Farm: Island Grove LLC
Location: Arcadia, Desoto County
Date of Origination: 1990
Commodities: Blueberries and blackberries
Ken Patterson and his family own and operate Island Grove LLC in Arcadia, Florida. The farm was merged and expanded by Mr. Patterson in 1999. They proudly produce blueberries and blackberries.
Mr. Patterson has been implementing Best Management Practices (BMPs) on the farm for decades. BMPs are a set of guidelines that advise producers on how to manage the water, nutrient, and pesticides they are using to reduce agriculture’s impact on the state’s natural resources. Island Grove LLC has a tailwater recovery system to reclaim irrigation and rain water. Drip irrigation is used throughout the farm as a low-volume and low-pressure system for irrigating. Mr. Patterson has also incorporated weather monitoring and moister sensors to ensure accurate fertilizing and irrigating schedules. He is currently installing woven synthetic mulch on the beds for moisture retention and weed control. This mulch will eliminate herbicide spraying around the plants.
Mr. Patterson is actively involved in his local community. He and his family support their local fire department and sponsor various youth leagues throughout the community. He is a member of the Florida Blueberry Association, Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association and the United States Highbush Blueberry Council.
When asked why he is a farmer who CARES, Patterson responded, “the protection of our environment is for sustainability and stability of our ecosystem to ensure the welfare of our current and future generations. We have the responsibility to all of our consumers to provide safe and quality food.”