From November through March, the air around Fancy Farms in Plant City, Florida, is heavy with the aroma of ripe strawberries. Harvesters walk the fields continually to pick the berries at their ideal ripeness. Orange trees grow in adjacent groves. The fourth generation of his family to farm these lands, Carl has operated Fancy Farms for 30 years.
His berries are marketed along the Eastern Seaboard as far north as Canada. In spring, when the Gulf-Coast heat becomes too much for the delicate strawberry plants, Carl converts his production to zucchini and, in one 10-acre patch, habanero peppers — surely the hottest 10 acres in all of Florida. Meanwhile, in whitewashed bee boxes set up around the fields, bees produce aromatic orange-blossom honey that is sold at the farm's roadside stand.