Ken Patterson of Island Grove, LLC is a 1st generation blueberry grower with operations in Putnam, Alachua and DeSoto Counties.  His daughter, Sarah, works alongside him as the General Manager of Island Grove Wine Company. 

Patterson enrolled in the Best Management Practices (BMP) program in 2010 and has implemented BMPs at each of the Island Grove locations.  It is important to him to be a good neighbor and positively contribute to the environment through his blueberry operations.  This is one of the reasons he transitioned his north Florida operation from conventional into organic production. 

Some of the BMPs he has utilized to protect water quality and water use include using drip irrigation and installing soil moisture sensors.  These BMPs work together to reduce overall water use by more than 60%.  To eliminate weeds that like to grow around the potted blueberry bushes, steam is applied at the base of each pot.  Grass buffers filter nutrients to eliminate runoff.  Soil samples are taken regularly to analyze nutrient needs of each section of plants.  Lastly, wetlands are left undisturbed so that local wildlife can thrive and wildflower are planted to encourage native pollinators. 

Florida Farm Bureau Federation is proud to award a 2018 CARES designation and sign to Ken Patterson and family for their dedication in being outstanding environmental stewards.