2017 CARES Recipient
Farm: Sweet Life Farms
Location: Plant City, Florida
Date of Origination: 2010
Commodities: Strawberries, Watermelon, Cantaloupe
Sweet Life Farms and owner, Andy McDonald, are committed to providing their customers high- quality fruit but are also concerned with their own impact on their local natural resources.
Since McDonald started growing strawberries, watermelon and cantaloupe on just 92 acres of land in 2010, he has implemented Best Management Practices (BMPs) to ensure he preserves local natural resources. BMPs are science- based, practical techniques which prove to reduce water use, improve water quality and preserve local natural resources. Some of the BMPs used include soil sensors and thermal imaging. These practices work together to reduce fertilizers and pesticide use. Throughout several of the farm’s location, tailwater recovery systems are also used to recycle up to 70% of water used.
McDonald feels strongly that he is one of many who need to be a part of the solution to preserving our environment for future generations to live and thrive on. A member of the First Baptist Church of Plant City and advocate for local youth organizations, such as FFA, McDonald is committed to his local community and is proud to farm in Plant City, Florida. Moreover, McDonald’s love for his family is what drives him on a daily basis. Each family member works at Sweet Life Farms and is how McDonald gave the farm it names. He truly feels he lives the “sweet life” farming and working with family day in and day out. For updates on Sweet Life Farms, be sure to check them out on Facebook!