Commissioner Adam H. Putnam

Florida Agriculture: 500 Years in the Making

Florida's Agricultural Heritage in Paintings by Robert Butler

Strawberry Patch

Strawberry Patch

This work depicts a scene that explores the beauty and serenity of a strawberry field nestled in a Florida woodland. What it cannot show is the pride and sense of accomplishment the owner experiences because of his contribution to the lineage of a delightful berry.

Many of the New World agricultural success stories have a beginning in diverse places. This is in part because of the tendency of man to explore his world, take the best of what he finds, then cultivate and manage the new-found resource to the benefit of his kind.

The modern strawberry as we know it is no exception. Its birth was assisted by enthusiastic explorers who collected wild plants from two continents (North and South America) and took them to Europe. Painstakingly, the two were merged into what we know as the modern strawberry. This delectable delight has sparked the culinary creativity of many great chefs and moms the world over.

The strawberry seems to love warm, sunny climates, and is at home particularly here in Florida, where it has become a powerful economic force under the tutelage of modern agri-farming technology.

— Robert Butler, 1999

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