First Post – Brain Dump – Dec. 3rd 2017 – Zone 9b

Me and my wife moved into a new house in October 2017. We call it our God House since it was an opportunity that just fell into our laps. We get to live in the house for free! We manage a retirement community that is next door.

My wife Tammy cleaned out some of the overgrown garden beds and I planted some seeds I had laying around not expecting much. I planted the seeds in late November, we are in Zone 9b. I figure worse case I wasted about $15 worth of seeds I had been carrying around for years. My real hope is that the soil will start to get worked and get some nutrients back into it.

One bed looks like it has a lot of potting soil in it but it doesn’t get any direct sunlight. Another bed is just sand but gets direct sunlight. I found out that the sandy soil is really hard to water. When you put water on the bed very little soaks in, it just runs off or sits on top and get evaporated. After a good soaking, only about the first 1/4 inch was wet and just below the surface it was dry.

My oldest daughter, Madison said that when she was in South Africa doing mission work the missionary family she was staying with did a lot of gardening too and they also had similar soil. Madison said that Shannon & Corne would dig “wells” and fill them with water. The water would sit and eventually soak into the ground. I liked the idea and I found some 4-inch pipe laying around that just so happened to come with the house! I cut the pipes and drove them into the ground. I fill the pipes with water and over time the ground will absorb the water! It seems like a good idea and now the soil seems nice and moist.

I had a thought pop in my head a few days ago while I was at work. So like most in todays technology I sent off a message to my wife Tammy and my daughter Madison.  Can we live off of what we eat and grow?

This is a fascinating idea!  Can a family of 3 really eat only what they grow or raise?  I know this question would have been silly if it were asked a hundred years ago, back when people didn’t rely on the modern conveniences we have today.

I don’t have much experience in this field..(haha, field, gardening, thats punny) but it sounds fun and challenging.  We are going to attempt this and see where it leads us.  If nothing else it will be a fun project.

Lizard tails?  Yes, that wasn’t a typo…Lizard Tails!!  During Thanksgiving we had some friends come into visit us in Florida.  Somehow Tammy said something about lizards “shedding their tails”.  This comment spurred some interesting conversation and jokes about the subject.  First, lizards don’t normally “shed” their tails, they can detach them usually as a way of escape when you grab them by their tails.  Someone said jokingly that we could raise lizards and eat their tails as a good source of protein.  You know it would probably taste like chicken.

We are looking at ideas on what we can grow in all the seasons here in Florida. We are in Zone 9b.  As well as seeing if its possible to grow indoors.  There is a mass wealth of information available to us now on the internet.  Its now just finding some ideas and messing around with them to see what will work for us.

We figure we will have to figure out how to store foods so we will be able to eat in between harvests.

I have looked at raising rabbits, aquaponics (using fish in a hydroponic type system), aquaculture (raising fish), vermiculture (raising worms), composting, indoor gardens, and outdoor gardens.  There is so much info out there!!!  I figure we will start by raising something for meat, and figuring out how to do an outdoor garden.  Once we get a better handle on that we can start trying new things.

Below is the planting of the “front sun bed” Nov. 18th, 2017


Below is the Side Flower bed that doesn’t get any sun taken Dec. 3rd, 2017.  The front corner is Arugula and the rest is radish or lettuce or whatever.  Many of the seeds I had were old and it looked like many sprouted sometime in the bags they were in.  I just planted them because…  It does look like some are growing.


Below is the “front sun bed” taken Dec. 3rd, 2017.  You can see the 4-inch pipes I have put in the ground.  I fill these up with water since the sandy soil wasn’t absorbing water.

The order starts from the radishes near the driveway and the last picture is the end of the bed with the lettuce.


I took some Aloe Vera plants from Ajo, Arizona and transplanted them.  I actually have some in the side shaded bed as well.  I will see which ones do better.  These have full sun.  Dec. 3rd, 2017


Here are some beds that I haven’t used yet but they seem to be screaming to have something planted in them that will produce food for us.  One is a tree in the front yard that should get some good sun exposure and have shade provided by the tree.  The other is next to the “shade bed” on the side of the house.  Dec. 3rd, 2017