Healthy Impressions

Planting Seeds of Health

Written by Debbi Kiddy

There’s nothing wrong with giving people “raw” deals.

It’s something Dr. Jan Young, ND (naturopathic doctor), has done throughout her professional career as a pioneer and educator in the health food industry. In 1998, long before it was fashionable, Dr. Young opened a juice bar and veggie café called Living Foods in Mount Dora. In addition to managing her store, she taught classes about healthy eating and maintained an organic co-op to provide fresh produce to the community.

Dr. Young says, “I’ve taught organic eating for 20-some years. I was trained on wheat grass, living foods, eating raw, and helping people regain health through those methods.”

Today, from her expansive front porch, with a big sign, “Jan’s Place,” above the door, you can view nature at its Florida finest.

In her current enterprise in sustainability—growing hydroponic organic produce in the peaceful countryside of Eustis—Dr. Young is still all about educating others about simple methods for eating healthy.

Though there are 64 acres on the ranch, the greenhouse for the Living Towers is only 2,200 square feet, yet produces more than 5,000 plants. “To grow these crops on the ground you would need between a third and half an acre,” says Dr. Young.

The beauty of it is you can own a Living Tower and grow your own organic garden.

According to their website,, to grow the plants, a water-based system (hydroponic) is used that creates its own highly oxygenated environment (aeroponic) for the plant roots. The lettuces, herbs, and vegetables produced in Dr. Young’s greenhouse are sold directly from the farm, as well as supplying organic co-ops and food banks.

Dr. Young’s passion for healthy eating is contagious. When she learned there was a way to grow produce “clean and green” by using rainwater collection and solar energy, she was excited to share the idea with others.

“In generations to come all this is going to be necessary,” Dr. Young says.

She has taken her message of healthy eating in a sustainable way locally and all over the country. She abides by the “80-20 philosophy,” which means if you eat healthy 80 percent of the time, then the 20 percent unhealthy is not devastating.

“Now I am using my energy to help people grow their own food. Even if they don’t care that this is the most nutritionally dense produce you can buy,” Dr. Young say, “When you start eating it, you notice the difference in taste and how you feel.”

Find out more about where and when you may purchase produce or learn how you can grow your own Living Towers garden from Dr. Young at our website

“I have so much to share about what you can do in your community and sharing healthy eating with others. Everything we need to be well is grown on this earth.”

About the author

Debbi Kiddy

Debbi is a native Floridian, born and raised in south Florida. After graduating college and graduate school, earning degrees in Communication, Debbi returned to Florida to work in Central Florida in Marketing for AT&T, until retiring in 2007. Currently, Debbi is a staff writer/copy editor for Akers Media and Debbi teaches at Valencia and Columbia colleges and tutors in the Writing Center. Debbi’s hobbies include singing, hiking, biking and reading.

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