Posts Tagged ‘farmers market’

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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Just a reminder that the Grand Opening Celebration of the new Roots in the City Farmers Market will be next Wednesday, on April 7, starting at 1 pm.

Scheduled festivities: Ribbon-cutting, performances by the Booker T. Washington High School Band and Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink will offer complimentary samples of dishes from the school’s cookbook, created with the market’s fresh produce.

There’s a great picture of Farmer Margie in the Miami Herald today! It’s on page 2A, or you can see it online.

Affordable farmers market nourishes Overtown residents

A new farmers market aims to make fresh fruits and vegetables accessible to Overtown residents.


Sarah Wallace can barely remember what it was like to eat fresh spinach, collard greens and carrots. It has been years since she has been able to afford any of her favorite fresh vegetables on $40 a month in food stamps.

Typically, Wallace makes do with canned beans and corn. That’s why she couldn’t help fighting back tears at the recent opening of the Roots in the City Farmers Market across the street from her Overtown apartment.

What makes this market different from others around South Florida is that it offers lower-income consumers the opportunity to eat healthy by using their food stamps to make subsidized purchases. For every $1 in food stamps or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program dollars, they get $2 worth of fresh fruits and vegetables. The limit: $20 per day of free produce.

Wallace, who has lived in Overtown her whole life, didn’t believe the market was going to happen until she saw the trial run for herself last Wednesday. She walked away with a big bag of fresh produce and the hope that it dispels the notion that African Americans don’t want to eat fresh vegetables.

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/03/30/1555973/affordable-food-nourishes-neighborhood.html

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The two best farmers markets on the weekend — and you can feel free to debate this with me — are the Pinecrest Gardens Green Market on Sundays from 9 am to 2 pm, and the Coral Gables Farmers Market on Saturdays from 8 am to 1 pm.

Coral Gables Farmers Market
405 Biltmore Way
(in front of City Hall, at Biltmore Way and LeJeune Ave.)

Hurry over to the Gables Market because this Saturday March 27 is the last day. Several members of Redland Organics are selling their wares there.

Jad, Jessie, Leah and Mary Lee at Hani's Mediterranean Organics

One recent weekend I stopped by to chat with the crew at Hani’s Mediterranean Organics. Everybody who walked up to the tent asked if cheese was available. “The goat cheese is in limited production and sells out fast. You got to get here early,” Hani’s wife Mary Lee patiently explained. She offered mussels cooked in white wine sauce with garlic, or maybe some lupini beans to snack on. Their son Jad was making falafel, and volunteers Jessie and Leah from Ohio State University helped out. (Hani is also at the Pinecrest Market.)

Paradise Farms, the only certified organic farmer at Gables market.

Across the street you’ll find Paradise Farms selling various fruits, vegetables and herbs. Paradise is certified organic, unlike other growers at the market. You have to get there early for their famous oyster mushrooms. The recent cool, dry weather slowed down mushroom growth, so there have been some weeks where they have been in short supply. (Paradise is not at Pinecrest Market, but you might find the mushrooms at Redland Organics.)

You’ll find Miguel Bode selling honey and pollen at his tent set up at the end of Biltmore Way right by LeJeune. Miguel’s wife was there last Saturday while Miguel was down in Redland checking his hives. He keeps bees at Bee Heaven Farm and at Paradise Farms. His wildflower honey is my favorite, and is a real taste of the local area.

Miguel Bode's local honey and bee pollen

Pinecrest Gardens Green Market
5855 S.W. 111th Street
(in parking lot in front of Pinecrest Gardens)

If you want Miguel’s honey but missed the Gables Market, you can also find it here, sold by Redland Organics. Everything is local, either grown on Bee Heaven Farm or sourced from organic growers within 150 miles of Miami. No telling what interesting things you’ll discover under the sprawling tent. In addition to honey, you can find certified organic fruits, vegetables and herbs, along with bunches of flowers and dried fruits, and Paradise Farms oyster mushrooms (subject to availability).

Word up to CSA members — the produce in your Saturday box is also available at market, so if you want more of something but didn’t find it in the extras box, go to Pinecrest. You can also find things at market which never make it into your CSA box, particularly fruit and herbs. On one recent Sunday, I saw rangpur limes, which look like small oranges but are not quite as tart as the familiar green limes.

The Pinecrest Market will run through April.

An assortment of familiar and unusual fruit at Redland Organics.

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While I was in the barn on Friday setting up to photograph this week’s share, in strolled Annie Gascoyne, co-owner of Help Yourself!, an organic restaurant located in Key West. Annie made the three-and-a-half hour drive up with her boyfriend to pick up boxes of veggies for her restaurant, and for the farmer’s market that she and her business partner run on Sundays from 9 am to 1 pm.

The market is “getting quite a little following,” Annie told me as she took a minute from packing produce into the car. In addition to herbs, fruits and vegetables from Redland Organics, “there’s a fellow who cuts fresh coconuts, and live music from a local band that comes without fail.” Co-owner and chef Charlie Wilson gives cooking demos. The market is in its second season, paralleling the CSA season, and it’s starting to take off. A loyal group of locals comes by every week to shop, and this season Annie has noticed an increasing number of tourists dropping by.

Annie explained that she started the market because not everybody may want to, or afford to, eat at her restaurant every day. “There was such a lack,” she said. “I wanted to bring that [market] experience to support local farmers. It’s so nice knowing what you’re supporting.” And her customers are delighted for the opportunity to get fresh, healthy local food. “All say thank you so much for being here,” Annie said.

Help Yourself! is a rare bird as far as restaurants go in this area. Annie and Charlie source local food as much as possible, and all ingredients are natural and organic. “We’re all about food as it should be,” Annie explained. She had visited restaurants with similar concepts in London and New York, and Charlie had been a chef at a top-notch vegan restaurant in New York — so why not Key West? “Knowing that this exists in other places, and feeling a real lack, combined with a desire to support local business doing great things” inspired the two women to launch their restaurant.

Today and tomorrow Help Yourself! is participating in the Gardenfest, a weekend festival to benefit the Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden, located on Stock Island. The festival will feature a plant sale, and various speakers on gardening, plus a green market, various artisan crafts and live music.

Help Yourself! organic restaurant
829 Fleming Street
Key West, Fl 33040

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Invasion of giant calabazas

28 pound calabaza

Last week Cliff Middleton brought over two giant calabazas. They were huge! One could fit inside a full share box, maybe. Grabbed a squash and waddled across the barn to weight it — 28 pounds! Weighed the other one — 32 pounds! What kind of organic goodness is Cliff doing over at Three Sisters Farm to get things to grow like that?? Or maybe it’s just the nature of the squash — they want to rule the world.

32 pound calabaza

Margie cut up and sold both at market last Sunday, and farm intern Emily took a picture of one of them cut open and posted it on her blog Crooked Row. Just one squash could have fed a family of four four a week. Hmmm, wondering what kinds of goodies are waiting in the barn to be photographed this week…

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