Posts Tagged 'farmers market'

…aaaand, we’re BACK!

After a dormancy approaching 2 years (really? really!! time flies!), I realized it’s time to crank up this blog again – just in time for the new season.  We didn’t REALLY fall off the face of the earth. We’ve continued to send out emails, and have been active on Facebook, with some Tweeting thrown in from time to time, but I know that a number of our fans don’t “do” Facebook, not everyone is on our email list, and many don’t appreciate being bombarded with constant emails. So, I’m brushing off the rust, oiling the gears…ready to blog it!

Lots of things have happened in the intervening months. It’s the cycle of  life on a farm – preparing, planting crops, weeding, harvesting, selling, delivering, removing, recharging, then starting all over again. And in between each one, there’s weeding, dealing with unexpected stuff – sometimes good, sometimes not – more weeding, and in the summer, mowing and mowing and mowing – oh, and weeding! Then somewhere in the mix, throw in a crop of baby chicks to replenish the flock, after decimation by coyote and feral dogs… yep, life on the farm is NEVER boring.

Bee Heaven Farm collage

Last year on the farm

We saw new markets start, and others die out. The Homestead Market at Losner Park and the Overtown Market on 10th Street did not return in 2011-2012, and were sorely missed. But the slightly less hectic pace let us concentrate on the Pinecrest Gardens Green Market, where we had a great season. We’ll be back in Pinecrest in December.

Last year we started using Farmigo’s  CSA software system. We’ve fully automated our CSA enrollment process and are now able to offer more flexibility with share options and payment plans. In the summertime, when the CSA isn’t running and we don’t sell at the farmers market, we’ve always had a prepaid system (open to anyone) to order seasonal summer items – mainly tropical fruit. We implemented Farmigo’s webstore functions for this, and expanded our summer pickup locations to include the Upper Eastside Market, where our more northerly customers could pick up their orders without having to schlep down to Joanna’s Marketplace in the Dadeland area or to the farm in Redland. That’s worked out really well!

Our CSA options expanded last year, with the discovery of locally-grown Sem-Chi certified organic rice right in the Clewiston area barely 100 miles from the farm, and the debut of local salt farmers Midge & Tom with their Florida Keys Sea Salt. As more local organic (or pesticide-free) producers come online, we continue to develop additional stability and more variety in the shares.  We’re always looking for new crops, too. We have an amazing opportunity in South Florida to explore tropical food crops not available in the rest of mainland USA, and we’re all about that! Of course, Mother Nature always has the last word.

…see you around!

Amble to the RAMBLE!

Visit our booth at Fairchild’s 70th annual Ramble. We’ll have our full farmers market display BHF's market boothwith plenty of goodies, such as dandelion, callaloo, arugula, and assorted other greens, salad mix, first harvest local green beans!, head lettuces, squash & zucs & cukes, turnips, bok choy, cherry tomatoes, fennel and assorted herbs, betel leaf and hoja santa, avocados, carambolas, jakfruit, passionfruit, sugarcane and persimmons. Everything is certified organic or pesticide-free, AND locally-grown!

We’ll also have our awesome Antidema Butter, Guava Shells, our Fruits of Summer dried tropical fruit mix, and assorted other goodies.

So, come on out – we won’t be at Pinecrest on Sunday, only at RAMBLE!

Cornucopia Institute posts Miami Herald article- Bee Heaven owner: Organic farming is good for the foodie — and the land

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via Bee Heaven Owner: Organic farming is good for the foodie — and the land.

Affordable farmers market nourishes Overtown residents – Miami-Dade – MiamiHerald.com

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 – MiamiHerald.com.

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!

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.

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.

Asian Mix

Our Asian Mix a.k.a. Braising Mix is a truly nice product, especially this time of year when we get consistent cool nights and bright sunny days with the occasional cold front. I love this time of year as much as our greens do. Everything is lined up just right for the healthy development of Brassicas (the family of plants that include most of the greens we grow, including Mustard, Kale, Pei Tsai, Tat Soi and many others) right now. The days are getting longer so there is more sunlight for photosynthesis. At night, when I take a walk with my head lamp on I can see the leaves covered with dew standing perky and fully hydrated. They have developed a strong root system by now so they are never without water or nutrients. The quality of these plants really comes through in our Asian Mix. We’ve harvested it twice for the CSA and we bring it to the Pinecrest Farmer’s Market every Sunday.This is Pei Tsai growing out in the field. This is a delicious and not so well know Asian green that we love and grow every year. It’s a fast growing plant that resembles something between a cabbage and lettuce, so it is great both raw and lightly braised. It has a light, sweet flavor with hints of cabbage and the texture is crisp but soft.

This is Lacinato Kale, a.k.a. Dinosaur Kale, which most people are familiar with. These plants are seeded in the beginning of the season and produce abundantly until the very end. They get sweeter the cooler it is. The kale in our Asian Mix adds heartiness and turns it into something that is very braisable.

This an example of what goes into the mix. From left to right, Yukina Savoy, Lacinato Kale, Osaka Purple Mustard, Pei Tsai, Red Russian Kale and Tres Fin Frisee. It’s a perfect balance of textures and flavors!

Here we are mixing 80+ pounds of the freshly picked leaves for the CSA. When they are all laid out on a table it is pretty spectacular.

This is the finished product, 1/2 pound per bag. We sell these at the farmer’s market for $4.50/each. One bag is enough to make a beautiful salad for up to 5 people or a few salads for a couple. When cooked, greens shrink down substantially in volume, but the nutrition in a dish accompanied by them is very high so you wont need much.

The pictures below where sent to me by Emily, one of this season’s interns.  They are so beautiful I had to add them to this post.

BEAUTIFUL!

Thanks Emily.


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