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FHZ Community Garden

Florida Hospital Zephyrhills unearthed

the first phase of a community garden

in March 2016 behind the hospital across

Dairy Road.

The garden makes it possible for people

to connect with others and stay active

while they grow their own flowers, fruits,

vegetables or herbs.

Surrounded by a white picket fence,

the garden already features a gazebo,

garden shed and small greenhouse. The

second phase of the garden will include

an education pavilion, butterfly garden,

aquaponics and a small orchard. Later there

will be opportunities for memorials as

benches and bricks are added.

Garden plots of 4 feet x 4 feet or 4 feet x 8

feet are available to rent and FHZ provides the

soil at no charge. The two-acre garden also

offers raised beds for individuals who have

mobility limitations.

FHZ employee David Force is spearheading

the Community Garden Committee along

with a few other employees. “We’ll offer

basic gardening techniques but there will be

so much more,” Force said. “With the recent

opening of the hospital’s new CREATION®

Health Wellness Center, there are already

cooking classes planned using healthy, natural

ingredients. It all ties together. We’re excited

about having enough beds rented so that

we can start a co-op and a farmer’s market.

There will also be volunteer opportunities for

individuals who are interested in maintaining

the garden.”

Rentals can be arranged by contacting

Florida Hospital Zephyrhills.

Depending on how many people are

there, musicians form the nucleus of

several groups surrounded by an

ever-changing audience.

“People play at all different levels,”

Phil said “We just pick a group that we

feel comfortable playing with and we

encourage people to play even if they

are just beginners. Listeners just move

around with their lawn chairs.”

There has been an ebb and flow in

attendance over the years, but it meets

every Sunday as long as there are people

to jam. It has its largest attendance in the

winter season when the northern visitors

are here and its heyday was in the 80s and

90s, Phil recalls, when there were 750 in

lawn chairs and about 300 musicians.

There’s nowhere really to call for

more information. Just go on Sunday to the

south end of Zephyr Park near the Veteran’s

Memorial Walkway and you’ll see the

people pickin’ in the park. If you brought

your instrument, play; if you didn’t, just

set a spell.