Dave Bross

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since Oct 01, 2020
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North FL, in the high sandhills
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Recent posts by Dave Bross

Some interesting reading along these lines.

This is a doc who remains anonymous because he/she is hard at work exposing a lot of what has gone wrong, and what can be done to circumvent the problems and dangers from our current medical systems.
If you like this there's a link to an index of more articles covering a wide range of health issues at the bottom of the page.


As far as irrigation, we're in a serious drought but the overhead irrigation is proving it's worth.
Watering at night to cut evaporation.
Likewise experimenting with a 4 - 5" layer of compost in terms of its ability to hold water.
I've been able to cut irrigation times in half and still maintain enough moisture.
1 month ago
Great list. Thanks!

A few others that come to mind as I'm up near Gainesville so very similar conditions.

Mimosa tree - nitrogen fixer. Hated by many as a landscape tree but they're pretty bulletproof.

Multiplier onions - After many tries at all the other top setting, potato, and other multipliers I lucked into some that multiply in the ground. Plant one bulb and get 5 - 10 bulbs. They're small but very tasty. Apparently these were bred in the 1930s by LSU and were nearly lost. Some effort required on these, plant them in October and pull them up around May when the leaves will show you they are obviously done (yellowing, falling over).
I wish I could give you a source but the only ones I've seen pop up on Ebay in their planting season as "Cajun Spring Onion "JOSETTE"
If you have an old timey feed store here in FL there is a mystery grower who supplies a lot of these with all sorts of onion sets. I found them at the old Alachua feed and seed in Gainesville but it burned to the ground and they're not going to re-open. The owner told me that onion set grower had just appeared every year forever and he never even asked them who they were or for contact info.

We have an amazing sweet potato available locally from Mark Biernat in St. Augustine called Purple Martian. It is a purple one inside and out and is delicious and tough as nails. WAY tougher than the usual ones.
Sweet potato will come back yearly from the leftovers in the ground to some degree but the year I caught Covid these went ahead and made an amazing crop from leftover roots with zero inputs.

If anyone knows of any other zero input veggie plants like the Jackson Wonder butterbeans or the Purple Martians mentioned above I would love to hear about them.

Look up Jan Doolin on youtube for an education in how to best grow mulberries here. She's down by Orlando.

More good local info on fruit


Here's a map of fruit trees you can forage fruit and cuttings from in Gainesville FL.

1 month ago
Here's an article that hits all the high points of how the old Florida cracker houses were cooled:

1 month ago

Beware any hay , grass clippings or animal manure you can't confirm as herbicide free.. A lot of it has persistent herbicides in it.
I lost all my gardens from a load of this years ago before it was a known issue. Took a few years for them to come back and I'm on fast draining sand.


Speaking of that fast draining sand, we're mid drought and even with a thick layer of compost the garden beds need water every day. The mulch effect of the compost lets me use much less water than I would otherwise. I can run irrigation an hour instead of two per zone to get the moisture back up there.

I'll second the validity of the finger test for moisture, that's how I know daily watering is a must right now.

One other thing to consider on underground storage:

Here in the southeast USA in the past many crops were stored below ground in cellars.
Some like sweet potatoes were even done above ground in piles.

That all came to an end in the 1960s, when the fire ant invasion began.

Those ants will destroy anything and everything in the ground and make it an unpleasant experience to access anything near anywhere they have nested.

One possibly helpful thing I've noticed is if you need them out of something like containers you grow veggies in you can convince them to move elsewhere by thoroughly stirring up their nest three or four days in a row.

I've always viewed them as karma for some of the things we in the USA did to the South American countries where they came from but at least that's a small workaround to disturb those ants until they move elsewhere.
1 month ago

About the oaks and cypress - The varieties we have of those here in N.Florida require radically different environs to even survive...mainly, the cypress wants a LOT of water and the oaks can get by on very little. Swamps and river banks are the only place you see cypress here.

Apricots and cherries - They just will not grow here. I think the hot dry then hot wet cycles kill them but that's just a guess.  They also need a good bit of cold to fulfill their chill hour requirement and that isn't happening here.
2 months ago
Forgot to answer on the Blueberries.

They do both, grow on the edges or bulldoze everything and then grow.

I often wondered about growing them in between rows of pines.

The way they harvest the pines is to cut every other row out at a certain age and at some point I'm guessing there might be enough light and low enough PH soil between the rows to pull that off.

2 months ago
Some friends have put their land under protection from development by putting their land under protection supposedly forever by giving it to an outfit here called Nature Conservancy to preserve it after the die.  

The N.C. wanted the land restored to it's original native pines and the issue with that was that the oaks were the majority species at the time, having begun crowding out pine growth.

To counter argue that, the original settlers of Florida found nothing but huge ancient pine forests with huge diameter pine trees when they arrived, so perhaps the pines come back around eventually in the very long run.

I know the Nature Conservancy concept sounds great but they have been making some terrible mistakes trying to restore land to native species.  The book Beyond the War on Invasive Species by Tao Orion goes into great detail on that.
2 months ago
If it's any comfort, here in N. Florida the oaks easily overcome the pines long term. We do seem to have some similarities in climate to you. Definitely more rain though.

There's a huge timber industry here based on pine, and who knows how many acres planted to commercial pine forest, but I'm with you, pines are way too problematic. Particularly the fire problem and falling over and damaging things if near civilization.
some growers here have taken advantage of the acidic pine soil to grow blueberries, which want a very low PH around 4 - 5.

A 50 ft. high wall of solid flame traveling 30 - 40 MPH should be more than enough to scare you way from pines forever. It was for me.

The old timers here had warned me about this, but actually seeing it happen burned it into my memory.

That's what happens here if the understory of the pines isn't cleared out regularly, which is another point against pines...excess labor required...or else.
2 months ago