Posts Tagged With: florida native edibles

Foraging with Green Deane

Took a stroll with “Green Deane” in Port Charlotte a few weekends ago. Spent a few hours walking through Bayshore Live Oak Park and the surrounding neighborhood, checking out what Florida natives and non-natives were growing- identifying edibles and non edibles. For anyone interested in gardening with edibles and/or foraging, I highly recommend Deane’s classes, blog “Eat The Weeds” and videos.

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Green Deane discussing attributes of Epazote, Chenopodium ambrosioides. Available year round in Florida. Leaves, flowers and unripe fruits are edible and used in soups and salads. The most common usage is, however, in bean dishes, for it’s strong anti-flatulent powers. To me this plant smells like bug spray.

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Hydrocotyle bonariensis, better known as Pennywort, or dollar weed. Can eat raw or cooked. Has medicinal value.

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Cladium jamaicense, Sawgrass Edible Inner bottom white core of stalk, raw or cooked. WARNING- cuts flesh easily. Use to find fishing worms and fresh spring water.

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Green Dean talking about Sea Purslane, Sesuvium portulacastrum, edible raw, cooked or pickled. Available year round.

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Abrus precatorius, Rosary pea- TOXIC reported to be the most toxic seed in the world. Avoid, as contact with an open seed can cause death.

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Bidens Alba, Spanish needles or beggar tick. Edible raw or cooked. Parts used to make tea, fermented for wine.

I usually approach life from a positive perspective, but because I have chewed on my fair share of ‘unknown’ plants, main thing I learned from my first foraging class with Green Deane is- DON’T field test plants-EVER! Verify, verify, verify what you are sticking in your mouth. There are a multitude of plants out there with edible and/or medicinal properties. There are others that can kill you or make you very, very sick. Some plants make you sick right away, others take days or weeks to make you ill. Others have a cumulative effect. There are plants that are perfectly edible when cooked, but make you sick if eaten raw; and others that have both poisonous and edible parts. Some fruits are edible when ripe, but make you sick when eaten before they are ripe. Not all plants in the same genus or family are edible- There are some edible Jasmines, but make sure you know which ones! All of this aside- I am astonished at how many ‘weeds’ growing in my backyard are edible or usable in some fashion. I recommend Green Deane’s  Eat The Weeds as one reliable resource for learning about the many native and non-native edibles growing in your area. Had a great time participating in this class, and I see myself signing up for more classes in the future!

Categories: Florida native, Garden, iphoneography, Things To Do | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Creating Affordable Garden Information Markers and Placards

I am committed to turning my Sanibel home property into a food forest. People always ask- why? I am particularly interested in Florida native plantings. Neighbors ask- why?  One goal for my yard is that every plant be usable to people or animals in some way; as a source of food, shelter, a textile, or companion to other plants. Why you ask? I want to create a way to educate you, and anyone who visits my garden why- and maybe inspire you to do something similar with your yard.

There are several reasons I decided to tackle the ‘food forest’ project. First, I love dirt and I love growing things. I love the creatures that visit my garden for food, water and shelter because of what I grow.

I nurture my connection to God through my stewardship of the earth. I grow intellectually by learning about Botany, Ecology, Wildlife Biology, etc. I am concerned about the quality of food my family consumes.

There are other reasons for creating a food forest. Growing your own food saves money,

significant amounts of money. Residential property is expensive to purchase and maintain! There are property taxes and landscape maintenance costs. Until moving to SW Florida, I had never used a yard maintenance company.. As a master gardener, I’ve always taken great pride in creating and keeping my own gardens. But that was in Southern Maine, and SE Idaho. Keeping a yard neat and tidy in zone 10 is a whole ‘nother world! Maintaining an ornamental property takes A LOT of work, money; and it’s not necessarily an environmentally friendly endeavor.

Creating a food forest using “native” edibles is another goal. It’s good for the planet, good for our health and for my pocketbook. Natives need less water, fertilizer and pesticides than a traditional lawn-scaped home. The more food you grow at home- the less you spend at the grocery. Less fertilizers and pesticides means healthier people and animals- and more habitat for wildlife.  The benefits of using a residential property as a food forest far out way any reason to maintain a traditional lawn-scape. Now I need to fulfill another goal- sharing the value of the food forest with others.

My landscape does not look traditional but it is beautiful. When something is different, it attracts attention. Good! When you look at my yard, you see the beauty as well as educational plant markers and placards that share the benefits of planting a food forest. After the first round of plantings for our food forest in January 2014, I purchased a few professional grade plant markers for the fruit trees. They are fantastic, great looking, easy to read, samplerdurable…and expensive! To stay within my budget for the rest of the project, I have to find an alternative way to label plantings and make placards.http://solutionsforyourlife.ufl.edu/

 

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Photo Jun 08, 10 58 37 PMOnce printed, I will use a decoupage technique  to affix the sticker to either a high quality stake, or to a flat metal plate I can use as a tag on a tree or bush.

Curious to get feedback from you about the information I have included, and the readability of the font and layout.

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Do you prefer a traditional black background, or would you like to see the labels in color?  Would appreciate any feedback, and I will post again with a tutorial once I have made the first markers.

Categories: Florida native, Food Forest, Garden | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

SW Florida Food Forest and Native Edibles Links

I am always researching and looking for information about gardening in SW Florida, food forests, permaculture, Florida native plants (particularly its native edibles.) Here’s a list of information, people, places and stuff I have found useful. I decided to include links to beneficial insects and wildlife because when you garden you need those elements too!

yard for life  Yard For Life Southwest Florida– One woman’s journey to plant a beautiful, sustainable garden in SW Florida. Research oriented, she posts a lot of great information, links and photos!

 

all native garden center  All Native Garden Center – 300 Center Road, Fort Myers, FL 33907 239.939.9663 Good prices, good-looking native, friendly knowledgeable folks.

 

FSGBannerGreen  Florida Survival Gardening– great blog updated daily with loads of information about food forests, native edibles and more. Informative, entertaining, great resource.

Pick Me Yard  Pick Me Yard– Lovely blog about edible gardening in SW Florida. Updated regularly, great stories and photos. I want to visit this family garden! Lots of links and great info

 

ECHO  ECHO– A working farm and demonstration gardens in Ft. Myers. Approximately 925 million people in the world are hungry. ECHO empowers small-scale farmers to increase their harvests, and the nutritional diversity of their crops.

 

riverland nurseryRiverland Nursery– specializing in native and other sustainable plants which can flourish in Florida’s unique and often arid climate.

 

fgcuFGCU Food Forest– The Food Forest is a student-run botanical garden which highlights tropical/subtropical edible species that grow well in South Florida.

 

crfeCaloosa Rare Fruit Exchange– Their focus is to provide members and the community the means for learning about tropical fruits that can be grown in the Southwest Florida region.  General Meetings are usually held on the first Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. in the NorthFort Myers Park  Community Recreation Center.  Visitors and guests are welcome and encouraged.

 

florida native plant societyFlorida Native Plant Society– promote the preservation, conservation, and restoration of the native plants and native plant communities of Florida.

 

green deaneEat The Weeds Green Deane says “My goal is to help people who want to know more about foragables to enjoy the process and be safe while doing so. While I am now based in Florida my website and experience includes northern climates and international foraging.”

 

top tropicalsTop Tropicals– While these folks aren’t strictly about natives or edibles, they do carry both and their website is very well-organized.

 

539860_317385291720746_955472427_nLee Queen Bee– When you have edibles you need pollinators. This Facebook page is a great resource!

 

 

ifasIFAS Extension-The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) is a federal, state, and county partnership dedicated to developing knowledge in agriculture, human and natural resources, and the life sciences and to making that knowledge accessible to sustain and enhance the quality of human life.

PRFYardSignweb-499x400Plant Real Florida– We are a professional trade association and our members include growers, retail nurseries, landscape professionals, environmental consultants, allied product and service suppliers and nonprofit supporters of the native plant movement. Come to us for native plants and expertise in using them.

fly by night inc  Fly By Night Inc.- A wealth of information on these important and beautiful mammals. I purchased a large bat house from them (it will hold up to 1,000 bats!) and in August 2014 will document it’s installation.

nabaNorth American Butterfly Association   working to save butterfly species throughout North America and developing educational programs about butterflies for schools and park rangers and naturalists.

 

blog-header-image-long1Black Soldier Fly Blog  A great resource for learning to compost with these amazing beneficial insects.

bglogoBug Guide We are an online community of naturalists who enjoy learning about and sharing our observations of insects, spiders, and other related creatures.

Categories: Butterflies, Florida native, Food Forest, Garden, Insects | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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