Marian Wertalka is a Miami native who picked tomatoes and strawberries at U-pick farms along Krome Avenue when she was much younger. Growing up in the city, she remembers a red Farmall tractor (the only one in the neighborhood) standing in the driveway. Her father, Carl J. Wertalka, farmed in Redland from 1942 to the mid 1950s. Marian remembers hearing her father’s stories about growing Homestead tomatoes, wartime experiences in the area, and surviving the fierce hurricane of 1945.
Marian works at WSVN, and freelances as a videographer / photographer / web designer. She’s a long-time member of NATAS Suncoast. In her free time, you can find her at farmers’ markets, cooking and hanging out with friends, or rambling around on another photographic road trip somewhere in Florida.
Contact Marian at redlandrambles(at)gmail.com . Don’t forget to remove the (at) and put in the @ !
Margie Pikarsky, Bee Heaven Farm
Chris and Eva Worden, Worden Farm
Arturo Gonzalez, Sunshine Organic/AG Farms
Dan Howard, Homestead Organic Farms Inc.
Hani Khouri, Hani’s Mediterranean Organics
Gabriele Marewski, Paradise Farms
Robert Barnum, Possum Trot Tropical Fruit Nursery
Alice Pena, PNS Farms Inc.
Thi and Bill Squire, G.R.O.W.
Sal Santelli, Health and Happiness Farm
Cliff Middleton, Three Sisters Farm
Steven Green, Green Groves
Miguel Bode, beekeeper (honey)
C&B Farms/Little Cypress
Florida Keys Sea Salt (sea salt)
Sem-Chi Rice (rice)
Ocean Garden Nursery (tilapia)
Lady Moon Farms
Broken J Ranch
The focus of the blog is very tight. For me to write about a grower, market, event or person, there MUST be some connection to Bee Heaven Farm and/or its CSA! You have to either buy from, sell to, or work for/with Bee Heaven. If you are on this list and I haven’t written about you, give me time and I will! If you are not on this list, keep up the good work growing the local food scene, and please consider joining this group of providers, or participating in a Bee Heaven/Redland Organics event.
Grower list updated 22 Feb 2012.
Welcome! You made the connection between food and health, and you’ve chosen to eat organic, at least some of the time. Now take the next step and connect your food to the land it came from and the people who grew it.
If you’re a South Florida locavore, you may be aware of farms in the Redland area, but you may not have had an opportunity to visit one. Now you can! This blog documents Redland Organics growers and their organic farms; and CSA members, locavores, and other interesting people in the larger landscape of local food concerns.
My name is Marian and when I ramble through Redland, I feel like I’ve come home. For several years I’ve been eating locally during season, thanks to Redland Organics CSA. Right away I fell in love with the beautiful, super-fresh vegetables and started photographing them. Next, I visited Bee Heaven Farm and met Farmer Margie and her hard working crew of volunteers and interns. Since that first visit, I’ve been coming back again and again, making friends and tasting good things, photographing veggies and filming events in and around Bee Heaven. I’ve also had the great opportunity to meet the growers of Redland Organics who provide food for the weekly CSA shares. Each and every one of them is outspoken about food, the land, or health issues. I want to share their stories using words, photos and an occasional short video (soon to come).
Hopefully this blog will provide an opportunity for conversation and community among growers, CSA members and locavores. I’ve discovered that people who are attracted to local and/or organic food are passionate and knowledgeable, and have interesting things to say about food and related issues. I’ve met some of you at farmer’s market, or CSA pickup sites, or Slow Food Miami events, and I hope to meet more of you through this blog.
Originally this project was going to be a documentary film about Redland Organics CSA, thus the occasional video clips. I’ve researched and planned that project for a few years, and it might still become a film if I can raise enough funds to finish. If you are interested in sponsoring an indie filmmaker, let me know!