Thursday, December 30, 2010

The new team 2

As we transition into another beautiful South Florida winter, Paradise Farms would like to welcome two new team members: Janelle Baksh and Kristin Lee.

Janelle is from Trinidad, and moved to Miami to further her higher education. She has a background in Biodynamics and has worked with businesses across the country. Janelle will be assisting us in becoming certified Biodynamic and producing our flower essences. Biodynamics works with balancing the interrelationship of the soil, plants, and animals as a self nourishing system. Janelle is spear-heading this process and it will ultimately help produce the most sustainable, nutrient rich, delicious produce possible. You can also find Janelle around town, as she is delivering our goods to the finest establishments around Miami. We are very pleased to have her on board!!!

Kristin came to us as a transplant from Denver, Colorado. She has a focus in hospitality, and fine dining. As our Dinner In Paradise has grown, we’ve added more tours, and are now offering Lunch In Paradise as well. Our ever-expanding event calendar has kept us on our toes, and Kristin in here to exceed all of our guest’s expectations. Kristin will help keep Paradise Farms at the forefront of ‘farm to table’ fine dining. We also have expanded our farm to include bed and breakfast bungalows. Kristin is available to coordinate your stay in Paradise, and ensure you will have a truly memorable, relaxing stay.

We hope you have a harmonious holiday season, and look forward to seeing you at our next event in Paradise. Please make reservations soon, they are selling out fast!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Market Maestros

We sold out of nearly everything last week at the Coral Gables Farmers’ Market, so we recommend arriving early for limited items like cherry tomatoes and multicolored baby carrots. For latecomers, there will be lots of greens, fennel, scallions and herbs. Pale yellow-striped pineapple mint is just one of our varieties that piques foodies and gardeners alike. Once you cook with our oyster mushrooms, you’ll forget all about meat from then on. We swear!

See you Saturday, Jan. 30, from 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. at City Hall.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Clean and green

Check out our new showers! Anyone can make one in his backyard. We cut bamboo from the farm to assemble walls atop a foot of pea rock for drainage. They’re much roomier than our previous set-up, not to mention allow us the luxury of showering under the stars.

The above picture is a view from the outside.

Ben and his bike

Not to be confused with Benjamin our oyster mushroom expert, Ben is a WWOOFer who arrived in November. Most of our volunteers come by car or plane, but Ben rolled up on this sweet ride, a customized motorcycle with parts from several models including a Honda Shadow Spirit and a 1984 Harley. Describing the project as an artistic collage, he wrapped the gas tank with turkey wing feathers and attached a boar’s skull under the headlight. A bona fide biker, Ben even rode through Hurricane Ida, holding on so tightly that his handlebars came off!

A native of northern Wisconsin who grew up on a dairy farm, he hunts professionally and responsibly to protect farms and to control wildlife overpopulation. After teaching high school and working in an art gallery, Ben began a cross-country adventure that’s taken him from a winery in California, where he studied under Standing Bear, a Hupa storyteller, an apple orchard in North Carolina, and a farm in Georgia, where he milked cows and goats, and learned sacred food blessings from nearby Cherokees.

Ben is also a published poet whose work can be read at

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Bundle Up!

You may have been following the news coverage about how the freeze of 2010 decimated much of Florida’s agriculture. Luckily we were at the southern tip of the state, but temperatures still plummeted to 29 degrees here. We prepared by covering at least a quarter acre of the farm with swaths of a gauzy polyester (as seen in the picture above). The vegetables and herbs pulled through, but unfortunately we lost a lot of our edible flowers like wild petunia and clitoria that will take a few weeks to rejuvenate.

To market, to market

After years of requests, we’re finally participating in a farmers’ market. Please join us for our debut outside Coral Gables city hall (405 Biltmore Way) this Saturday, January 16, from 8 a.m.- 1p.m. Please arrive early to our booth in case we run out of items including romaine lettuce, fennel, carrots, scallions, parsley, kale and more. See you there!