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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

Going Green: Getting Back To The Land In The 'Garden Of Eatin'

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Garden Of Eatin' Plants
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Despite a society that seems to be more and more disconnected from the land, one local company is out to prove that you don't need a farm to get into gardening.On this week's Going Green segment, Melissa Ross spoke with Zak Furey, a model and landscape designer that decided to create and build vegetable, edible flower and salad gardens for clients at an affordable price, called The Garden of Eatin’ Plants.

He incorporates an easy maintenance design, recipes, gardening tips and enthusiasm for the garden.

It all began when Furey planted his own garden. After caring for it for several months, he realized he and his family loved it.

“Not only is it healthy and fun to do, but it is edifying,” he said. “People really appreciate that.” Furey visits the client’s home and installs, prepares and plants a movable six-by-three foot gardening box in the owner’s backyard, even if it’s a tiny one, in just a couple of days.

The hardest tasks are completed beforehand that some cannot perform themselves, including building the plant box and picking up the plants at different nurseries. By the time he arrives at his client’s home, it only takes him a couple of hours to assemble the box and plants.

Then, he explains some basics on how to water, care and harvest the plants.

“I give them that confidence they need to be successful gardeners,” he said.

Because Florida’s soil is sandy, he uses organic soil that is filled with nutrients such as seaweed, worm casings and natural minerals.

Furey plants a variety of items, including salad Burnet, Russian Rainbow Chard, Sugar Sprint Peas, Heirloom Carmelita Tomatoes, Red Creole Onions, Gunma Cabbage and Kaleidscope Carrots.

Furey explained how creating gardens for others is edifying.

“I get to hear these stories where my client’s children come out and are excited to help with the garden,” he said. “I also hear how it has changed their health and that some have lost weight from juicing and having a better balanced diet.”

If you thought the Farmer’s Market was fresh, wait until there’s one behind your house.

“You can’t get fresher than backyard-to-table,” he said.

You can follow Melissa Ross on Twitter @MelissainJax and Emily Long at @EMchanted_.