Farm: Cherry Lake Tree Farm
Location: Lake, Polk, Indian River, St. Lucie, DeSoto, Manatee, and Hendry Counties
Date of Origination: 1985
Commodities: Ornamentals and Citrus
In 1979 and 1981 Michel and Veronique Sallin purchased groves in Parrish and Groveland Florida. As a grower and exporter of fresh Florida grapefruit, their company quickly established itself and expanded to markets throughout Western Europe. But, in 1983 and again in 1985 the company suffered a devastating setback when hard freezes hit Florida and destroyed their groves. In looking to rebuild and diversify, the company explored the production of a variety of crops before deciding to venture into containerized tree farming. Those first trees were planted in November 1985 and Cherry Lake Tree Farm was born.
From the first day that they opened their doors, Cherry Lake Tree Farm has implemented Best Management Practices, or BMPs, to help reduce their impact on the environment. They are working with several organizations to conduct trials on a new technology that utilizes weather station data and Leachate Fraction data to optimize irrigation run times and volumes by crop. Their Integrated Pest Management practices help reduce the use of harmful pesticides. These practices include the use of biological controls, construction of habitats for beneficial insects, utilization of low impact treatments (soaps and oils) and the use of bio-stimulants and proactive plant health practices to increase the plants natural resistance and defense.
Cherry Lake is actively involved in the local community, as the company supports many employee led volunteer programs including Give Kids the World, Ag in the Classroom, Operation Christmas, and Trail of Trees.
When asked why he is a farmer who CARES, Sallin responded, “We do not inherit the earth from our fathers, we are borrowing it from future generations.”