A Special Request

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One of the most well-respected landscape architect’s of all time, Phil Maddux of Sanchez and Maddux asked me to share pictures of the various quarries we extract or reclaim limestone from. When the Harvard educated Phil calls, you listen. This prolific and esteemed landscape architect primarily serves South Florida and New York. I consider Phil and his beautiful wife Sylvia more than clients but friends.

Thus, I want to explain how material is extracted or reclaimed…

Cap Rock: This material is primarily quarried west of Lake Okeechobee. Larry’s Cap Rock partners with many farmers who are working with the federal government and conservationists to adjust their lands so that the Everglades will flow as it did in the early 1900’s. Trench lines are created with our excavator and material is popped from the surface. Cap rock is typically reclaimed in old sugar cane fields.

Hemingway: Material is primarily quarried in Miami-Dade County. Larry’s partners with land clearing companies and site preparation companies to purchase dense oolite boulders that would otherwise be crushed or go to waste. Since material is quarried at such a deep footage it is brought out in chunks rather than blocks because quarry process occurs under water. This limits the size of the raw material. Limestone mining occurs primarily west of the Florida Turnpike in an area known as the Lake Belt. The Lake Belt was created in Northwest Dade County by the legislature to protect the water supply, restore the Everglades, and provide for recovery of limestone, a scarce but efficient resource in Dade County.

Keystone: Keystone can only be reclaimed in Monroe County when development occurs. It is more rare than oolite or cap rock because there is minimal development in Monroe County. Larry’s Cap Rock has obtained the right to quarry keystone in April 2012. Raw blocks are typically larger than Hemingway.

Oolite: This material is also quarried in Dade County. The key difference between oolite and Hemingway is that Oolite sits right on the surface a few inches beneath the soul. Whereas Hemingway is much deeper. Once you hit 5 feet in South Florida you hit water. Excavators and water typically don’t mix well. For this reason oolite is rarely larger than 5 feet thick because different and more expensive machinery has to be used to obtain it. Oolite is typically reclaimed during a development. Or farmers will also ask us to trench and remove blocks so that they can grow larger field grown palms or large plant material, but proper permits by the land owner must be obtained from the county before this use can occur.

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