Tag Archives: sustainable

About Wanderingupward

Hello, I’m Matt Hunter. Thank you much for visiting my site. Wanderingupward is my way of sharing projects, knowledge, ideas, writings, and anything else I think may be of value to others.

I live on a 5 acre piece of land in Osceola County, with my mom and our three dogs, which my family has owned since the early 80’s. It’s a great privilege and joy to be able to steward this beautiful piece of property. This is where many of my projects that I share come from.

I work for the City of St. Cloud as Coordinator of their Urban Agriculture Program where I oversee the community gardens, teach gardening and permaculture classes, organize different initiatives, and advise some local growers. I’m also working with Osceola County Grown on the development of a farm and CSA in which we are following the practices of Jean Martin Fortier to create a small-scale, no-till, organic farm.

Another thing you may see on this site are some of my projects with the Orlando Permaculture Group. I started this group in 2014 after returning from my bicycle trip to visit homesteads and sustainability projects. I’ve moved on from being a core organizer of the group, but I still regularly help the amazing new leadership team with different projects.

I don’t make any money from this site and rarely research and publish articles for their own sake. My main purpose for the blog is to have a platform and stay in the habit of documenting my work. I’ve found this to be quite gratifying and even useful over the years.

I try to keep posts educational and demonstrational but sometimes feel the need to rant, write essays, or share (mostly unimpressive) poetry. I recommend taking the opinion posts with a grain of salt. If I wrote them over a week ago chances are I don’t even agree with them anymore.

Feel free to browse through the drop-down menus to see what kind of topics I’ve written about. Also feel free to comment or ask questions about anything you see on here. You can also email me at wanderinupward@gmail.com




Guwahi Ecovillage

Five and a half weeks into my trip and I’ve ended up at Tranquility Campgrounds in Mentone Alabama for an opportunity to get some experience with design and implementation of food forest and zone two garden systems. The location I’m working at is the homestead of Ruth Thompson, and hopeful future site of Guwahi Ecovillage, which is being designed and implemented by her son Marcus Thompson. Take a tour around the grounds and meet a few of the people that are staying here now.

Planting asparagus crowns

Many people don’t know this, but asparagus is a perennial plant which can live for 15 to 20 years, and from seed takes three years before it is fully productive. As you will see in the video though, through purchase and planting of asparagus “crowns” your plant can be productive within one or two years of planting. Watch the video for a detailed overview of preparation and planting of asparagus crowns.

Travel Journal – Day 32

So it’s day 32 of my trip and I have parted ways with my wonderful hosts, Wendi, Jayden, and Kaia Bellows,


and headed toward the off-grid homestead of Mycol Stevens, located 30 miles or so North in Brooker Florida. Mycol wasn’t there when I arrived, but I was greeted by Brian and Genina two of the most humble and natural people I could hope to encounter, and theyfit so naturally into the farm that I could hardly now imagine it without them, and luckily I didn’t have to.


So, I settled in, set up tent and got the tour. Finca Mycol is a 20 acre off-grid homestead, which serves as a permaculture experimentation laboratory, and, thanks to the efforts of Mycol, a native restoration land and keystone species habitat.

So once again, despite my efforts to move on and find my way out of Florida, I have found myself pulled to stay and learn. Both Mycol and Brian are inspiring sources of knowledge and passion on all things plants, so wow, what a great place to hang out, gain knowledge, build relationships, and be of service. There is one drawback though from being off-grid and so far out in the country – there’s no internet connection. So, any videos I take will have to be put up later, and pictures and other blog posts and communication have to wait until I can catch a ride into town. But hey look at the perks:


a beautiful outdoor kitchen,


fresh greens from the garden in a coconut bowl,


fresh cooked snake (don’t worry, we didn’t kill him. He got run over on the road 😦 Poor little guy),


a beautiful pond and great company,


and another pond, and more great company,


and more great company,


and artists making art.


Simple living and high thinking. Awareness. Consciousness. Intentionality. Choice. Walking toward what’s right. Nevermind the odds.

Travel Journal – Day 26

I’m almost a month into the trip, and I can’t believe how much time is already behind me, and not to mention how little distance I have covered. The 200 approximate miles I have covered so far should have taken me three and a half days according to my original estimate of 60 miles per day, But, it hasn’t been lack of stamina holding me back. It’s the large number of wonderful people and places I have come across. In the 25 nights I’ve been away from home, I have only had to road camp once, and I only stayed five nights with people I had known before starting the trip. There’s a beautiful network of people out here who are so full of awareness and care that we were family before I ever met them.

Quick update since my last post – After leaving the off-grid homestead of Craig, my mom came and payed me a visit. I took my mom out of her comfort zone by bringing her tent camping one night in a great little wildlife refuge called Paynes Prarie, where we got to sleep amongst clouds of fireflies, quite a nice experience,


but one night was just about all the natural Florida my mom wanted to deal with, so she took me out of my comfort zone the second night and we stayed in a Motel 6. I appreciated the air conditioning, but it was surely more of a reminder of why I’m doing what I’m doing than anything else 🙂

Next in line was the Homestead of Song Weaver, where I not only met a few great local and traveling earth enthusiasts, but I also had the synchronistic privilege of crossing paths with a fellow traveler who I met months before as she was passing through Orlando.


After leaving Song’s place I passed through downtown Gainesville one more time to get an interview with Chris Cano, who runs a local socially conscious composting business in the downtown area.

Next, was onward and Northward to the house and garden of a friend of a friend, Wendi Bellows, who was not only kind enough to invite me in to stay with her and her wonderful kids,


but also allowed me to ride with her to the Permaculture convergence in Lake Whales, where I had a three day deeply inspirational experience with a group of 200 people who felt like lost family.


The next leg of the journey continues tomorrow as I head to an off-grid natural homestead and learning center in North Florida.