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