Posts Tagged ‘Teena Borek’

artisanal fair

Saturday, September 28, 2013
12 noon to 4:00 pm
Free admission

The Wolfsonian Museum is teaming up with local farms and makers of food products for this all-about-the-local-food-you eat event.

Artisanal Fair @ The Wolf and CSA Sign-Up is a fantastic opportunity to meet your local farmers. Come find out more about local food grown by Margie Pikarsky of Bee Heaven Farm and sign up for one of her Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm shares.

Teena Borek from Teena’s Pride CSA and Muriel Olivares from Little River Market Garden CSA (sold out for this season!) will also be there. Buying from a CSA a great way to support a local farmer, and get fresh produce every week during our harvest season.

Participating local food vendors include: Cao Chocolates, The Cheesecake Gallery, Dauphin Kaffee artisanal coffees, Freakin’ Flamingo jams and jellies, Pop Nature popsicles and paletas, Proper Sausages, and Simply Sharon’s “treats that heal.”

At 2:00 pm, take a special guided tour of the current Modern Meals exhibit. It will be led by museum staff and Teena Borek.

This event is co-presented by The Village Stand gourmet shop and Slow Food Miami.

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Now is the time to sign up for farmers’ producer-sharing plans

Miami-Dade food loves can sign up now to get a share of fresh-grown produce straight from local farms.

By Christina Veiga cveiga@MiamiHerald.com

Fall marks the beginning of the main growing season for farmers in deep South Miami-Dade County. It’s also a time when veggie-lovers can join a CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture program.

CSA members pay in advance for fresh produce grown at local farms, explained Diane Diaz, who helps run Teena’s Pride CSA in Homestead.

Members get a share of the CSA’s harvest, the size of which will depend in part on Mother Nature. “It’s kind of like buying stocks into the farm, and as long as we don’t have a hurricane or a freeze, then your stocks are secure,” she said.

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/09/04/2984348/now-is-the-time-to-sign-up-for.html

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The choice is not local or organic but how, through your organic food purchases, you can incorporate supporting local agriculture, local communities and and local economies into an organic lifestyle. The more you were into local culture, the more important it is to support organics in your region.
– George Siemon, Organic Valley

Carolann and Ted Baldyga, Hani Khouri

As the locavore dinner unfolded I couldn’t help thinking that maybe this was the way previous generations ate in this area. Crab, wild pig, cobia, coconut for sure, and other foods were later introduced. Many tropical things, whether native or  introduced, don’t grow in more northern latitudes. Jaboticaba, bignay, betel leaf, callaloo, Red Ceylon peach, rangpur lime, Mysore raspberries  — you’re not going to find most of those at a supermarket in Miami — or New Jersey! (But you can find some things at farmers markets, or grow others in your back yard.)

James and Donna Patrick, Laura Veitia

Earth Dinner calls for us to honor the earth, the very dirt we stand on, by honoring our food. And by so doing, we honor our farmers — a stubborn, determined, independent tribe — who work very hard to feed us. In fact most of the growers who provided the ingredients for our dinner were present — Robert Barnum, Margie Pikarsky, Hani Khouri, George Figueroa, Teena Borek, and guests Thi and Bill Squire representing our local Slow Food Miami chapter.

Bill and Thi Squire

Robert and Margie’s Earth Dinner was only one of two in the entire state of Florida. I’m a bit surprised there weren’t more. A wide range of food grows in the spaces outside urban development, and agriculture is the state’s second largest source of revenue. City dwellers are quick to forget that they live among farmers, even as farmers are pushed back by relentless waves of development.

Robin and Carol Faber

Margie stood up and spoke at the close of dinner. “This dinner is about the importance of the local farmer. It’s important that we support the local foodshed and the richness of the local food here. This is the way to keep our country strong and our food safe. By keeping food regional, it’s easier to control food safety.”

Anthony Rodriguez, George Figueroa, Tina Trescone

Know where your food comes from, or how it was grown and processed. Connect the food with the place where you live, and you will be healthier and stronger for it. At last month’s Earth Dinner, the taste of this place was in the food and drink. It was unlike any dinner I’d eaten anywhere else. And it sure made for good experience and good memories! If I were to savor a perfectly ripe Mysore raspberry or take a sip of bignay wine, blindfolded, years from now, I would remember in a heartbeat this dinner and this particular abundant land — thanks to our local farmers!

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The dinner table is perhaps the most powerful and delicious place to plant the seeds of change; the return to simple truths, change, and wisdom all go hand in hand. Our first step toward change can be to pause when we take our first bite and think about our connections with food. Aha! Understanding this connection is the essence of the Earth Dinner.
– Theresa Marquez, founder of Earth Dinner

Earth Dinner is a new holiday tradition meant to celebrate Earth Day. It was started four seven years ago by Organic Valley and Chefs Collaborative as a way to gather friends and loved ones around the table for a fresh, seasonal meal made of local ingredients. The focus of the Dinner is to have a meaningful conversation about the food — where it came from, how it was grown or harvested, and who grew it. So it was only natural that farmer Margie Pikarsky and grower/chef Robert Barnum would organize their own Earth Dinner,  held the weekend after Earth Day.

Earth Dinner at Possum Trot Tropical Fruit Nursery.

Call it extreme locavore. The challenge was to source all ingredients — except for flour and olive oil — from what was available locally. And so the hunting and foraging began. Chef Michael Schwartz  donated wild boar he had hunted himself together with local fisherman George Figueroa of Trigger Seafood, who donated cobia. Hani Khouri provided cheese and milk from his goats. Large beautiful heirloom tomatoes came from grower Teena Borek. Callaloo came from Three Sisters Farm, and a variety of herbs and vegetables from Bee Heaven Farm. Winemaker Peter Schnebly donated two kinds of local fruit wine. And a plethora of fruit came from Robert’s own grove.

At the wood smoker, Weber bastes wild boar and Sadie checks multi-color potatoes.

Margie and her crew volunteered to help clean and cook, and Robert’s friends pitched in. Preparations took days and went up to the last minute. When I arrived an hour before dinner, a plume of blue smoke chugged from the wood smoker outside the house, as wild boar and multi-color potatoes cooked inside. Both kitchens were humming with activity as helpers chopped, stirred, snipped and tossed. In the dining room, two long tables were covered with white linen and glittered with fine china, glassware and silver. Centerpieces of mixed flowers — food for local bees — from Bee Heaven Farm graced the tables. Glass goblets were stocked with braided breadsticks that had been baked in the wood oven and looked like branches plucked from the grove. Even the sea salt was local, produced by a small company in the Florida Keys.

Donna and James Patrick smell crushed bay rum leaves.

While there was still daylight before dinner, Robert offered guests a short tour of his 40 acre property. Everything he grows is useful in some way. He pointed out bay rum, lemon bay and citronella outside the house, and invited guests to crush leaves and smell different scents. Jaboticaba was nearby, with small, unripe berries growing on its trunk. It bears fruit three or four times a year. Robert harvests the berries for wine, of which we got a taste later in the dinner. Guests strolled through the grove and saw macadamia, mango, and lychee trees (to name just a few of the edibles that I recognized).

<< to be continued >>

Robert Barnum holds up a jaboticaba fruit.

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Check out this article in the Miami Herald today about Teena’s Pride CSA pickups at area Whole Foods stores. Farmer Margie Pikarsky is also quoted.

Farm fresh: Shoppers can now order straight from growers

Whole Foods offers help to Community Supported Agriculture programs. Consumers can now pick up their pre-ordered produce from local farms at stores.


Geane Brito has to wait until her two kids get out of school before going to Whole Foods in Miami Beach to pick up their box of vegetables for the week from Teena’s Pride in the Redland.

Magnus and Isadora Kron, ages 8 and 10, dash immediately into the store, eager to take inventory of the seasonal vegetables just picked from a local farm: broccoli leaves, heirloom tomatoes, poblano peppers and carrots with the tops still attached.

Brito’s family is part of a growing group in South Florida and around the country embracing Community Supported Agriculture. For $20 to $40 a week, they buy ultra-fresh food straight from the farm at prices similar to the grocery store. And their contribution helps small farmers remain in business.

“I want my children to have the experience of knowing that fresh vegetables don’t grow at the supermarket,” said Brito, who lives on South Beach.

While the CSA concept historically has cut the grocery store out of the equation, Whole Foods stores in Florida are aiming to change that. The chain is kicking off a program to offer local farms free use of Whole Foods stores throughout the state as drop-off and pick-up points for the weekly deliveries.

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/02/07/2055665/farm-fresh-shoppers-can-now-order.html

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The Fall 2010 issue of Edible South Florida has a wonderful photo essay about the women farmers among us. Get to know Muriel Olivares, Teena Borek, Margie Pikarsky, Gabriele Marewski and Alice Pena.

The magazine is free at Whole Foods (look in the produce section) in Dade and Broward counties, and other locations around town.

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Pie…. ah, who doesn’t love pie. Fruit pie, custard pie, pie with whipped cream on top, pie with ice cream, pie with a light flaky crust. Pie! As much as I love eating pie, I haven’t had much luck making it. Have been thwarted by the most important step — making a crust that is light and flaky, not tough and rubbery.

Growers Teena Borek and Robert Barnum

The Cantankerous Chef aka Robert Barnum spent his summer vacation patiently working on pie crust. He was passionately in pursuit of the perfect light, flaky crust to use in his tropical fruit pies. He told me that I could get a taste of that perfection in his homegrown longan-walnut-‘bola raisin pie at the Slow Food Miami “Pie on the Porch” competition this past Saturday.

It was a great afternoon to hang out on the wide wraparound porch at the historic Merrick House while sipping lemonade. Kids ran around on the lush green lawn under the shade of huge live oak trees. A vegetable garden had been set up on a side lawn. It was round, with coral rock borders, and looked very much like a pie cut into four slices. Boy Scouts from

Little plants ready to grow.

Troop 4 tilled the soil, and starter plants provided by Teena’s Pride Farm were waiting to get planted into the beds. Slow Food Miami director Donna Reno explained this would be a historically accurate kitchen garden, growing foods much like the ones the Merrick family ate. The garden and pie competition are two of several events to  commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Merrick House.

By the time I arrived, the porch was packed with eager, hungry people. Serving tables were set up, but where were the pies? They were inside the house getting judged. The seven judges aka the Supreme Court of Pie, led by Chief Justice of Pie Hedy Goldsmith herself, were ensconced in the dining room of the Merrick House. They were seated around a large table, armed with scorecards, plastic forks and glasses of water.

The Supreme Court of Pie

In the adjoining kitchen, 23 pies were arrayed on the counter. The pies were judged one by one. Three thin slices were cut and brought out to the table. The judges sampled and passed around the slices, discussed them briefly, and made their marks on score sheets. The judges evaluated pies on overall appearance, taste, overall impression, creativity, regional ingredients, and name. It was serious, intense work.

Pastry chef Hedy Goldsmith goes eyeball to eyeball with coconut pie.

According to the competition rules, “All pies must be made with a fruit or main ingredient that grows locally.” The pies had to be homemade, using home grown or local, and non-artificial ingredients. The pies had small cards describing what they were, but contestants were not identified.

Once the pie was judged, a runner brought it out to the porch, where hungry guests were waiting for a taste. As a Slow Foodie began slicing and doling out pieces, people immediately mobbed the table. You’d think they hadn’t eaten pie in ages. “It’s a feeding frenzy out there,” the runner commented when she returned to the kitchen. I was intrigued by a green avocado pie and a salmon-colored mamey pie, but those vanished before I made it to the table.

The first pies to emerge from judging got mobbed.

Tracked down Robert’s longan-walnut-‘bola raisin pie and dug in. It was a pie of complex flavors and unusual textures. Am not a fan of fresh longan, but baking mellowed and sweetened its flavor, and it tasted more like lychee. Encountered chewy bits of ‘bola raisins made from dried carambola, and crunchy bits of walnut. The texture reminded me of mincemeat pie, but count on Robert to push a recipe and turn the familiar into something different. As for the perfect crust, yes, it was light and crumbly, as promised. (If you want The Cantankerous Chef to make you a pie, and maybe dinner to go with it, give him a call at 305-235-1768.)

Most of the pies that I tasted (but I didn’t taste them all) followed the competition rule that the predominant ingredient must be local — mango, avocado, mamey, passion fruit, guava, coconut and longan to name the ones I saw. Some were nowhere near local — apple, apricot, pecan, chocolate — but they sneaked into the competition anyway.

The official winners were blueberry (could be local, blues grow in Florida), chocolate pecan (not local), and papaya (could be local). Details are posted on the Slow Food Miami web site.

Robert Barnum's longan-walnut-bola raisin pie.

Robert’s longan-walnut-‘bola raisin pie won an Honorable Mention. His cantankerousness vanished for a few moments. “Yippee!” he cried out happily. “I’m in fourth place,” he kept telling me. Yes, indeed. Good to see his work receive public recognition on its merits alone. Good to see SFM inching closer to recognizing local food.

In the past, SFM was chided about using (or not using) local food at its locavore events. With this pie competition, the group came one step closer to walking the walk. If the Holy Grail of a locavore event is that the ingredients (all, most, or as much as reasonably possible) are sourced locally, this event came a bit closer. However, pies made from non-local ingredients (for example apple, chocolate, pecan, apricot) should have been kept out of competition.

Foodies Naomi Ross and Brian Lemmerman enjoying pie bliss on the porch. They bicycled over from UM in the rain to taste something good to eat.

If you missed the pies, you can still visit Merrick House. It’s a lovely place, and one of the few structures that still remain from an earlier era. I’m glad I was able to visit it briefly, and want to come back another time to tour the house and grounds.

Merrick House
907 Coral Way
Coral Gables, FL 33134
305-460-5361, 305-460-5095

Kara Kautz, Historic Preservation Officer

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