Phosphate is an essential ingredient in fertilizer production. It is found in materials such as bone black and bird guano, but the richest source of phosphate is the phosphite rock found under layers of clay.
Around the country, sources of phosphite have been uncovered, including a trail of mines in Central Florida called Bone Valley. At the heart of the Bone Valley was a small mining town with a centrally-located railroad junction, conveniently located for loading and unloading phosphate for transportation. Eventually, the little railway hub would become the phosphate capital of the world!
This mine town was named after the single mulberry tree planted beside this junction, and blossomed into the city we know today as Mulberry.
The phosphate industry has remained an integral part of Florida’s economy, and is still at the core of Mulberry business.
If you’ve driven through the city, you’ve probably seen the tall dirt hills that protrude above ground level. These are not dirt, neither are they a landfill. What you’re looking at is the phosphate mines that have made Mulberry what it is today!
Phosphite lies below 25 feet of clay, and has to be unearthed before it can be gathered. The phosphite is then collected and transported to a fertilizer manufactured to be processed.