From http://cltampa.com/tampa/permaculture-in-the-burg/Content?oid=3402158 :
Nathan Levy is a tall sun-cured older man, teaching a small group the basics of permaculture. Right now, they are learning how to make dirt.It's thrilling to hear about people making a living out of gardening and growing crops. Levy teaches how to compost, how to grow and harvest produce, and has set up a green box scheme where local smallholders can sell their produce.
“You need something green, something brown, and some manure,” Levy says. “Basically you need nitrogen, carbon, and organisms.”
Making soil is better than buying soil, Levy explains. Purchased soil can be sterilized, devoid of any pathogens, including the good ones.
“With good soil, you’ll get a great vine and leaves but no sweet potato,” Levy says. “You can eat those leaves. People don’t realize there are greens that grow in Florida in the summertime.”
The greens that grow in Florida’s heat and sandy soil may not be like the romaine lettuce you are used to.
...“This is an entire community of bugs,” Levy says. On one side a pile of old eggshells and debris is a feast for all matter of life inside. What comes out the other end is some of the richest soil around. Thin red worms squirm through deep brown and black dirt.
Levy sits everyone down in the shade and hands out water.
“So what are everyone’s plans? Where are you going to grow?”
“We never got into this to make money,” Tina says. “We just realized that most people who grow for themselves always grow too much.”
“We’ve never been healthier,” Tina says. “We really want others to become self-sustaining, especially with the rising costs of food.”
“The stuff they sell at the grocery stories is terrible,” Nathan says. “I said to myself, I’ve gotta grow some vegetables.”