Monday, December 16, 2013

This Is Why We Do Farmer's Markets.

There is something wonderful about being part of a larger Farmer's Market. Especially when the venue is the lush Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. When you're part of a bigger market, you meet other farmers, vendors, chefs, entrepreneurs, people working hard on a Saturday to get their produce and products in front of people - farm direct to YOU. This Saturday's market was our first with Fairchild and we'll be back every Saturday from 9AM - 2PM. The location is such a nice handshake - eat some farm fresh foods for breakfast, pop into Fairchild's Butterfly explosion to indulge in a snack for your eyeballs, then come back and start harvesting from the market! [lots of photos are on our Facebook page]

Scoop up some delicate microgreens like Paradise Farms Organics arugula. Those tiny little greens bite back, but in the best way. Pluck up some of our watermelon radish, edible flowers, buttery avocados and purple topped scallions for your afternoon guacamole snack.

Snatch up a mushroom and mozzarella empanada from The Empanada Lady (not pictured, that's the Empanada dude).

Say hello to Hani over at Hani's Mediterranean Organics. Not only is Hani named "Miami's Best Cheese" of 2013 in Miami New Times, but he's also our cheese guy!

You can even find the perfect dessert over at Sweet Armoire Cakes. All of this and more in the middle of a tropical masterpiece. Culture and the fruits of agriculture all in one spot.
There is also something really special about setting up your own Farmer's Market - well, farm stand, really - smack dab on the front lawn of your farm. It brings the neighbors by. It opens the farm up to the community. It's a great opportunity to ask Farmer Andy how he tames his beard.

In that blazing humid sun (it looked like it might rain today, didn't it?) we met a college student back in town for a few weeks (from Missouri, I think?). She laughed about how her sorority sisters were jealous that she was running off, bikini in hand. We met another neighbor who was excited to embark on a diet with her husband, after the holidays of course.

We met Nelson from down the road. Nelson does property management at Ocean Reef Club and he grabbed some of our goodies for his friend; a chef aboard a yacht that "travels all over." We met the twosome with their lips wrapped around their Robert Is Here smoothie straws. What a perfect Homestead Sunday - goof around with some emus at Robert Is Here, nab a shake, and sidle up to our farm stand. It's a nice little slice of what South Florida is all about. Note: we are no longer holding a farmer's market at our farm

Yeah, I know, I'm biased, but I wouldn't be here if I didn't love the place - and I know you will, too. Come see us either day - we'll be happy to load you up with organic goodness.

Bonus: If Chef Caryl is working the market you can ask her for advice on what to do with carambola and other delicious recipe tips. Maybe ask her about things to do in Mexico, too. If I'm there you'll probably be immortalized on our Facebook page!

Posted by: Kelly Samardak, resident photog and storyteller

Edit: We are no longer participating in the above farmer's markets, but we ARE at 2 new markets!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

From Ocean Reef To Paradise

Chefs Philippe, Santiago, and Damien visited Paradise Farms Organic today for some inspiration. More photos to come!

Photo by Kelly Samardak

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Florida Keys Chefs Find Dinner In Paradise Inspiration On The Farm

This little bee is working hard on African basil
Last week Paradise Farms Organic hosted some very special visitors. Making the trek from the Keys to agricultural gem Homestead, FL were Executive Chef Jouvens Jean and Chef De Cuisine Joe Wiktorek of Pierre’s Lounge & Restaurant at Morada Bay. They, along with Executive Chef Richard Smith from Cheeca Lodge & Spa, George Patti from Taster’s Grill, and Senior Director of Culinary Philippe Reynaud of Ocean Reef Club round out of Keys focused Dinner In Paradise on December 8, 2013. We were also joined by Pooky, the sweetest farm dog you’ll ever meet.

Farmer Gabriele and the Chefs confer while Pooky entertains the girls
Chef Joe brought along his daughters who may have entered the farm picky eaters, but left having tasted Cuban oregano, African basil, tongue tickling mustard greens, and the green bean flavored sun hemp. When Chef Jouvens arrived, the group paused in their tour for a freshly prepared snack of avocados sprinkled with Florida Keys Sea Salt and a squirt of Meyer Lemon, sliced starfruit and fresh herbal tea. With each new edible flower, plucked green and veggie discovery the chefs began brainstorming their dishes.

Chef Jouvens and three happy chayote
Chef Jouvens lit up when Farmer Gabriele led him to the chayote. “In Haiti,” he explained while turning the light green rippled produce in his hands, “chayote is used in a stew called legume. Simmered with eggplant, it’s delicious.” Chef Joe was equally pleased with his trip to Paradise and it was obvious the creative ideas for his Dinner In Paradise menu were brewing.  Chef Joe and his girls left with quite the haul: avocados, the mosaic skinned Monstera, Cuban Oregano for planting at home, and a banana flower.

Purchase tickets to join us for Dinner In Paradise on Sunday, December 8, 2013 and experience what our Florida Keys Chefs concoct to satisfy your bellies under the stars:

A beautiful plate of avocado and starfruit
Roselle is not just beautiful, it's useful: leaves can be used fresh, they have a lovely lemon flavor

Pooky, the regal sentry. See also: wild woman.


Hibiscus. Beautiful and wonderful in teas (or just in your mouth)

Sun hemp has a taste similar to green beans.

The Chefs begin brainstorming dishes for Dinner In Paradise.

Farmer Gabriele and a banana flower, which drips a pretty albeit staining purple liquid.

Photos by Kelly Samardak,