For 15 years, Okeechobee resident Lee Jones has been the general manager of the Florida citrus groves owned by a trio of French brothers.
Last week, Jones also became a partner to the Gardinier brothers when he launched H2grOw, a simple growing system — it’s basically a garden in a bag — being sold in Indiantown.
Stephane, Thierry and Naurent Gardinier have owned vineyards in France and citrus groves in Florida, including Martin County, for 30 years. Jones, who has managed their citrus groves for half that time, came to the brothers with his idea for the H2grOw bag and they financed the project.
“He has a passion for growing and we think it’s a great concept,” said Stephane Gardinier, who lives in Sarasota. “We love this product because it’s simple and it works.”
Envision Product Group, a Stuart business that helps entrepreneurs get their idea to market, helped Jones and the Gardiniers develop the idea, which came to Jones while helping a mission group set up a raised-bed gardening system. He knew missionaries serving overseas needed a simple, compact, easy-to-use system for growing their own produce, but don’t often have the materials — or means to get them — readily available.
And so, Jones thought up a garden in a bag. Seeds are all that is needed.
“The good Lord just gave me the download,” Jones said.
The growing system is designed to make gardening easy for anyone — even someone renting in the middle of a city.
Everything starts with the bag full of balanced soil ideal for growing fruits, herbs, flowers and vegetables that Jones developed. There is no weeding or fertilizing required and no soil-born insects.
Even watering is a no-brainer thanks to Jones’ patented clamp-and-timer system that allows the gardener to simply hook up a hose and forget about it until it’s time to harvest.
The H2grOw bag also takes less water than traditional gardening and works anywhere there is sunlight. The bag is designed to resemble mulch and can be placed in flower beds, yards or even apartment balconies. When harvesting is complete, just recycle the bag and leftover soil.
You can buy a bag for less than $25 at WW Lumber in Indiantown.
Jones has passed his love of agriculture on to his son and daughter who both participate in local 4-H programs and the trio spends many hours together in their family garden, which includes several H2grOw bags.
“We garden together as a family. I love it,” Jones said.
Eventually, Jones hopes to send his H2grOw bags out into the mission field and reserve a percentage of profits to benefit missionaries serving across the globe.