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Hugh Holland

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since Jan 09, 2012
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Recent posts by Hugh Holland

Chris Mike wrote:

Hugh Holland wrote:A couple of nurseries in your area (Crawfordville, FL) and (Live Oak, FL) are really nice!  

I actually live about directly halfway between these two and have been to both!  I have gotten many things from them!  I'm glad so many people seem to know about them (at least crawfordville).

They are both quality places and if you are ever in Central Florida you gotta go to  John Kohler from did a Youtube segment on this place.  It's worth the watch and the nursery is worth a visit!
8 months ago

Chris Mike wrote:Although I start discussion on tropical trees, the moment it starts getting cold (freezes the last two nights) I have to admit I start to change my mind...  I'm such a wimp.

You said it brother!  My Papayas look terrible:(  Pushing the zone on nights like these, makes one have second thoughts;)
8 months ago
I too live in North Florida and would highly recommend the Avocado varieties Fantastic and Joey. I spoke with a gentleman from Gainesville who was trying the Silas Wood variety of Sapodilla and it is working for now, but that's definitely pushing it.  Pete Kanaris has mentioned that some varieties of Starfruit may be cold hardy, as well as Jaboticaba.  I can vouch for no protection from the cold (my yard) on the Avocados, but the Sapodilla, Starfruit and Jaboticaba I believe would definitely need some sort of protection.  Pete, as mentioned above, David The Good and Craig Hepworth are for pushing the zone and offer a ton of advice on their web-sites and social media such as Instagram.  Craig is a wealth of knowledge for growing in this North Florida climate!  A couple of nurseries in your area (Crawfordville, FL) and (Live Oak, FL) are really nice!  They offer many cold hardy varieties and they are definitely worth a visit.
8 months ago
I wonder if it is the rootstock where the grafted variety died?  They almost always grow back thorny and the fruit is bitter and nasty.  The rootstock handles cold much better than the fruit variety grafted to it.  It is very common in areas where citrus is grown and occasional freezes occur.  The parent plant dies, but the rootstock doesn't.  It will then grow into its true parentage and the result is some very bitter tasting citrus!
8 months ago
One thing you should consider is the rootstock on which your citrus is grafted upon.  Check out citrus that is grafted onto "Flying Dragon" rootstock.  Yes, that is its name and it is a selection of Trifoliate Orange.  It is a dwarfing variety, which makes for a smaller plant and the most cold hardy citrus grown.  There are pictures of it growing in Tennessee, but as a tree in and of itself, the fruit is bitter and inedible!  As a rootstock it helps the grafted fruit variety handle the cold better.  When placing against a south facing wall or using a favorable micro-climate the smaller tree may be advantageous?  South Georgia and South Alabama are being planted with Satsuma groves and I've heard that Satsumas, like greens (collards, turnip & mustard) taste better after being kissed with a frost!  Try these nurseries for cold hardy citrus,, and  Hope this helps and home grown citrus is just amazing!  
8 months ago

Phil Stevens wrote:Hugh, I wish I could grow okra again. It did great in Tucson (as long as I watered it) but since moving to a place where summer is barely warm means every plant I've tried to nurture just struggles to make a pod or two. Maybe I will try a tunnel house this summer. I especially miss okra dipped in cornmeal and fried.


Isn't it amazing when we move somewhere that our "Usuals" aren't as productive or may even be a non-starter!?!  As a southern man I love me some okra!  Fried or cooked in a pot of pinkeye purple hull peas with a huge brick of cornbread, yum!  I'll be honest, as I didn't pick Tucson as an okra growing area either, but we can push limits.  That's what Permaculture is about anyway.  I love it out there in Southern Arizona.  Especially around Tucson, Sonoita and Patagonia.  Absolutely beautiful!  You must be in southern New Zealand, perhaps?  A friend, that I took my PDC with in Costa Rica is in the process of obtaining citizenship there.  He already has family in the country and they are sponsoring him and his family.  They love it there!  Would love to visit one day.  Blessings!    
There is a great new book: The Whole Okra by Chris Smith published by  This book goes into detail about okra seed for oil production and the uses of it.  If you search "okra seed for oil" you'll be amazed at all the information that there is about this subject.  If you have ever grown okra in the past, especially for us here in the south, it is very productive, with lots of seed!  I too am interested in this and find it fascinating!  Lehman's Hardware Store, has a Hand Cranked Oil Press for purchase.  Would love to see a future post of your adventure with this!  Blessings...Hugh
The reason for going off-grid would definitely be a family discussion and decision for sure!  Ones reason can be multitudes and there is a great benefit to doing so.  Our family has lived off-grid in the past and during that adventure we did not have solar.  It can be as simple as kerosine lights or 12 volt solar, to a huge undertaking with inverters to run EVERYTHING!  I would prefer to keep it simple and if I had one piece of advice, it would be to design your homestead to operate with whatever technology that you choose to use and to do without.  That is very important!  I lived in a poorly designed off-grid home and it ate cords of wood.  It had an upper story, with no floor where the wood cookstove was.  Guess where all the heat went?  Right up that wall.  I owned several homes that operated to perfection and made all the difference in the world!  A properly designed off-grid home is a thing of beauty though and the operation thereof is incredible to participate in.  You know the term location, location, location?  With off-grid it's design, design, design!  Know your climate and design accordingly.  A Rocket Mass Heater might be needed in Montana, but in Florida, not so much.  Your state or county code may require a septic or perhaps a compost toilet is fine.  It's all in the details and planning and when done proper, the off-grid homestead is a working thing of beauty!  Where the Amish thrive, it is community!  I know that most Permaculture folks get that, but it is important.  No doubt going off-grid can be done alone, but it is better with other like minded people around.  Think of Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, and Earthaven Ecovillage,  The Amish who don't use motors, have a work day to cut cords for the community families.  It promotes exercise, fellowship, awareness and discussion.  Going off-grid can be great, just do it right and even your wife and children will be singing it's praises!  
9 months ago

I don't worry about the replies so much.  It would be great to receive and see more, except for some of the previous replies.  Some folks just want to be heard and pay no mind to the subject matter.  I too am guilty of not replying to great topics, only peaking in and out.  My topic really got me to wondering, so I posted.  In the least, me and you learned something and we got to encourage one another on each others trek.  I appreciate your comments, your sharing and I hope that you stay the course!  It can be daunting I'm sure, but it can be so rewarding too!

1 year ago

Rene Nijstad wrote:Hi Hugh,

I think I needed that PDC, to connect all those little things into one big understanding and to then understand a little better those things I didn't really get before. I can now read Bill's manual without getting tired fast of the huge flow of information. Seeing it all connected really helped me and without the PDC I would still be struggling right now.

That said, I understand your question now too. We took the most difficult road so maybe I'm the wrong person to answer. On the other hand, if you see extremes maybe it helps too. We have a Wet-Dry tropical climate which can be extreme (either dry or wet). Our terrain is very mountainous and in combination with the sometimes very heavy rainfall this creates hazards that you have to address before you get anywhere (think water retention and erosion).  Then our soil is pretty alkaline, so not all plants grow here. Oh and did I mention that we live in a developing country where money is always missing because nobody has any and everybody wants some?

To me Permaculture is not just science or method, but Applied Science in capitals. I think you have to live it, to sort of "be" it before you can teach it. That's why we set out to build a demonstration farm first, before capitalizing on anything. You know, to just stand there with your boots in the mud wondering what theory you know of even applies to your current situation...

My advise to you is:
- life is a huge adventure if you want... Go for it
- answers come over time if you care to pay attention
- Permaculture as a whole is a pretty damn good way of looking at life and our planet
- no matter what anybody says you still have to follow your own path

Good luck man!

Awesome and thank you so much!  Checked out your web-site and I must say, wow!  You sound like you are a little hard on yourself, but it looks amazing none the less.  I pray that you are rewarded for your hard work and effort and please brother, stay encouraged!

1 year ago