Turning Potatoes Into Gold: The Story of Hastings

By Gargoyle Staff | gargoyle@flagler.edu

After the creation of the Ponce de Leon Hotel 125 years ago, Henry Flagler asked his cousin Thomas Horace Hastings to start a farm a few miles west of St Augustine to grow food for his guest.

That farm was known as the Prairie Garden.

Years later, as farmers began settling the land around the original farm, a town eventually sprouted. The small town later became known as Hastings, and still continues to this day as a farming community.

To celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Ponce de Leon Hotel, Robbie Gordon’s COM 440 Television News Magazine class produced a five part documentary exploring the town that fed the city of St Augustine and continues to this day working to feed the nation.

Part 1: Feeding the Masses

Sarah Worthington finds out how the town of Hastings, FL came to fruition thanks to Henry Flagler’s Ponce de Leon Hotel

Part 2: Prairie Garden

Emma Behringer attempts to find the original farm that started the farming community of Hastings, FL

Part 3: The Road Out

Joshua Santos explores the road that connected Hastings, FL to the rest of the nation.

Part 4: The Boom and Bust

Marissa Marinan checks out how the community of Hastings used to be.

Part 5: Feeding the Nation

Ryan Buffa on how farming has changed as the town of Hastings, FL continues to survive.

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