Farm: Seeds of Love
Location: Lithia, Hillsborough County
Date of Origination: 2000
Commodities: Organic blueberries and blackberries
Christine Grovenstein is the owner and operator of Seeds of Love in Lithia, Florida. The farm produces organic blueberries and blackberries, along with a variety of other fruits that are shared with cooperatives. In 2000, Seeds of Love took blueberries to the market for the first time, and in 2008, it transitioned to an organic farm certified by Quality Certification Systems.
Grovenstein has been implementing Best Management Practices (BMPs) on the farm since 2008. BMPs are a set of guidelines that advise producers on how to manage the water, nutrients and pesticides they are using to reduce agriculture’s impact on the state’s natural resources. The farm uses a weather station and soil moisture sensors to monitor the amount of water that the plants receive, and Grovenstein uses calibrated equipment for the application of organic chemicals and fertilizers to her plants. Seeds of Love uses microjets to water at the root of the plants and rarely uses overhead watering systems except for instances of frost protection.
In the community, Grovenstein is an active member of Farm Bureau, the Florida Blueberry Grower’s Association and the Florida Pomegranate Association. She is involved in returning Peace Corps volunteers and works with USF Food Activist for reforming food systems.
When asked why she is a farmer who CARES, Grovenstein said, “I enjoy and receive personal reward in being a good steward of the land and farm.”