Sustainable Living: Dr. Amanda Pike transforming Florida landscapes into edible food forests


About our guest

Our guest on Monday was Dr. Amanda Pike. She is a board-certified therapist, certified educational leader, and the owner (with her husband and son) of a two-acre, Florida permaculture farm. It is complete with over 200 species of edible plants, free-roaming chickens, and 26 beehives. Dr. Pike serves as Education Chair and Chapter Representative for the Palm Beach County chapter of the Native Plant Society. As a local 4-H program facilitator, Dr. Pike helps make food forestry an accessible and practical landscaping option for the community.


60-90% of their land is feeding them and others depending on the season.

How can we all improve through sustainability practices?

You can make decisions daily by watching nature improving quality-of-life, when you have more things in your landscape you become an oasis or animal and insect activity, which reduces stress. Sedentary lifestyles create a lot of health problems but working in your garden gets those steps in. We used to use an odometer for steps AND now you are getting out there and MOVING! You also have control over the health of your soil in turn, the health of your food. Also harvesting and eating right away ensures it’s the highest of all the nutrients possible.

Looking at what we need to grow for our own food forests:

We all need macro nutrients and micronutrients for a balanced diet.

In a food forest, you grow the most you can harvest.

to supply these are:

Macro: 60%

Proteins starches, carbohydrates, oils

Make flour from green bananas (split skin and boil for 10 minutes, remove the skin, slice up, dehydrate, and grind for flour)

Pidgeon pea, winged bean, coco plum, tropical almond, Avocado, coconut. etc.

Micro: 30%

Foods rich in vitamins and minerals

Moringa leaves, achira (edible canna), and Ambika (south sea salad). Herbs etc. (fermented foods “think Kim chi, sauerkraut)

Photo chemicals 10%

Essential shade plants would be jackfruit, pidgeon pea, winged bean (equivalent to soybeans)


Mixing native plants is essential in a food forest because they are SUPPOSED to be here. They provide the soil microbes, insects, bees, and birds

What is necessary for optimum health. That in turn links what the plants you have in your food forest to what is naturally provided for their needs.

Bidens Alba

Bidens Alba is the 3rd most important pollinator plant in Florida. Also, a bioremediator. Bioremediation is a technique used to remove environmental contaminants from the ecosystem. It utilizes the biological mechanisms inherent in microbes and plants to eradicate hazardous pollutants and restore the ecosystem to its original condition.

(Marigold African Jack is the nematode suppressant flower … from Whitwam Organics Michelle James mentioned on last week’s show)


Note that Nematodes are more prevalent in direct sun so dappled light is a better way to reduce them naturally. The sweet spot has a lower UV intensity. Working WITH the microbes, not against them.


Remember a seed is temperature sensitive. So, it holds dormancy and when the ground warms, the rainy season happens and they sprout.

GREAT takeaway….

You plant when it’s convenient for you


the seed sprouts when it’s convenient for it.


I noticed Amanda is creating lots of unusual dishes with your farmed produce… She figured that out and has many listed in her Facebook shares.


Amanda’s Book

Amanda has a book coming out in April “Transforming Florida Yards”. It’s to help people learn how to change their land into a productive place. There are also a lot of recipes and techniques in it.


Empowered with 200 easy-to-follow, one-page reference sheets for 200 plants (with corresponding hardiness zone, recipes, cultural information, and landscaping design tips), readers will quickly watch their lawns transform into a gorgeous, yet edible paradise.

Book description

Transforming Florida Yards offers readers a way to easily grow edible plants by creating a natural ecosystem. All one needs to successfully begin their food forest is a lawn and this book! Knowing which plants grow in each part of the state (north, central, and south) simplifies the steps to create a flourishing garden. Permaculture, or the process of working with nature rather than against it, teaches affordable, sustainable, and research-based ways to beautify surroundings. Backyard gardens also lower the risk of food insecurity and help prepare communities for continuous climate change.

Thanks to ample rainfall and warm temperatures, Florida is perfect for growing produce, herbs, and other edibles year-round. Most plants in a food forest are long-lived and low maintenance. Often, food forests even take care of their fertilization and pest control!



FB LINK: Transforming Florida Yards | Jupiter FL | Facebook

Make SURE to Tune in next Monday morning at 11 for the next Sustainable Living Show. We will have Elisha Blixer live on the show sharing about keeping and saving bees.

Follow our Facebook page Sustainable Living WMNF to stay in the loop. Also to listen to our past shows Just go to “listen on demand” on stay tuned as we promote a balance of people, profit, and planet.

For this weeks full show:


Remember if you are looking for someone to save the world – look in the mirror.



  1. UF/IFAS Extension Manatee County’s Residential Horticulture Program is hosting a community-wide scavenger hunt to celebrate Florida Arbor Day, Jan. 20.


Participants can explore Emerson Point Preserve, Conservatory Park, The Nest at Robinson Preserve, and Downtown Bradenton’s Riverwalk while searching for trees with a TreeQuest tag. Once found, participants can scan the QR code on the tag to open an online survey where they will be asked to enter information about the tree and register an email address for the chance to win prizes.


In addition to the QR code, each tag will have information about the specific tree including its common name, scientific name, and environmental impact.


TreeQuest encourages residents to get outside and enjoy local parks while learning about tree species native to Florida and their benefits.


  1. Plant sale and swap at Urban Roots Garden Supply this Saturday, January 21st from 10 am-12:30. Everyone is welcome to come trade/sell/buy plants and mingle with other planty people in the Tampa area.


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