Building garden boxes that are multifunctional is one of Bellezza’s specialities.
Fruiting plants such as tomatoes or grapes, can easily climb the trellis
Bellezza into the direction to start his business.
“That job turned into many fun months of transforming the
yard of their newly acquired home,” Bellezza says. “It made
me realize what my passions were and led to the creation of
Vin’s Food Forest Builds.”
At the end of 2021, Bellezza filed the necessary paperwork
to open his company. At the same time, he had his nursery,
which has upward of 50 different fruit plants and trees, certified
through the Florida Department of Agriculture.
“One of the first things I ask clients is, ‘What do you buy
most at the store and is the food for snacking or food security?’
” Bellezza says. “We also explore whether they want
something more low maintenance or if the client is going to
be in the garden every day to maintain.”
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE SOIL
Bellezza explains that it is important to prepare and aerate
the soil before planting to get microbes activated. Soil microbes
include fungi, bacteria, viruses, archaea and protozoa.
Bellezza stresses the importance of keeping the soil covered
with mulch for protection and to help microorganisms thrive.
Mulch breaks down over time and provides the soil with the
necessary nutrients it needs in order to help plants thrive.
“Soil is everything and compost adds life,” Bellezza says.
“If you are experiencing issues with disease and fungus or
have plants being attacked by bugs often, it usually has to do
with soil health.”
While earthworms and millipedes are an excellent sign
of healthy soil, Bellezza says that grubs are not favorable
because they eat away at root systems. Worms aerate the
soil and leave behind castings that are full of plant nutrients.
Bellezza suggests starting with a tumbler for composting.
Add in fruits and veggie scraps, egg shells, coffee grounds
and leaves, grass cuttings or mulch. He says to avoid adding
citrus, onions and meat to compost bins.
“Food forests work so well because the more plants you
have, the more beneficial bugs there are to control one another,”
he says. “They all work together to sustain the food forest.”
Presently, the nursery has June plum, Barbados cherry,
sugar-apple, starfruit, yellow and red strawberry trees, papaya,
Cecropia nature’s gummy worm and loquat trees that
are fruiting. He says that cranberry hibiscus is in full bloom
which is one of
fruits, grows very
well in sunny
He has upward
of 30 varieties in
and makes an excellent pink tea.
Bellezza is passionate about creating edible landscapes and
food forests and hopes more people will utilize the yard space
they have. His goal is to save enough money to get a larger
piece of land to build a food forest and grow more trees.
“Neighbors, clients, family and friends have been really
supportive, and I think we are all learning from one another,”
Bellezza says. “It has definitely created an awesome sense of
community and now we get to trade food, not just plants.” E
Port St. Lucie Magazine 19
and grow upward as needed.
Bellezza recently worked on a backyard garden cleanup and transformation
for one of his clients in Port St. Lucie.