SPRING HILL, Fla. - Through his YouTube channel, Pete Kanaris teaches his thousands of followers how to turn their yards into food forests.
"By edible landscaping, you know, when I figured out that you could actually plant things you could eat, it was like someone turned on the lights for me," Kanaris explained. "I'd been planting plants for a long time that just made no sense, you know, things that we just prune just to look at and we started diversifying with things that you can eat…from edible flowers to edible fruits."
Kanaris is the owner of GreenDreams, a company specializing in ecological landscaping.
"We do realize that not every person out there is going to be able to afford our service. So our idea is to give everybody the tools, they need to do this at home. We show you how it's done from step one to the very last step of the plants being in the ground. So we really try to give away this education for free, you know, spread the knowledge, teach people show them how exciting it can be to get outside to plant stuff," said Kanaris.
He can literally eat out of his backyard.
"When you look at the woods, they're very, self-made at maintaining. They're very diverse. There's all different types of species. There's leaf litter, there's nitrogen-fixing plants.
There is no irrigation. There is no fertilizer, you know, so our systems mimic nature, everything that we see in nature," Kanaris shared.
And some of these plants serve additional purposes.
"If you look online elderberry syrup, this is just a powerful medicine, powerful plant for the benefit of the predatory insects and just a neat one to have in the landscape," Kanaris explained.
He added, "It's not just about feeding us. It's about feeding the beneficial and the predatory insects. So we're not just planting things to feed us. We're planting things that are going to bring in the bees, the butterflies."
Kanaris also started doing TikToks too to educate the younger generation.
"One of the main reasons I've gotten in this business is because I have a young kid and I wanted something that would make me sleep a little bit better at night, you know, and if we want to fix a tree, we don't start the top. We start at the roots. And then I look at the kids as the future. They're the roots. So you know, playing with that TikTok audience, getting that crowd excited has been just something amazing for us," Kanaris commented.
He's established fans across the globe including celebrities.
"You know I get emails. Sure. India, China, Africa, Greece, Mexico. People like Will Smith, Snoop Dogg, just recently, Jenny McCarthy commented on one of my videos and she asked us if we would come out to California", said Kanaris.
He said there are three things to keep in mind as you get started.
"Mulch being the number one. A good plan would be number two and number three, starting in that zone one, start close to your house. You know, whether it be a zone, one veggie garden, herb garden and work your way out. Don't start too big, too fast," said Kanaris.
His growing audience is growing right along with him.
"There is no comparison. Once you've planted that tree and you've tasted that fruit, you can't go back to the grocery store and buy a store-bought banana. So it's really just an unbelievable connection once you've given people these tools, they've tried it, they've planted it themselves," Kanaris explained.
LINK For more information about GreenDreams, visit https://www.greendreamsfl.com/.