Ruskin: The Salad Bowl Of America

The founding of the unincorporated town of Ruskin is one of the most unique narratives on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Founded by Dr. George Miller, his wife, and his brother-in-law, Albert Dickman, Ruskin was Miller’s third try at an education-based, utopian commune.

Miller’s approach combined his Christian faith with the theories and writings of the British scholar John Ruskin, who called for social reform and espoused the need for higher education for the masses. In 1906, Miller and his wife Adeline relocated to Hillsborough County after 2 failed attempts to build their socialist university in the Midwest.

Dickman was much more a businessman, but he saw the opportunity for profit from the venture, and traded 550 acres in cold, wet Missouri for the money for an initial downpayment on 13,000 acres the brothers bought from Captain CH Davis in 1907 and the Ruskin Commongood Society was founded.

The first goal was construction, so the Society built a saw mill and started platting out the community, setting aside land for the college. Dickman’s family built one of the first, and the last still existing home on the outskirts of the property. By charter, 10% of the proceeds from every property sale went to the funding of the Ruskin college. The Commongood printed their own money and even provided women the right to vote.

Good News Pest Solutions

Call Us: (941) 584-8687

Get a "Quick Quote" for Help With Your Pests!

Just provide a few details and we'll get you a quote right away!

submit button

Albert Dickman believed the prospective growth of the newly founded Ruskin would be limited by the community’s limited access. The train stopped at Tampa, and he had found by his own experience that travelling on dirt road between the two cities took approximately 8 hours – if it hadn’t rained recently. So he bought a boat and started a ferry service.

Several of the newly arriving colonists took it upon themselves to build some 25 miles of roads, including the future 301 interstate, then known as the ‘Wire Road,’ because it ran alongside the telegraph and telephone lines.

The college grew steadily until the first World War. When most of the school’s 160 students left to serve on the battlefield, or work on the war effort in larger cities, the school closed its doors, intending to reopen at some point. But that would never happen. A fire devastated the campus, followed shortly by the death of Dr. Miller while on a book tour in Ohio.

Despite the loss of its founder, Ruskin continued to grow, and, due to their socialist and agricultural leanings, actually prospered during the great depression. Albert Dickman’s son Paul had been a student at Ruskin college before he was drafted during the war. After he lost most of his holdings in Tampa, he returned to Ruskin to farm and found that by applying a combination of his father’s business sense and his socialist education to transform the community into “America’s Salad Bowl.”

In 1935, the town started an annual festival to both attract visitors and celebrate their primary crop: the Ruskin Tomato Festival.

By World War II, Ruskin had grown to almost 2000 residents, many of whom worked in Tampa, where word of the community’s idyllic lifestyle spread and the community grew, as did their contribution to local agriculture.

In 1967, the Commongood Society was officially disbanded and by the 1970’s, the community was well on its way to 20,000 residents and the Tomato Festival had become “Ruskin Days,” then “The Ruskin Tomato and Heritage Festival,” still celebrated today.

Unfortunately, the death of Paul Dickman in 1976, followed by several years of poor crops cost the community heavily, leading thousands of residents to abandon the farm life and move to Tampa or St. Petersburg, never to return.

Today, despite the negative impact of NAFTA on its primary tomato crop, the community has largely rebounded, turning its orange groves and tomato fields into urban housing. Its population has doubled since t5he year 2000, now back to about 17,000 year round residents. It is the home to the Cockroach Bay Aquatic Preserve, which boasts more than 300 species of birds, as well as archeological remains from the area’s long dead indigenous tribes. The legacy of John Ruskin still draws intellectuals and artists to the area, although he probably wouldn’t approve of the area’s newest employer. In 2016, Amazon opened a 1-million square foot warehouse in Ruskin that ships all across the United States.

The Industry Leader in Green Pest Solutions

Good News leads the industry in providing 100% all natural, safer and more effective botanically-based  Eco Superior products for pest control. Products that are guaranteed safe for you, your children and your pets. That, coupled with other products that utilize naturally occurring elements found in nature, allows Good News to provide the same pest-free living guarantee, with no risk to your health.

A recent EPA study suggests that 80% of pesticide exposure occurs indoors and that measurable levels of up to a dozen pesticides have been found in the air inside homes!

GO GREEN plus 3 – All Natural Protection

Go Green Plus 3Our Go Green plus 3 pest control service is designed to eliminate and prevent most of the creepy-crawly insect varieties we see in Florida, including ants, roaches, silverfish and, of course, spiders. We schedule 3 visits per year to provide exterior service after the initial set-up.

Your Good News technician will inspect the entire exterior of your property while sweeping cobwebs from the eaves and windows. Once the source of insects is determined, a proper treatment of the perimeter foundation, entry points, eaves, plant beds and trees will be applied where needed using reduced–risk, green products.

If you are having any pest issues inside, your trained tech will also treat any entry points, kitchen, baths, laundry room, or problem areas using reduced–risk or even pesticide exempt products. We guarantee your satisfaction and will return (at no charge) in between scheduled visits if you encounter any pests. Please call as soon as you see a problem. The sooner we inspect and treat, the better.

T·A·P™: Thermal Acoustical Pest Control

With T·A·P™, you not only keep out the bugs, but you can save money on your cooling (and heating) bills! Like all our products, TAP is all natural and safe for your family and pets, but is 32% more energy efficient than fiberglass insulation, while adding a sound barrier and even reducing fire hazard.

Learn more about Thermal Acoustical Pest Control now!

Termites – the Dinner Guest You Don’t Want

Our tropical Florida environment means that the state also has the highest risk for termite problems. Termites do more damage than floods, fires and storms combined, and like those natural disasters, the more you prepare the less you feel the impact. Good News is the leader in using natural, organic, and essential oil alternatives to control both Drywood and Subterranean termite pests. We even offer a 1-Million Dollar Damage Repair Warranty for homes that qualify.

We also offer Bora-Care®, an organic pre-construction treatment and real estate WDO inspections prior to buying a home, to insure it is free of wood destroying organisms.

Don’t wait, schedule your termite inspection now.

Keeping the Rodents in the Fields

One issue we see with rapidly growing and developing areas, is that rats, mice and other rodents find themselves ‘homeless,’ and decide to move in to your home—even in the most exclusive homes and neighborhoods.

The Good News Premiere Rodent program is the most comprehensive service available. We start by excluding all known entry points and sealing roof vents with proprietary covers. Then, we set several traps in the attic(s) to kill any rodents sealed in. Next, we install 4-6 of the best bait stations available in hidden locations around the exterior perimeter. These help to keep the outside population of rodents to a minimum. We check the traps twice per week until we are sure there are no more live rodents inside.

Next, we vacuum droppings and apply a deodorizer, sanitizer, viruscide to the entire attic space. Many of our customers are finalizing the process by capping their insulation with T·A·P™. Once T·A·P™ is installed, the attic looks brand new and acts as a deterrent to re-infestation.

Quick Facts About Ruskin:

  • The Leisey Shell Pit in Ruskin is one of the largest and most extensive ice age fossil depository in the world.
  • Backstreet Boy Nick Carter and his siblings: solo singers Aaron & Leslie Carter, call Ruskin home
  • John and Clarence Anglin, formerly of Ruskin, 2 of only 5 (possibly) successful escapees from Alcatraz. They broke out of the inescapable prison in 1962 and were never found.
  • Ruskin is home to the only remaining Family Drive-In Theatre still in operation.
  • Florida actress and singer Willa Ford grew up in Ruskin

Copyright © 2017 Good News Pest Solutions