Friday, July 17, 2009

First Encounter with the Farmers

We headed out to the Redlands/Homestead/Florida City area today at 9 AM. Tomas, Mansi and I were on a quest to meet some farmers and get their feedback on the Farmers Market. Mansi had set up 3 appointments during the week. Our fist stop was with Rick, a farmer for over 15 years. He grows mainly Jackfruit, but he also grows longans and avocados and now he's got a wonderful garden of desert rose. Rick sells directly to the public, and he was very much interested in helping us find vendors to come to the market. He took our application and kept a few extras to distribute to farmer friends. Really nice guy. He gave us some jackfruits and longans to try! They are delicious!

The next stop was with Farmer Bob. Great place! A few acres of mangos, avocados, guavas, and other tropical fruits that all look ripe and ready to eat! Farmer Bob gave us a tour of the place and provided us with a calendar of what is in season when. For us city sleekers, this is a valuable piece of information. He gave us the most delicious fruit to try: Pitaya (dragon fruit). It was one of the most juicy fruits we have ever eaten and very refreshing.

The last farm we visited was Pernas Farms. I counted about 10 different types of mangoes. And, they also grow herbs and avocados.

The final stop was at Robert is Here, where we had a liquid lunch of fresh jackfruit, strawberry and passionfruit shake. Tomas also had a tasty slice of watermelon,bananas and a peach!

Needless to ay that we got eaten alive by mosquitoes! But, it was worth every minute there. The farmers were great, friendly, smart and asked the right questions. We are very excited and considered this trip a success!

Save the date: October 31st is the BIG GRAND Opening! Don't miss it.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Our Market has a Home!

We finally have a location for the Farmers' Market! The Divine Savior Church has accepted our proposal, and we are in the process of finalizing the paperwork with them. The market would run every Saturday from 9 AM. We will have the opening on Halloween day (October 31st).

We are now in the process of gathering farmers/vendors for the market. Andrea and Monsi are visiting the Redlands/Homestead area this Friday to speak to a couple of potential vendors.

We need some help from you: Please spread the word around about the market and urge people to take the survey. The survey actually helps us forecast the demand and encourages the farmers/vendors to come to Doral. Also, let us know if you have any friends, or friends' of friends who would like to sell their products* at the market.

*Product Offerings:

Raw agricultural:
Honey, vegetables, fruits, nuts, culinary and medicinal herbs, cut flowers, food and herb production plant stock, etc.

=>Value-added agricultural (i.e. licensed/regulated/inspected products):
Processed/pre-packaged/blended culinary and medicinal herbs, jam/jelly, salsa, bread, baked goods, pasta, and others approved by the Market Managers and in accordance with City of Doral regulations.
=>Prepared foods (off-site and/or on-site) ready-to-eat/drink menu items.
=>Personal care, health and wellness, and any other Market Manager pre-approved appropriate products.

=>Agronomic Products in support of agricultural economy and sustainability
=>Product offerings are of synergistic nature with respect to the City of Doral's Master Green Plan.
=>Home and decor related products.

=>Live music that is appropriate to the market and in accordance with City of Doral rules and regulations.