May 25, 2011

plans for a subtropical edible landscape

Last week I collaged these plans for a 1/3 acre subtropical edible landscape. Every plant is useful in this ever-evolving homestead.  Fruit, nut, and spice trees dot the property, and the understory and front lawn beds change with the seasons. Some of the plantings and infrastructures are still experiments, while others are permanent and mature. I still need to do much more specific plant research, but finally there's a plan! My overall intent is that the lot will function as its own ecosystem, everything circular.

  1. Food not lawns! Wide biodynamic vegetable beds
  2. Papaya trees and pineapples anchor the driveway, handsome reminders of the tropics
  3. Herbs, flowers, perennials, small trees, and low shrubs are intermingled in low maintenance borders around the house
  4. Rainwater harvesting from the roof.  The barrels are connected to downspouts from the gutters and are elevated for pressure to run a drip irrigation system. (The water will be recycled and the system provides its own power. I'm not yet sure of the logistics or principals of this type of irrigation,  but I've been reading up on the possibilities. )
  5. Brick pavers or pallet wood in a herringbone pattern transition from courtyards to paths to porches. A- open air dining room. B- courtyard with partial shade for starting seeds and potted kitchen herbs/ outdoor shower hooks up with indoor plumbing. C- sitting area and sleeping porch
  6. Wood shop and ceramic studio
  7. Hen house and run
  8. Composting operation for making soil improvers- leaf mold, shredding small branches, mulch pile, seaweed and comfrey liquid fertilizer situation
  9. Bee hive
  10. Citrus grove with self- seeding wildflower and nitrogen fixation cover crop meadow beneath to attract pollinators and add soil fertility. (lemon, lime, grapefruit, and early, mid, late season oranges with clover, cowpeas, and beach daisies)
  11. Planting of smaller native trees and shrubs to support wildlife and provide privacy. (cocoplum, sea grape, maple oak, dahoon holly, buttonwood) Mostly low growing so not to block eastern sea breezes. Also a few select deciduous shade trees near the house allowing winter sun in and keeping the summer sun out to save energy on heating and cooling. (gumbo limbo and mulberry)
  12. Blueberry and blackberry brambles serving as hedging
  13. Cedar/ cypress window boxes and terracotta pots filled with edible flowers and herbs. (nasturtiums, tarragon)
  14. Plantain and banana sunscreen adjacent to the western wall of the house in the hottest, driest area of the landscape. Leaving plenty of space between plants to allowing for expansion of the mat over time. Eventually will provide shade and absorb some heat from the afternoon sun.
  15. Clothes line screened from the street and somewhere around here is an outdoor shower
  16. Established mango orchard provides shade. Understory of shade tolerant food plants for humans and birds. (coffee, monstera, mushroom cultivation)
  17. Loquat, jack fruit, olive, cinnamon, neem, moringa, tamarind, and royal poincianna
  18. Carambola (star fruit)
  19. Macadamia Nut
  20. Allspice with Seminole Pumpkin patch at ground level.
  21. Lychee
  22. Mulberry
  23. Fig
  24. Wildlife garden area. predominately cabbage palms and  pines
  25. Palmetto and cocoplum
  26. Laural, scrub, and sand oaks
  27. Guava
  28. Gumbo Limbo
  29. Avocado
  30. Southern Magnolia 
  31. Jabotacaba and elderberry hedge
  32. Dragon fruit, black pepper vine, and native passion vine scattered around the property climbing up into most trees 

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