Archive for March, 2010

Affordable farmers market nourishes Overtown residents – Miami-Dade –

The RITC market in Overtown got a big boost yesterday from the great article on pages 1A & 2A of The Miami Herald. Here’s the link to the article online:  Affordable farmers market nourishes Overtown residents – Miami-Dade –

We’re looking forward to next week’s official market debut, with music, food, and, of course, the obligatory (short 🙂 speeches! It will be a festive atmosphere, and we hope that more SNAP recipients will come by to shop for our FRESH, LOCAL, ORGANIC veggies! See you there!

Oh, and we’ll be open until 5pm!

Some great statistics about buying local

This is a great post summarizing the economic benefits to the community of buying from local businesses:

Rachel’s Signs

Rachel’s signs add a wonderful sense of humor and playfulness to our market stand. She whips them up effortlessly! Considering she is a senior in high school and planning to go to art school out of state, she won’t be around next year to make these signs that amuse me (and many of the market visitors) so much every Sunday morning. This post is a tribute to Rachel!

The Radish Rampage sign is by Jamie Langhoff, an intern on the farm.

This is one of my all time favorites… it was meant to advertise our smoked eggs this summer at The Ramble event.

New Opportunities for Miami-Dade Farmers

Yesterday a group of us spent the day downtown. It was a long day of waiting, but it was well-spent. The Miami-Dade County Commission unanimously (12-0, 1 absent) passed 3 ordinances updating acceptable uses for AU (agriculture) zoning. We wrote about these elsewhere in this blog and in the Redland Rambles blog. The amazing thing about this was that when the proposed ordinance were presented, they each showed 9 of the 13 commissioners as co-sponsors. It was very heartening to see just how much support has gathered behind the local farm community.

So what does this all mean? Well, it means that now farms actively engaged in agriculture production within Miami-Dade County will no longer be prohibited from carrying out farming-related activities (so called ‘cottage industries’). They now can, for example, run a B&B or engage in value-added activities such as making preserves or ice cream right on the farm (provided, of course, that all the appropriate licensing etc is obtained-the ‘gummint’ must extract their pound of flesh from these new potential income streams).

You may not see many changes right away. Farms will need to put infrastructure in place and get properly licensed before they can engage in these new activities, but I guarantee you will see more farm events, exciting farm products, and agri-tourism-oriented destinations down in the Redland area. It might well make the difference between continuing to farm and selling out to developers.

Thank you, Commissioners, for putting your faith and support behind us!

February 28th Market Details

I’ve been meaning to do a post about our farmer’s market on Sundays. This week I was finally inspired by the beautiful weather as well as by the colors and freshness of the produce. All of these pictures where taken in the early morning either as we were setting up or shortly after.

The variety of radishes is what got me started. From left to right: French Breakfast, a mild and almost sweet radish, Purple Plum, another mild and sweet variety, Daikon, a sharp Japanese radish commonly used in pickling and Red Round, a classic mild variety.

Rainbow Chard is always a favorite of mine. I really enjoy harvesting it and making bunches with the saturated jewel tone stems.

Red Potatoes and Heirloom Beans, a couple of staples at our stand. The beans were damaged by the frost, but certain varieties have recovered better than others so we have been able to bring a small quantity every Sunday; they sell out fast!

Whenever we can bring Paradise Farms’ Oyster Mushrooms, we do, because they are beautiful, succulent and fresh.

If you like tartness you should try these pints of little Tangerines. This tree on the farm is a favorite pit stop for us when we’re working as well as for farm tours. I love the fruit and I love the smell of the flowers even more which resemble Orange blossoms.

Canistel is another staple at our stand. When I walk the market I’ve never seen any other vendor selling this fruit. I consider it a pride of South Florida because the trees grow and produce abundantly down here and the fruits are uniquely delicious. I find their culinary versatility very interesting and fun to play with.

For the past two weeks we have been able to bring quarts of Loquats (for an amazing price of $3.00 each!). A friend and CSA memeber, Steve, has a 15 acre grove which just got certified organic of mostly Lychees and other fruit trees. He has been calling us over to pick the hundreds of perfectly ripe Loquats and we’ve been going! This item is a real treat, hopefully it lasts a couple more weeks.

Last, but not least, I’d like to mention our bouquets. They change from week to week based on what’s blooming on the farm. Lately I’ve been using a lot of Amaranth, which is a deep burgundy panicle that contrasts beautifully with pale toned flowers and bright greens. I love to use herbs, both leaves and flowers, as much for their look as for their scent. This bouquet features a few of my favorites including Amaranth, Mint, Nigella (a relative of cumin), Lemon Basil and Kailaan flowers (a Chinese Kale).

If you haven’t been able to make it to the market in a while, or you’ve never been, I hope this post inspires you to come out next week.

We are at the Pinecrest Green Market at Pinecrest Gardens on Sundays from 9am-2pm.


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March 2010

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