Sunday, April 13, 2014

Permaculture Site Visits and a Mini-Permablitz

All things Squash
The 2014 Permaculture Class from the IFAS Extension spent a busy day last Friday visiting two permaculture gardens and learning from the gardeners.  Several graduates of previous permaculture classes joined them.  The first site, Betton Hills Community Garden, is a public garden organized under the City of Tallahassee Community Gardening Program.  Located at the edge of McCord Park on Cline Street, it is a peaceful, well-maintained spot in the middle of the Betton Hills neighborhood.  Among the topics of discussion was a presentation on the various types of squash and the benefits of saving seeds to produce new varieties in a changing world.
Betton Hills Community Garden

The class then traveled to Ragged Glory Farm in Gadsden County operated by Certified Permaculture Designer Greg Jubinsky.   While there, the class cleared an area of underbrush and volunteer water oaks to make way for Greg to plant citrus trees to add to his orchard. Greg Jubinsky is a graduate of the local 2013 Permaculture Class but he has been practicing permaculture principles for a number of years.  After over 30 years in service with several State agencies engaged in the eradication of invasive species in Florida, Greg "retired" and now spends full time at his farm in Gadsden County where he and his wife are surrounded by native vegetation and the bounty that Greg nutures in his extensive gardens.  Ragged Glory Farm grows vegetables and fruit for sale to local restaurants, farmers' markets and private individuals.

The visiting class also had the opportunity to watch a local beekeeper work the hives he keeps at Ragged Glory.  The hives are maintained with no toxic chemicals, and the bees are allowed to pull comb in the frames with no foundation.  There were no queen excluders included in the hives and the queen is allowed access to the entire hive.  The beekeeper also uses only medium boxes, and there is no deep brood box on any of the hives.  This provides more flexibility in using equipment and arranging hives, and there is no heavy deep box to lift.  It was very interesting to observe this natural way of beekeeping and the hives were beautifully maintained and healthy.

All Natural Bees

Greg demonstrated use of
his Broadfork

After a shared picnic lunch, Greg explained his crop rotation plan and took the class on a guided garden tour, answering many questions along the way.   It was a fun and productive way to spend a beautiful day.
Crop Rotation Plan - Important for discouraging harmful bugs and diseases
and conserving and utilizing nutrients

Lots of questions answered and
insights gained


  1. Greg! When I saw you sign in the pic above I thougt it was Guru Greg's personal life philosophy! Need a T-Shirt! -Anna

    1. Can someone expand on the sign in the picture?

      Crop Rotation Plan - Important for

      1. discouraging harmful bugs and diseases
      2. conserving and utilizing nutrients

      Leaf ↑N2 ↓PK

      * Lettuce
      * Mustard
      * Brassicas

      Fruit ↓N2 ↑PK

      * Cucumbers
      * Tomatoes
      * Squash

      Root ↓N2 P ↑K

      * Carrot
      * Radish
      * Onions
      * Beets


      * Legumes
      * Clover
      * Rye