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Posts Tagged ‘farmers market’

Farmers markets get press

Several farmers markets opened up in December. Check out the press the markets and growers have been getting.

Farmers’ market opens in Losner Park

By Christina Veiga

published Tuesday Dec. 7, 2010

Sweet, organic honey. Mediterranean dishes like baba ghanoush and tabbouleh. And fresh goat-milk ice cream, flavored with locally-produced passion fruit wine.

The Homestead Farmers Market opened Monday with a variety of locally-grown, organic — and yummy — offerings. The market is the first in a city known for growing fruits and veggies.

Read more here in the Miami Herald, Homestead/South Dade Neighbors.

Overtown farmers market promotes food that’s cheap, nutritious

published Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2010
Vivian Dunn stands proudly behind three large serving tables filled with steaming collard greens, fresh sweet potato pies and trays of baked ziti.

As patrons approach, she points out a signature dish.

“This right here is Mulligan soup,” she said, scooping up a heaping plate of the mixed vegetables and chicken stew. “I put everything in it that’s good for you.”

Her husband, LeVon Dunn, chimes in from the background.

“We don’t use grease or pork, and all the produce is fresh,” he said. “This is not a fly-by-night thing. We’re committed to helping make this area healthier.”

The Dunns were one of almost a dozen vendors who took part in the re-launching of the Roots in the City farmers market Wednesday afternoon.

Read more here in the Miami Herald.

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This season’s grand opening of the Roots in the City Farmers Market is on Wednesday Dec. 8, from 1 to 4 pm. The market will be held in the same place it was last year, on the corner of NW 10th St. and 2nd Ave. in Overtown, right by the RITC gardens.

This market is one of several in the area where real growers (not produce re-sellers) are participating. Returning this season are RITC itself, selling collards, papaya and other delicacies from its gardens, Redland Organics, Teena’s Pride and Hani’s Mediterranean Organics.

The RITC Farmers Market was also the first market in the area to accept SNAP/EBT payments, and doubles the value of purchases up to $10, thanks to a generous program sponsored by Wholesome Wave Foundation.

This season the market will be open two days a week, Wednesdays and Fridays. It will stay open through April 2011. For more information, email RITC or call 305-772-3229.

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There are a few new farmers markets, and one returning market,  opening up soon. Here’s a quick rundown of all-local, grower supported markets.

Monday 2 – 6 pm (starts Dec. 6)
Homestead Farmers Market
Losner Park, 104 N Krome Ave., Homestead

Wednesday and Friday 1 – 4 pm (starts Dec. 8th)
Roots in the City Farmers Market
NW 10 St. and 2nd Ave., Miami

Thursday 12 noon – 6pm (starts Dec. 2)
Liberty City Farmers Market
TACOLCY Park, 6161 NW 9th Ave., Miami

Saturday 9 am – 2 pm (starts Dec. 4)
South Miami Farmers Market
City Hall, 6130 Sunset Drive, South Miami

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Locavores rejoice! There’s a new farmers market coming to town!

The South Miami Farmers Market starts Saturday, December 4th, and will run every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The location is in the parking lot in front of South Miami City Hall, 6130 Sunset Drive. The market will run year-round, and will feature prepared food vendors, artisans, green technology vendors, and community groups.

This new market will showcase the best local, organic and sustainably-grown produce in season (tropical fruits, annual and perennial vegetables, mushrooms), eggs, dairy, and value-added products (jams, jellies, salsas, fermented and pickled foods). Only local growers will participate in this market. Food will come from local area organic growers (including participating members of Redland Organics), community gardens and backyard growers. The market will also sell edible and native plants.

Mario Yanez, director of Earth Learning, explained the need for another new market. “The Community Food Summit [held in July at Miami Dade College] made it clear to us that our community needed more outlets that insured access to local, sustainably-grown foods. We decided we could redefine what a Farmers’ Market can be: for us it is about building community around good, real food in a manner that ensures the viability our local farmers that grow our food, and take care of our soils and our natural systems with responsible farming practices.”

Earth Learning is very involved in the startup of this new market, which will be managed by members of Community FoodWorks, a new program developed by Earth Learning and funded by a three year USDA Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Development Grant. Mario Yanez is very proud of this undertaking. “We have just begun with our first class of apprentices in our Community FoodWorks program. They will learn to grow food in unconventional ways using permaculture methods in underutilized spaces throughout the Greater Miami area, and they will be the new wave of social entrepreneurs rebuilding our local food economy.” The new market is the first expression of this new wave of entrepreneurialism, and has major community support. “The South Miami Farmers’ Market idea grew out of the South Miami Green Task Force, which Earth Learning had the pleasure of attending regularly,” Mario explained. “Health Foundation of South Florida is providing some funding, and many local organizations such as South Miami Hospital are strong supporters.”

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The Pinecrest Gardens Green Market opened for the season two Sundays ago, and you couldn’t ask for a better day, sunny and cool, and not too humid. It was a great day to take the kids and dogs outside and stroll among the tents, shop for farm fresh produce and grab a bite to eat.

Farm intern helping shoppers with their purchases.

The big Redland Organics tent dominated the west entrance of the market, and its tables were loaded with a variety of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables. It’s one of many sellers returning this year, and plenty more new ones were added to the mix. There are 50 vendors this year, according to Alana Perez, the Director of Pinecrest Gardens. I caught her prowling the market snapping pictures with her iPhone. She was delighted about the turnout on the first morning of the season. “This has really taken off, it’s huge!” she exclaimed. “The market has community support and it has a loyal following.” And the hungry community was there shopping up a storm. They lined up eight and ten deep to pay at the Redland Organics tent. By noon, Farmer Margie had sold out of grape tomatoes, all greens, and most fruit and vegetables. Only a few green peppers, zucchini, thai basil and some mamey remained.

Eggplants with schnozzles, proboscis, protruberances, and curlicues.

This year the market setup was a bit different. The tents were moved back to a row of banyan trees behind the main parking lot for the Gardens. It was hard to see tents from the road when I drove up. Then I spotted two small signs pointing me to the parking lot. Some vendors would have preferred to be visible from the street, like last year. But Alana Perez explained the move freed up more parking spaces. And Farmer Margie pointed out that the trees provide shade that helps keep produce from wilting in the heat.

Of the 50 vendors, there were more selling non-food items, like stoneware and solar systems. One produce seller groused, “It becomes more like bargaintown.” Bud and Linda, two shoppers who stopped to chat with me, love the market but had mixed feelings about its new incarnation. Bud told me, “I don’t want it to be like a flea market. There shouldn’t be anything that’s not edible.” Linda liked the old location by the street, and found the narrow aisles a bit claustrophobic. Both shop at the market to support local growers. “The people who are local are proud to be local,” Bud pointed out. “As for people who are not, it should be compulsory to say where the food came from.” (If they don’t have a sign, peek under the table at the produce boxes to discover where things came from.)

Farmer Nick offers a taste of local honey.

Most produce was local, and customers who want something that’s not ready for harvest right now will just have to wait a little longer. Overheard at the Redland Organics tent:

Customer: I want kale. Why don’t you have kale?
Farmer: Because it’s not ready yet. It’s not in season.
Customer: How come Whole Foods has kale?
Farmer: Because they get it from California!

Farmers markets are about eating in season, celebrating local food, and enjoying freshness you won’t find in any supermarket. Support your local farmers and you’ll support local families too.

Local food bloggers Laura Lafata of La Diva Cucina, Trina Sargalski of Miami Dish, and Paula Nino of Mango & Lime.

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