Front-yard farming means fresh food for New Port Richey

- Something good is growing in Pasco County, thanks to Jim Kovaleski. He's an urban farmer, growing some of the freshest vegetables right in his front yard. 

"It's a growing movement around the country and around the world. I did not realize how much food can come off such a small piece of land," Kovaleski said.

Kovaleski uses three houses to grow his food. His first farm, Freedom House, is right down the street. That's where he sorts and cleans the vegetables.

It was so successful he even got his neighbors involved. One of them, he calls Broccoli George.  

"He named me that because I got carried away and grew an exorbitant amount of broccoli one year," 
George explained. 

Broccoli George's harvests are so abundant he gives some away. George pointed to the current crop growing in his front yard, and told us his plan. 

"There's probably 5,000 carrots down there, and I'm going to take them over to the food bank and hopefully they can give them away and give some people some good food."

This all started about five years ago when the city of New Port Richey passed laws allowing people to grow food on their own property, even in the front yard. Former councilman Dell DeChant helped get things going.

"The idea wasn't just to grow food and it wasn't just to have a market, but it was to make this city a better place to live," he said.

Once a week, the public library is transformed into Tasty Tuesdays, a farmers market started by Kovaleski and former assistant librarian Ann Scott.  Now librarian Kayla Kuni helps run the operation. 

"It contributes to the image of New Port Richey as being a very upscale place to be now. It's an organic, urban place to grow your vegetables and come and sell them at a market," Kuni said.

But for Kovaleski there's more to the market than making money. It's about offering something money can't buy.   

"They bite into something and taste the flavor and vitality that comes from real food. We don't get real food much," he  added.

Now New Port Richey residents can get real food, straight from the front yard.

Tasty Tuesdays Community Market is located outside the New Port Richey Library, 5939 Main Street (at Madison). The market opens every Tuesday, rain or shine, 10 a.m. to noon.

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