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Heartland Gardens, Inc.

is a not-for-profit corporation aimed at establishing a lush and productive community garden in Fort Myers, Florida. Heartland’s goal is to enable the local population with the tool of personally cultivated produce to aid them in self-sustainability and educate them on the benefits of local, organically grown food. Heartland’s objectives are to develop an educational and charity based not-for-profit corporation whose goal is to excel at education of all local generations from youth through the elderly, donate 10% of its produce yields to local food banks and needy populations, increase production efficiency and overall growth by 10% a year, and lastly, develop a sustainable community supported agricultural business, able to survive off member contributions and cash flow.

It is estimated that the average American family of four spends $600 a month on food. Heartland aims to not only reduce this cost by as much as $200 monthly, but to also dramatically improve the quality of these foods through increased freshness, nutritional composition, and taste. For example, today the average American meal travels over 1500 miles to reach the dinner table. Heartland Gardens will ensure our produce never goes over 50 miles, meaning it will never need to spend the three to seven days in back of a semi going across country from California (where the majority of America’s produce is cultivated) and thus be consistently fresher than super market produce.

Heartland’s services will include a multitude of classes, consisting of crop cultivation for any environment in SW Florida, culinary courses from kitchen basics through recipe building and food preservation, and nutritional wellness courses. In addition to education, Heartland will strive to provide the local population that are unable to grow for themselves access to our heirloom vegetables through a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program as well as at local farmers’ markets and on site sales. Through the Southwest Florida 500 Gardens project Heartland will also endeavor to establish gardens in local residents homes, schools, and at local businesses, which will again, increase access of the Fort Myers population to said healthy produce.

Heartland’s services improve the ability of families to care for their nutritional health and achieve goals of self-sufficiency. Heartland Gardens’ services, now, are a small investment in comparison to the costs of ignoring the problems of nutritional deficiencies and hunger in the county and the influence these problems have on a number of health issues.‬

 

Meet the Team

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Andrea Guerrero

Chief Operations Officer.

With a background in experiential and wilderness education, Andrea develops and implements creative curriculum for our students at Heartland Gardens.

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Benny Pino

Executive Director

Benny is a registered nurse and nutritionist with a passion for healing through healthy living and an organic, sustainable diet.

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Luis Ospina

Garden Manager

Permaculture master and gardening expert in soil and water composition, Luis runs the greenhouse and keeps our garden growing!