Thus far in our story, Dad and I have hit a tropical plant nursery… taken down a scheffelera tree… planted an acerola cherry and had a tiff over the relative usefulness of cinnamon in a survival situation.
Today, I’m going to show you what I did with a formerly almost-useless set of plants in a front planter.
This is what we started with:
|NOTE: The Prius isn’t my family’s. We can’t afford pricey electric toys. Neener neener.
There you’ll see some incredibly thorny bromeliads, asparagus fern, and a natal plum I didn’t realize was an edible until recently (thanks, Grower Jim!)
Anyhow – that’s what I started with. It took some work, but I removed the landscape plants in an hour or so, then started digging.
After I dug a big hole (it was at least 3′ deep – the picture is rather deceiving), I filled it with compost along with lots of scheffelera logs and debris.
Then, I topped it off with dirt… and planted Dad’s brand-new jaboticaba tree. HECK YEAH! IN LIKE, SEVENTEEN YEARS, WE’LL HAVE FRUIT!
|This looked better after I added mulch. I don’t have a picture, though. Maybe next time…
Along with finishing that little planter, I also got busy planting trees out back.
It’s hard to believe this little mulberry will one day tower overhead… but it will… and they grow so darned fast, it won’t take long. This one is in the back yard.
By the back wall, little guava replaced some aralia plants Mom pulled up:
Next time I visit, I’ll be sure to post some updated photos. Soon this yard is going to be overflowing with fruit… and it’ll take very little work to keep things going. (Right now I’m trying to convince Dad to replace the Royal Poinciana in the front yard with a tamarind I just bought… we shall see how that pans out. It’ll be awesome, Dad! I promise!) Watch for updates in the future: I may be going back down there in the next couple of months and I’ll make sure to take more pictures.
As a final note: anyone can do this. Florida, especially South Florida, is a really lucky state when it comes to growing food. Year-round, baby… especially if you’re in zone 10. Start thinking about what you can do – right now – that will feed you and your family, friends, church and neighborhood for years and years to come.