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Bee a part of the solution | The Sustainability Project | Care Bellamy the beekeeping REALTOR® who “Cares” | Florida
7th January 2019 • GREEN Organic Garden Podcast • Jackie Marie Beyer
00:00:00 00:59:53

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I’m so excited I have a listener on the line who is going to share a ton of golden seeds! I talked to her before from Florida and she is going to share with us about her Sustainability Project!

1. Tell us a little about yourself.

By day, I’m a REALTOR® and beekeeper.


I’m also a 3rd generation farmer. 

My grandparents owned a 100 acre wheat farm on the prairie in rural Dufresne, Manitoba. My family lived off the land, they grew their food seasonally in a 1 acre vegetable garden. After the local community collectively brought in the fall harvest, they would busily preserve and can their produce for storage in their root cellar.


These people were a hardy bunch, they managed to survive the brutually harsh winters with minimal resources using a wood burning stove for heat, crude electric and no running water or indoor plumbing. They kept and cared for livestock and only took what they needed to survive, my ancestors practiced “The Tragedy of the Commons” method.  That’s how they managed to raise a family of 8 in rural Manitoba.


And Manitoba is where people go to see the polar bears right?

Yes Churchill Manitoba is where the polar bears are.

Then you went to the opposite end of the continent practically to Florida.

Yes I did I got hired to work for Disney at the Epcot Center back in the early 80s and that’s where I met my husband two weeks later and we’ve been here ever since!

That’s so romantic! I always wanted to work for Disney, I tried to get a job or get into art school at the California Institute of Arts in LA.

Well, they must have liked me! I managed to beat out 64 other people fro the job! So yay for me!

And you worked there for a long time right?

Yes 35 years!

2. Tell me about your first gardening experience?

We used to visit the farm in the summer time every two years, however my mom! When my mother moved to the big city of Toronto, Ontario, she became a backyard farmer and composter carrying on her family farming tradition. I began helping my mother garden as a young child, she taught me valuable lessons in planting, harvesting and food preservation skills. All these years later I’ve been utilizing this and it’s been working out fantastic for me. Luckily for me, both my parents were award winning gardeners so pulling weeds or fresh carrots comes naturally.


So then is it challenging down in Florida? Do you have to learn different practices to grow in that climate?

Well, gardening is pretty much the same wherever you go. IT’s just the conditions and the climate. In Florida there is a sandy soil, where my parents lived it was a deep rich soil. You have to plant things things that grow well

I’m in climate zone 9b, it’s way different climate. They get snow and here we don’t get any snow, we hardly get any freezes?

3. How did you learn how to garden organically?

My mother taught me, she was a big time composter of our organic kitchen waste. In fact, she had 3 bins under the sink.

one for

  • regular trash
  • recycables and
  • strictly for organic waste

She didn’t use toxic chemicals as there were few available when she grew up, instead she did pest control by hand and by natural methods. She would plant different plants with different vegetables using companion planting as well.

img_5783They had to learn how to grow their own food and preserve it or they didn’t eat. So they had to learn quick!

And probably some of it was passed on from generation to generation!

Yes, of course.

4. Tell us about something that grew well this year.

beehive Care Bellamy The Sustainability Project

It is winter, but you can grow crops in Florida all year long.

Adding 2 beehives to my garden mix was a huge plus this year.


I grew delicious Beefsteak tomatoes just like my mother did. We also had great success growing a wide variety of herbs, including our own organic oregano and basil.

We’ve grown

  • cucumbers
  • bananas
  • sunflowers
  • jalapenos
  • salsa garden peppers which are super hot!
  • bell peppers
  • limes


  • lemons
  • mini oranges


  • blueberries



  • blackberries
  • fruit and nuts
  • pineapples

ended up growing delicious

What are pineapples like to grow?

Pineapples are so easy to grow

  • leave like an inch of the top
  • seed in some water
  • keep adding water
  • transplant to pot or soil
  • Next thing you know you have a new pineapple growing!

So you can just eat the pineapple and grow a new one?

Yes there’s no waste! You can do it with onions and some other things. Including strawberries as well.

I think I knew that about strawberries, or at least I thought they would send runner out.

Yes, it’s like recycling the whole plant!

And fruit is so expensive, I hoping to add more fruit to our garden next year!


my sunflowers did great

Mexican sunflower

they are wonderful

especially for pollinators!

5. Is there something you would do differently next year or want to try/new?

I would like to design a permaculture garden to maximize my urban growing space.


Right now I have 2 raised beds, and when I mean raised beds they are like 3 feet off the ground, you don’t have to bend over at all! Using raised bed gardens is a great way to grow food and not injure your back in the process!! My husband built these.

Me Too! What’s he building them out of ? What’s he making them out of 2x4s?

I’m excited to take the soil out next year and paint them like my beehives! We want to do the same thing with our raised beds! Make it more impressive!


My husband’s a graphic designer and they just look great!

I painted a mailbox for my mom years ago I thought would be a great place to keep my pruners and tools.


6. Tell me something that didn’t work so well this season.

Pumpkins, they were devoured by some grey larvae. I haven’t had any luck with pumpkins.

They start to grow, they’re great if you sprout them chop off the leaves and eat them! But as far as actually growing any pumpkins they just keep getting eaten!

I don’t like to use any pesticides, or use chemicals on property

  • bees
  • non-toxic and organic

Last year my friend Dacia gave me a pumpkin right after Halloween and that’s what I am hoping is going to work for us. She got it from a local grower and it grew right out of her compost pile.

Someone recommended to me, that I could actually spray pumpkins with a kaolin clay and that would coat them and prevent them from eating by this larve.

I have to do some more investigation and see how that’s used and applied.

Let us know or I’ll see if I can do some investigation. My mom’s biggest struggle is the squirrels want to eat them when she puts them out at Halloween. I told her put clay pumpkins out.

I’m gonna look in there.

Florida's Edible Wild Plants: A Guide to Collecting and Cooking

Florida’s Edible Wild Plants: A Guide to Collecting and Cooking


you can actually grow a seminal pumpkin


They’re like mini gourds


they’ve been growing them and selling them

very hearty

soil conditions

heat will kill them when it’s 90º+ but it’s great for growing peppers! Peppers grow like weeds. We grow bell peppers and jalopenos! 

Do you make salsa? I need a good salsa recipe. What do you do with all your peppers?

We eat them in salad

sauté them with other vegetables a lot of time


I make my own salsa

  • grow my own cilantro
  • onions
  • salsa peppers
  • jalepenos

I chop them all up, not the corn, I grow corn, not too much it’s an experiment. We’re growing peaches and cream corn this year. 

  • take the corn
  • kernels
  • add that with the salsa peppers
  • onions
  • vinegar
  • agave nectar
  • corn

It sounds delicious!

And it’s good for you, it’s excellent for you!

almost everything is fresh!

not too much that I don’t grow

I like to eat organic that’s why I grow a lot of stuff I want to know where a lot of my stuff is coming from!

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Getting to the Root of Things!

Which activity is your least favorite activity to do in the garden?

Pulling weeds and deterring pests!

I don’t like pulling weeds, it used to be a chore of mine when I was little. 

I never wanted to do it! 

They never did anything with toxic chemicals! They were all organic. It was like a little garden tool! It was like a little weed popper! IDK what you call it but it was almost like a golf club but it has like a hammers head and throw them in the compost bin! 

Do you feel like you do thing now to reduce your weeds like mulch etc. I find with mulch and having such a water shortage at our house if there is no weeds where you don’t water. 

Just recently when I bought my 

Florida's Edible Wild Plants: A Guide to Collecting and Cooking

Florida’s Edible Wild Plants: A Guide to Collecting and Cooking

There are a lot of weeds that I used to pull that in the last couple of weeks since I’ve been following the guide, I’m actually not pulling them and I have bees

I notice that on my wood sorrel they have flowers  that are pink! I thought why would I pull this, it’s bee food!

it’s right be side my behave

sorrel looks like shamrocks

it’s bee-fedd and I’m gonna keep them


thistle with the little yellow flowers

I haven’t been pulling them, I have been leaving a good portion for the bees and butterflies

trying to keep my bees nourished and healthy!

Is that part of your Sustainability Project? Do you want to tell us about that?


It’s called the Sustainability project

It’s a community composting project, where I encourage all of my neighbors to drop off their compost so i can compost it in the garden so I can...




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