Whether a way to make a living, a way of life or a way to bring fresh food to the needy, green markets are popping up from Parkland to Homestead. Here are some places to go in South Florida to stock up of fresh, locally-grown fruits and veggies and more.
Robert is Here Fruit Stand and Farm
Robert Moehling’s produce sales business got off to a slow start 51 years ago when his father dropped him off on a rural street corner in Redland at age six to sell cucumbers. Everyone passed him by like he was invisible. The next day, Moehling’s future took root when he sold every last cucumber thanks to a hand-scribbled sign that read “Robert Is Here.” Today, cucumbers are among 50 fruits and vegetables grown on his family farm and sold at the Robert Is Here farmers market at Southwest 344th Street and Southwest 192 Avenue.
Locals and tourists pack the place to buy everything from salad greens to exotic tropical fruits, sugar cane and water coconuts.
“It tastes like fruity pear with pumpkin pie,” he tells a customer about the mamey sapote. For canistel fruit: “It’s the inside of a cream donut.” Shelves are packed with locally produced marinades, grilling sauces and dozens of salsas, pickles, preserves, jellies and fresh honey blends. On a recent Saturday, customers lined up a dozen deep for his milkshakes and smoothies packed with fresh-picked fruit. Families get a kick out of donkeys, turtles, chickens, goats and emu in the farm’s petting zoo, and playing in a new water playground next door.
Address: 19200 SW 344th St., Redland
Hours: 8 a.m. - 7 p.m. daily
Contact: 305-246-1592; www.robertishere.com.
Roots in the City Overtown Farmers Market
This grassroots farmers market features broccoli, collard greens, eggplant, green peppers and other fruit, vegetables and herbs grown by community volunteers in converted, empty lots throughout Overtown. The farms accept EBT cards. Marketgoers can purchase up to $10 worth of produce and get a coupon for $10 off the next visit.
Address: Northwest Third Avenue and 16th Street, Overtown; also Grand Avenue and Douglas Road, Coconut Grove.
Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday (Overtown); 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday (Grove).
Coconut Grove Farmers Market
For 26 years, Stan Glaser, owner of Glaser Organic Farms, has been the king of raw, organic vegan food in Miami-Dade County. He sells produce like cucumbers, salad greens and beets and more exotic items like daikon radishes and maitaki mushrooms. Hundreds of items harvested, prepared and packed at his farm in Southwest Miami are organized in the parking lot market. You’ll find a variety of salad greens, dried herbs and spices, cold-pressed olives, honey bee products, flatbreads, pesto, dips and sauces. Rows of sweets include raw banana balls, carob fudgey brownies, chocolate haystacks and mixes of gently dehydrated fruits, rolled oats and nuts. Dairy-free ice creams including frozen banana walnut, cashew vanilla and strawberry macadamia are so superior in texture and flavor that Glaser calls the product “nice cream.”
Address: 19100 SW 137 St., Coconut Grove
Hours: 10 a.m.- 7 p.m. Saturday
Earth Learning Markets
The nonprofit group runs three markets in Miami-Dade County that accept EPT/SNAP. The Homestead Harvest Farmers’ Market at Verde Gardens, which is an indoor/outdoor market, sells local produce, eggs and grass-fed meats plus there’s a smoothie bar and gurapo (sugar cane juice) stand. 2-8 p.m. Friday; 12690 SW 280th St., Homestead. The South Miami Farmers’ Market offers fresh, sustainably-grown local foods, hand-made goods and green products. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday; South Miami City Hall, 6130 Sunset Dr., Their latest market is the Downtown Farmers’ Market. 11:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Friday, Government Center Metrorail Station, Stephen P. Clark Center; 111 NW First St., Miami. Call 786-233-2784.
Lincoln Road Farmers’ Market
If you like to people-watch while shopping for cukes and tomatoes, stroll along the 16-year-old Lincoln Road Farmers’ Market in South Beach, where about a dozen vendors between Meridian and Washington Avenues sell locally grown produce and other food items. Just Picked, owned by Mia and Scott Dequine and business partner Kirsten Hartburg, features salad greens from a Liberty City backyard farm, citrus from Indian River and everything else — from cherry tomatoes to sugar cane — from Homestead. They aim to get goods “from farms within a 30-mile radius so when we say local, we mean very local,” Scott Dequine said. Bananas are sold on the stalk and Brussels sprouts are still caked in farm soil. Other local vendors sell baked empanadas, chilly water coconuts, fresh cut flowers, baked goods, spices, tea and honey. The market is one of 12 produced by Claire Tomlin, owner of The Market Company.
Address: 400 Lincoln Rd., South Beach
Hours: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday
Contact: 305-531-0038; www.themarketcompany.org.
Pinecrest Gardens Green Market
Business booms on Sundays for 50 diverse vendors under a canopy of banyan trees at Pinecrest Gardens. A handful or so of South Florida farms bring truckloads of fresh picked produce. Pikarsky, of Bee Heaven Farm and the Redland Organics Association, said all the fruits and veggies that filled rows of bushels and baskets at her stand were fresh and grown in Miami-Dade soil. “We cobble together everything we have from our members and bring it here,” Pikarsky says. “That’s what direct from the farm really means.” Families can shop while they munch on wholesome organic foods from The Empanada Lady, Papa’s Wood Fired Pizza mobile oven, Cupcake World, Cucky Bellande’s homemade jellies, a crepe stand and a pickle booth. Two seafood vendors, two bread makers and spice and tea purveyors are also on hand.
Address: 5855 S.W. 111th St., Pinecrest
Hours: 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday
Contact: 305-531-0038; www.themarketcompany.org.
Batten’s Farmers Market & Davie Argi-Tourism Center
Doors were closed in August 2008 but the town of Davie bought the landmark Davie farm from its former owner. It reopened in May 2011 under management by the North-South Institute, a nonprofit group that supports local growers and agricultural education. “We opened with 40 items, now we have an inventory of 450 plus,” says program director Samuel Scott. The group, which rents the land from Davie for $12,000 per year, re-established the farm’s popular smoothie stand, added a tropical food restaurant and a petting zoo with 36 animals. About 175 local produce and small business grocery vendors sell goods at the market. Scott’s wife Marcia Scott, who helps manage the farm, said prices are less than the major grocery stores. “We do it on purpose. We try to go under at all times, even if it means we sell at cost,” Scott says. Throughout the place, educational brochures teach the value of eating healthy, natural foods. The organization also assists two 30-acre farm land areas in Davie where South Florida residents grow seasonal crops for sale at the market.
Address: 5151 SW 64th Ave., Davie
Hours: 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday; 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Closed Wednesday.
Contact: 954- 792-068
Josh’s Organic Garden
The food is certified organic and picked 24-to-48 hours before being sold at this oceanfront green market from founder Josh Steinhauser in Hollywood Beach. Produce, nuts, seeds and other items attract hundreds every Sunday. There’s a garden of greenery. Racks of wheat grass and sprouts line tables and bins are loaded with fresh-picked cucumbers, peppers, carrots and tomatoes plus there’s a juice and smoothie bar.
Address: Harrison Street and Hollywood Broadwalk, behind the Ramada Inn.
Hours: 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Sunday
Owners Fred and Chelsea Marando established their urban market when they lost jobs in the construction business and were facing foreclosure of their home in 2009. “It was literally touch and go from the beginning,” Chelsea Marando says. Rows of greens, herbs, peppers, tomatoes and beans grow from above-ground “u-pick” containers. Bushels of other produce are brought in from Florida farms within 325 miles from the city. About 40 regular customers are now members of the Marando Farms’ community supported agriculture program: They pay ahead for produce that is boxed and distributed in shares weekly. A collection of community gardens produce radishes, eggplant, cucumbers and other seasonal items — 25 percent of those items are donated to Broward food pantries for the poor. The general store stocks locally produced raw foods, honey, jams and jellies and homemade pet foods. Organic chicken and goose eggs; beef, pork and poultry; and salsas, hummus and baked goods are also available and they recently opened a smoothie bar. The farm’s menagerie of once homeless farm animals (goats, pigs, chickens and bunnies) is especially popular with the 4,000 local school children who visit annually for lessons about nutrition and gardening.
Address: 1401 SW 1st Ave., Fort Lauderdale
Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Sunday. Closed Wednesday.
Contact: Chelsea Marando, 954-294-2331; www.marandofarms.com.
Yellow Green Farmers Market
Business was meant to grow when the 100,000-square-foot Yellow Green Farmers Market opened in Hollywood in late 2010. Sixty percent of 350 available stalls rented to vendors makes 140 stalls up for grabs. “We’re a special find for shoppers and vendors but once they discover us, we’re on their list for good,” says General Manager Mark Menagh. Maria Corona, of Miami, sells scallions, fresh green garlic, peppers, celery and other seasonal items fresh picked daily from her family farm. Six other produce stands dot the place. Several Hollywood residents launching home-based cottage businesses include Anita Borghi, the solitary baker behind HomeSlice Breads; Cynthia Adams, who’s The Pie Lady; and soup and quiche cook Haydee Chopov of Soups & More. Novel boutique businesses are also a highlight. Shoppers can pick from 67 types of olives and flavor-infused olive oils, lunch on Kobe burgers, take a beer break at the bar, pick up Amish butter and cheeses and try Asian-Caribbean fusion veggies and seasonings.
Address: 1940 N. 30th Rd., Hollywood
Hours: 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Contact: Mark Menagh, 954-513-3990; www.ygfarmersmarket.com.
Las Olas Outdoor Gourmet Market
During a lazy morning stroll along the boulevard, check out the small market, with a dozen vendors offering a wide range of items like fruits and vegetables brought in by former farmers and current distributors for local growers, Michael and Sherry Ryback. Sample fresh fish and stone crabs; baked goods; pasta; olive oil; and all natural personal care items like shea butter lotion and homemade soap.
Address: 101 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale
Hours: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Sunday.
Contact: Brion O’Neil; 954-698-6607.
Southwest Ranches Farmers Market
Sheila Garcia and business partner Clarence McDowell opened this small neighborhood stand three years ago when both lost jobs in the construction business. McDowell used his construction skills to build the tent and wood frame. Garcia channeled her love of gardening and nutritional know-how. All the produce is grown in Florida and 80 percent of the goods come from local, pesticide- free or organic growers as nearby as a friend’s backyard farm in Davie. Locally produced seeds and dry beans were recently added to the inventory. A “u-pick” garden is growing behind the market. McDowell, who is now also a full time carpenter in Pembroke Pines, said the small business is “on the cusp” of finally turning a profit. Don’t leave without all natural Barry’s Gourmet Hummus and a pint of Garcia’s homemade salsa.
Address: 5150 S. Flamingo Rd., Southwest Ranches
Hours: 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily. Closed Thursday.
Contact: Sheila Garcia, 754-423-3786; www.swrfarmersmarket.com.
Pompano Beach Green Market
The Pompano Beach Historical Society decided nine years ago to bring back the flavor of the once agriculture rich town known nationally for peppers and bean crops. “What is grown here is sold here,” says the organization’s executive director Dan Hobby. Three fruit and vegetable vendors, including former farmers Michael and Sherry Ryback, sell locally grown goods from sugar cane out of Belle Glade to green beans from Boca Raton. Linda DuBois and her sister-in-law Claudia DuBois, of Pompano, sell fresh squeezed Florida orange, lemon, tangerine and grapefruit juice from Kennesaw Fruit and Juice packing and bottling company in Pompano Beach “just across the railroad tracks.” Try Ethel Burns’ beloved sweet potato and coconut cream pies.
Address: 100 NE 1st St., Pompano Beach
Hours: 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday.
Contact: Dan Hobby, 954-782-3015.
Parkland Farmers Market
Nearly 3,000 people flock to this city-operated market in the rural Parkland Equestrian Center. Organizer Colleen O’Dea provides goods by local growers and small businesses including Brother’s Produce from Davie, Two Sisters Juice Company from Pompano Beach, Biscotti Girl from Fort Lauderdale, Muzzle Meals organic pet food from Coral Springs and Anita’s Guacamole from North Miami Beach. Rebecca Nahom, says she and her two sons eat their way through the market every week. “We don’t have to pack a lunch,” Nahom says. “We snack on fresh veggies, home-baked breads, hummus, cheese. For dessert we go to the organic fruit stand and pluck an apple off the table.”
Address: 8350 Ranch Rd., Parkland
Hours: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday
Contact: Colleen O’Dea, 954--757-4120.
Other Good Picks
Here are some of the other markets throughout South Florida; many of these accept EBT/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program payments and a two-for-one discount (up to $20 worth of food for $10).
Brownsville Farmers’ Market: Fruits, vegetables and other locally produced edibles. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday; Jesse Trice Community Center, 5361 NW 22nd Ave., Miami; 786-427-4698.
North Miami Farmers’ Market: Locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables; other locally made items. 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Thursday, Museum of Contemporary Art, 770 NE 125th St., North Miami; Muriel Olivares, 786-991-4329.
TACOLCY Market: Run by Urban GreenWorks, the market is open from noon-5 p.m. Thursday and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at NW 8th Ave. and 62nd Street.
Little Haiti Market: Run by Bochika, the market is open from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at Toussant L’ouverture Elementary, 150 NE 59th St.
Upper Eastside Farmers’ Market at Biscayne Plaza: Locally grown fruits, vegetables and herbs, eggs, grass-fed meats, plants, tea, fresh juice. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday; 79th Street and Biscayne Boulevard; 786-427-4698.
Normandy Village Market Place: Fresh produce, baked goods, herbs, plants, fresh-cut flowers, jams and bread. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday; 7802 Rue Vendome, Miami Beach; 305-531-0038.
Plantation Farmers’ Market: Fresh produce, locally produced honey, homemade hummus, plants and orchids, fresh-cut flowers, breads, pastry, olive oils, cheeses, dips and spreads. 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. Saturday; Volunteer Park, 12050 W. Sunrise Blvd., Plantation; 954-452-2558.
Green Market at Miramar Square: Fresh produce, plants, candles, baked goods, dips and spreads. 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. Saturday; 12162 Miramar Pkwy., Emily Lilly, 561-299-8684.
Coral Gables Farmers’ Market: Fresh produce, baked goods, gourmet specialty foods and plants, live music, free Tai Chi and free gardening workshop. 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, City Hall, 405 Biltmore Way, Coral Gables; Parks and Recreation Division, 305-460-5600.
St. John’s on the Lake Market: Fresh fish, produce, breads, olive oil, empanadas. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday; 4760 Pine Tree Dr., Miami Beach; 305-531-0038.