Orlando permaculture meeting!!

The time has come for something that has been long awaited for by many people. Interest has been expressed, an intention has been set, and it’s time to take action. We would like to announce the hopeful formation a regular meeting of permaculture enthusiasts right here in Orlando.

Preliminary discussion has been started with a few folks, and now we would like to get some input from you all. We need input on the following:

  • Would you be interested in attending such a meeting
  • How often would you like to see the group meet
  • Would you prefer Monday or Tuesday evenings
  • Would you be willing to host such a meeting at your home on occasion

This group is intended to be autonomous, self governed, self lead, and informal. The idea is to allow our interest and enthusiasm for Permaculture and natural agriculture to be supported by a group of like minds. Beyond that, this group is not limited to any specific function or format, and the content, focus and intention of the meeting will be decided by the group upon formation.

We are looking forward to your responses and input, and most of all, to the formation of these regular meetings! Send all responses to Matt Hunter at orlandopermaculture@gmail.com


Simple grey water system using a bathtub

Grey water filtration systems are one of those things, like pulling weeds or cutting firewood,  that we might not necessarily want to spend time on, but may be best for us in the long run. Grey water systems can serve a few different purposes. The first of which would be to absorb, break down, and spread out chemicals, excess nutrients, and/or minerals which, in excess, may cause toxicity in our systems.

The main idea behind a grey water system is to take the output water from a sink, shower, washing machine, or some other system, which does not contain human or animal waste,  separate large particles, which may clog the system, and run the water through layers of rock aggregate and plant roots, and send the filtered water on its way. Different mediums have different filtration properties, and depending on the needs and complexity of your system you may want to look into which materials will best meet the needs of your system, but for most basic systems, where only natural soaps and organic contaminants will be present, sand and any broken rock should do the job. Anyway, plants are the real heavy lifters in this system, and the aggregate serves mostly to slow the water and fill the roll of a rooting medium.

Different plants also have different filtration properties. Some are better or worse at filtering salt, and some are good for filtration of heavy metals or other things, but once again, for your basic system, any water loving plant will suffice. I recommend grabbing any water plants that you see growing in the local ditches and retention ponds.

Beyond that, this video should be all you will need to get your grey water system in operation.


Permaculture Food Forest Garden – How To

I just installed another addition to my already established food forest garden, and I made sure to do a walk-through of exactly how I did it so there would be another example floating out here on the interwebs. If you aren’t sure what a food forest garden is then I will just put it simply. A food forest garden is a garden that includes trees, shrub sized plants, ground-cover plants, herbaceous type plants, built-in nutrient accumulating species, and nitrogen fixing species (which take nitrogen from the air and deposit it in the soil). All these plants also tend to be perennial (grow year around) or reseed themselves year after year. The ground in a food forest garden, once installed, is never tilled, and as the system matures it develops its own ecosystem, just like a forest. The only difference is that the plant species in the forest are chosen by you, the designer, rather than nature, the bigger designer. So without further ado, here the food forest garden.

Battle update #3

It’s been a few weeks since the beginning of my dad’s holistic treatment with Doctor Mueller at Whole Family Healthcare. We don’t have much in the way of test results yet, but according to my dad the size of the tumor on his neck has significantly decreased.

My dad, Gary, has also confirmed that his cancer team at MD Anderson, although they are highly skeptical, is willing to monitor his condition while he tries an alternative approach. They will be administering follow-up tests in two months or so to see if the cancer is growing, shrinking, or staying the same.

So, basically in this post I’m going to talk about the exact supplements and practices Gary has been using to battle the stage 4 Squamous cell viral born carcinoma in his tonsils and neck lymph nodes.

The basic aims of the holistic treatment is to boost the body’s natural immune system, flush his liver of accumulated toxins, starve the cancer by limiting carcinogens and sugar, and introduce agents into the body that will combat the cancer directly.

To boost the immune system Gary has been taking:

  • Twice a week intravenous injections of Curcumin, an anti-inflammatory and natural immune system booster. Curcumin is an extract of Tumeric, one of the highly esteemed roots in the herbal community.
  • Beta Carotene supplements
  • Cruciferous vegetable extract (Cruciferous vegetables are vegetables from the family Brassicaceae. These include kale, cabbage, broccoli, cabbage, bak choy, collards, etc.)
  • Heavy intake of vegetable juices
  • Increased exercise

To directly combat cancer cell multiplication Gary has been taking:

To flush the liver Gary is doing:

  • Twice-a-day coffee enemas
  • Increased exercise that induces sweating

I will let you all know when any new news comes up!

Holistic vs. traditional treatment

There is a lot to be considered when choosing between holistic and/or traditional treatment of cancer, and some of the largest considerations are who and what to trust, and whether or not one is willing or capable of mustering the personal conviction and discipline necessary to dedicate themselves to the regiment required for a holistic approach to fighting cancer.

The cancer my dad was diagnosed with has an 80% survival rate after five years, but when considering treatment options, the standard five year survival statistic is only a piece of the full picture. Other things to consider are the remission rates after five years, the ten year survival statistics, and the rates associated with life altering side effects of radiation treatment. Serious long-term consequences can be likely, depending on location of the cancer and intensity of the administered radiation. The holistic doctor, Dr. Jeffrey Meuller, MD, told us that serious radiation side effects for this area of the body are almost across the board, and that cancer doctors can tend to avoid talking about serious treatment side effects unless directly pressed by the patient. Confirmation of the prevalence of these side effects was also witnessed by my father when he met multiple patients in the waiting room, and all of them were dealing with serious repercussions from their upper neck and head radiation treatment, and most of them said that the effects came years after their final treatment. Their conditions ranged from permanent loss of voice, to permanent feeding tubes, to blindness. These cases are far from a comprehensive survey, but at the very least it was a call to consider future “quality of life” aspects when deciding on treatment options.

As far as holistic treatments, I feel that we have been very lucky in finding good sources of information, which have served to give us hope and assurance rather than causing us to be overwhelmed with having to sift through loads of information on the internet which may or may not be dependable.

Our information came from two main sources. First, I met a friend of a friend in Gainesville who had a father that is currently treating cancer patients in Canada using a medical marijuana salve concoction, and they are supposedly having good success with the treatment. This new friend gave me his father’s number, and when I contacted him, he was kind enough to give me the recipe for the salve.

In addition to this treatment, I also was able to contact a friend I have known for over five years who is an MD that switched to holistic treatment practices after years of practicing traditional medicine. Upon calling him I found out that he specializes in holistic cancer treatment and he is currently working with other doctors in developing an education curriculum to help educate other doctors on holistic cancer treatments. We immediately scheduled an appointment with Dr. Jeffrey Mueller, MD, at his office, Whole Family Healthcare, in Winter Park, Florida.

At the appointment we talked about the treatment plan Dr. Mueller offered and how it works in relation to, and/or in conjunction with conventional treatment. He also informed us that due to the lack of formal widespread use of his methods it was not possible to give statistics on expected treatment outcomes, but that the goal of the treatment was to offer an improved quality of life whether or not the cancer goes away, though the treatment is at least supposed to halt the spreading of the cancer, therefore eliminating the negative symptoms which would be expected if the cancer were to continue spreading.



Dad’s Cancer Journal

Many of you may know that my cross-country trip was cut short a couple weeks ago with the news that my dad was diagnosed with cancer of his tonsils and the lymph nodes in his neck. What I want to do here is document his progress and talk about the tough decisions we are, and will be, making regarding holistic versus traditional treatment.

The final prognosis was stage 4a, poorly-differentiated squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx, which has spread from its initial location in the tonsils to the lymph nodes in his neck. Prognosis and treatment recommendations were given by the UF Health Cancer Center at Orlando Health, at MD Anderson Cancer Center.  His particular type of cancer was given an 80% survival rate after 5 years.

Recommended treatment from the MD Anderson team consists of seven weeks of radiation five times/week in conjunction with three separated chemotherapy treatments in this period.

The largest downside of this treatment is the likelihood of significant, and life altering, side effects from intensive radiation.  A few of the side effects include needing a temporary or permanent feeding tube, loss of teeth, hospital born infection, loss of hearing, loss of vision, damage to larynx and/or voice box, damage to salivatory glands and/or processes, damage to jawbone, and on and on and on. These potential serious side effects go on for nearly three pages and each carry their own relatively significant likelihood. The likelihood of these side effects and subsequent long term decline of quality of life are the main factors deterring my dad from choosing this conventional treatment. The decision to decline this treatment has not been completely made at this point, but he has decided to hold off on the treatment and simply have his condition monitored while working to fight the cancer’s progress using a holistic treatment approach. I will go into the details of his alternative treatment in subsequent posts.


Florida permaculture food forest garden walk-through

Here’s a walk-through of the food forest garden I installed with some friends nine months ago, and then an addition to that garden which was installed about three or four months ago. The plants growing in this garden include a Loquat tree, a peach tree, a citrus tree, native blueberries, a pomegranate tree, papaya, surinam spinach, perennial chives, cranberry hibiscus, tomatoes, chaya, okinawa spinach, native blueberries, malabar spinach, thornless blackberry, lemongrass, cuban oregano, shiso, yucca, mint, and lemon balm. I’ve also planted other things since the video to fill in the gaps. The new plants include cherry of the rio grande, magenta spreen lambsquarters (edible green), and three types of sweet potatoes. On the way, I’m also about to include chayote, jicama, and many more nitrogen fixers.