Today, led by father Dale Erickson and daughters Kim and Krista, the business is literally part of a living legacy where five generations have lived and worked. “As a Scandinavian immigrant, my grandfather planted everything tropical he could get his hands on,” says Dale, vice president and lead grower. “It became a tradition. He started it and each generation kept doing it.”
The 62-acre farm produces more than a dozen hard-to-grow, hard-to-find items including avocado, carambola (star fruit), sapodilla, longan, lychee, paan, papaya, as well as curry, mango, and banana leaf. However, mangos are Erickson’s true calling card. Forty acres alone are dedicated to growing multiple varieties of the fruit. “Compared to most producers in South Florida, we’re very small,” says Kim, president and head of strategy and marketing. “In terms of how we’re different in the way we operate, it’s very personal to us. We love mangos and love what we do.”
When it comes down to it, Kim says it’s always a balancing act with supply and demand. “If you get too successful at growing, you can shoot yourself in the foot by growing the product faster than you can grow awareness and expand the market.”
Keeping things fresh is an integral part of the equation. Besides tweaking its primary crop and shifting secondary crops over the years, the farm has recently released a couple of new varieties to customers and — most notably — has started to grow vegetables again. Winter veggies, including beets, broccoli, eggplant, swiss chard, and maybe some others will be added to the mix. “We haven’t done that since before they planted the groves here,” Kim adds.