Farm: Knox Nursery Inc.
Location: Winter Garden, Orange County
Date of Origination: 1962
Commodities: Flowering annuals, 4 inch annuals and poinsettias
Monty Knox and his family own and operate Knox Nursery Inc. in Winter Garden, Florida. The Nursery was started by Mr. Knox’s parents, Jim and Nada Knox, in 1962. They proudly produce flowering annuals from seed to plug stage, 4 inch annuals, poinsettias and a full line of rooted cuttings of perennial plants.
Mr. Knox has been implementing Best Management Practices (BMPs) on the farm since 1985. 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. Knox Nursery Inc. uses a boom mist irrigator as its main source of water to prevent over watering and runoff. Rain water is captured by gutters and then sent to a retention pond by underground pipes so nutrients do not leach into the soil. Mr. Knox also has a grower check the soil before irrigation or supplemental fertilization is performed to ensure it is necessary.
Mr. Knox is actively involved in his local community, serving as president and past president of the Orange County Farm Bureau, Action Chapter of the Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association (FNGLA) and the State FNGLA. He was a founding member of the Orange County Commission’s Agriculture Advisory Committee, served on the Orange County Planning and Zoning Commission and has been on the Orange County Cooperative Extension Greenhouse Advisory Board since 1994.
When asked why he is a farmer who CARES, Knox responded, “we only have this opportunity to farm our land once and if we mess it up, we don’t get a second chance. Being sensitive to the needs of our land is the only way to protect our greatest asset so it can continue to be fruitful.”