I was really hoping to get out and about in South Florida while hiding out from the winter here to visit as many farms as possible, but I quickly discovered that wasn’t as easy as I thought it’d be. Florida eats money… it ate all of mine in the short time I’ve been here – and you can’t really go anywhere here without money.
I haven’t lived in South Florida in ten years, and I’ve gotten quite used to getting around via public transportation in the other places I’ve lived or traveled. I basically haven’t owned a car in 6 years, and haven’t ever missed having one. Until, that is, I came to South Florida for the winter. Immediately, having a car became a necessity. Yes there is such thing as public transportation here, but it’s pretty unreliable and expensive and takes HOURS to get anywhere since this is a suburban/highway metropolis. Even by car, it takes 45 minutes on I-95 to get anywhere between the Palm Beach/Ft Lauderdale/Miami stretch.
So my visions of hopping between the urban farms in Little Haiti, Miami, Pompano Beach and Delray Beach (all 20-60 minutes away from me, though I’m staying right in the middle of them all!), not to mention taking road trips to the center of the state where big citrus and beef operations are ( Florida has about 130,000 dairy cows, grows 3/4 of the country’s oranges, 2/3 of the grapefruit – plus other crops like 1/2 the country’s snap beans – and is the second largest producer of sugar cane and a top grower for watermelon), went up in smoke as soon as transportation costs were factored in.
That said, I wanted to share this list of some farms, markets and food justice orgs I did manage to get out to, plus others that I only hoped to get to:
Roots in the City – focused on community development, creating jobs and beautifying Miami’s inner city, this organization has established several community gardens and tree nurseries in Miami’s neighborhood of Overtown – and they just launched a new farmers’ market!
Y.O.U.T.H Lead Miami – Youth Leading Environmental Activism Through Democracy is an organization that is working to educate and empower young people to adopt healthy, sustainable behaviors and advocate for food and environmental justice in their schools and communities. They run a farmers’ market in Miami (which I still hope to get to before I leave Florida!)
Earth ‘n’ Us – a beautiful, gem of a place tucked away in the back yards of Little Haiti. I did get a chance to visit this farm twice and wrote a little about them on Grist.org.
Marando Farms – a small organic farm, nursery and farmers’ market.
The Fruitful Field – a community garden aiming to bring food awareness and spiritual into the community of Pompano Beach.
Farmer Jay – a one acre farm in Delray Beach supported by the Ellenville Garden Center and Nursery. I got to volunteer on this farm a couple times and work with Jay who is a knowledgeable farmer who believes in permaculture and sustainable, smart growing tactics that work in harmony with the Earth. Great produce and education can be found at the Boca Raton GreenMarket where he has a stand.
The Girls U-Pick Strawberry Farm – a hydroponic strawberry patch in Delray Beach, where you can pick fresh strawberries…right from the hanging styrofoam strawberry pots?
Oh and in case you didn’t notice, I gave the blog a facelift! Somebody told me it was too dark to read, so there ya have it – look out for some more updates soon as I add other blog links, books to read, etc!