NewsSarasota, Manatee County


Bradenton farmer grows variety of fruits, vegetables in his backyard

Posted at 1:55 PM, Jan 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-29 16:14:30-05

BRADENTON, Fla. — A Bradenton farmer doesn't use any pesticides or fertilizer, in fact, he doesn't even water his crops or pull weeds.

Ryan Duncan grows 80 varieties of fruits and vegetables all mixed together with grasses and flowers across six acres of his backyard.

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“It’s kind of different than mono culture where you are growing miles and miles of one thing,” said Duncan. “It’s all meshed into one and you know the most beautiful part is, it’s all low maintenance. I haven’t pulled a weed out of here in four years.”

This type of farming is called regenerative agriculture.

“Where we focus on building up the soil so it can fight for itself, so its pesticide free, no chemicals, no fertilizers,” said Duncan.

Duncan doesn’t even water.

“What happens is the soil is so healthy that it’s creating such a thick mass and mat that it retains water,” said Duncan.

Duncan wasn’t always this hands on with his crops.

“I’ve been in financial services my whole life, we help people with credit card debt,” said Duncan.

Then in his early 30s, his doctors put him on several medications due to health issues. However, he said "no thanks" and looked for another way to be healthy.

“I started to realize that soil was the foundation of nutrition,” said Duncan.

So, he started a small garden in his backyard.

“Doing a high intensity green smoothie regiment, I was down 20 pounds and my blood pressure had already dropped about 15 points,” said Duncan.

A few years later, Jubilee Organics was born. He’s now selling crops to local restaurants in Manatee County.

“It’s become now a business, a passion, and carrying the message is one of the things that’s most important to me that it matters what we put in our body and it matters how it was grown,” said Duncan.