Thursday, August 13, 2009

A "rare" trip for your taste buds

Last night, my husband and children attended the Rare Fruit Council’s meeting ( held at the Miami Museum of Science (
Not knowing what to expect, we showed up a little early and were greeted by some amicable folks. Immediately, they offered to try their rare fruits. Soon, people continued to pour in, and before we knew it, there was a vast display of colors, textures and smells that as I had never seen before. My kids went straight for the fresh strawberries! I ventured to try the guanabana and passion fruit, and was that a delightful shock to my taste buds! My husband loved the mango pie. We saved all the seeds so we can start some plants.
Unfortunately, I had to take my kids to do a diaper change and 2 minutes into it, the meeting got started. Thanks to my husband and his impromptu Toastmasters skills, he was able to make the announcement of our existence as a Farmers Market. By the time I got back, the meeting was well underway. I passed out some flyers and vendor applications, and then enjoyed the presentation by Lynda LaRocca on Brazil’s Pantanal’s and is flora & some fauna.
Lynda projected very interesting and inviting images of the Pantanal. I was impressed with the enormity of the country’s savanna and the beautiful and ever changing display of various plants and flowers. The blue skipper was a rare find, and Lynda captured a beautiful image on her first few days there.
As a child, fruit was always abundant in my house. We always had a basket full of apples, pears, oranges, bananas, plums, and in the summer, it was a treat to have watermelon and melons as well as pineapple and peaches. But, if you really want to challenge your senses, attend the next meeting on September 9th. I look forward to it. This time, my husband will be in charge of potty duty so I can do a short presentation on the Doral Farmers Market! J

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Redlands 2nd Visit

Last Saturday we loaded up the family and made our way down to Homestead/Redlands area once again. We had a list of addresses to visit. But, first we stopped at El Taco Toro ( for some authentic Mexican lunch. Food was great, way too much for one person to handle! The chili con queso was more like queso con chili, and it was as fat as it sounds… tasted great! The ambiance was just right… not too formal, but very nice and comfortable. The staff was friendly and accommodating. The prices were decent, but I hear there are better prices for good food out there too. We’ll have to try out other places in our next adventure.
My parents, Aldo & Maria Elena had lunch with us and then headed home. The heat was almost unbearable. Mansi and my husband were true troopers. Our kids were great too! We were on a quest to meet some farmers and make some friends. And, we certainly did!
After lunch, we headed out to Robert is Here ( so the kids could spend some time in the petting zoo. It was extremely hot. But, the boys loved it. Romir was in heaven! We left some flyers with Robert. We found a guy across the street from the fruit stand selling interesting art, blankets and artifacts. So, Mansi approached him and got his information.
Then we visited Farmer Bob (, who was ready with his application all filled out and handed it to us. Mansi bought a pound of longams for snacking on the way home.
The next stop was at our very own winery . By then, Romir was asleep. Everett & Nathan were still up and excited. We tried 5 different wines and ended up buying a case! Lychee and sweet avocado were my favorite.
We continued our journey to the Fruit & Spice park hoping form some more information. We managed to get a list of the areas fruit growers. And, Mansi will be contacting everyone soon.
It was getting late and the heat was really getting to us. So, we decided to make Whitneys ( our last stop. And, just meeting these very enthusiastic, wonderful people was worth our trip. By now, Everett & Nathan were asleep in the car, so we parked under a huge avocado tree and Matt stayed with them in the car. Romir was checking out the local fruits. Mansi and I got a delicious smoothie. The mango smoothie was as fresh as you can get. Mine was passion fruit and it was absolutely delightful. I shared mine with Matt who had dozed off in the car. Chris and Glenn made us feel right at home. They had great ideas and they committed to participating in our Market. They have a perfect setup out there: nice comfortable & shady chairs, big fans that not only blow off the heat but also the mosquitoes, well laid out display of fruits and friendly owners and staff. They will bring fruits and vegetables as well as jams, pasta sauces and home made products from all the produce & fruits they grow themselves. Some organic, some conventional, it all looked just wonderful. We tried their guacamole with goat cheese and pistachios dip. Very interesting flavor with a hint of spice. Loved it! The mango bread was heavenly and the warm garlic rolls were just what we needed to make our way back home. Whitney’s just was an inviting place to just “hang out” and beat the summer heat.
Thanks to our husbands and kids for putting up with our crazy ideas. Overall, a fun Saturday! More news to come… keep checking this blog and facebook for updates.

Blueprints are ready

Carlos finished the plans for the Market. It looks awesome and really... well... the location is just perfect! We are very excited and should be able to submit the application to the City within the next couple of weeks. Thank you Carlos!
It's amazing how it all falls into place. We've got more and more vendors... and variety: Organic produce, conventional produce & fruits, flowers, natural jewelry, natural soaps, hoping for home-made ice cream made with local fruits, rare flowers, and of course, water!
Mansi has been hitting the phones and contacting every farm related person that we can get a hold off...Andrea has been figuring out the permits and licensing requirements. October 31st seems like a long time away, but it really is just around the corner.