The Backyard Community Gardens will be a place for Lakelanders to come together and grow their own food. It is our absolute mission to make locally and organically grown food more accessible to the community. We feel strongly that organic and sustainable growing practices are vital to protecting the environment and human health.
Florida’s waterways, wildlife, and land are repeatedly challenged by commercial farming practices. By the over-use of fertilizers and irrigation, the application of synthetic pesticides, and the disregard for natural ecosystems, our drinking water and Florida’s diverse habitats continue to be endangered.
The Backyard wants to re-introduce the concept of growing your own food, in your own backyard (those without one, use ours!), using organic gardening practices, to help combat irresponsible farming practices, but also to promote healthy living. It’s important not only to eat more fresh produce everyday, but to know what is in (and on) your food. Some members of our wonderful team have personally lost loved ones to disease that is directly linked to poor nutrition and diet.
Americans are eating, but we are starving for nutritious food. The food we need to eat simply does not line the shelves of our grocery stores. We are committed to being a resource for the community — to provide all of the necessary resources and education for healthy eating and living that we can.
We also wish to create a beautiful green space for Lakeland, where locals can visit to get away from it all. For many of us, it’s difficult for us to carve out the time to reconnect with nature. Feeling the sun on your skin, bare feet on the earth, and dirt on your cheeks — these are such primal needs in all of us, and depriving ourselves of these pleasures can have a devastating impact on our health. We want to provide an opportunity for our Lakeland community to remember, and enjoy, the vast benefits nature has to offer.
The Backyard will offer:
- 21 4ft x 4ft garden beds which will be available for members to individually rent and use to grow their own food using organic gardening practices.
- 2 larger (2 ft x 12 ft) community garden beds AKA all hands on deck! The community will be involved in the conservation of these beds, which will be used to conduct research the effectiveness of various sustainable gardening practices – such as square foot gardening. Participating members will learn about different gardening practices and also receive portions of the harvest.
- Sustainable irrigation! All garden beds will be irrigated using an ancient irrigation method – the olla. Ollas are unglazed clay pots that are buried in the ground and filled with water regularly. Clay is naturally porous, and therefore water feeds directly into the roots of the nearby plants, meaning no water is wasted
- Garden tools that our members can use for free.
- “Bee Thankful” Living Wall of Gratitude to attract lots of pollinators, add beauty to the space, & provide a creative way to thank all who have contributed to the success of The Backyard!
- Educational classes, workshops, and community-based events to promote holistic health and businesses in the local community that share similar values.