THE BALLAD OF GRIMAL GROVE…
LONG STORY SHORT:
In the early 2010s, Patrick Garvey discovered the neglected Grimal Grove, a property overrun with debris and occupied by squatters. Despite the chaos, Garvey felt a deep connection to the place and embarked on a journey to revive it. He researched the enigmatic Adolf Grimal, the original creator of the grove, and learned about his passion for tropical fruit. Garvey, along with his partner Josef Crosby, embraced the challenge, cleaning up the grove and envisioning a thriving botanical garden filled with a diverse collection of rare and exotic fruit trees. Garvey’s dedication and perseverance transformed the once-abandoned lot into a magnificent tropical fruit oasis, showcasing the legacy of Adolf Grimal’s horticultural achievements.
WATCH THE FILMS
The backstory to Grimal Grove highlights Adolf Grimal’s adventures as well as Patrick’s commitment to create the grove known today.
The story on Nauga Sapot, a Peruvian fruit that traveled back to the Florida Keys to reside at Grimal Grove until Hurricane Irma.
Discovery Channel premiered this segment on “Only in the Florida Keys” to highlight the unique wonderland of Grimal Grove .
THE FULL STORY:
ENTER ADOLF GRIMAL
Deep within the uncharted realms of many lush and mysterious jungles around the world, Adolf Grimal, an enigmatic explorer consumed by an unwavering passion for tropical fruits, embarked on daring expeditions that would shape the destiny of Grimal Grove. With an indomitable spirit and an insatiable curiosity, Grimal ventured into the heart of the wilderness, traversing treacherous terrains and braving untold dangers in his relentless quest to unearth nature’s most elusive treasures. Guided by whispers of extraordinary fruit trees hidden within the dense foliage, he became an intrepid pioneer, unraveling the secrets of the rainforest and introducing an extraordinary array of species to the world.
THE FRUIT HUNT
In the depths of his expeditions, Grimal discovered a plethora of rare and exotic fruit trees, each possessing its own story and mystique. He crisscrossed South America, from the vibrant Amazon rainforests to the sun-soaked shores of the Caribbean, traversing remote villages, forging connections with local farmers and indigenous communities, and exchanging knowledge about the bountiful gifts of nature. Grimal’s journeys took him on a captivating odyssey through the tantalizing landscapes of Southeast Asia, Central and South America, and the Caribbean islands, where he encountered fruits that transcended the ordinary, evoking flavors and aromas that were truly sublime.
Loaded with seeds, Mr. Grimal would return to the USA and over the years planted what is now known as the Grimal Grove. Grimal chiseled his land by hand, and built concrete walls, thus raising the elevation. He strategized each move, and planned what should go where. For 40 years, Grimal pioneered a new mindset in the Florida keys. Attracting visitors from all over the world to see the showcase of wild plants. In 1997, Grimal passed away, with his land becoming dilapidated and in disrepair.
In 2011 Patrick Garvey, a community organizer with an unwavering passion for sustainable farming and tropical fruit, discovered a hidden gem in the form of the dilapidated Grimal Grove estate. Drawn to the abandoned property by an inexplicable force, Garvey felt an instant connection to its overgrown beauty and the untapped potential it held.
As he delved deeper into the history of Adolf Grimal and his remarkable botanical exploits, Garvey’s admiration for the enigmatic explorer grew, and he found himself captivated by the legacy of Grimal Grove. Inspired by the audacity and vision of the grove’s namesake, Garvey embarked on an audacious mission to breathe new life into this one-of-a-kind sanctuary, following the footsteps of Grimal.
In August 2017, Garvey and his team had their first profitable month, 10 days later Hurricane Irma destroyed Grimal Grove and much of Big Pine Key. Down but not out, Garvey in 2019 resurrects the rubble of death into the first Breadfruit grove in the Continental United States.
Garvey’s indomitable resilience breathed life back into Grimal Grove after Hurricane Irma’s devastation in 2017. Rallying a coalition of like-minded individuals, he spearheaded a community-driven restoration effort that thrived on partnerships with local schools, businesses, and environmental organizations. Eventually, working with Mutiny Island Vodka to produce the Key’s only spirit distilled from Florida Key’s fruit. Thus, creating the only Breadfruit haven in the continental United States. Through workshops, conferences, and networking, Grimal Grove has became a hub for sustainable knowledge-sharing, attracting global attention.
The Legend Continues…
Read the full story
This page offers just a glimpse into the world and stories of Adolf Grimal. For the full book with all the captivating tales, click here to download and immerse yourself in the extraordinary journey of Adolf Grimal.
After sacrificing everything for this grove and his community, the Grove was brough back into fruition.
-Diomedes Raul Bermudez, Writer and Film Producer