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Archive for April, 2012

About 50 people registered for the Slow Food Miami Farm Bike Tour last week. It was a pretty good day for a bike ride, and even better for munching your way around the neighborhood.

The Miami Herald sent a reporter/photographer, who took pictures at Bee Heaven Farm and Paradise Farms. Some pictures are published in the Homestead/South Dade print edition of Neighbors today. Or, look online to see a slideshow of the event.

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Bagging the beans

Luis (left) weighs a bag of beans, with Victor and Donna.

Early on the last Friday of the CSA season, the sun rose steadily in the sky, and late season tomatoes in vegetable beds overrun with weeds glittered with the last fat drops of morning dew. Inside the big metal barn at Bee Heaven Farm, work had already started on packing the last shares of the season.

Bagging bushels of beans.

First, green beans had to be weighed and bagged. They had arrived the day before from Witt Road Farms in La Belle. Several full bushel boxes needed to be portioned out equally. Family shares got one pound, and small shares got half a pound. The farm interns got into two teams to divide up the work. In each team, two people bagged and weighed, and two tied and counted the bags.

Exactly one pound of green beans.

On my team, Victor and Luis bagged and weighed. Donna and I had the job of tying and counting. Donna showed me a cool, quick technique to tie a bag. She explained, “First you smush the air out of it, then fold over the top edge. Hold the two corners, flip the bag around a couple times, then knot the corners together.” The first time I tried flipping the bag, I smacked myself in the chest and Donna and I both laughed. “Better than your face,” she teased. She and I placed bags of beans into rows of five, counted, then loaded them into a green tote.

Bag, weigh, tie, count. Bag, weigh, tie, count.  The two teams bantered back and forth as they packed with a quick and easy flow that came from weeks of working together. Bag, weigh, tie, count. In 20 minutes it was all over — the crew packed 115 one-pound bags and 242 half-pound bags — and it wasn’t even 7:30 yet!

L to R: Victor, Sadie (hidden behind) Margie, Tim (hand showing, behind) Marsha, Luis, Donna

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Sunday April 29, 2012
Cocktail reception at 6:00 pm
Dinner at 7:00 pm

Chefs:
Sergio Sigalia (Cecconi’s)
Paula DaSilva (1500˚ at Eden Roc)
Thorsten Leighty (Eden Roc)

Enjoy the last Dinner in Paradise of the season!  Paradise Farms hosts a five course meal prepared by local celebrity chefs in the same beautiful natural setting where the fresh ingredients are grown, for a truly unique artisanal dining experience in a lush tropical setting.

Tickets are $165 + tax and processing per person. Online reservations are required, no later than Saturday 12 noon. Dress is upscale casual.

For more information email Info@paradisefarms.net or call 305.248.4181

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Sunday April 22, 2012
Registration: 8:30 am
Tour: 9 am – 1 pm

Slow Food Miami and Bee Heaven Farm have collaborated to organize the Farm Bike Tour, a fun locavore family event in observance of Earth Day. Start by registering at Bee Heaven Farm, then follow a 12-mile route that takes you on a tasting tour of three other local farms. Show up at the various stops and get a bite and something to drink (better than trick or treating, and you don’t have to dress up). You’ll also get to see a pretty part of farm country and visit various farms that you might not ordinarily get to see.

Begin at Bee Heaven Farm, where farmer Margie Pikarsky will start you on your way with fresh berries, black sapote muffins and herbal iced teas. Next stop is Paradise Farms, where farmer Gabriele Marewski will offer mango smoothies and small bites. Then cruise over to Teena’s Pride, a family owned 500 acre farm known for its heirloom tomatoes, where you can take part in a tomato tasting. Next stop is Fancy Koi 2, an aquaculture farm where they grow not only koi and other ornamental fish, but also the very tasty tilapia, which you will get to sample. Then, finish the tour and come back to Bee Heaven to cool off with Gaby’s Farm ice cream and sorbets, made with local tropical fruits, and frozen lychees (Mother Nature’s own popsicles) from LNB Farms.

Tickets:
Adults: $30 – Children under 12 free
Buy online at https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/237345
More info: Renée 888-580-4480

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A couple months ago, a crop of fresh new market signs popped up at the Bee Heaven Farm tent at Pinecrest Gardens Farmers Market. The colorful creations were drawn by Rachel, farmer Margie’s daughter, who is studying illustration arts at SUNY Purchase.

But hurry, you don’t have much time!

This coming Sunday, April 15th, is the last day that Bee Heaven will be at the Pinecrest market. (The market runs through May, but Bee Heaven’s growing season is already winding down.)

It’s also going to be quite the day, with the 3rd Annual Pinecrest Earth Day Festival going on throughout the Gardens. Admission is free.

By the way… these pictures were taken back in January…. so they’re not necessarily representative of what’s in season and available now at market. Different signs will be up, too. Go take a look for yourself!

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Les Dames d’Escoffier Miami
4th Annual Tropical Brunch in the Redland

Sunday April 15, 2012
11 am to 2 pm

The Miami chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier is holding their Fourth Annual Fundraising Brunch deep in the heart of Redland. Come for the delicious tropical food and drink, and stay to bid on lavish auction lots. It’s all for a good cause. This year’s Tropical Brunch will help fund nutrition and cooking education for local kids, and underwrite school vegetable gardens.

The feast is a locavore’s delight, presenting locally grown fruits and vegetables, farm-fresh eggs, fruit breads and pastries, and various ethnic specialties. Paradise Farms is providing greens for the salad bar and edible flowers. Teena’s Pride, famous for its ginormous, flavorful heirloom tomatoes is providing tomatoes and cucumbers for the gazpacho. And there will be microgreens from Swank Farms, just to name a few of the local growers involved. Schnebly Redland’s Winery & Brewery will pour their tropical fruit wines, along with their newest craft beers.

The menu draws its inspiration from MMMMiami: Tempting Tropical Tastes for Home Cooks Everywhere, authored by Dame Carole Kotkin and Miami Herald food editor Kathy Martin. (The book is out of print but there’s still a few copies to be had on Amazon.)

Soup
Orange-Tomato Gazpacho

Salads & Cheese Board
Shrimp Citrus Ceviche, Calypso Chicken Salad, Tropical Couscous Salad
Redland-Raised and Fresh from Florida field-ripened vegetables and greens
Aged Cheddar, Bonne Bouche, Cacciotta Brinatta, Manchego and Tetilla
Assorted breads, crackers, fruit and tapenades

Meats
Finger-lick’n Spare Ribs with Guava Barbecue Sauce and Mixed Cabbage Slaw
All-American Sliders with Caramelized Onions and Pickle
Arroz Campesino Paella of Chicken, Pork & Sausage with Corn and Roasted Red Peppers

Omelet
Cooked-to-order with a choice of ingredients, including:
Mushroom, Onion, Scallion, Spinach, Tomato Cheddar Cheese, Cream Cheese, Ham

Pancakes
Cooked-to-order Sweet Potato Pancakes with Chantilly Cream
Silver Dollar Pancakes with Florida Strawberries

Dessert
Roasted Plantain Cake with Toasted Coconut, Mango Ice Cream
Piña Colada Cheese Cake, Orange Bundt Cake, Key Lime Pie
Guava Linzer Torte, Triple-Chocolate Brownies, Lemon Biscotti
Florida Strawberries with Whipped Cream

Beverages
Schnebly Redland’s Winery & Brewery signature wines, sparkling wine and craft beers
Coffee, fresh Florida orange and grapefruit juices

(Gluten-Free dishes available upon request)

Les Dames president Ariana Kumpis will also give a cooking demonstration. Guests will dine al fresco at shaded picnic tables by the waterfall, and live easy listening music by Jukebox Joe Tunon will set the mood.

The best part is a Silent Auction with something for everyone. Some of the items to bid on: brunch at Paradise Farms, Sustain restaurant gift certificate, Monkey Jungle family passes, food baskets, wine lots, gourmet coffees, and a Breville espresso maker.

Location:
Schnebly Redland’s Winery
30205 SW 217 Ave
Homestead FL 33030

Tickets:
Adults: $45 advance / $50 at the door
Children (5-12 years): $15 advance / $20 at the door
Buy tickets online: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/235515
or call 305-531-0038

Specially priced winery and brewery tours, tasting and commemorative glass at day of event. Payment at door only: $12 pp.

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