Category Archives: Florida

January OPM Newsletter!

February Orlando Permaculture Meeting

Date: Tues, Feb 3
Time: 5-7PM (yard tour and design), 7-9PM (Meeting)
Topic: Permaculture plants of Central Florida
Address: 345 Woodlawn Cemetery Road, Gotha, FL 34734

Thank you to everyone that came and joined us for both the January permaculture meeting and action day. Nelson, our January meeting host, did an excellent job of providing us a comfortable, fire lit, meeting place and an open kitchen for all the hummus Devi blessed us with and the bounty of vegan cupcakes provided by Hae-Yuan, Sam, and the rest of the Peanut Butter Palace crew.

We talked about companion planting, traded some plants, and enjoyed great company.

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We also had a great turnout and very productive day at the Peanut Butter Palace as we prepped and planted some new garden beds,

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cleared and composted some brush,

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Enjoyed the company of new friends and old,

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took pictures of cool people taking pictures of cool people,

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and drank some fresh squeezed OJ!

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We hope you can join us on February 3rd at our next permaculture meeting. Please don’t be intimidated if you have very little permaculture knowledge, because this is a place for both sharing and learning.

See you all soon!

Orlando Permaculture Meeting infoletter

The second monthly Orlando Permaculture Meeting was once again an inspired experience. Attendance remained strong, and the passion and engagement of the people who gathered was apparent. There was a wide range of knowledge, and all different levels of experience. The free plant raffle and the open discussion format of the meeting also proved to be quite the success.

If you have an interest in learning about permaculture we would love to have you join our next meeting. If you are very new to permaculture, a great way to have your first experience would be to come to our next Action Day (see details below). We would love to have you.

Next meeting

When: 7PM Tues, Jan 6, 2015
Where: Nelson’s house, 636 S. Bumby Ave. Orlando, FL
Topic: Plant guilds, companion planting, and plant communities

What to bring:
•    Any knowledge or questions you have
•    Plants, seeds or cuttings for the FREE RAFFLE
•    Extra seats
•    Extra treats!

Next action day    *TIME AND LOCATION CHANGED*

When: 3PM Thurs, Dec 18, 2014
Where: Mark and Laura’s home, 7529 Compass Dr. Winter Park, FL
Activities: Spending an hour or two finishing up the sheet mulching, then watching a movie on permaculture!

 

First Orlando permaculture meeting action day!

The freshly established Orlando permaculture meeting had it’s first action day. The weather was great and so was the comradery. The day began with a quick synopsis of the master plan, where Mark shared with us the design he had created for his future front yard, food producing ecosystem.

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Once the course of action was in order, and Fran had assumed her position in the director’s chair, the dirt started moving.

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The first thing we did was dig 1.5 ft wide by 2 ft deep trenches to begin the creation of a series of hugelkulture mounds to capture and hold water and nutrients.

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Once the trenches were dug we lined them with cardboard to help retain the water within the trenches. This will aid in the decomposition of the woody matter that will be deposited in the ditches.

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The next step was to fill the trenches with partially decomposed wood chips, sticks, and logs.

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Next, on top of the woody carbon layer, went a layer of compost, top soil, and food scraps. This layer creates the planting bed which seeds, herbs, shrubs and trees will be planted into. A cardboard layer was also placed between these two layers to create a temporary barrier to protect against intrusion of the underlying grass. The cardboard, over time time will decompose, but by then the grass will be too weak to come up through the soil and mulch.

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The final phase was to put down some more cardboard and cover the entire area, including the beds, with wood mulch. This layer will work to suppress the weeds and grass, add to the organic matter on property, and help retain the moisture underneath.

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The canvas has now been prepared, and with a little time, and some thoughtful planting, a thriving edible ecosystem can now be developed and nurtured.

Many thanks to everyone who made it out, and just as many thanks to those of you who wish you could have made it out but weren’t able. We’ll see you all back at Marks house on Tues Dec. 2nd for the next Orlando permaculture meeting. The meeting will be at 7pm, but if you want to come early, some of us will be showing up at 5 to help wrap up some of the loose ends from the project. Treats are always welcomed, and remember to bring a chair, cushion, or pad.

7529 Compass Dr. Winter Park, FL 32792

Orlando Permaculture Meeting *UPDATE*

Our first meeting was a grand success! There was a great turnout of amazing, Earth-centered, genuine, and passionate people. We have a few general announcements here, and an overview of what we decided upon during the first meeting.

We need a host location/home for our next meeting on Tues, Dec 2. Go to our Google Drive “host signup sheet” to host our next, or other future meetings. 

The topic for next meeting will be “working with Florida soils”, so bring any knowledge and resources you may have.

Our first action day event will be on Thurs, Nov 20th at Mark Fowler’s house at 7529 Compass Dr. Winter Park, FL 32792. For more information on this and future action day events visit our Google Drive folder or our action day Facebook group Permaculture My Yard – Orlando.

Many decisions were made during this constructive meeting and this is what we came up with:

  •  We will meet the first Tuesday of every month at the home of a willing host
  •  Group announcements will take place at the beginning of each meeting
  •  Topic for following meeting will be decided at each meeting
  •  Topic will be discussed on an open floor after announcements
  •  Snacks and treats are always welcomed
  •  Full potluck meetings will be announced the meeting prior
  •  Action days will take place between meetings and will be decided during each meeting
  •  A free plant raffle will take place at end of each meeting
  •  Plants will be provided on a voluntary basis by members
  •  A Google Drive folder is available for group use
  •  Folder includes documents of member skills and plants they are willing to share
  •  A group email list has been established 
  •  An Orlando permaculture meeting Facebook group
  •  Personal/external announcements will take place at end of meeting, before raffle

If you you know wants to be added to the email list and google drive folder contact Matt at: orlandopermaculture@gmail.com

Orlando permaculture meeting!!

The time has come for something that has been long awaited for by many people. Interest has been expressed, an intention has been set, and it’s time to take action. We would like to announce the hopeful formation a regular meeting of permaculture enthusiasts right here in Orlando.

Preliminary discussion has been started with a few folks, and now we would like to get some input from you all. We need input on the following:

  • Would you be interested in attending such a meeting
  • How often would you like to see the group meet
  • Would you prefer Monday or Tuesday evenings
  • Would you be willing to host such a meeting at your home on occasion

This group is intended to be autonomous, self governed, self lead, and informal. The idea is to allow our interest and enthusiasm for Permaculture and natural agriculture to be supported by a group of like minds. Beyond that, this group is not limited to any specific function or format, and the content, focus and intention of the meeting will be decided by the group upon formation.

We are looking forward to your responses and input, and most of all, to the formation of these regular meetings! Send all responses to Matt Hunter at orlandopermaculture@gmail.com

Gainesville Compost

Gainesville Compost is a social business in Gainesville Florida that uses bicycles to recover food scraps from local restaurants and businesses, brings them to nearby hubs at other local business locations, composts and sifts the material, and then donates and sells the finished product to local people and projects.

I was very impressed with their business model for two reasons. First, Chris’ company works in a collaborative and mutually beneficial way with others local businesses that promotes community, and second, Gainesville Compost is a for profit business, and profit, I believe, is one of the most important yet most grossly undiscussed components of any sustainable system.

In and out of Gainesville

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For the last few days I have been helping out around Craig’s homestead here by pulling weeds, cleaning up the nursery, and doing some grafting. Craig has also been passing a few of his grafting skills and techniques on to me as we have been putting desirable plum varieties onto the native plums growing all over the property.

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We’ve also been experimenting with putting a variety of melons onto the root stocks of native watermelons and Loofa, two plants that grow extremely hardily in Florida, and I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but it looks like they’re taking!

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Between the grafting, weeding, and relaxation I also made the 30 mile trip into Gainesville, where I stayed a few days, at my new friend Suzmichè’s property, to check out the farmers market and a few of the local must-sees around town. A couple of the highlights from town were the local Co-op, the longest running poetry jam in the state, and a little place called the Re-purpose project, which was the ultimate mix between a goodwill, a garage sale, and a recycled materials yard – truly a hippy artists paradise.

Finally, after weathering a few days of rain and ringing out the tent I headed back to Citra.

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