Margie mentioned in a previous post that we just had an insane weekend due to too many things happening at once and too many things breaking down at the same time. This post is about the upside of this weekend. After all the hassle and stress of organizing and packing tons of produce for both the CSA and The Ramble at Fairchild we had a really good time and great weather at the event. The turnout was awesome as usual and we were flattered to be busy answering questions and making sales the whole time. We didn’t sell as many heirloom starts as we had hoped and we believe it’s because most local gardeners came to the Kitchen Garden event at Fairchild last month, where we sold out of almost everything the first day. The Ramble was less about gardening and more about fun, learning and eating. All day at our booth people where asking questions (“What is Roselle?’, “What is a smoked egg?”, “Which tomato do you recommend for South Florida?”) and every time I took a walk and stopped in at a different booth I could hear people asking questions about the bread, the hot sauce, the honey, the falafel, the herbs, the flowers, etc.
We had about 40 varieties of Heirloom tomato starts; everything from cherry to paste to beefsteak. My favorite cherry is Sungold which has a small, orange, super sweet fruit. My favorite medium tomato is Cherokee Purple which has dark outside and deep watermelon pink inside. My favorite paste tomato is Blue Beech which I grew in New York this summer and I’m curious to see how it will do here this winter.
We had a beautiful assortment of tropical fruit! This is one subject that distinguishes markets in South Florida from the rest of the country. The variety of tropical fruit we have here is a true luxury and most of us either take it for granted or live our lives oblivious to it, shopping for pears and apples week after week. I was one of those people a few years ago until I got involved with the local food system. I remember what it was like to not know that just a few miles away there were dozens of delicious fruit ripening on trees and shrubs and vines.
At Ramble, one of the more popular items was the sugar cane. We also had Black Sapote, Canistel, Carambola, Passionfruit, Papaya, Charichuela, Cas Guava and Sour Orange.
Another very popular item was our smoked eggs. Everyone that noticed them at least asked about them if not tried them, and if they tried them they came back for more. I think these eggs are so beautiful, they remind me of the Japanese style of raku ceramics. The smoking process creates chocolate brown swirls on the perfectly smooth surface of the eggs. The taste is a whole other thing; eating one of these eggs is a good old smoky experience, with the reminiscence of bacon, wood and salt.
Our vegetables were pretty amazing too. Most of them were harvested at Worden Farm in Punta Gorda; they are one of the partner farms in Redland Organics which provides produce for our CSA as well as our farmer’s market in Pinecrest. By the way, if you hadn’t heard, the Pinecrest market is moving location this year for the first time. It will not be in the parking lot of Gardner’s market anymore; instead it will be in the parking lot of Pinecrest Gardens, where the old Parrot Jungle used to be.
I’d like to finish this post with a THANK YOU to everyone that came to see us because without you we wouldn’t be able to do what we do. We love to see the familiar faces that come every time to participate in the local food system which is growing stronger by the day.