Feature Blog: Green Dreams with Pete Kanaris

Jul 28, 2015 No Comments by

Business Profile: Farm – Green Dreams at Sandhill Farm 

Owner: Peter Kanaris

Known for: High Quality ‘Food Forest’ Consulting and Design


Sandhill Farm, home to Green Dreams, is nestled in the shady hammocks of Central Florida in East Pasco county, appropriately named after the Jurassic Park like Sandhill Crane. This team of dreamers has been transforming yards into productive food forests since 2011 using permaculture ethics and researching best practices. After you read their stories I think you too will become a dreamer of things greener.

Let’s start with Pete, founder and owner. If you’re in or around some of the urban farming circles in Pasco you’ve probably heard of the guy but maybe not as much of his background. In my experience of being around some of these permi-garden-sustainable group circles there can be self aggrandizing personalities at times but you don’t find that here. For a student of permaculture observation is tantamount. Pete’s humbleness and acute sense of quality has allowed him to observe and learn from the experienced food forests of local Thai and Vietnamese families in the area to wild foragers and even the young wiz kids of the emerging FL food movement.  Coming from the landscaping and lawn maintenance business, Pete has used his business acumen to grow Green Dreams from the ground up. Like a phoenix born from the ashes, Green Dreams was birthed after his business, like many others, restructured after the 2008 financial crisis (remember, that was when the banks held the US government ransom) and was able to build it all back up. He did this without a line of credit by not only staking functions and becoming more efficient but most importantly, and I quote, ‘pounding the pavement.’ Green Dreams now growing and researching their options to expand, has not only rapidly developed an incredible diverse nursery with a research site in Pasco, but has recruited talent that shares the passion of growing food as well as bringing knowledge and experience. With that, let’s talk about Taylor.sandhill2

Taylor is nothing short of the next Eric Tonnesmire. Eric is to gardening as Dr. Dre was/is to Rap, thus making Taylor an Eminem, sort of. Though his reputation proceeds him, as being an up and coming brilliant FL plant guru (i.e. Green Deane, Andy Firk, Emily Ruff, Erika Klopf), he still shares knowledge and experience as it should be, freely. His experience helping build the FGCU (Ft. Myers) food forest with Erika, a from nothing $500,000 permaculture incredibly diverse food forest training site paid for with student fee’s, was naturally a part of his plant education. Taylor and the many not only did it…but did it wonderfully (. Obviously, this deserves recognition of being not only forward thinking leaders, but also as being a beacon to all that permaculture, when embraced correctly and organized, can be supported and helped by institutions.  As you walk around the food forest at Sand Hill farm, you realize Taylor’s true wisdom of always being in research mode. Knowing when to keep going down a path thats working, and when something is not working, figure out why and change course. If you get to hang out with Taylor, ask all your gardening questions you’ve been afraid to ask, cause the worst thing Taylor could say, is he doesn’t know.

Green Dreams host regularly scheduled farm tours once a month or so and private tours by appointment. Contact them directly if you’re interested in this type of work, don’t hesitate to mention that to them (either looking to get hired or have it done on your property). Check out their facebook for some of the work they’ve done.


I hope everyone who reads this, thinks a little bit differently about their yards, and the possibility to eat a ton of food from the most local spot ever: right where you live.

Feel free to comment, suggest stories, or follow us on Facebook – Ecology FL or Freedom House Farm. 

Ryan Iacovacci has been working in the local food system since 2007 in urban permaculture as far north as Alachua and as far south as St. Pete. Currently, Ryan currently resides at Freedom House Farm in New Port Richey.

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