Apr 5, 2019
Alan Jones has feet firmly planted in potatoes in Florida’s Manatee County

For the most part, Manatee County in west-central Florida is tomato country. The exception is Jones Potato Farm.

Alan and Leslie Jones’ potato-producing operation is the lone one in the area, reports the Observer News. Alan Jones, who grew up on a potato farm near St. Augustine, saw potential in Manatee County when he and Leslie settled there in the mid-1980s.

Whereas potato farmers in many regions of the U.S. are concerned about getting their crop planted right now, Jones is in the process of harvesting, given Florida’s humid subtropical climate.

“I’ve had very few days off in the past couple of months,” Jones told the Observer News. “It’s been seven days a week for me. Plants don’t know what day of the week it is.”

Jones, 51, has 4,000 acres of farmland. The farm grows everything from reds, creamers and Yukon golds to fingerlings, purples and chip stock. They also grow green beans and citrus and have a cattle operation.

The Joneses have three children, ages 17 to 21. Their middle child, Harrison, is studying agricultural economics at Auburn University and has shown interest in carrying on the family farming tradition.

In addition to tomatoes, potatoes and snap beans, cucumbers and watermelon dominate acreage in Manatee County.

Be sure to check out the full story here.


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