Updated: Oct 21, 2020
Together with neighbors & landowners
The Moringa Growers' Co-op has
blossomed into a local share-cropping initiative dedicated to growing moringa trees throughout the Tampa Bay area.
Native to India, Moringa Oleifera
is an ancient tree that has been consumed for thousands of years as a staple food vegetable. Even today, the nutrient rich leaves are used to help combat malnutrition. A daily serving of moringa leaf powder can boost the immune
system and can prevent many illnesses.
Moringa can be grown without irrigation in Florida’s depleted-sandy soils. Establish trees with light watering for 2-3 weeks. Protect roots from water-rot by placing trees on high ground. Add a top-layer of oak mulch.
Regularly cut the trees back to 5’ tall, new branches will regrow, making a shorter bushier tree. Plant along a fence 3’ apart to make a food hedge “fedge”.
Greetings and Welcome! We're at TrailBale Farm and so very happy to show you this progression as we planted moringa trees on the property. In the far left photo we started on a pre-existing berm.
They had leveled the property several years prior and just kind of pushed material to the center of the pasture to create a berm and we just mulched the the pre-existing berm. It was a slight berm, but it was already raised up a little bit. It gets pretty wet out at TrailBale and given that moringa loves it high and dry we decided to just re-mulch the berm from the free mulch. Using neighboring harvests we also planted sticks and cuttings from other moringa trees onto the berm, just to start establishing the mycelium content in the soil below. The roots would then start to form and it would help us to grow more moringa trees on the berm. Then, you can see on the far right we relocated some of the sticks from the center we added more sticks to the sides, created a pathway through the middle and now just one year later we have a moringa food forest.
TrailBale Farm is located just northeast of downtown Tampa. I went to the University of South Florida, not too far from TrailBale Farm just to give you an idea it's also not very far away from Busch Gardens it's a really beautiful place. Temple Terrace is actually the City that TrailBale is really close to. Temple Terrace used to actually be a citrus grove the entire town was a citrus grove hundreds and hundreds of square acres of just citrus back in the early 1900's and that's what established Temple Terrace. Now, today there's several farms around the area growing sheep, cattle, goats and that's what TrailBale does. They also do chickens and pigs and they also have really good prices and pasture-raised all natural and organic options available for some of their specialty meats and cuts. Please visit TrailBale Farm for any of your local animal products. This is a map of Tampa Bay actually you can see what's so crazy is this Yin and Yang happening. The white is the water and the black is the land and they look exactly the same, inverse. This is so wild to see like that. We've been pretty busy over the past few years we've been planting moringa trees on other people's properties now for about five years and we've amassed over 300+ locations in the Tampa Bay area with thousands and thousands of moringa trees that we manage. Each dot that you see there has more than one tree. TrailBale is just one dot and it already has hundreds of trees on it so you can see we're amassing a local community of moringa growers.
Trailbale Farm is about 5 acres, close to I-75 in Tampa Bay which is one of the major highways that runs north and south throughout the state. To enter TrailBale, on the left there's a driveway the trail, the long trail. Travis's son Hank actually named the farm TrailBale, thanks Hank, love the name. Drive down the trail you'll see paddocks 6 and 5 and then it opens up to the last four paddocks. Come down a little bit more and you'll see the farm store they have farm store hours, visit their website ( http://www.trailbale.com/) and also they sell their products at local farmers markets, but they also have hours to where you can actually come on the farm and pick up some of their local pasture raised fresh meats. They have a trailer out in the field they're where they actually grow their chickens from chickies, babies and eggs they're inside the little trailer and then once they hatch in the in the brewer they let them graze and roam around in their traveling chicken houses. As I mentioned, they flatten the land and they built up the berm to separate the paddocks a couple years ago when they bought the property and so we're utilizing that same berm to also further separate the paddocks with some shaded areas for the animals to get some shade in the summer under the moringa trees and so we're creating this moringa "fedge" its a food hedge also known as a "fedge" and that's where we're going to be growing several hundred moringa trees.
Organic mulch delivery today! Free mulch. This is what actually started it all, actually about a year before this, so two years ago now, Travis had mentioned he would like moringa trees on the farm and I I had already been planting moringa trees on other people's properties and had an extensive list of locations, harvesting and planting and waiting for the right time.
Essentially, I got a call for Numa Nursery, my my other business, being listed on google and with the 'Nursery' in the name we get calls all the time for plants and also get tree companies calling, asking "Hey, if you have a property and you'd like mulch we can come and drop some off for you". I said, "Yes! Drop it at TrailBale and that's what started it and inspired us to start the new MGC location at TrailBale Farm. You can see just behind the mulch there's a line of weeds behind the grass there the tall grass that's where we're going to start planting moringa trees. Got the mulch dropped off, took a look at it, a little sandy, it was already broken down a little bit, but that was good. That means the mulch would not have robbed the small little moringa cuttings of nitrogen as much as a fresh batch of oak mulch, so this is good for the first start.
I made several harvests from local moringa trees and got the greens cleaned up and cut the stems into 2'-3' long pieces and started sticking them into the berm and then on the right started sticking the sticks in the ground. These cuttings are going to regrow new roots.
Later that day we ended up getting a full line of several hundred sticks planted in the ground. We're just trying to establish the soil. We're just getting the soil microbial life started. We want mycelium in there, so that way when we plant more trees on the berm they're ready to go. They'll have the ability to up-take nutrients. Mycelium helps all trees absorb nutrients by attaching onto the root system so that way they can also process the enzymes and proteins in the soil.
After about two to three weeks not even a month later we've already come back to see that mostly all of those sticks had sprouted, which is a good sign. This shows that the soil is good and we were ready to start letting these trees grow big. So, we relocated some of the cuttings to make a pathway on top of the berm. As we continued to mulch the berm all the way down the line, the power of moringa shows. You can clearly see they just want to grow they store so much energy and water in their wood and bark that they'll grow so fast. Moringa is one of the fastest growing trees in the world.
You can see how the root system begins to form in just two months after sticking the moringa sticks in the ground. They already have little tendrils shooting down with some greens up top. This is all new growth, within two months of planting them in the ground. Of course it was also summer time in Tampa, Florida and it rains almost every day so they get lots of minerals from the rain to help them grow new roots.
We got a call from a lady in south Tampa, a business owner. She has a franchise and just purchased this building behind the large moringa tree on the left which was actually an Asian market and restaurant until the new owners purchased the building. They had planted this morning tree too close to the building, about 10 years prior to our arrival. So, we helped them by cutting the tree back as much as we could. We may not have wanted to cut the tree that far back and remove it, but we did so with love and care and knowing that these stumps were going to be used at TrailBale. Nothing goes to waste.
So we brought the stumps and the sticks over to the farm and we're going to recycle these cuttings because they're so full of nutrients. We know that they would break down over time.
We got another load of mulch, a nice sized pile, just a couple months after the first one. Now, we're coming down the trail making this berm higher, using sticks from other harvests to build-up the soil.
Continuing to use other people's harvested material not letting anything go to waste, seed pod shells, branches, cuttings and we're making new soil from moringa trees. Moringa makes a great fertilizer and living mulch.
Amazed at the power of just a cutting you know just a few inches long and and within two months I mean they're forming these root systems it's just so beautiful to watch is crazy it's almost alien watching these things grow from the bark. Moringa roots form from the bark, that outer edge of the bark there is a clean-cut and then the fibers of the of the bark stretch and turn into a root system. Cuttings should have bark to make roots, if the cutting is still green with little to no bark, it may not propagate.
On the right, we built up the 2nd berm on the other side of the first berm and just dropped mulch and started planting out more cuttings. Now, were getting a little pattern going where we have a walkway in the middle versus having all the sticks in the middle. Starting out, we weren't sure if we were just going to have trees on the berm in the middle and then we just harvest from the sides, but I really liked widening it out a little bit with Travis' permission to be able to walk on it and then have the trees on either side that way we can have a little bit more trees but also we can have a better time harvesting up on the burn in the walkway, creating a tunnel of moringa trees, canopy coverage and all.
And a horseradish tuber forms from a cutting just two months after sticking a little stick in the ground. Now, it has 2 ft of fresh green growth, turning into little baby tree with all new roots. I'm really impressed with the power of moringa and how it just grows so well. This is only 2 months after planting in the summer.
We get calls all the time from moringa growers all over the state and in Tampa and we met this gentleman at the farmers market. He lives in Brandon and said "Hey, Kendrick I have three moringa trees you can come by and harvest and they're really tall and big we've never even cut them back". This was just after the freeze that we had five months earlier so everything that you see there above ground is only 5 months old. He said that they froze back to the ground, completely damaged stems and that's what they grew within 5 months, like 20 ft tall.
We stripped all the greens and organized the sticks that way we could bring them back to TrailBale. We're not letting anything from the neighbors moringa trees go to waste. We took those sticks and then we replanted them on the berm. This was an experiment with taller sticks to see if they have more ability to store energy and also create root systems a little bit faster being a little bit more mature. Having them form from shorter cuttings is really great, but if we could get taller trees to form, you know that would be great. I would like to offer root tubers at the farmers market as well. They're great horseradish flavor chopped up with soups, cooked.
We're farmers! Making soil, it's really great just to see the progress after just one year where I was nothing and we're building this up slowly making soil making a food forest. Taking the harvested sticks from around town and we're covering them with oak mulch that way they fertilize, break down and make good soil. Building of a berm, a little bit higher.
Our first harvest! Just 3 months after day 1, we've got trees over 6 ft tall and we made our first cuts about 2-3 ft high and some have already split into new branches. They're producing even more greens at this point. There was a stick poking out of the ground in the middle of the berm, buried and I pulled it out to find sprouts coming off of it. I was just like in shock, oh my gosh! So I ate one of them all they were so is so good. I mean that would be an ideal will garnish on a salad just crunchy little micro-green and sprout from a moringa cutting. We know it would be so cool to have as a product for people at the market. Moringa sprouts with the crunchiness of it because they were underground and they were just all white, some of them were starting to get green tips, but I mean it was real good just a taste of this was amazing and really refreshing.
9 months after planting the berm and it looks beautiful. We have a nice little trail. It's springtime in the air, couldn't believe how beautiful it was and how it transitioned from just nothing into this, within just a few short months. It's not quite a straight line, I like a little bit of a curve and it actually creates this effect where it looks even more full for perspective. Then, on the right photo, the stick has several branches, this is the second harvest, you can see the first cut lower then it split and then the second cut and then we're hoping that it will split.
One year later! 14 months after starting to plant moringa from sticks and look. Here, Robert has his weed eater. He's about six foot tall and all these trees are amazing. We have not made a harvest of the trees since March and we let him go all summer and just let them do their thing. Very satisfied with the result.
Hey! Thanks a lot for reading, watching and joining us at TrailBale Farm | 1 Year Later.
We're getting ready for the farmers market season. It's September 12th and we have about two more weeks until farmers market season really kicks up. We just got our brand-new mgc banners. We love the fact that we can share with people about the moringa tree, what we offer, our growing practices and locations. We're growing moringa trees in the neighborhood, we have thousands of moringa trees on over 300+ properties now and each year that we've been growing the trees are getting bigger and bigger and bigger and because of our pruning practices.
You can see we have fertilizer, cuttings, moringa flowers, moringa seeds, oil, fresh greens for market. We offer like 50 different products from the moringa tree. Nothing's going to waste it's been really great making and editing these videos over the past year. We're going to be in the farmers market here in the Tampa Bay area you can find us at Temple Terrace Farmers Market on Saturdays, you can find us in St. Pete at the Saturday Morning Market. On Sunday's were going to be coming around like the first Sunday we're at Hyde Park Farmers Market. Second Sunday we're at Seminole Heights Farmers Market and we're even on Sundays at Sweetwater Organic Farm, we've got a few vendors now that are attending the farmers market with us the MGC is growing. If you're interested in joining the MGC as a member, vendor, or harvester, farmer, grower, I would love for you to contact me my number is right here on the on the link.
Please give me a ring let me know what your thoughts are about installing food forests making design implementation and creating beautiful spaces that people can enjoy with the moringa tree. So many things to offer and products that were making for super excited to get all of these at the farmers market we have about two more weeks until the farmers market season starts. Pretty much summer is coming to an end, its September 12th today and I would really enjoy sharing with you over the past year these videos excited to show you other locations as they have also progressed and grown we've been making videos for all of our other locations as well and we're going to be getting those out very soon thanks a lot for watching please subscribe and join the conversation at the
That's where we share a lot of our lives videos and comments and questions if you've never grown moringa before, purchase your moringa trees now and we deliver the trees and free shipping.
Stay safe prosperous growing. Grow your own food, little by little and just keep studying. Peace and Love.
WATCH YOUTUBE VIDEO HERE: Moringa Food Forest | 1 Year Later | TrailBale Farm
Author: Kendrick Henry
President & Founder of the MGC
"Native to India, Moringa Oleifera
is an ancient tree that has been consumed for thousands of years as a staple food vegetable. Even today, the nutrient rich leaves are used to help combat malnutrition. A daily serving of moringa leaf powder can boost the immune system
and can prevent many illnesses."