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Get your garden growing

Published: 
Monday, August 29, 2011
Clifford Mender shows off some of his products at his garden shop at Santa Maria Plaza on Mucurapo Road, St James. Photo: Marcus Gonzales

BOBIE-LEE DIXON

Wouldn’t it be great to get up every morning and pick fresh fruit and vegetables from your own backyard? And that would save you a lot of money too, won’t it? Well, if you didn’t think it was possible, Backyard Garden Supplies Garden Shop, located at Unit 1, Santa Maria Plaza, Mucurapo Road, St James, says it is. Owner Clifford Mender disclosed he has a wide range of organic backyard gardening supplies ranging from over 120 seed varieties to mini professional greenhouses. There is even something for the children to encourage the consumption of fruits and vegetables. Asked how it all began, Mender, who started the shop four to five months ago, said:  While I was searching the web for business, I came across some information on backyard gardens and I saw that worldwide it was up by 45 per cent, so, after further research I decided to get involved in it for a few good reasons—it is lucrative, steady and more importantly it encourages people to save money and eat natural healthy foods. “I also believe that planting brings a family together because everyone benefits from it and so all family members come together when caring for a particular thing.

Uniqueness
According to Mender, pretty soon there would be a global food shortage and so it is important that people begin going back to the lands. He said having a backyard garden was definitely the way to start feeding ourselves—instead of waiting until the government actually lowers our food import bill. “We carry the brands Green Abor, Lilly Miller and Jiffy and cater specifically for the people who want to grow their own plants, fruits, vegetables and herbs,” he said. “What also makes us unique is the product mix that we have. It’s new interesting and our children’s line—Veggietales—is very educational for children. The product mix also makes planting easy for the novice because everything is packaged and labelled with instructions,” explained Mender.

He boasted that unlike regular seedlings, Backyard Garden Supplies, whose supplier is Ferry-Morse Seed Company, carries a full variety of assortment seedlings that can give you every existing type of a particular fruit or vegetable. “You won’t find that in an ordinary agriculture shop. “We also offer the whole system for excellent planting — fertilisers, pottery mixes, germination soil, soil testers, plant labels, etc. And all of our products are strictly environmental friendly. We don’t deal with harsh chemicals, so if you are looking for that, then you would have to go to another shop,” quipped Mender. “Our system makes planting easy indoors or outdoors. We have everything you need to start beautifying your window sill to adorning your backyard with your own precious little garden. We are the source to get those products from...your problem with finding a variety of garden supplies is over.”

Spreading seeds
 Mender said the business was doing well. So much so, he wants the Ministry of Education to buy into the whole idea of getting the children’s line into schools for the science projects instead of using styrofoam cups when doing plant projects. “We are also trying to get some of the grocery stores on board to carry some of our products. Peake  Trading, Home Store and Vega Farms, among others, have already jumped on board, so we are just looking forward to making new relationships,” said Mender.

• For more information on Backyard Garden Supplies, visit facebook page backyard garden supplies, backyardgardentt.com or call 222-3040.