Farm: Picolata Produce Farm, Inc.
Location: St. Johns County
Date of Origination: 1987
Commodities: Potatoes & Green Beans
Mark and Gail Jones own and operate Picolata Produce Farm, Inc. in Picolata and Tocoi, Florida. The farm originated in 1987 initially growing cabbage, greens and potatoes. Today, the farm primarily produces potatoes and green beans. Picolata Produce Farm, Inc. is a family-run business with all members of the family having an active role in the prosperity of the farm.
Picolata Produce Farm, Inc. has implemented BMPs for more than 15 years. 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. Some of the BMPs implemented include underground tile irrigation system, ground water observation wells, soil moisture probe, fertilizer banding machine, subsurface drip irrigation system, and a GPS guided tractor. These practices ensure that their land will remain productive and viable for future generations.
Jones is involved in his community as a member to the Greek Orthodox Church and donates time and money towards it and local charities.
Jones believes it is important to protect our environment because “when we all take ownership in conserving our natural resources, as well as pesticides and fertilizers, we all benefit in a healthier society”. He enjoys farming because the process of growing and harvesting their crops is a reward and benefit in itself.