Our Final Stop on the Florida Fresh Tour took us to Ronald Jones Ferneries... and gave us the opportunity to visit with Stacy Jones, his Brother Scott! Ronald Jones is known by many as the “King of Aspidistra”.
Also known as the “CAST IRON” Plant… Aspidistra foliage is a very popular foliage and it has amazing lasting properties! Scott Jones has been experimenting with difference procedures to preserve, enhance and color this amazing durable long lasting foliage.
Ronald Jones may be known for “ASPIDISTRA”… however they also grow a wide variety of Florida Fresh Foliage that are shipped all over the world. Each trek down a dirt road lined with Live Oak trees reveals another specialty crop grown by the Ronald Jones Team.
Signs denote the crop that is growing under these Live Oak Hammocks. A “Hammock” provides natural shade from the Florida Sun and allows tender undergrowth (those desirable fern and foliage we all love)… to grow and mature in the Florida Climate.
Whether it’s “TF” for Tree Fern or “VP” for Variegated Pitt… the Foliage grows under the watchful eye of Lamar Jones. Lamar walks the fields daily checking for hydration, pest or disease … so he can quickly and efficiently take control of the situation.
It was a treat to get to visit with Lamar and learn more about the different foliage and the great lengths they employ to care for (and deliver) World Class Foliage to the Flower Industry!
Deer love the tender shoots on Tree Fern and can quickly damage, ruin or decimate an entire crop… Ronald Jones packing house is a testament/warning to any hungry deer that might step foot into a Growing Tree Fern Hammock!
Ronald Jones grows their own variety of Leatherleaf… Royal… (did you realize there are over 16 different varieties of this Amazing Fern?) Harvest happens every day… bunches are cut and gathered, processed, cooled and packed… in Trademark YELLOW Boxes that sport the Ronald Jones Logo.
The Cutters are accustom to the rigorous harvest… equipping their hands with duct tape to aid in faster and more accurate harvest.
The Aspidistra leaves unfurl from a tube like shoot and then progress to the broad wide Deep Green leaves we love for Flower arranging. An Occasional Visitor (A Harmless Tree Frog) finds home refuge and humidity inside these coiled leaves.
Stacy, Scott and Lamar carry on the rich family tradition of this Florida Foliage Farm… complete with horses! I couldn’t resist using the Aspidistra leaves to create Foliage roses that I included in my project at Ronald Jones… the horse pasture provided the perfect backdrop for a Ronald Jones Exclusive Arrangement!
Join us for a visit to this Family Foliage Farm in the heart of the Fern Capital of the World… this week on the Florida Fresh Foliage and Flower Tour on uBloom.com and experience first hand what it takes to bring USA Grown Foliage to people all around the world!
J Schwanke is host of the Florida Fresh Foliage and Flower Tour on uBloom.com The Florida Fresh Documentary Series is available to view or download free of charge on uBloom.com!