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9th Annual Farm Day Open House
Sunday, December 22, 2013
11:30 am – 3:00 pm
* Activities *
Hay Rides, Scarecrow Making, and other activities for all the kids, young and young at heart.
* Farm Market *
Choose from locally-grown seasonal organic produce, dried tropical fruit, raw farm honey, heirloom tomato and veggie starts, strawberry plants, goat milk soaps, and other goodies for sale. We accept cash/credit/debit/checks and EBT/SNAP, and with Fresh Access Bucks – double your first $20 dollars of SNAP purchases of fresh fruits and vegetables.
* Live Music *
Featuring local singer-songwriter Grant Livingston
* Family Yoga *
The whole family is invited to a 45 minute multi-level yoga class on the front lawn from 11:30-12:15. Taught by certified yoga instruction Meldy Hernandez, RN, MPH. Bring your own yoga mat or a large towel. Suggested class donation $10.
* Food *
Food and a raffle ticket $10.
Chef Caryl Zook, local organic chef and friend of the farm will prepare fresh-from-the-farm food, served buffet-style. The Cantankerous Chef Robert Barnum will roast Redland-raised corn from a local family farm at the campfire circle.
* Fundraiser *
Retiring Extension agent Dr. Mary Lamberts is holding a fundraiser for Cesar Contreras, husband of farmers market organizer Melissa Contreras. Mary has donated her delightful collection of vegetable-themed tchotchkes that she has acquired over the course of her career. They’ll be set up on a table with a donations jar. Choose your favorite collectible and please be generous! Cesar has recently been diagnosed with a serious illness and his medical bills are escalating. The family does not have health insurance.
Bee Heaven Farm
19000 S.W. 264 St.
From southbound on US 1, turn west (right) on Bauer Drive (S.W. 264th St.), and go approximately 5 miles. The farm is 1/3 mile west of Redland Road (S.W. 187th Ave.) on the left side. Look for the farm sign and flags. Please angle park on the swale and walk on in.
Posted in Uncategorized, tagged Art Friedrich, Carl Templar, Congressman Joe Garcia, Florida Keys Sea Salt, Hani Khouri, Jeff Wasielewsky, Jon Gambino, Melissa Contreras, Miguel Bode, Rachael Middleton, Rigo De La Portilla, Robert Morgan Education Center, Rochelois Jams, South Florida Bluegrass Society, Teresa Olczyk, Three Sisters Farm, UF/IFAS Cooperative Extension, Urban Oasis Project on November 1, 2013|
(part 2 of 2)
There was plenty at GrowFest! to feed your body, mind and soul. Maybe the best part was all the delicious locavore treats. You could seriously nibble your way from one end of the festival to the other and leave with a full belly.
Front and center, right when you entered the park, was the Urban Oasis Project’s tent where Melissa Contreras, Art Friedrich and Carl Templar set up a mini farmer’s market. Tables were piled with all kinds of fresh local produce in season — starfruit, dragon fruit, longans, jackfruit, okra, eggplant, avocados, tomatoes, baby arugula, seminole pumpkin, plus oyster mushrooms, raw honey, organic rice and heirloom tomato seedlings. If you were hungry, you could dig into an addictive bag of Shawnee’s Greenthumb spirulina popcorn. And, if you’re hungry for knowledge, Melissa’s book “Organic Methods for Vegetable Gardening in South Florida” is a useful resource geared for South Florida gardener. (You can find it at the Upper Eastside and Southwest farmers markets, or get it on Amazon.)
This year, GrowFest! donated over $1000 to Urban Oasis, and Melissa was thrilled by the gift. “We will use those funds for food and nutrition education at the Verde market,” she said. Her non-profit was recently given a contract to manage the market and farm at Verde Gardens, a low-income housing community in Homestead. Urban Oasis operates several farmers markets in underserved neighborhoods. Event organizer Margie Pikarsky said, “This year I chose Urban Oasis Project for their efforts to bring affordable food to underserved communities. I decided that each year the event will benefit a nonprofit organization which supports/promotes/educates about local food and local agriculture.”
Delicious aromas of wood fired pizza — yes, pizza! — wafted through the festival. Chef Jon Gabino of Three Sisters Farm brought his pizza oven, pizza dough, and carefully stacked wood next to his work table. Jon’s hands danced with circles of dough, and finished pizzas flew out of the oven as fast as he could make them. Rachael Middleton offered roselle and lemongrass teas and jaboticaba sorbet to complete the meal. Pizza is one of many vegetarian dishes that Three Sisters Farm offers on their Saturday night Farm Meal. Nearly everything on the menu is super local, sourced from the farm or growers nearby. Make your reservations online here.
At the demo tent, there was lots of information to feed your mind. Workshops were scheduled through both days on many gardening topics. Urban beekeeper Rigo De La Portilla spoke on backyard beekeeping. He is one of several local beekeepers who captures swarms and home infestations without killing bees. Other popular talks were on plant propagation, growing mangoes, vermicomposting (using red wiggler worms to make compost), raising chickens, and setting up a rain barrel.
No festival is complete with without music. This year, music students from Robert Morgan Educational Center’s string quartet performed on Saturday. They had so much fun last year they came back again, and brought the jazz combo with them. On Sunday, members of the South Florida Bluegrass Society livened things up with their old timey tunes.
The celebrity sighting, as it were, came on Sunday afternoon. As I was hanging out by the Extension tent, Congressman Joe Garcia, accompanied by Kevin Chambliss, sauntered into the park and started greeted people. Everybody ran to take a picture with the congressman. You know that your event is on the map when local politicians come to visit!
GrowFest! will be back at the Fruit and Spice Park next year, bigger and better. See you there!
Redland Rambles has been nominated in the Sun-Sentinel’s Best of Blogs competition, in the “Foodies” category. A keen-eyed reader pointed out that it is also listed in the “Neighborhood” category. (Don’t ask me how it got listed twice, I don’t know…) Pick one category and vote. I tried voting in both, but it won’t let me. Hopefully all the votes will be counted.
If you like this blog, please register with Sun-Sentinel and place your vote! Voting is limited to one vote per person per day per Category and per “Best Overall Blog.”
Prize money will go to good use — cash will pay for gas to make more trips to more farms in Redland, and to more markets around town, resulting in more blog posts.
Don’t wait, the contest ends on April 11, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. Vote early, vote often!