TAMPA, Fla — Anita Camacho remembers spending large portions of her childhood on horseback, wandering through the native Florida woods. She admired the scenery and marveled at the beauty in the air.
"I was out in the wild. Wild, real Florida. I would see the giant swallowtails in the orange groves, and I would see big beautiful butterflies," she said. "It was fun to watch them."
All grown up now, Camacho opened the Little Red Wagon natural nursery in August 2020.
“Right in the middle of the shutdown,” she said.
She’s been pairing customers with the proper plants required to attract butterflies to their homes. In her eyes, the more butterflies, the better.
"Little Red Wagon really is about putting Florida back into Florida, looking back to yesterday. What was Florida like 20, 30, 50, even more years ago? And, trying to put more of our native landscapes back into the ground," said Camacho, who grew up in Land O’Lakes and attended the University of Tampa.
"We need more butterflies."
She’s traveled the world in search of them, even as far as Kenya. Now, she wants to bring them to more yards here at home. She’s trying to pair people with the proper plants to foster more butterfly interaction.
"That’s the ultimate goal," she said. "It kind of brings you back, the nostalgia of yesterday. I think you think of your childhood and the old days, so to speak."
Camacho has spent almost 30 years as an accountant, but her dream is to open a butterfly conservatory in South Tampa behind her nursery.
She’s on her way and plans to have everything ready by the end of the year.
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