Farm: Riverdale Potato Farm
Location: St. Johns County
Date of Origination: Late 1950s
Commodities: Potatoes and Green Beans
Richard and Bryan Jones own and operate Riverdale Potato Farm in St. Johns County. It originated in the late 1950s and since the beginning it produced crops including greens, onions, cabbage, sweet and field corn, and potatoes for the Frito Lay Company.
Riverdale Potato Farm has implemented BMPs for the past 20 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 that have been implemented include subsurface irrigation to have zero run-offs from irrigation. Subsurface irrigation systems reduce the usage of water, fertilizer and herbicide. The farm has also invested in fertilizer banders, minimizing fertilizer waste during application.These practices ensure that the land will remain productive and viable for future generations.
The Riverdale Potato Farm gives back to its community by working with various homeless shelters in St. Augustine, donating food throughout the year. They also donate equipment use and time to Saint Francis and the Field Episcopal Church.
When asked why they think it is important to protect the environment, Jones responded, “Environmental stewardship is essential to the survival of a farm. We make our living off of the land, we have to do what we can to protect and preserve it for future generations. Preserving water and maximizing fertilizer use are only two of the many ingredients used to protect the land we farm.”