In Memory of John Starnes

One of my readers shared something tragic with me yesterday. John Starnes, well-known and loved Tampa gardener, was found dead in his home after a house fire.

Though I never met John in person, we did correspond via email and I learned a lot from his garden writing, particularly on his blog. Back when I was running the Florida Survival Gardening blog, he was a regular read. I’ve quoted him before in my articles as well.

John was the one that first introduced me to the value of dog food as a plant fertilizer. He recounted planting yams on top of a handful of dog food and having them thrive. I tried to do the same, but a dog came through and dug up my garden.

John thought outside the box. Dog food as fertilizer? Well, it’s high in nitrogen, so why not? Yep – that’s John!

I also learned how to grow and eat velvet beans from watching one of John’s videos. Since then, velvet beans have been a regular part of my gardens.

John – I wish we could have met in person. I pray you have found rest.

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