Cap’n Dave Previews Permaculture and the 2016 Home Grown Food Summit

It’s hard to improve on Mother Nature when we grow our own food, so why try? My guest on this week’s DestinySurvival Radio is sold on a way of growing food that works with Nature, not against it. Join me for Cap’n Dave’s preview of permaculture, weather, and the 2016 Home Grown Food Summit, which took place March 7-13, 2016.

Profile of Cap’n Dave

Cap’n Dave has been on DestinySurvival Radio with me before, and he always has plenty of insights to share. In case you don’t know who he is…he’s the one holding the fish in the photo below.


Cap'n Dave holding a large fish


Cap’n Dave was born and raised (in, on, and under) the Chesapeake Bay of Virginia and the Outer Banks of North Carolina, where his Dad taught him fishing, hunting, gardening… and the myriad skills of a self-reliant outdoorsman. He grew up loving all aspects of the outdoors, from geology to biology; from shooting sports to surfing, from backpacking to SCUBA diving (just to name a few.) In the early 80’s he became a SCUBA instructor and also a US Coast Guard certified Boat Captain.

Moving to North Florida in the late 80’s, Cap’n Dave began a career in professional aviation, which has spanned the years since then, and has included instructing; flying freight for the world’s largest Fed Ex Feeder airline; then corporate and executive flying; and flying the Governors of Florida on State Aircraft. He’s back to giving flight instruction. Included in his years in aviation were stints with McDonnell Douglas and Boeing as an Instructional Designer and Educational Technologist. He has a life-long love of exploring wilderness caves underwater, too.

Cap’n Dave has earned a Certified Permaculture Designer credential from University of Florida Ag Extension; and took a refresher from Geoff Lawton and the Permaculture Research Institute. He currently practices these skills at his 6–acre Permaculture paradise near Tallahassee.

Cap’n Dave happens to be one of the speakers with the 2016 Home Grown Food Summit. We fill you in on that, and lots more, during our conversation.

Prelude to the Main Conversation

At the beginning of our conversation, I asked Dave how things were going at Cap’n Dave’s State Park. That’s what his friends call his place. View my previous post with photos here. You’ll see more photos below.


Chicken on Dave's wrist

Worf clings on


As we talked Cap’n Dave was multitasking. I asked him if he was watching Chicken TV, which is how he describes the entertainment provided by his chickens.

But he was doing something else this time. In true permaculture fashion, he was trimming blueberry bushes with the intention to feed the trimmings to his rabbits.

Preview of Permaculture

It’s hard to define permaculture. Cap’n Dave says dozens of explanations have been put forward. It’s more than organic gardening.

Permaculture entails a set of principles designed to use the processes of nature. It blends old ways with modern science to make the most of what nature has to offer.

You don’t have to have a six acre place like Cap’n Dave. You can practice permaculture on any scale, even on an apartment balcony.

There’s a growing interest in permaculture methods as people become more conscientious about eating clean, wholesome food and maintaining good health. Getting plugged back into nature has its appeal, too.

Growing our own food fits well into the preparedness way of life. And perhaps there’s a bit of nostalgia involved as well.

But the reward is in the results.


8 foot okra

8 foot okra

Kale beds

Kale beds

Vegetable garden

Vegetable garden


And here’s another benefit. Overall, permaculture proves to be economical. Dave and I touched on that near the end of our conversation.

Cap’n Dave recommends Toby Hemenway’s book Gaia’s Gardenas a good “introductory drug” if you want to discover what permaculture is really about.


Sunchoke harvest

Sunchoke (Jerusalem artichoke) harvest


Preview of the 2016 Home Grown Food Summit

In the spring of 2015 Dave and I did an episode of DestinySurvival Radio to talk about the Home Grown Food Summit, presented by Marjory Wildcraft’s organization. I asked him to talk about the 2016 Summit because he was one of the presenters.

His presentation for the summit was about weather and how you and I can learn to predict weather by looking out for repeatable patterns in nature. Listen for our discussion later in our DestinySurvival Radio conversation.

A sampling of the other presenters includes…

  • Geoff Lawton of the Permaculture Research Institute on Property Purchase Checklist
  • Sam Coffman on Increasing The Potency Of Backyard Herbs
  • Greg Peterson of Urban Farms University on 3 Steps To Jump-Starting Your Urban Farm
  • David The Good on Extreme Composting: The Movie
  • Ira Wallace on Growing Great Garlic
  • Jeannette Beranger on Picking Heritage Pigs
  • Ralph Rhoads on Worm Farming
  • John Moody on The Butcher, The Baker The Homestead Law Maker


17 foot sunflower


Putting It All Together

As you might guess, there’s more to what Cap’n Dave and I talked about. For example, take note of how he turned a predatory raccoon, who wanted his chickens for food, into a means of providing food for those same chickens.


Dave's chicks

Dave’s chicks


I encourage you to hear our chat by listening to DestinySurvival Radio for March 3, 2016 (Right click to download.)

The 2016 Home Grown Food Summit ran live (and free), March 7-13, 2016, with an option to purchase the package of presentations afterward. Keep up withother happenings by going to the site for The Grow Network.


Author: John Wesley Smith

John Wesley Smith writes and podcasts from his home in Central Missouri. His goal is to help preppers as he continues along his own preparedness journey.