Don’t let fear stop you

Grow some food. Even if you don’t know what you are doing. Plant something and learn from it. If it doesn’t do well, get on the internet and ask about it or go to the library and read books about gardening in your climate. Gardening varies by climate and method so what works in summer in the central Vally of Cali might fail miserably here in the summer of the central Ridge of Florida.
But please don’t let it get you down if something fails, what did it cost you, some seeds and a bit of physical activity out in the garden? Keep trying, if one thing doesn’t work, try something else. Keep asking questions, look up charts to tell you what will grow well in your area during different seasons. Ask other gardeners what works for them. Take it as a learning experience and think how great the success will be when you finally get there.
Gardening and farming isn’t always easy, there are pests and harsh seasons and pets or kids that sometimes ruin things but don’t let fear of possible failure or even fear of your won ignorance about gardening stop you.
Growing some of your own food, even a tiny bit is a great thing and everyone should take part in becoming more connected with your food.

To that end I invite anyone who is having difficulty getting started with an aquaponics system come join us for the Practical Aquaponics for Everyone training here in Orlando September 16-19 2012. We will teach aquaponics that can be done just about anywhere. We will show how a small aquaponics system can be built on a budget and how bigger system don’t have to be scary. I build systems where the most intimidating power tool is a cordless drill and everything else can be done with manual hand tools. We will teach about all different kinds of aquaponics and how you can go about creatively putting together your own design for your own space and needs. How to source media, and figure out how much you need. We will explain water quality and testing and how to cycle up a system.

We will take the fear out of getting started. So come and grow some food.

If you can’t afford a 4 day workshop and you live here in central Florida, at least come visit me for my farm tours and see that it doesn’t need to be intimidating.

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4 comments to Don’t let fear stop you

  • Joe Fisher

    Thanks for the blogs!

    Have a question. In your experience with AP outdoors here in Florida, what plants grow best in the heat of summer for you? I’d like to go with tomatoes and jalapeno to start with.

    Also after re-reading through the greenhouse blog again I think were going to scrap the idea of building one. Maybe just a canopy instead in areas to prevent too much roof run off and excess rain from creeping into the system.

    • TCLynx

      Summer crops for FL are commonly southern peas (like cow peas and black eyed peas) and other beans in the same family. Also Okra, eggplant, Lufa, and tropicals. Sweet potato is another hot weather crop.

      Now I’ve found that as long as I can germinate the seeds in a favorable environment there are many more plants that will survive the summer here in FL even if they struggle a bit with the heat. Some shade cloth during the hot part of the day can help but there are some plants like tomato that will grow through summer but won’t produce till the night time temps start cooling off in fall here. If you can germinate the lettuce and harvest as baby lettuce you can even grow lettuce through summer here with a little shade and plenty of water. Winter spring and fall are actually our best growing seasons.

  • Joe Fisher

    Thanks for sharing!

    I will have to try some beans and eggplant 🙂

    Which types of lettuce have you found to have the best heat tolerance here? And what is your favorite technique for germinating the seeds? So far we have enjoyed this years lettuce, but now most of what remains outside in the soil is starting to bolt. But the indoor Ap lettuce is doing well 🙂

    • TCLynx

      Growing some form of lettuce mix that you can harvest young or keep harvesting outer leaves for a long time seems to be a good strategy for continual lettuce supply in our hot climate. Don’t wait too long for it, keep harvesting and planting it.

      If it’s too hot outside to seed directly where it will grow, I’ve been starting it indoors in the Air Conditioning. Place it some where it won’t bee too warm and put plastic or a dome over it to keep it from drying out. I use peat pellets but any seed starting media or method should work. Check daily, as soon as they start to germinate you need to move them to a location with more light or plant them out and make sure they get enough moisture.

      Last summer the particular lettuce mix I grew (and even germinated right outside) was Encore Lettuce From Johnny’s selected seeds. The Green oakleaf seemed to germinate best out in the heat.

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