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Throwing Shade

March 14th, 2017

A Man has to Eat

The northern Florida dirt issue is getting more complicated.

First, I found out almost no land in Marion County is considered prime farmland. That hurt. Then I found out the property I liked was only about 30% “farmland of local importance.” Now I’m concerned about shade.

The three best acres of the property are next to a fence. Trees grow along the fence. The trees give shade. The fence runs north to south. I’m on the west side of the fence. That means the trees will kill at least some of the sun until maybe noon. They’re tall trees, so I suppose some sun will slip in under them, but it’s not ideal.

I looked at a list of vegetables that don’t need full sun, and it made me feel better. The list goes like this:

1. Everything except corn and tomatoes.

I guess that’s not really right, but a whole lot of things are on the list. Taters. Beans. Peas. Carrots. Anything related to cabbage, which means just about every type of greens.

Peppers need sun. I guess I could put a raised box with fake dirt in a sunny area.

I don’t know how good farmland has to be, in order to work. I grew a fine crop of beans in my sand yard in Miami. I had one 30-foot row, and I did pretty well until fungus killed everything.

Do I really need raised beds? Why not get a backhoe and dig a square pit about 20 feet on a side and a foot deep? I could fill it with composted horse manure, better dirt, pixie dust, and whatever else it takes to grow food. I guess there must be a reason why this is a stupid idea, because it seems so obvious and no one does it. Or maybe they do. Do they?

Sweet corn would appear to be an important thing to learn to grow. When the nutty left starts driving Christians out of grocery stores, you won’t be able to get by with just cabbage and tomatoes. I wonder if there’s a way to force sandy ground to produce corn.

Once you learn to grow stuff, you have to figure out how to preserve it. Root crops keep a long time. I can dry beans and turn them into shucky beans. Other stuff would have to be canned. That’s a drag. But I already have the equipment.

Fruit trees. Is there a fruit tree that will grow in sandy soil? I would love to have peaches.

The owners of the place I like killed all the trees on about seven acres of it. I can’t understand that. I guess they wanted the horses to be happy. What about the people? People like trees. How can you have a huge lot with no fruit trees? That’s insane.

I’ll get the answers. One way or another it will work.

3 Responses to “Throwing Shade”

  1. Tom Says:

    Steve, you’ll be able to grow what ever you want. Just will have to keep working the manure into it. It will take several years to get it right. If anything even with the partial shade, you may need to place shade cloth over some of the vegetables to prevent sunburn that far south.
    (peppers, tomatoes, some of the greens, etc)

  2. JPatterson Says:

    This might interest you: Book Link

  3. lauraw Says:

    Even here in the northeast, most plants that are classified as ‘full sun’ really only like six to eight hours of full sun per day.

    Many of them do fine with some tree dapples, and most appreciate being spared the blasting hot afternoon hours. Ten+ hours of Florida sun, especially in high Summer, is really not necessary for most food crops.