The grove was owned and operated by an inventor named Adolf Grimal who became well known for his achievements in working with tropical fruits. The land was originally extremely unfit for growing anything due to poor soil and the fact that the majority of the property was all cap rock. Grimal took on the task of dynamiting and chiseling out the rock and filling these new openings with 6 feet of fertile soil. He also created large cisterns and catchment basins to combat infrequent rains in winter and was finally able to achieve his dream of a garden which the horticulturally minded came from all over the world to witness on this pine covered Caribbean island.
He passed away in 1997 and over the next decade, the property was unused and fell into disrepair. Although clearly untended, the land still boasts rare fruit trees which still produce fruit annually, and the cisterns still hold water. The superiority of the soil makes it an oasis for agricultural development.
The members of GHI have been working in a volunteer capacity to revive the grove, both rehabilitating the current agricultural landscape as well as networking with the county and other community stakeholders to “Save the Grimal Grove.”
SAVE THE GRIMAL GROVE!
The Growing Hope Initiative’s goal is to re-establish this land’s legacy and revitalize the property, thus restoring Grimal’s achievements. GHI plans to transform the grove into an education center and edible community park for sustainable projects in the Florida Keys. The Grimal Grove will be foundation and destination for voluntourism and ecotourism.