leaves and some other are great fodder for chicken and goats and the like to help with feeding them from your garden.
I recently picked up your book Compost Everything, and I found it to be a great read. As such it got me thinking about a local problem we have here in Texas.
We have a massive feral pig problem. They rip up lawns, gardens, small trees, bushes…you name it. They are practically a vegetarian Tasmanian Devil. I have on occasion busted a couple with the rifle, but that presents a problem in itself. Unless they are small they are completely unfit for eating. The larger ones are extremely nasty both in smell and behavior. I usually soak the corpse in diesel and just let it burn, as the only thing that smells worse then a live pig is a dead and rotting pig.
So onto my question. Could you use that corpse in the same way you describe in your melon pits? Bury the pig, throw in some logs, and plant a tree over the top?
Absolutely. I actually know a woman who did that with a horse and planted a tree over it. Works quite well.
Pigs really are pests.
I wanted to provide an update. I planted the first pig this weekend, as I got rid of a 300lb pest. I had to dig a 2′ x 6 trench about 4 feet deep just to seat the pig. I may have to find a better way to deal with the pigs as digging that trench was pretty rough going in the clay we have here.
I tossed in some limbs from a tree clearing and also dumped in some ash from a bonfire we had on site to increase the carbon content.
Going down to the nursery tomorrow to pick out a tree to plant over it.
I almost forgot. The wife thinks I have gone insane but I see compost everywhere now.
I have been saving up meats and other “undesirable” scraps, in a separate container. Even the dogs and the cat hav been pressed into service for my mad quest for compost.
On the weekend we dug a matrix of “post” holes about 30″ deep. The “undesirables” plus some leaves go in the hole with about 12″ of dirt over the top.
David, I just viewed your metal detector saga and thoroughly enjoyed it. I just know you’ll hit paydirt soon….maybe a bucketful of old coins. Good luck!
David – my moringa seeds planted about a month and a half ago are a foot tall now. Should I start giving fertilizer? If not what should I be doing to ensure they do well over the winter. Can’t wait to see them grow in the ground as they are doing so well in the pot. Blessings – Lori
David, Do you still have the water chestnuts available??? I have the perfect place for them!
No, I’ve sold my homestead and am no longer providing them. Try Grower Jim at Garden Adventures: http://growerjim.blogspot.com/
David, I enjoy your site and you tube site. They are both great and very informative. I live in Southeast Louisiana and I’m wondering if I can use hay instead of straw for mulching and compost. Straw is not easy to find here. I have heard hay is not good to use can you help clarify this for me?
I wouldn’t mulch with hay or straw at this point due to the chances for herbicide contamination in both; however, the warning on hay is because of the high amount of weed seeds that are often present. Straw contains some seeds but they’re usually just wheat, oats, etc. – not grass, pigweed and other pests.
More on the herbicide risks here: http://www.thesurvivalgardener.com/danger-of-straw-bale-gardening-no-one-is-mentioning/
My husband and I recently bought five acres and were looking forward to getting a garden started. We had some chicken manure mixed with leaves and wood shavings that we transported from our old house ( along with the chickens) but not enough for more than one raised bed. We were thus horrified to read your post about the dangers of bringing onto our homestead manure or compost from elsewhere. I have 30 tomato seedlings that need transplanted and without buying in compost, I have nothing except ordinary unamended bottom lands clay to plant them in! Help! What should we do in the short term?
I would plant them in the clay and feed them with cottonseed meal, fish emulsion, blood meal, bone meal and other goodies. Some kelp meal is also great. You really don’t need that much in the way of compost to make tomatoes happy. You can even feed them with diluted urine and get good results, as crazy as that sounds. I just visited a garden where a homeowner was diluting urine 10-1 with water… and his tomatoes were HUGE.
I recently bought a five acre property a little over a year ago in Indian River County. Not living there yet still anchored in Miami. Working on moving the family there so that my children can grow up with a more solid grasp on life the way it was intended. Last Summer I discovered the local tree service in action and was blessed with roughly 1000yards of wood chips. So I did what any crazy man would do and began planting on a much larger scale than I ever thought possible time frame wise. Due to my limited knowledge of gardening and lack of an army of workers I feel I am coming short of the full potential of the resources that I have been given. None the less I have been growing and planting alone by hand like a mad man. I have learned a lot and have had much success with my experiments. The problem is that I am beginning to feel burnt out and so have asked for guidance regarding the issue. Reading your blog and getting a small view into your world has been insightful to say the least. Thus I have been compelled to inquire about a fresh point of view from someone other than myself. Knowing no one in my world that understands fully what I am attempting to accomplish I beseech your guidance. Sorry for the drama been isolated on the farm for a week by myself planting and I get a little caught up some times. To date I have planted around 100 fruit trees some from seed, cuttings, and grafts, about 30 bananas in 12 varieties, and various other plants and edible perennials in various food forest type environments. Mostly the things I plant can survive if I’m not there to tend to them for a month or so. As per the information on your web site I understand you are undergoing a transition right now but any thoughts or input on the matter would be much appreciated.
Thank You for your time
where yat? a former louisianian now living in LA (lower alabama) and interested in possibly visiting your nursery.
The nursery is closed since we’ve sold our homestead. Thank you, though.
I am interested in cultivating a 5′ strip around my pool cage. I would like the plants to provide privacy as well as food, any suggestions?. I live in Sarasota, Fl.
i read with great interest your comments regarding straw bales and the hidden dangers thereof; i have several very old bales of *rice straw* from the fields north of Sacramento, where an enormous amount of rice is grown. obvious question is whether said rice straw would be safe, being an aquatic plant, it shouldn’t require the same suppressor contaminants used on straw…your thoughts?
Hey – I found you on the net while searching info on growing sugar cane. I bookmarked you and have been back several times since. I just ready your book, “Totally Crazy East Florida Gardening” good read! I live in Dunnellon and bought a 2 acre homestead property. I didn’t start with tree, I started with critters. I got pigs and chickens in the area I plan to put my garden next year. This year I settled for a smaller plot and brought in 2 trailers of horse manure from a friend up the street. In your book twice you say not to use horse manure but never say why. I did look up your blogs on manure though but is there something specific about horse manure? I didn’t grow weeds… plants are doing well except eggplant getting eaten by bugs and ALL my corn was eaten by worms.. I WANT PLANTS!! Where can I find you? No info on your site about contacting you.
Glad you found me. I have no problem with horse manure provided it’s A: well-buried so the millions of weed seeds don’t come up and B: you know the horses never grazed on ground that was sprayed with Grazon herbicide or another persistent poison… and they never ate any hay from any farmer that did. That’s almost impossible to find now. Horse manure is Russian roulette at this point. You can contact me at: david @th es urvival gardene r.co m (take out the spaces).
Hi David, I don’t know of a way to contact you will questions so, I am sending this email/comment.
I live in Norther Virginia zone 6/7. I have been proceeding nicely with numerous failures in the garden and have discovered lots of things not to do. I have a mostly shaded back yard and would like to plant something under the shade of my mature maple tree. I there any food crop you can recommend? I am new to the gardening and don’t know if I can plant anything in the shade of a tree and expect it to grow. Thank you. I love all the things you do and can’t wait for more.
I’ll throw up your question in tomorrow’s post and see if anyone has some good suggestions. Thanks for stopping by.
My Lake Worth, FL home has room for a garden and I’m looking for seed sources for rainy season bearing plants. I’ve been successful with Asian Long Beans, Chinese Eggplants, and Everglades Tomatoes. Now I’d like to find seeds for Seminole Pumpkin and an heirloom variety of maize. I want to investigate the two Native American techniques of the milpas plant grouping and terra preta soil. Any suggestions, thoughts, advice, or comments are welcome. Thanks in advance.
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds and Southern Exposure Seed Exchange are two of my favorite seed sources. They carry what you’re looking for. As for biochar and soil, look up skillcult.com.
Just stumbled across your YouTube channel when I was searching for growing peaches from seeds. You have a fantastic site!.
I have some lime/peach/nectarine seeds. Can I still plant them now? And maybe move them into my winter garden when it gets cold? I live in Central Europe so its going to be winter by end of October.
Thanks for your advice.
Hi, glad you found me. Definitely plant the limes right away. And don’t let them freeze. As for the peaches and the nectarines, you could plant them directly in pots now and just leave them out in your garden to be stratified by the cold.
Thank you so much. I will do so tomorrow. Heat wave for the next 2 weeks 🙂
Hello David, We just found your website and it is very good.
Anyway, we have a suburban homestead in Houston. We grow more than we can eat. However, my dear wife Tingting wants to grow lots of tropical fruits, lychee, guava, mango, avocado, sapote’s etc, etc. So we just bought 2.5 acres near Naples FL. It is upland and quite sandy so we know we have a lot of prep to do.
Anyway, just wondering if you will be homesteading or have a nursery that far south, or will continue your website.
Thank you, Ted. Naples is a great place to grow. I will continue my website. However, I sold my nursery and now live outside of the United States. Check out ECHO in Ft. Myers as soon as you get a chance.
Just found your site (through your video on the impromptu visit to the mnfr’r of C-Head Composting toilets). Subscribed and I look forward to the education (and entertainment!) you provide.
I just read your reply to Ted Bensen’s comment (above), and it jumped out at me that you no longer live in the U.S.of A. I just started getting familiar with your site, so forgive me if you have already documented the move. I am considering the whole ex-pat thing, so naturally, I am so very curious… WHERE did you move to?
Thanks in advance for your reply!
Glad you found me and welcome!
We aren’t sharing our exact location; however, we’re in Central America.
… David, it’s not polite to keep secrets… now tell us where this Eden is! Just kidding – a quick observation would be that you do not have to fear of local militia so you are in a safe country with English speaking people, with lots of land probably a fraction of the cost of USA, you never look like you are sweating bullets though like in FL and the area looks like it has hills and character… So, GOOD for you! How is the water?
clean, available? Amenities? Running water, modern bathrooms, toilet paper? Have any animals? Goats? How are the cigars? How is the economy?
Cost of living? Witness protection? (just kidding)… My point – How is the new land – without telling us the location, do a video about what its like picking up and moving to a far away land to pursue your garden dreams. And how you chose to leave and get where you are.
It’s David from the GFS days.
I just found your channel. I think it’s awesome what your doing.
Hey! Great to see you here! Thank you.
david, would you or anyone that you know, might know where i can obtain, some chaya seeds or stems to plant in a nursing home, which i’m making them a butterfly garden? thankyou kindly joel, cheerios mate
Try looking up local permaculture and gardening groups. If you can find plant geeks, they’ll have some. The Mosswood Farm Store in Micanopy likely carries chaya as well.
I have read your material and much of the other available comments/research on composting. I have also reviewed your recent warning on the source of straw.
Can hay be used instead – for compost if a pile temperature of 120f will it kill off the grass seeds – for bale gardens what can be done ?
The field from which the hay is taken has not been chemical treated for at least 10 years and only strip grazed for 30 years.
Hay or straw can be used safely if you KNOW that land has never been sprayed. I would compost the hay. The straw bale gardens, unless you know your source perfectly, are too risky in my opinion. However, I would consider deep mulching with hay and throwing a top layer of leaves over them to suppress germination if I wanted to go that way. Good luck and thank you for stopping by.
Hi David. Found your ‘7 rainwater system mistakes’ video, and would like to use it in my RWH course as a bit of a quiz or review section. I like it since you’re not too serious and you get the points across.
My course is with Gaia College in British Columbia, and is accredited as an ARCSA (American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association) Accredited Professional Workshop equivalent. It is also offered jointly by Royal Roads University in BC and by Seneca College in Ontario, for credit in their CE programs. Can we collaborate on it?
Sure – no problem. Get in touch with me via email if you need anything else. Thank you for thinking of me.
can you explain how you built a compost for worms out of an old dishwasher and what size holes did you drill init.
Here’s how I did it: http://theprepperproject.com/make-free-worm-composting-bin-three-easy-steps/
Greetings David. I moved from the Pacific Northwest in the USA to a 7600 sq ft walled compound in SaiGon Vietnam. The place is all layers of clay, peoples trash, litter, brick, tiles and construction rubble. And we flood a bit in the rainy season. But that doesn’t stop me. Your materials and video are great and encourage me to stay with the project. The people here say I can not grow this or that …. As I slowly clear and rebuild the ground I also plant such items, “that will not grow here”. So far I have proved them wrong. They think I am crazy for saving seeds from a dinner meal, grafting, green stick, salvage, cloning and rooting anything edible or flowers. Other than pigs and chicken which my dog would tease or eat. Now I will work on growing grapes thanks to your ideas. I did loose a few fruit trees from this years extremely high ground water. But like you, the branches are very useful. Thanks for sharing and I will continue to grow what can not be grown.
Greetings David. I moved from the Pacific Northwest in the USA to a 7600 sq ft walled compound in SaiGon Vietnam. The place is all layers of clay, peoples trash, litter, brick, tiles and construction rubble. And we flood a bit in the rainy season. But that doesn’t stop me. Your materials and video are great and encourage me to stay with the project. The people here say I can not grow this or that …. As I slowly clear and rebuild the ground I also plant such items, “that will not grow here”. So far I have proved them wrong. They think I am crazy for saving seeds from a dinner meal, grafting, green stick, salvage, cloning and rooting anything edible or flowers. Other than pigs and chicken which my dog would tease or eat. Now I will work on growing grapes thanks to your ideas. I did loose a few fruit trees from this years extremely high ground water. But like you, the branches are very useful. Thanks for sharing and I will continue to grow what can not be grown. Open to visitors.
From the Pacific Northwest to Vietnam – you sound like me!
I would love to see photos if you get a chance to share them. Sounds like great work. One day I would love to visit.
Yo homie, the url on your /about/ page is misspelled.
Fixed it. Thank you.
Just saw your video on Prepper World Summit 4. Loved it. Really love your alternative use for the broad fork. Maybe if you have time you can make a YouTube video on how to attach it to the car bumper. I’ll bet people move out of my way on the freeway!
Enjoy seeing you and Rachel together, you two make a good team. Looks like you are having fun.
Yeah, that would be perfect! Thank you, Susan.
I found your site after purchasing your book “Create Your Own Florida Food Forest”. I’m not in Florida, but thought your book would be helpful for my climate. It has been and has given me many ideas to adapt to my garden. I’m in the wet tropics of northern Australia.
One line in your book really resounded with me, it was where you referred to “slithering death monsters”. I love that line, and I take it to heart. My garden is full of ‘slithering death monsters’. Some of the most venomous snakes known to humanity, live in my area and regularly visit my garden. Coastal Taipan, Eastern Brown Snake, King Brown Snake, Red-bellied Black Snake, to name a few.
As you can imagine safely establishing a food forest under these circumstances can be challenging. Piled up branches or prunings could conceal slithering death monsters at my toes. So positioning such mulch must be carefully thought through. Being older I can no longer get to my feet quickly, so no kneeling, all gardening must be done from a standing position for a quick get away when needed (and there have been a few). Harvesting amid lush leafy growth requires its own strategies. I was once chased from a garden bed by a snake that did not appreciate my seed harvesting activities. I also do not recommend setting foot outside after sunset.
Oh yes, “slithering death monsters” resonates within my being.
Hi David. I saw your video about Eddy and his productive soursop tree. I have been searching for a productive soursop for a long time now. I would love to get some Scion wood for grafting if possible. Can you please put me in contact with Eddy,. I would really appreciate it. Thank you so much.
I AM A MID-FLORIDA NATIVE, WHO GREW UP HUNYING, FISHING, & GARDENING FROM TAMPA TO HATCHBEND FLORIDA, and who observed pawpaw bushes growing in empty cow fields from Tampa to Gainesville, and have just been told that there are no commercial varieties of pawpaw trees that will grow in my immediate area(Lutz, Florida), or in my homestead area just west of Hatchbend Florida??? Is this true???
Hi David, fellow gardener, prepperish type here doing aquaponics, chickens, gardening, and food preservation. At certain times of the year, my property is loaded with many different kinds of mushrooms (I live in Odessa, Florida). I have actually framed some pictures of them and hung them on my dining room wall. And while I am not about to start eating any of them without getting an expert to look at them first, I am interested in getting a bit educated beforehand. So with that in mind: Ironically, the web page: ” http://www.thesurvivalgardener.com/2014/09/27/suggested-books-for-wild-mushroo/ ” actually has no books for wild mushrooms. I get that infamous 404 “not found” message. Go figure…
Please direct me to the appropriate listing. Do you have classes?
Thank you, Don. Must be an internal error. This is the link you’re looking for:
David I had planted velvet beans and it seems that I really can’t deal with all that was harvested would you like some seeds?
I will take you up on that at some point.
David, I have no idea how to contact you via email. My email is email@example.com I live in Panama. I noticed that you do not have okra on your survival plant list. I have been working on a new variety of tropical okra. It is an African okra hybrid that is mixed with Panamanian coffee okra. This new variety of African okra lives for a long time and is a perrenial. It produces hundreds of okra. The plants are huge, nematode resistant and extremely hardy. They can grow in very poor soil just like pidgeon pea’s. I live in Panama and have been growing this new variety of okra for many years. Its a wonderful survival plant. Go to greencountryseed savers to the general board to see my blog which talks about my experience developing this new okra. This okra belongs in every survivalists garden! Thanx.
Hi David, I enjoyed your video on growing bananas in north Florida. I would like to plant bananas between my pool and a west facing fence. For a ready made privacy screen, is it possible to purchase mature tall banana trees? What’s the tallest size you think might be available? Thanks.
Yes, you could buy tall ones; however, bananas grow really fast under good conditions. I have them go from 18″ to 8-10 feet in one summer. I’d just grab varieties that grow tall, then plant them small and feed them lots of nitrogen and plenty of water.
Hi, David! Just stumbled upon your site, am interested in the native gardening aspect, but also curious if you might be able to help shed some light on something I’ve been attempting to research to no avail. I live in the Romeo area in a neighborhood surrounded by farms, none of them organic. I have a neurological condition that is worse when I’m home in FL; muscle spasms, tremors, and involuntary movements are a big part of it. Traveling for work, just getting back in the saddle there as this condition as disabled me for a long time, I was in a dive motel in NJ for about a month with my symptoms disappearing completely, upon returning home, my symptoms returned. I felt better than I had in years in FL and was able to do some physically demanding work I haven’t been able to do in a very long time at home. I do have a gene that apparently makes me more sensitive to nerve gas and potentially pesticides, but can’t find specific answers as to what’s possibly used in the area and if it can possibly exacerbate my problem. With your knowledge of Florida and farming, do you think my problem could be pesticide related? Could it be contamination from the farms, or what’s used for mosquito control? What other environmental factors in FL could potentially cause neurological symptoms? I’m a sixth generation Florida native on one side, third gen on the other, and I do know there is a genetic component on my father’s side, but do know there is an environmental factor that’s making things worse. My seven year old son is starting to have the same symptoms now, so I need to figure this out, and UF has been no help over many years for myself. If you could shed any light on the situation, I’d greatly appreciate it. Thank you!
First thing I would do is disconnect any wireless modems and put your phone far away from you when you sleep. I had a 5g modem on my desk and started feeling ill, tired and getting chest pains. When I turned it off, I felt much better.
Thank you for the reply! That’s something I had not considered before, but then I’m not sure if that could cause my symptoms or not. We’ve been a no cell in the bedroom household since they became the norm in our house for communication six years ago, we have a basket in the kitchen in the front of the house for all handheld electronics at night(bedrooms in the back). We do however have two cell towers less than a mile from our house in two separate directions, and we do have a lot of wireless pollution in our neighborhood due to most people having AC routers now(we’re still on an old G router in the kitchen). I imagine the same type of airwave pollution due to cell tower and wireless connections applied to where I was in NJ, but I was working and too busy to take notice of it there. We do have “community” water in our neighborhood, which means we have a large well in the back of the neighborhood and everybody is hooked up to it; the water is chlorinated with fluoride added to it. I grew up without fluorinated water and have Florida teeth due to the large amounts of tricalcium phosphates in the local well water here; could the fluoride be potentially the problem and explain why I didn’t have issues until grown and on “community” water? I know the tricalcium phosphate tends to cause kidney stones, weak bones and bad teeth, but have found nothing that indicates it could cause neurological problems in excess. While I was in NJ, I didn’t use tap water there, even while brushing my teeth, I only used bottled water to avoid the US version of Montezuma’s Revenge that happens while traveling, but that also limited my exposure to various chemicals in the water at the time. I could switch over to bottled water here to test the theory, but while not working, that gets rather unaffordable for the amount of people in my home with the brands that are clean enough to test with. Most home water purification systems cannot remove all of the fluoride molecules and toxins so that’s not be a feasible options to just test the theory either(those things are pricy). Our community water also tests as some of the cleanest for contaminants in the US yearly. Our house was built in the 80s, so no lead pipes and in our water levels of lead are very low compared to even the national average. My asthma is also bad at home, while in NJ, it was a non-issue, even with being in the middle of a bunch of petrol chemical refineries. We’ve had our house tested for mold by professionals even though we have no visible mold problems, just figured that could be the potential issue since some strains can produce mycotoxins that can cause neurological symptoms, but all testing came back fine, none of the harmful strains in the house and nothing out of the ordinary. We are seeing some domestic and wild animals getting sick in the area here and there and are having to call Animal Control to come deal with them, mostly cats, with some presenting with neurological issues that we’re not sure if they’re strays or dumped(rabies tests neg on those with neuro issues). We have noticed kittens that show up in the neighborhood tend to stay small as they grow, too. Riding around and going up 121 the other day between 19/98 and 464, I did notice the cypress stands and pasture lands out there just looked sick, everything had an unusual grey tinge to it, and there were no animals on the pasture lands nor in sight around the houses out there, which I found so odd. Whatever my issue might be, I might never find out. It might just be time to pack up and leave the state(not to NJ, somewhere more woodsy and less developed) to protect my son from becoming as I have. I hate the thought of leaving since I grew up here when it wasn’t so populated and loved it, but it’s changed so much my kids aren’t growing up with the same Florida I knew and loved anyway.
Romeo is very close to the toxic fluoride industry in N FL. Read the book Phosphate Fluorides Toxic Torts by Gary Pittman
Just finished, “Grow or Die”, and enjoyed it thoroughly. Many great tips that go beyond the simple bucket of seeds advice many prepper guides suggest. I have one nit to pick – garlic. I live in Pennsylvania and grow 1000-2000 heads a year. Your advice to start in spring up north is 100% wrog. Garlic originated in Siberia and Northern China and loves, adores, clings to the cold like a mama to her babies. Many varieties can’t grow in your tropics and you are missing out on their superior taste. I teach classses in growing garlic and do not want any northerners to miss out on our advantage over you southerners.
Thank you, Tim. Sounds like I need to make a revision.
HI! I just “stumbled across” your stuff while considering trying to raise up a peach tree. Cheer for great content, creative and stellar editing, and just — you come across like a great friend. Which (in my mind) is the whole good game. LF to checking in with you when I have gardening questions!
Also if you ever need some nice peach pits from farmers’ market good-guy-type farmers, let me know and I’m happy to mail them if that’s not illegal.
Thank you, Jen.
Hi David, just came across your videos on YouTube, I noticed there aren’t many videos on gardening in the tropics so thanks for making yours! I plan on moving to the Caribbean within the year and plan on gardening, Any tips or advice on recommended books (yours are on the top of the list) of course!! Also tools or anything else I can bring with me when I move. Thank you for any info you can provide. Also I’m part of a community garden in Florida and planning to taking a work for trade permaculture course this month.
Thank you & family for spreading the knowledge!
Where in the Caribbean are you moving?
I will answer your questions in today’s post.
What size boots do you and your family wear, I would like to send some down to support the cause
Thank you, Caren – that is very generous. I’m not sure you could afford to shoe my family, though – there are ten of us!
Check this out david when you can https://ktla.com/2019/04/17/new-super-bloom-cropping-up-around-santa-monica-mountains-invasive-weeds/
Dave! I’m enjoying your books! After listening to crazy easy gardening I went out and snuck a persimmon tree into a corner of the back yard. (My husband thinks we have too many trees.) then I played the Mother’s Day card to get another (fuyu) persimmon in the front. They are nestled among pines oaks and a huge grapefruit tree and although there’s some builders sand I’ve been feeding them mulch and compost and a little black cow. The problem is they look like they are dying! I know it’s hot and dry but I’ve been watering them every day. Sometimes twice a day. Please help. 🙁 I can send pictures if you tell me where.
Send pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are missionaries in Uganda (supported by OPC, CRC, and RCA churches mainly in MI and ON) and have a bunch of OPC connections and friends. Anyway, we have been using and promoting Farming God’s Way. Have you heard of it? Can I ask where you are located… anywhere near Uganda?
No, I am in Central America. I have heard of Farming God’s Way but have not read it.
I found your Youtube a year ago. Can’t think of how! I might have been looking up a particular plant or herb or something. Anyway, I am so thrilled I found you! I love what you are doing, growing your own food forests and teaching others. I’ve always believed that natural is the best way. It’s not easy to live up to that, taking economic and convenience factors into consideration, however. Anyway, cancer is a huge problem today. It angers me because I don’t believe people should be dying like this. I know there is away to beat it that doesn’t include poisoning your body. I believe that everything we need to live and be healthy God has already put on this earth. To that end, I have heard many great things about soursop for cancer fighting. I saw an old video tour of your food forest in northern Florida. You were growing it there, I believe. I just read that you sold your food forest some time ago so I know you don’t have it available but would you happen to know where in South Florida I could find some? Does your mother grow it at the South Florida food forest? Whether she does or not, are you able to tell me where that food forest is located in Fort Lauderdale? I live in the area and would love to visit it. Really wanted to try to visit it for my birthday (July 1st) but Google search turned up empty. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thank you so much! Have a blessed one!
The Broward County Rare Fruit and Vegetable Council has soursop trees for sale – they are agood resource. Spyke’s Grove Nursery in Davie should have them as well.
Hey David, Hope all is well. This Jon (the Butts:) that produces a Sustainable Living Program for WMNF Radio in Tampa. On Monday Oct. 21 at 10 AM we’re doing a Halloween program on Bat, Spiders and Pumpkins. We have guests for the bats and spiders and I wondering if you might be available to do a short segment on Calabaza’s ? If you can’t, wonder if you have suggestion for a guest?
Hope you can:) Thanks Jon
That sounds like fun. We could talk about Florida’s native pumpkin, the Seminole pumpkin!
Yes I agree it would will fun! We grow the improved Calabaza type and this year are growing a Turkish variety ,and one that came up in the compost! The program airs live 10 to 11 on Monday Oct. 21. Could you send your phone number and we can call or the studio line is 813-239-9663. Not sure of the timing yet so I’ll let you know. Big thanks!!!
Dear David , I’m a great fan of your videos on planting yams & how distinguish different varieties. I have several questions i’m about to obtain a Lesser yam minisett ( Dioscorea esculenta), that I plan to grow in deep container, my question is if the garden stakes i have are only 3 ft long, will I be able to prune back the vines to keep them under control, without killing the plant? if yes then how much can I prune off at one time?. As the person selling me the minisett said i’d need a stake or teepee treliss that’s at least 5 ft long. thank you for taking the time to answer my question
You can probably prune just fine but you’ll get less roots. More leaves = more energy for the plant = larger tubers. Better to go 5-6′ instead.
Hi! I just watched your video on how to get stone fruit pits to germinate. I would like to try with plum, peach, and nectarines, which are all in season now here in New Jersey. Your video does not mention anything about cracking the pit and removing the kernel, but the cute illustration says to carefully crack the pit, remove the kernel and plant the pit. Please clarify that. After the water test to see if they are viable do I just put the entire pit in the moist soil and place it in the fridge? Should it be in a ziplock bag to stay moist? Thank you so much!
First I want to say Your book is amazing, thank you.
I bought your book ”Compost everything” on Amazon on the 5th of May.
Recently I discovered Amazon uses its own language as the word ”Buy” mean ”leasing” what this means I do not own the book I paid for. Plus the books are also protected from downloading to PC.
In this situation, I made a desition to remove my account from Amazon, but before that, I’m writing to everyone I bought an e-book with a request to sent me a pdf book to my email.
Privately I will send you my purchase confirmation on Amazon.
Ps.Your contact is thru social media, which I don’t use that’s why I’m writing in the comments section.
Thanks. You can buy my books right from the publisher if you like. https://arkhavencomics.com/product-category/books/nonfiction/gardening/
Better than Amazon.
Hi David. I cannot reach Rachel since you moved. Please reply
I will have her call you – we are in a hotel right now.
Hey David, I just watched your vid on toxic composting and I ordered a copy of each of your books. Here’s my question: I have access to a near unlimited supply of wood chips from a local arena. It is probably 90% wood chips and 10% horse and cow manure. I know the source of wood chips, and it is clean. But based on your vid, I am now questioning the use of this stuff around my trees. Assuming the ratio I mentioned above is near accurate, would you use this material in your garden?
I would not use it if there is any manure mixed in. That said, you can get a load and test it by planting tomato seedlings or beans in it and seeing if they get ill and twisted over the course of a month. Really, though, I got burned so bad I wouldn’t want to bring anything onto my land that could do it again.
Hey just wondering where in north Florida you are?
I was in the Ocala area. Currently I am just over the border of Alabama, not too far from Pensacola.
Hi David, Where can I get some lesser yam minisetts? Quite like the sound of them
I do not know – I have never seen them in the US.
Regarding shredded paper to use as both compost and/or mulch. Does it go under the top soil or on top?
Definitely on top. If you put it beneath the soil, it soaks up too much nitrogen.
Can’t find your email so I’m commenting here (sorry). I just purchased your paperback book about starting a backyard nursery from Amazon. Is there licensing information in there for Florida growers/sellers? Is that necessary to sell a hundred plants or so from my backyard?
I was wondering what you would recommend for someone living in the Dessert. I like in New Mexico and all we have is sand and some cactus. It’s not the lands fault. We live about 25-30 miles from where Big Boy and Little Boy atomic bombs were tested in the 1940’s, Our ground is dead. All it grows is cactus (sometimes) and weeds. With the droughts we have been having even the cactus does not want to grow. We used to live in Tennessee and always grew some really beautiful gardens there but we hear from my husbands brothers and sister that they are even having problems growing thins in the past couple years. I miss having a pantry running over with canned food and a freezer with food we like whole.
Hi David, recently in one if your videos you were doing some chop and drop around your trees of some cana lillys I believe… I would just like to know what the variety is so I can order some. I think it would make a good natural fence between us and our annoying neighbors as well as the chop and drop/ green material you use it for. Thanks for the help!
Canna musifolia is the species.
From your description it sounds like we live very close to you. We live in Elberta AL.
I have been dealing with root knot nematodes and stink bugs plus army worms. I am an organic gardener but between the above pests and the disease issues it’s not much fun growing in the summertime here. Winter on the other hand is awesome. Your new garden looks great! How are you pulling it off?
We’re about an hour north of you. I mixed up a bunch of different species together and fed them with a lot of micronutrients and charcoal soaked in nutrients. I think they do better when they have all the little micros and can heal themselves. The gardens are not fully “organic” because I buy pure materials like sodium molybdate and potassium sulfate for my fertilizer mixes, though we don’t use pesticides (for the most part – I did use Spinosad and bT in the early spring, then gave up).
Hi! First off thank you for all you do and the information you put out! It’s very useful! My boyfriend and I are in the Mobile AL area and have a decent sized garden. We are currently having a MAJOR issue with caterpillars and don’t really know what to do! There are plenty of wasps around and we’ve even created spaces for them but they just seem to keep coming and coming. Any advice on what to do? We are desperate!
Some of these things are just the time of the year. Bugs are crazy during the hot summer here. I don’t bother fighting insect infestations, and instead get ready for fall gardening. That said, if you do want to kill them, both Bt and Spinosad work well on caterpillars and are not particularly destructive to other life.
Been binge watching your videos over the last month. Just wanted to say thank you for your information. I live in citrus county,Fl and my wife and I are building a house. Just planted Mexican sunflower, kasava and cranberry hibiscus earlier today. I’ve got a lot of plans revolving around becoming more self sufficient and you are an inspiration. I totally had “I already have that book” moment last week when you mentioned in a video totally easy Florida gardening, which I’ve had for a year. I almost ordered it again when I bought sweet potatoes, yucan gold, red potatoes, peaches, plumbs and a mango with the intention on planting them, From Winn Dixie- that I’m not “supposed” to do. We’ll see what happens. I started reading about sweet potatoes in your book and thought…what book did they guy say? Mmmm I should order that book but wait…. your name was already on the cover. Made me laugh and my wife looked at me like I was an idiot. I’m reading between the lines and feel like I’m going to need to know how to garden and provide for my family in much different ways in the coming years. I get the same vibe from you in your.
Thanks again for all the information and sharing your secrets and sacrificing family time. I’m seeing “plagues” and good being bad and bad being good. Just seems like something bigger is coming down the pipe.
Would old pond water be good to put on crops?
Help please! Fire ants are taking over my plot at the extension office garden in north Florida. Have you had any success getting rid of them without poisoning other things and the humans that consume the things?
If you still have them Amdro is great, it is a growth regulator and non poisonous.
Please please please may I buy a Cassava start and Everglade tomato seed from your daughter? I live in southern AL so I think they will grow well for me.
We don’t have any extra cassava to share this year, because we’re not sure what the Brandon Administration is planning and would like to plant all we have in spring.
However, Daisy does have some Everglades Tomatoes still.
Her store is here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/GoodGardens
Has anyone successfully pressure canned turnip greens, chard, etc?
I pressure canned mustard and collard greens several years ago. I just cooked a big mess and filled my jars. Used 10 psi for 90 minutes, they were great when we ate them. I am in north Florida and have just started my plants for this year. I usually cook mine with bacon but this time I will leave that out until I go to eat them and I will not cook the for as long. The 90 minutes canning time should fully cook them.
I must have missed when the Missouri Synod Lutheran update happened, but awesome. We are Wisconsin Synod Lutheran. Otherwise I’m just hanging out on here, reading, catching up, and contemplating pushing the zone with passionfruit up here.
~Katie WI 5A
Now we’ve left the MS, since they weren’t standing up enough against the pandemic stuff, but I have a love for them still. Go passionfruit!
Oh man, I get that. We actually transferred to a different WELS church during all the hysteria for similar reasons. Courage and leadership seem to be in short supply. I hope you’ve found a wonderful church family.
Are you guys still living in south Alabama? I just come across your videos on YouTube I really like your way of explaing things. We live in Central Fl actually Fort Meade to be exact we also live on reclaim phosphate land so the times we have tried a garden it has been tough to say the least but I would really love to grow enough to supplement fresh veggies and fruits with my family.
That is a tough row to hoe. We are in South Alabama, yes.
David the Good where do you buy your tobacco seeds from and are you planning to grow any this season? I hope the O. G. blesses your season!
I plan to put some in, yes. We get our seed from Victory Seed Company.
Just getting started here in southeast Alabama. I appreciate all the input from you YouTube channel and look forward to seeing more. What I see (or more correctly don’t see) in the grocery store encourages me to get this garden started. Social Security doesn’t go far, so things are small for now.
Hi David, I just ran across your videos thanks to an interview you did with Christian at The Ice Age Farmer, I am hooked on your videos! Can you offer any ideas on how I may be able to adapt your methods to Southeast La Zone 8b-9a? I love new plants and especially ones that “aren’t supposed to grow in my zone”. Thank you so much and please keep up the great content, as well as the books! We will be ordering several of your books as well, Thanks again!
My methods will work just fine there – I am in zone 8b since mid-way through 2020.
I have tons of basil plants, some materials, some just getting big and around 8 inches(2 varieties) that have basil downy mildew. Can I compost these leaves? And is there any cure to this. And may I keep the seeds produced from them?
Definitely compost them – they’ll be fine. Seed saving is okay too. Sometimes you can get rid of the mildew by spraying with some water that has a little plain yogurt or kefir stirred into it.
Thank you so much for the advice and reply!
Finding your videos about your food forests helped me realize what I’m doing here in Gainesville FL. I’m in the 3rd year of growing one on a city lot and preparing to start a larger one south of town. Bought your book how to grow your own food forest, and am thrilled to have such focussed information. I had not known about the cardboard and mulch method before and so I’m focusing on that now to try and catch up. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us!
Just checking in on you guys.
All is well
The link here:
” I highly recommend you sign up for my newsletter HERE – there I cover in-depth stuff I may not post here on the blog, plus you’ll see when I put out a new book and all that cool stuff.”
is not working.
Thank you – I think it’s fixed now. I added a form.
Thanks for your channel – always something to learn in your videos. Keep it up!
I have an urgent situation regarding moving some muture figs in the summer.. no choice of our own. I was hoping you could give me some advice. Have you updated your email? David@floridafoodforests.com doesn’t seem to be going through :-/
May your always be
Thanks for your channel – always something to learn in your videos. Keep it up!
I have an urgent situation regarding moving some muture figs in the summer.. no choice of our own. I was hoping you could give me some advice. Have you updated your email? David@floridafoodforests.com doesn’t seem to be going through :-/
May your always be
Living in coastal Mississippi, your neighbor! So happy to find your site, your knowledge, and the “user friendly” way you present the info. Cheers to a new year, however full of uncertainty. But the uncertainty keeps us productive and energized
I wanted to know if you could donate some of your books to my local library. I’ve bought several of your books and found them loaded with great information. I taught some classes at the library for the community and I gave out the information to your website. Hopefully some bought your books.. I’ve donated some of my books but not the ones iv put in my library for family in the future, which includes yours. Thank you for your time and God speed.
Dave have you had any experience with a strangler fig ??
I love how they grow – we had them all the time in South Florida around the neighborhood, but I never grew any personally.