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Edible Community Gardens Created on Pine Avenue | Environment

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Edible Community Gardens Created on Pine Avenue
Environment, Health, News
Edible Community Gardens Created on Pine Avenue

Bradenton, Florida -- Eating locally grown produce has taken on a whole new meaning on Pine Avenue in Anna Maria.

Landscape designer and native habitat expert, Michael Miller, along with Pine Avenue Restoration developers Ed Chiles and Micheal Coleman, have partnered with Pine Avenue Merchants to design and implement Edible Community Gardens on Pine Avenue, now known as “The Greenest Little Main Street in America”. The concept of food along the historic stretch between the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay, was posed about a year ago and is now a reality with eight raised beds and more to follow.

These gardens contain a unique sheet mulch system developed through the Permaculture movement. Permaculture is a branch of ecological design, ecological engineering, and environmental design that develops sustainable architecture and self-maintained agricultural systems modeled from natural ecosystems. The mulch system used in the Pine Avenue gardens is a layering of materials in such a way as to create the ideal soil medium for growing all types of vegetables even those that are typically difficult to grow in the summer. The organic vegetables in the Pine Avenue gardens are not only growing but are thriving beyond initial expectations. Anyone who has ever tried to grow vegetable in the heat of a Florida summer knows how literally fruitless it can be.

According to Miller, “It is virtually impossible to grow conventional vegetables in the summer outside of a greenhouse. Some traditional vegetables are growing well in these gardens and we have also incorporated other unique vegetables that are grown in the tropics”.

According to Miller, Chiles and Coleman, the long range goal of this project is to have these Edible Community Gardens not only on Pine Avenue but all over the island and beyond. Miller explains, “This is not about having a substitute source of produce as much as it is about lifestyle enhancement. This is about the joy of creating an abundant garden right in one’s own backyard or community.”

Recently, Miller harvested enough Malabar Spinach from his own garden and made an Indian Raita (yogurt salad) to feed 40 people at a pot luck picnic for the local chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society. When one speaks to Mike Miller, it is obvious it brings him great joy to be able to walk outside to his garden and see a vegetable that was in a one gallon bucket two months ago that is now 3-4 feet tall.

Getting abundance where it was never available is quite an accomplishment and one that should have Locavores picking up their forks and digging in.

For more information visit www.perfectisland.us/Edibles.html or Call Caryn Hodge 941-778-8705. 

Environment, Health, News

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