Dangerously organic!

Abundant Edible Landscapes, (now a member here at Zoobird!) hosted a fall planting festival on 10/4/08 at INDIGO with workshops, food from Reggae Shack Cafe, and a wide variety of perennial edibles, vegetable plugs and compost for sale. Workshops focused on organic soil building and grafting and staff were available to answer questions on fall planting techniques for North Central Florida. Vegetable plugs were also available for sale including lettuces, spinaches, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, collards, mustards, kale, and swiss chard.

Joe was part of a workshop that demonstrated double digging (below). Double digging is a method of soil preparation in which soil is dug up, then fertilized, and then moved into the trench next door ... well, it's easier to watch Joe do it!

German Rosillo (below), Abundant Edible Landscapes, explained how he and colleagues Ryan Brouillard, Oliver Moore and Joe Floyd work together. Their mission is to preserve and build soil, conserve water, grow healthy, organic food and decrease dependency on nonrenewable resources. I hope they post their website here at Zoobird soon. Meanwhile, they take care of the Edible Plant Nursery at Indigo Green Store.

Oliver (shown in the photo below) gave a fascinating presentation on grafting techniques. We learned that plants are grafted to take advantage of certain features in various compatible species. For example, did you know that you can graft a Mexican avocado branch on a Florida avocado stalk and harness the Florida plant's hardy nature? Oliver showed us how to trim the plant and tape the two pieces together so they'll bond and grow as one. Cool!

We learned that there are 4 elements of organic fertilizer: carbon, nitrogen, sunlight, and water in the workshop on soil preparation. Ryan shows us how to reuse cardboard below.

Joe adds organic matter like coffee grounds and leaves, dolomite and potassium, Black Hen organic fertilizer and worm castings. Joe plants seedlings in the newly prepared soil in the photo below. You can see the soil covered with mulch.

Mycol Stevens (now a member here at Zoobird!) gave a talk on Permaculture and his personal experiences. He showed a fascinating photo album of shots from distant lands he's explored. In the photo below, Mycol explained that round plots were used by native Americans to maximize resources.

Mycol also discussed Earth Haven, a sustainable community in North Carolina, shown in the photo below.

Juan Carlos led a workshop on planting sprouts. In the photo below, Juan and Ryan discuss collard green, cabbage and mustard green sprouts. We talked about the moon phases and the best time of year to plant. Juan explained that worms excrete their weight as waste, producing a great fertilizer.

Ryan Brouillard explains that it's best to plant root crops at waning moon and above ground crops at waxing moon in the photo below.

Juan describes the best technique for planting sprouts in the photo below.

We were treated to delicious Thai coconut vegetable soup. If you know a recipe, please post it here on Zoobird. In fact, we created a special discussion devoted to the Thai coconut vegetable soup because it was so delicious!

And, several Zoobird members, including "Bob" (below) showed up. Bob and I talked about his recent trip to Oregon for a Technocracy gathering. We also talked about Permaculture. Bob's got lots of info on his Zoobird page.

A good, informative time was had by all. The food was delicious! There are many photos for you to enjoy here.

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