Category Archives: April 2014

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 Suzmich√®’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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Day 4 Travel Journal

It’s the fourth day of my trip, and I am very grateful to say that grace and goodwill have been laid in front of my every paddle stroke so far. The love I was given when leaving Kashi was truly heart settling and will be held with me all along my trip.

After leaving kashi I drove back to my parents’ house in Saint Cloud, took care of some un-dotted i’s, said my goodbyes, and headed to Orlando on the bike.

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Once in Orlando I met with as many friends as I could and gave and received large quantities of love, all of which will undoubtedly come in handy on the trip.

My next stop was 25 miles due west at Our Kids Tropicals to meet with Larry Shatzer, the founder of Orlando’s Topical Fruit Club. Larry and his wife Sherry were amazing hosts, and I got to see the wonderfully developed food forest that has grown in their backyard.

The next stop was just a short jaunt down the road to the homestead of another couple of amazing hosts, growers, naturalists, and cooks, Hayri and Richard. These kind souls not only showed me around their beautiful property but provided me with a bed, a shower, and three of the best meals I could ask for. That, combined with a visit from my favorite adopted grandmother, Fran, made for quite the day.

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After waking at 7 o’clock the next morning I was wished fare voyage with a carb-rich breakfast and hugs. From there I made a stop at A Natural Farm, about 25 miles north, in Howey in the Hills. That’s where I met Luc for a few minutes before he headed off to a funeral. Luc was running a nice Organic U-pick operation, which he had obviously put loads of personal sweat into.

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Leaving Luc’s farm, in an attempt to avoid a six mile backtrack, I found this beautiful back road,

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but it wasn’t too long before the beautifully smooth road began to change form, and before I knew it I was pushing my hundred pound sled uphill through ankle-deep sugar sand, praying the whole time that the road would actually cut back through to the highway. Luckily the sugar sand only lasted about a quarter mile before tapering off into grass . I rode, and then pushed, a little longer before finally making it back to the main road.

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I’m not sure how much further I went that day, but I eventually decided to set up camp in a nice wooded area around 4 pm. That was my first actual night in the tent, in boy did I get some good sleep.

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A Natural Farm in Howey in the Hills Florida

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I stopped by and visited Luc at his organic you-pick farm in Howey in the Hills Florida. Check out the interview and listen closely as he names all the plants he has for sale, because all these plants YOU can grow here in Central Florida!

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Mmmmmm

Luc was a great and obviously VERY hard working guy. He even sent me off with a delicious purple carrot.