Sustainable Living: Community involvement


About our Guest

On this week’s show, we had Michelle Meetze James, and she has all the plant obsessions. Michelle has a large rose garden, mostly tea roses. She has a large hydroponic tomato setup that she built from scratch. Also starts and grows other herbs and vegetables from seed. She is a member of the Tampa Bay Begonia Society also with the Tampa Orchid Club and a member of the International Rare Fruit Council. Michelle is also the Vice President of the Davis Islands Garden Club. She writes and takes photos for the yard of the month article for the Davis Islands Stroll Magazine. In her spare time, she started a Facebook gardening group with our beloved John Starnes. She regularly teaches kids gardening classes and last year was on the Rose Circle Garden Tour. (And was a huge hit!)


Michelle was inspired as a child by her grandad here in South Tampa. Her grandad was a barber in South Dale Mabry. Her grandparents back yard was the literal definition of a Victory Garden. Spending time there as a child was like being in a farmers market wonderland. Her grandad also was a blue-ribbon winner at the Florida State Fair for his giant Jade plant that was proximately 6 feet across.


Talking about roses…. Learned from Hardin’s Roses but has transitioned to organic because of John Starnes and David Whitwam. Roses are planted everywhere the sun is available. Lots of native plants, herbs, watermelons, and pumpkins are planted with roses to create diversification since a monoculture of plants sets one up for pest problems.

Has a huge cut flower garden AND a hydroponic growing system (Dutch buckets) she built herself. All kinds of heirloom grow prolifically all fall, winter and spring.


Goes to show, to involve yourself specifically of how with the love of gardening and nature you can do for yourself and help others as well. That and there are so many directions to go in…. All which makes you more sustainable and shows others how they can be more sustainable too.

To listen to the full show for this week:

Helpful Links

Started Facebook Gardening Group:

Tampa Gardening Unplugged

Hydroponic Tomatoes

Tampa Bay Begonia Society

Tampa Orchid Club

Rare Fruit Council

Davis Islands “Stroll” magazine- photographer


VP of the Davis Islands Garden Club

Campa Wekiva Nature Camp The only Garden Club Club camp in the US

Junior Gardeners “Tribe, Dirt Nerds”

Kristen Brown w/ TRIBE

John Starnes

David Whitwam

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