About

It started with Raleigh’s love for tropical fruit and evolved into an entity that expresses itself in a community organized non-profit organization, The Apollo Beach Garden Club & Community Forest Garden, A consulting, design and nursery business, Third Insight Design and Nursery, And a growing backyard homegarden foodforest.

Raleigh Barnes

Raleigh Barnes has been gardening for over 20 years and worked extensively with tropical/subtropical edibles, Florida endemic species and epiphytes. Raleigh attributes his working plant knowledge from his father, permaculture mentors, numerous books and direct hands on design experience with his company, Third Insight Design. Belonging to numerous plant clubs and societies, Raleigh has created the Apollo Beach Garden Club and is actively working with the Club to create a Community Forest Garden space at the Apollo Beach Recreation Center. Raleigh plans to continually create productive landscapes, expand their plant inventory and deliver meaningful experiential educational courses, workshops and seminars. Raleigh ultimately strives to move to Costa Rica and live off grid in an intentionally designed space that incorporates, permaculture, analog forestry, and utilizes appropriate technologies.

  • Plant nerd
  • Reptile lover
  • Surfer and Skater
  • Visionary designer
  • Grower
  • Fruit taster
Annie Jiménez

Annie Jiménez grew up in a multicultural family in Costa Rica. Since a young age she has spent many hours outdoors observing animals and plants. Little did she know this devotion to spiders and trees, as well as her periodical trips to the farmers market along her dad and her obsession with cooking the best tomato sauce at an early age with her mom’s directions would spark her instinct to grow, taste, cook and preserve food later on. Annie has diversified her skills from cooking, to eating, designing, crafting, growing, drawing and building. She enjoys working with her hands and seeing happiness in people’s eyes when they eat her food. Annie makes it a point to bring different perspectives to the table everyday. She will continue to work on what she believes is her responsibility, creating better relationships between humans and nonhumans, improving the ways humans nurture themselves and nurture earth, and leading a lifestyle of everyday accomplishments.

  • Organizer
  • Cook
  • Grower
  • Designer
  • Tree climber

Apollo Beach Garden Club and Community Forest Garden

Location Apollo Beach, Florida
Growing since June 2019
Installation performed by Apollo Beach Garden Club members, volunteers, Third insight design and nursery

Just over two years ago in 2017 Raleigh (the then manager of the Apollo Beach Recreation Center) created a free program for gardeners of all ages, skill levels and those who are interested in edible plants, epiphytes, and natives to exchange information and continue learning. This free program turned into a non-profit entity, the Apollo Beach Garden Club, Inc. with over 50 members and functions with a board and officers. The Club meets at the Apollo Beach Rec. Center on the third Tuesday of the month and through arduous work and negotiation received the permission in 2019 to create a Community Forest Garden in a vacant green space at the recreation center. Third Insight Design developed a site map and will be responsible for designing and guiding the construction of the multi-use area for rented garden spaces, Florida native pollinator areas, sub-tropical and tropical fruit trees, alternative technologies and most importantly an educational food forest garden.

Raleigh’s vision for the Community Forest Garden is to inspire, educate and create awareness of the importance of growing food in a sustainable, ethical and productive manner. Community engagement and involvement are crucial to help better redefine cultural agriculture norms and create edible and native landscapes that mimic the natural systems of west central Florida.

After a year of heavy planting the garden grew more than most expected. It is bursting out the fences and has brought life, food and support to the ecosystem of the Apollo Beach Recreation Center. This is only the beginning!

TID Nursery

Location Apollo Beach, Florida
Growing since 2018

Raleigh started collecting seeds and plants, growing them and caring for them over 6 years ago while he was still working a full time job as a Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation manager. He used to keep all kinds of rare and tropical plants potted under the trees of the homegarden.

It was last year (2020), with a considerable amount of stock, that we opened a brick and mortar nursery location: Third Insight Design Nursery in Apollo Beach, Florida. We have been open since then every Saturday and Sunday from 9am-3pm.

Raleigh and I firmly believe in leaving whichever land we walk on better than what we found it and so, we have started to transform the landscape we encountered at our current nursery location to rehabilitate the bank of a brackish canal and provide support for one of the only stormwater runoff ditches onsite.

We enjoy our work and time at the nursery the most, it is a precious place for us and the plants we grow.

The Homegarden

Location Apollo Beach, Florida
Growing since 2013
Installation performed by Third Insight Design and nursery

This is where all the madness started!

It’s one thing having a piece of land to experiment on, and an entirely different game when you’re fortunate enough to create that space for the two people who brought you into this world.

In 2013, Raleigh watched his father plant three avocado trees from seed in the backyard and soon after followed his footsteps. Having been heavily involved in orchids, bromeliads, and ferns it was a no brainer that he graduated to fruit trees, natives, vegetables, and vines.

Raleigh and Annie have now been extensively building the homegarden. Many changes have taken place as the analysis of the space and its users evolved.