Sunday, July 31, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Slow Food Glades to Coast is taking a tour of the Erickson Tropical Fruit Farm Tour on Sunday, July 31. This will include a tour of the farm, tasting of different mangoes -- followed by lunch and an opportunity to purchase mangoes and mango trees directly from the farm. It is very important to bring your walking shoes.
Space is limited, so sign up early. A picnic lunch & plenty of beverages will be provided.
Cost includes tour and lunch.
The group will meet at 9:30 am at the Wellington Whole Foods Market, 2635 SR 7, Wellington and will carpool to the farm located at 13646 US Highway 441, Canal Point
History of the Erickson Tropical Fruit Farm
The Erickson Tropical Fruit Farm began 100 years ago when Alfred and Elfreda Erickson moved to Canal Point, Florida with their four young children. In 1911 Alfred was hired to move out to the newly established settlement and build a hotel. After completing his job and building a house for the family he tried a few other adventures like fishing for catfish on Lake Okeechobee before settling on farming. Here in the rich muck soils of the former Everglades, it began with amaryllis flower bulbs.
Three of the children (Floyd, William, and Eva) stayed in Canal Point and continued to farm. Winter vegetables were being discovered at the time and the family grew green beans and bell peppers for several years. As always, things changed due to new diseases, pests, and developing models of agriculture.
Floyd decided it was time to grow trees. First it was avocado trees that were later replaced by mangos. It was during the avocado days that Floyd’s son Dale finished with school and came back to the farm. So far the mangos have remained, although the varieties are constantly in a process of replacement. There are still a few avocados and other tropical fruits and specialty spices were added for a less seasonal and more financially sustainable business model.
In the next phase Dale’s daughters Krista and Kimberly have joined the family business and continue the specialty tropical fruit business. After much consideration, the family has brought back the winter vegetables concept for local sales during the mango off season. But mangos continue to dominate the landscape, the sales, and the hearts here at Erickson Farm.