Five Ways to Score South Florida-Grown Produce
The idea of eating locally grown produce is all well and good, but when it boils down to a busy day, a rumbling stomach, and an empty fridge, it can be tough to make educated, responsible food choices rather than run shamefully into the arms of Papa John.
But there are some easy ways to commit to local produce in Broward and Palm Beach -- eaters just have to know where to look. Making these choices helps fund local farmers and supports a more sustainable future -- not to mention encourages healthy eating habits. A win-win-win. So when it comes to going locavore, here are some simple options:
Join a farm share program. The Urban Farmer, a patio market on Powerline Road, offers half and full shares of local produce available for weekly or biweekly pickup. A half runs $32 and a full $58 per pickup, and buyers can expect everything from broccoli and tomatoes to kale and kolrabi. All choices are based on seasonality and come from farms hand-selected by owner Stephen Hill and his wife.
"Part of the local farming challenge is doing it profitably for everybody," says Hill. "That's kind of our mission. Community gardens are great, but if this is going to work, it has to be sustainable. That means people involved in it have to make a living, get health insurance, et cetera. We believe we add a real value."
Customers can pick up their goodies at the Urban Farmer's patio market on Friday or Saturday or at several satellite locations. They ask for a four-pickup commitment, but buyers can pause their pickups as necessary. The market is located at 3195 N. Powerline Road, Ste. 101, in Pompano Beach. Visit theurbanfarmerflorida.com, or call 954-586-6686.
Eat at a restaurant with locally sourced food. Fort Lauderdale's Market 17 rewrites its menu based on what's available locally. So while diners may have to avoid attachment to a favorite dish, they're doing their part to support local farmers, seasonal agriculture -- and their own healthy eating habits. It definitely helps when everything's delicious.
South Florida-raised executive chef Lauren DeShields says the restaurant sources from multiple local farms, including Fort Lauderdale Vegetables, Paradise Farms, and Marando Farms.
"Our menu changes daily depending on what the farmers have. Basically at the end of the night, I sit down with my sous chef and we talk about what we have and write the menu accordingly," DeShields says. "It keeps it fresh and exciting. It's great to be able to use all different products and not just do the same thing every single day."